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Republic of the Philippines HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES TWELFTH CONGRESS Third Regular Session

HOUSE RESOLUTION No. 1404 _____________________________________________________________________________________ Introduced by Reps. SATUR C. OCAMPO, JOEL G. VIRADOR and SIEGFRED D. DEDURO _____________________________________________________________________________________ RESOLUTION URGING THE PHILIPPINE GOVERNMENT TO IMMEDIATELY UNDERTAKE THE APPROPRIATE MEASURES TO DECISIVELY ADDRESS THE UNITED NATIONS HUMAN RIGHTS COMMITTEE'S CONCLUDING OBSERVATIO NS DURING ITS 79 TH SESSION LAST NOVEMBER 6, 2003 ABOUT THE PHILIPPINES’ FAILURE TO CARRY OUT ITS OBLIGATIONS UNDER THE INTERNATIONAL COVENANT ON CIVIL AND POLITICAL RIGHTS TO INVESTIGATE CRIMES ALLEGEDLY COMMITTED BY STATE SECURITY FORCES AND AGENTS, INCLUDING THE SUMMARY EXECUTION OF HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVISTS EDEN MARCELLANA AND EDDIE GUMANOY, TO PROSECUTE AND PUNISH THE PERPETRATORS, AND TO ACT ON REPORTED CASES OF EXTRAJUDICIAL KILLINGS, ARBITRARY DETENTI ON, HARASSMENT, INTIMIDATIO N AND ABUSE, AND THE WIDESPREAD USE OF TORTURE, AMONG OTHERS W HEREA S the United Nations Human Rights Committee during its 79th session last November 6, 2003 in Geneva, Switzerland issued the following as "principal subjects of concern and recommendations" in its evaluation of the condition of human rights in the Philippines: ➨ the lack of appropriate measures to investigate crimes allegedly committed by state security forces and agents, in particular those committed against human rights defenders, journalists and leaders of indigenous peoples, and the lack of measures taken to prosecute and punish the perpetrators and to act on reports of intimidation and threats of retaliation which impede the right to an effective remedy for persons whose rights and freedoms have been violated; ➨ these includes the lack of legislative and other measures to prevent such violations, in keeping with Articles 2, 6 and 9 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and ensure effective enforcement of the legislation; ➨ the failure to provide information on the outcome of the proceedings related to the murder in April 2003 of human rights activists Eden Marcellana and Eddie Gumanoy and the execution of 11 persons on Commonwealth Avenue, Manila, in 1995 (Kuratong Baleleng rubout case); ➨ the exceedingly broad scope of the pending legislation defining and penalizing terrorism in the country, noting the negative impact of a "broad and vague definition of acts of terrorism"; ➨ the continued imposition of the death penalty, including on minors, and the need for the Philippine government to take all measures to repeal all laws which have made it possible to impose the death penalty; ➨ the reported cases of "extrajudicial killings, arbitrary detention, harassment, intimidation and abuse, including on detainees, many of whom are women and children, that have neither been investigated or prosecuted"; ➨ reports of persistent and widespread use of torture and cruel or inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment of detainees by law enforcement officials and the lack of legislation specifically prohibiting torture;

➨ numerous instances of trafficking of women and children within the country and across its borders; ➨ abuse of the law allowing for warrantless arrest, noting that the arrests in practice do not always respect the statutory conditions that the person arrested is actually committing a crime or that the arresting officer has "personal" knowledge of facts indicating that the person arrested committed the crime; likewise, a vaguely worded anti-vagrancy law is used in order to arrest persons without warrant, especially female prostitutes and street children; ➨ continuing reports of displacement of persons and evacuation of populations, including indigenous population groups, in areas of counter-insurgency operations; ➨ lack of effective implementation of the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act (IPRA) of 1997 and the subsequent establishment of the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP), and the human rights implications for indigenous groups of economic activities, such as mining operations; ➨ inadequate measures to protect children and the "deplorable" situation of large numbers of children, particularly the most vulnerable, and noting the absence of adequate legislation on juvenile justice and the deplorable situation of children in detention, those forced to engage in child labor, recruited in armed groups, as well as victims of ill-treatment and abuse; W HEREA S the United Nations Human Rights Committee welcomed the written report provided by Philippine government representatives “after an interval of more than 14 years,” but noted that "it regrets that an extended number of questions remained wholly or partly unanswered at the conclusion of the discussion"; W HEREA S the UNHRC likewise criticized the Philippine government for its failure to submit such a report for such a long period as this “constitutes a failure to observe its obligation under Article 40 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights”; W HEREA S the issues raised by the UNHRC reflect the dismal state of human rights in the country, and the urgent need to address them in view of the escalating attacks on progressive people's organizations and the impunity enjoyed by alleged state perpetrators, as put forth by the human rights organization KARAPATAN before the same UN body during the latter's consultation-briefing with non-government organizations; NO W THEREFO RE BE IT RES OLV ED that the House of Representatives urge the Philippine government to immediately undertake the appropriate measures to decisively address the United Nations Human Rights Committee's concluding observations during its 79th session last November 6, 2003 about the Philippines’ failure to carry out its obligations under the International Covenant on Civil And Political Rights to investigate crimes allegedly committed by state security forces and agents, including the summary execution of human rights activists Eden Marcellana and Eddie Gumanoy, to prosecute and punish the perpetrators, and to act on reported cases of extrajudicial killings, arbitrary detention, harassment, intimidation and abuse, and the widespread use of torture, among others. Adopted,

SATUR C. OCAMPO DEDURO Bayan Muna–Party-List Bayan Muna–Party-List

JOEL G. VIRADOR Bayan Muna–Party-List


HR 1404 - UNHRC report