• Thursday, February 22, 2007

    Special Rapporteur concludes visit to the Philippines

    On Wednesday, Philip Alston concluded his 10 day visit to the Philippines and issued a press statement.

    Here is a quick rundown of the front-page coverage in the Thursday morning Manila dailies:

    Philippine Daily Inquirer

    These do not appear to be available online, but for related stories from the same media company, see UN exec to RP: Admit extrajudicial killings are happening: Many murders 'convincingly attributed' to military, UN official, not military, is in denial - Esperon: AFP chief orders troops not to attack legal groups , and Malacañang making Melo report public.

    The Philippine Star

    * UN: AFP in denial on killings: Melo report to be made public today
    * Probe was biased from the start – AFP


    * AFP behind ‘many’ killings, says UN prober: ‘Military in state of almost total denial’
    * Palace releases Melo report today

    One quick response by the Government was its release of a report that had been previously made by the Melo Commission but never disclosed to the public. In his statement, Alston had said:

    It is not for me to evaluate the Melo Report. That is for the people of the Philippines to do. The President showed good faith in responding to allegations by setting up an independent commission. But the political and other capital that should have followed is being slowly but surely drained away by the refusal to publish the report. The justifications given are unconvincing. The report was never intended to be preliminary or interim. The need to get ‘leftists’ to testify is no reason to withhold a report which in some ways at least vindicates their claims. And extending a Commission whose composition has never succeeded in winning full cooperation seems unlikely to cure the problems still perceived by those groups. Immediate release of the report is an essential first step.

    The report of the Melo Commission was released by the Government and has been posted on the website of the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism here.

  • Thursday, February 08, 2007

    Editorial on “Tochi: The Bitter Lessons”

    This Day (Nigeria) has an editorial (and here) discussing the decisions made by Singapore, the intervention of the Special Rapporteur, and the diplomatic efforts of the Nigerian government in the case of Iwuchukwu Amara Tochi.