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Cablegate: Reactions to the Human Rights Report On The

VZCZCXRO9370
OO RUEHCHI RUEHDT RUEHHM
DE RUEHML #0753 0670844
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 080844Z MAR 07
FM AMEMBASSY MANILA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5572
INFO RUEHZS/ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS IMMEDIATE
RHHMUNA/CDRUSPACOM HONOLULU HI IMMEDIATE
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC IMMEDIATE

UNCLAS MANILA 000753

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PHUM PREL RP
SUBJECT: REACTIONS TO THE HUMAN RIGHTS REPORT ON THE
PHILIPPINES


1. (U) Presidential press spokesman Ignacio R. Bunye on
March 8 welcomed the State Department's Country Report on the
Philippines in the annual human rights report to Congress as
a "constructive criticism from a time-honored ally,"
admitting that "the Philippines has had a history of violence
over the past decades that we aim to deal with and put in the
past, adhering to strict standards of criminal justice and
human rights, with justice under the rule of law; and we
welcome all the assistance we can get from our allies and
partners for a safer and more secure world." He described
the Philippine government's additional steps to combat
"unexplained killings," such as special courts and special
prosecutors, an expanded witness protection program, and
stricter internal controls within the military and police.
He emphasized that the Philippines "upholds democracy and
human rights as strongly as it cherishes freedom and free
enterprise."

2. (U) The report received widespread media coverage,
focusing on a "climate of impunity" related to unlawful
killings of activists, church leaders, and journalists. Many
reports also highlighted the report's conclusion that the New
People's Army was responsible for the killing of local
government officials, left-wing activists and civilians, and
use of land mines and underage soldiers in combat roles.

Visit Embassy Manila's Classified SIPRNET website:
http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/eap/manila/index. cfm

You can also access this site through the State Department's
Classified SIPRNET website:
http:// www.state.sgov.gov/
KENNEY

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