Oct 032014
 

http://wikileaks.org/cable/2006/10/06MANILA4359.html#

Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
06MANILA4359 2006-10-16 01:49 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Manila
VZCZCXRO9703
OO RUEHCHI RUEHDT RUEHHM
DE RUEHML #4359/01 2890149
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 160149Z OCT 06
FM AMEMBASSY MANILA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3498
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 SECTION 01 OF 02 MANILA 004359

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/16/2011
TAGS: PHUM PINS MOPS KCRM RP
SUBJECT: ONGOING INVESTIGATIONS OF EXTRAJUDICIAL KILLINGS

REF: A. MANILA 3793

¶B. MANILA 3404

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

¶1. (C) Summary. Justice Melo, chairman of the new
Presidential commission investigating the recent spate of
extrajudicial killings, expressed appreciation for an Embassy
offer to provide guidelines toward achieving successful
prosecutions of human rights violations involving police and
military and chain of command issues. The Melo Commission
seeks to identify patterns to the recent extrajudicial
killings in order to provide policy recommendations to
President Arroyo on how to ensure that any and all current
and future elements of Philippine security forces cease
complicity in such killings or face prosecution. The
Philippine National Police Task Force Usig Commander
separately provided an update on progress in its
investigations, which have already led to the filing of
charges in 62 cases, with arrests so far in 22 cases and
convictions in two cases. National Security Advisor Norberto
Gonzales and Foreign Minister Alberto Romulo will likely
travel to Europe in the coming months to finalize plans for
an EU-led group come to the Philippines to investigate cases
of extrajudicial killings. End Summary.

—————————————–
Embassy assistance to the Melo Commission
—————————————–

¶2. (C) In a meeting on October 10 with the U.S. Department
of Justice Attache and poloffs, retired Supreme Court Justice
Jose A. Melo and Commission Counsel Rogelio Vinluan expressed
appreciation for an Embassy offer (ref a) to provide
guidelines on how to conduct successful prosecutions of human
rights violations involving police or military personnel and
chain of command issues, based on the Justice Attache’s
experience as a U.S. federal prosecutor. One recommendation
was to investigate lower ranking members in order to get
enough evidence to ensure convictions that carry a heavy
sentence, and then convince them to bear witness against
senior officers. Noting that recently retired Philippine
Army Major General Jovito Palparan had conceded in testimony
before the Melo Commission that he may have “inspired” his
troops to carry out acts involving human rights violations,
the U.S. experience demonstrated that it is usually possible
to obtain evidence that such leaders have issued explicit
orders for such abuses, the attache explained.

¶3. (C) Justice Melo clarified that his mission is not to
indict specific individuals, but rather to offer policy
recommendations by the end of 2006 to the President on how to
“put the fear of God” into military and police officers so
that they realize clearly that any complicity in EJKs will
lead to prosecution. His report will also identify specific
patterns of EJKs related to regions or individuals.

—————————
Progress at Task Force Usig
—————————

¶4. (U) Task Force Usig Commander (and Deputy PNP Chief for
Administration) General Avelino “Sonny” Razon, Jr. separately
provided an update to poloffs on October 11 on progress since
his last briefing (ref b). General Razon highlighted that TF
Usig had successfully met President’s Arroyo’s August 1
directive to resolve at least 10 cases of EJKs within 10
weeks by solving 24 cases (with 12 new arrests) in
approximately 9 weeks. He disagreed with statistics provided
by the leftist NGO Karapatan that there has been 725 cases of
EJKs of party list members since 2001 (as opposed to Usig’s
claim of 110), noting that TF Usig had already discounted 81
of the cases of EJKs claimed by Karapatan. He cited the case
of a party list member reportedly abducted and found dead in
2004 in Oriental Mindoro, whom the PNP found alive and well
on July 4, 2006. (Note: Karapatan has reportedly declined to
cooperate with the Melo Commission or Task Force Usig,
despite their requests, and has so far also declined to meet
with poloffs. End note).

¶5. (U) The revised TF Usig statistics for the 2001-2006
period now show:
Party List members/activists:
— 110 cases, with 36 so far in 2006;
— 41 cases have identified perpetrators or suspects; 24 are
NPA-related, 17 are Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) or
PNP-related;
— 41 cases have been filed in court, with arrests in nine
cases and surrenders in one case, while suspects are still at
large in 31 others;
— 69 cases are still under investigation.

MANILA 00004359 002 OF 002

Members of the media:
— 26 cases, with two so far in 2006;
— 11 cases have identified perpetrators or suspects: two are
NPA-related, nine are AFP or PNP-related;
— 21 cases have been filed, with arrests in 13 of these
cases, two cases under preliminary investigation, two cases
with convicted suspects, two cases with surrendered suspects,
and two cases with at-large suspects;
— five cases are still under investigation.

—————-
Possible EU role
—————-

¶6. (SBU) Gen Razon confirmed that an EU-led group would be
welcome to come to the Philippines to investigate cases of
EJKs in the Philippines, as President Arroyo had requested
during her recent meetings in Europe. An EU Commission
official confirmed to poloffs on October 13 that Philippine
National Security Advisor Norberto Gonzales informed EU
member state representatives in Manila that he and Foreign
Minister Alberto Romulo will travel to Europe in the coming
months to finalize the logistics for this suggested group’s
visit to the Philippines.

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

   

 

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