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Cablegate: President Arroyo Formally Launches New

VZCZCXYZ0001
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHML #2473 2050909
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 240909Z JUL 07
FM AMEMBASSY MANILA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7540
INFO RHHMUNA/CDRUSPACOM HONOLULU HI IMMEDIATE
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE

UNCLAS MANILA 002473

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

STATE FOR EAP, PM, AND EAP/MTS
USPACOM ALSO FOR J5
SECDEF/OSD/ISA/AP (TOOLAN/REDMON)
JOINT STAFF/J5 (WILKES/ROBINSON/CLEMMONS)

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PTER PREL PGOV PHUM RP
SUBJECT: PRESIDENT ARROYO FORMALLY LAUNCHES NEW
ANTI-TERRORISM LAW

REF: A. MANILA 2284
B. MANILA 752
C. MANILA 599
D. MANILA 560
E. MANILA 465

1. (U) In a gala televised event July 20 attended by leading
Cabinet and Congressional figures, members of the diplomatic
corps, police and army officers, and victims of terrorism and
their families, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo formally
launched the Philippines' new anti-terrorism law, Republic
Act no. 9372, the Human Security Act of 2007. Ambassador
Kenney and the Dean of the Diplomatic Corps, U.A.E.
Ambassador Al-Jowaid, joined President Arroyo in making
remarks.

2. (U) In her speech, President Arroyo said the new law,
while preserving and protecting freedom, would give the
Philippine government "legal muscle to end the paralysis of
fear" created by the brutal terrorist acts that have plagued
the country. She asserted that the Act would help put a stop
to human rights abuses, saying that "we can't fight terrorism
with terror." Stating that "no one was above the law,"
Arroyo said she was determined to stop anyone who killed
innocent civilians, whether they were religious or
ideological terrorists, or "rogue elements" of the police or
military. Arroyo concluded by noting that poverty abetted
terrorism and that economic and social development were the
best ways to achieve security. She appealed to the
Philippine public to give the new Human Security Act "a
chance."

3. (SBU) COMMENT: The Act, which President Arroyo signed
March 6, provided for implementation beginning July 15, after
mid-term elections. There has been intense public (and
predictable) criticism from the legal Left, who are vowing to
challenge the new law in the courts. Despite some flaws, the
Human Security Act represents a substantial achievement for
President Arroyo and her Administration. We are encouraged,
as well, by her strong public stand on unlawful killings and
stated commitment to bring rogue elements of the police and
military to justice.

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

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