Sep 282014
 

http://wikileaks.org/cable/2006/01/06MANILA26.html#
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
06MANILA26
2006-01-04 09:36
2011-08-30 01:44
UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY
Embassy Manila

VZCZCXRO2144
PP RUEHCHI RUEHDT RUEHHM
DE RUEHML #0026/01 0040936
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 040936Z JAN 06
FM AMEMBASSY MANILA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8404
INFO RUEHZS/ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS
RUEAWJA/DOJ WASHDC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RUEAHLC/DHS WASHINGTON DC
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 MANILA 000026

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DEPT FOR EAP/MTS, EAP/MLS, INR/EAP, INR/B
DEPT PLEASE PASS TO USAID ANE/TS – L. SAULS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PINS ECON PINR PTER PHUM RP
SUBJECT: IN BLOW TO JUDICIARY, WELL-KNOWN JUDGE SLAIN

REF: A. 05 MANILA 5914
¶B. 05 MANILA 5749
¶C. 05 MANILA 5521
¶D. 05 MANILA 3955

¶1. (U) This message is Sensitive but Unclassified — Please
handle accordingly.

¶2. (SBU) Summary: A well-known Metro Manila trial judge
was murdered in a drive-by shooting on December 31. Police
have arrested seven men in connection with the attack. The
Supreme Court has demanded that the GRP thoroughly
investigate the crime and take steps to protect judges. The
killing — the 10th of a judge in the past five years (all
unresolved) — highlights the Philippines’ continuing rule
of law problems. End Summary.

—————————
Slaying of Well-Known Judge
—————————

¶3. (SBU) On December 31, two men riding on a motorcycle
shot and killed Judge Henrick Gingoyon of the Pasay City
Regional Trial Court at a town in Cavite Province located
just south of Manila. Gingoyon had gained notoriety in 2004
when he ordered the Philippine government to pay 3 billion
pesos (approximately USD 60 million) to the Philippine
International Air Terminals Company (PIATCO) as compensation
in the takeover of the as-yet unopened Ninoy Aquino
International Airport Terminal 3 (NAIA-3) — see ref D.
(Note: The Supreme Court recently upheld Gingoyon’s ruling
on the PIATCO case. The opening of the terminal — now
scheduled for sometime in 2006 — has been delayed for years
by allegations of corruption and resulting litigation. End
Note.) He also gained attention in 2005 after objecting to
the promotion of a police chief in Cavite (a notorious area
for violence), whom he accused of planting evidence to
justify arrests. Gingoyon was also the judge in terrorist-
related cases, including one in which he sentenced Agus
Dwikarna, an Indonesian national, to 10-17 years in prison
for illegal possession of explosives linked to a series of
lethal bombings in Manila in 2000.

——————
Arrest of Suspects
——————

¶4. (SBU) Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez has initiated an
investigation of the murder through the National Bureau of
Investigation (NBI), which has created “Task Force Gingoyon”
to investigate the crime. According to press reports, the
NBI has arrested seven suspects, including three that have
been “positively identified” by eyewitnesses. The NBI has
stated that it believes the three may have been paid 150,000
pesos (USD $2,800) to assassinate the judge. Authorities
have not yet established a motive, however. According to
police officials, Gingoyon had received death threats in the
weeks before his murder. There are no indications at this
point that the crime was linked to Gingoyon’s hearing of
terrorist-related cases.

————————
Supreme Court Lashes Out
————————

¶5. (SBU) The Supreme Court — in its watchdog role as head
of the judiciary — and several NGOs have spoken out against
the crime, urging decisive action by authorities. Ismael
Khan, a Supreme Court official, told A/Pol/C on January 4
that the Supreme Court was “very worried” by the killing and
“very angered.” Gingoyon was a “highly-respected judge,
known for his fierce independence,” he related. The Supreme
Court, he noted, has publicly demanded that the GRP take
immediate steps to solve the case and to protect judges, but
was “not happy” with the government’s steps, thus far. Khan
asserted that the killing of Gingoyon “added to the
environment of fear in the judiciary that makes judges think
twice about their rulings.” The Free Legal Assistance
Group, a local NGO working on legal issues, also issued a
statement condemning the attack, stating that “The killing
of any judge is an attack on the independence and integrity
of the judiciary.”

——-
Comment

MANILA 00000026 002 OF 002

——-

¶6. (SBU) The slaying of Judge Gingoyon — which has
received considerable press coverage — is the 10th of a
judge in the Philippines in the past five years. All of the
cases are unresolved. Coming on top of the ongoing killings
of journalists and leftist activists (ref B), as well as the
dozens of extra-judicial slayings of alleged criminals (ref
C), the killings of jurists serve to highlight the country’s
endemic rule of law problems.

JONES

   

 

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