Sep 282014
 

http://wikileaks.org/cable/2007/06/07MANILA2198.html#
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07MANILA2198
2007-06-29 04:27
2011-08-30 01:44
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Manila

VZCZCXRO9086
OO RUEHCHI RUEHDT RUEHHM
DE RUEHML #2198 1800427
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 290427Z JUN 07
FM AMEMBASSY MANILA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7206
INFO RUEHZS/ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS IMMEDIATE
RHHMUNA/CDRUSPACOM HONOLULU HI IMMEDIATE
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS IMMEDIATE
C O N F I D E N T I A L MANILA 002198

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/29/2012
TAGS: PHUM PREL EAID EU RP
SUBJECT: EU EXAMINES ASSISTANCE AGAINST UNLAWFUL KILLINGS

REF: A. MANILA 1704

¶B. MANILA 2120

Classified By: Pol/C Scott Bellard, reasons 1.4 (b) and (d)

¶1. (C) A special seven-person European Union Needs
Assessment Mission (NAM) visited Manila June 18-28 to
identify possible areas on which EU assistance programs could
help the Philippine government deal with the ongoing problem
of unlawful and extrajudicial killings. British Deputy Head
of Mission Colin Crorkin (strictly protect) provided Pol/C
with a copy of NAM’s aide memoire on June 29.

¶2. (C) The report makes very clear that these killings are
“a Philippine problem requiring a Philippine solution,”
underscoring that the Philippine government has a “legal
burden” to prevent such crimes and prosecute culprits. While
promising to submit a fuller report at a later time outlining
possible EU assistance programs, the NAM insisted that the
Philippine government itself must “be ready to provide the
resources to match the political will it has already
expressed.” It highlighted also that actual investigations
of the killings remained the “sole responsibility of the
Philippine Government.” The report acknowledged several
important steps the Philippine government had already taken,
including establishment of Task Force Usig and the Melo
Commission, but noted “little concrete progress in
investigating and prosecuting suspects” and few “effective
implementation measures.”

¶3. (C) Among the key findings are:
— technical assistance and equipment could help in crime
investigation management and crime scene investigations;
— the disconnect between police and prosecutors (which an
Embassy-organized seminar addressed in May — ref a) is an
impediment to successful prosecutions, perhaps requiring
special laws, special police, special prosecutors and judges,
and even a special prison regime, while acknowledging the
importance of a draft Executive Order (which Embassy has long
advocated to the Philippine government) mandating such
cooperation in the pre-trial case preparation;
— the Philippine witness protection program needs internal
and external support as well as institutional reorganization;
— additional training for judges and prosecutors on human
rights and international humanitarian law, inter alia, could
be helpful, while the Supreme Court’s Administrative Order
(ref b) mandating speedier trials should address concerns
about the “significant delays” in judicial proceedings;
— the independent Commission on Human Rights, which “has
the confidence of the victims and witnesses,” lacks technical
capacity and needs more support (note: USAID has already
requested additional funding in the FY07 and FY08 budgets for
the CHR. end note);
— the Office of the Ombudsman is not living up to its
mandate to “stop, prevent, and correct any abuse or
impropriety in the performance of duties,” and needs to take
more steps in the investigation of these killings; and,
— the Armed Forces of the Philippines has already expressed
its willingness to accept further training by EU military
experts in the field of human rights, which the NAM believes
should cover the “application of international humanitarian
law to the counter-insurgency,” with an emphasis on
“distinction between combatants and non-combatants” as well
as command responsibility.

¶4. (C) Comment: The EU’s NAM members met with emboffs to
seek our views at the beginning of its visit. DHM Crorkin
emphasized privately that the EU plans closely to coordinate
any future assistance on this issue with the Embassy and with
other potential donors to ensure that we do not duplicate
efforts. The Philippine government’s receptivity to this
external assessment, and its willingness to work with
interested donors including the USG to improve its capacity
to investigate and prosecute such unlawful killings, are
welcome, as are its own ambitious programs to resolve this
problem.

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

KENNEY

   

 

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