Sep 242014
 

http://wikileaks.org/cable/2006/09/06MANILA3793.html#

Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
06MANILA3793 2006-09-08 10:21 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Manila
VZCZCXRO4847
OO RUEHCHI RUEHDT RUEHHM
DE RUEHML #3793 2511021
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 081021Z SEP 06
FM AMEMBASSY MANILA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 2884
INFO RUEHZS/ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS IMMEDIATE
RHHMUNA/CDRUSPACOM HONOLULU HI IMMEDIATE
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC IMMEDIATE
C O N F I D E N T I A L MANILA 003793

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/08/2011
TAGS: PHUM PINS MOPS KCRM RP
SUBJECT: CHARGE MEETS WITH “MELO” COMMISSION ON EXTRAJUDICIAL KILLINGS

REF: A. MANILA 3404

¶B. MANILA 3779

Classified By: (U) Charge d’Affaires, a.i. Paul W. Jones
for reasons 1.4(b) and (d).

¶1. (C) Summary. Retired Supreme Court Justice Jose A. Melo
and other members of the “Melo” Commission told Charge
d’Affairs September 7 that their primary goals are to press
for progress on cases of extrajudicial killings (EJKs) and to
identify overall patterns to these killings. The Commission
has a self imposed deadline of December 2006 to conclude its
work, which will include public hearings, and produce a
report to be submitted to President Arroyo that will include
policy and legislative recommendations. Charge underscored
to the Commission the importance of their work in stemming
EJKs and conveyed the strong USG concern over these killings.
In a side conversation, Justice Melo discreetly requested
Embassy assistance on chain of command issues and patterns of
government security force involvement in EJKs from other
countries. End Summary.

¶2. (SBU) Members of the Melo Commission, composed of
Chairman Jose A. Melo, Chief State Prosecutor Jovencito Zuno,
National Bureau of Investigations Director Nestor Mantarang,
University of the Philippines Board of Regents member Nelia
Gonzalez, Butuan Bishop Juan de Dios Pueblos (not present for
this meeting) and General Counsel Rogelio Vinluan, emphasized
that this group will press for quicker progress on high
profile cases, seek out patterns, and reassure the public
through open hearings. The Commission will complement the
work of the Philippine National Police (PNP) Task Force Usig
(ref a) by overseeing and prioritizing current cases of EJKs.

¶3. (SBU) The Commission members acknowledged that the
willingness of witnesses to testify is the main barrier to
solving many of these killings but they are prepared to offer
witness protection in return for testimony. They invited the
USG to submit, in confidence if necessary, any information
that may shed light on who is perpetrating EJKs.

¶4. (SBU) Commission General Counsel Rogelio “Rolly” Vinluan
pointed out that the composition of the Commission should
assuage concerns about the “independence” of this group,
noting that each of the members comes from a different “walk
of life:” judiciary, law enforcement, legal, the church, and
academia.

¶5. (C) In a side conversation with the Charge after the
meeting, Justice Melo requested any assistance the USG can
provide to help the Commission navigate issues of command
responsibility, as well as to understand patterns of
government security force involvement in EJKs around the
world. Embassy is following up with appropriate agencies on
possible assistance. Melo re-affirmed his public statements
that there are “no sacred cows” when it comes to establishing
culpability in cases of EJKs and that the Commission is
intent on calling military and police officials to testify on
their alleged involvement in these crimes.

¶6. (C) Comment. Melo Commissioners were clearly in the
middle of reviewing cases when Charge and PolOff arrived. We
are encouraged by their seriousness, and the strong
reputation of Justice Melo.

Jones

   

 

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