Oct 042014
 

http://wikileaks.org/cable/2006/03/06MANILA1230.html#

Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
06MANILA1230 2006-03-20 06:55 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Manila
VZCZCXRO4517
PP RUEHCHI RUEHDT RUEHHM
DE RUEHML #1230 0790655
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 200655Z MAR 06
FM AMEMBASSY MANILA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0056
INFO RUEHZS/ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS
RHHMUNA/CDRUSPACOM HONOLULU HI
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RUEAWJB/DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHINGTON DC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC
UNCLAS MANILA 001230

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR EAP/MTS, DRL/CRA, EAP/PD, DRL/PHD, G/TIP

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PHUM PREL KPAO SOCI RP
SUBJECT: POSITIVE REACTION TO HUMAN RIGHTS REPORT ON PHILIPPINES

¶1. (U) Summary: Mission’s efforts to alert the Philippine
public of the Country Reports on Human Rights 2005, including
a chat on the Virtual Consulate Davao website, paid off with
generally positive and constructive responses from the media
and from key contacts. Mission will continue to develop
project proposals focusing on ways to assist the Philippines
make progress in key problem areas. End Summary.

¶2. (U) After submission to Congress of the Country Reports
on Human Rights 2005, Mission issued a press release and
posted the Philippines’ section of the report on our website,
with links to the full report on the main State Department
website. On March 13, Mission held a successful Virtual
Consulate Davao web-chat, where many participants (who had
clearly read the report) posted questions about U.S. human
rights policies and about U.S. technical assistance projects
combating human rights abuses in the Philippines. Philippine
Commission on Human Rights (CHR) Commissioner Dominador
Calamba also participated, thus underscoring our commitment
to working with local authorities on human rights. Mission
also sent copies of the Philippines’ section of the report to
key contacts, including those in the government, Congress,
and non-governmental organizations.

¶3. (U) Reaction from the press to the Philippines’ report
was largely favorable. Aside from articles on other sections
of the report such as those on China and Iran, local
headlines tended to focus on particular Philippine-related
issues, such as, “U.S. Report Cites RP’s Overcrowded, Harsh
Jails” and, “RP Source, Destination of Human Traffic.” These
articles included specific information about those problems,
while acknowledging that the Philippines had to improve its
human rights record more generally. However, one editorial
in a small circulation newspaper entitled, “Etiquette Lessons
from Pol Pot,” took the U.S. to task for criticizing harsh
prison conditions in the Philippines while the U.S.
“continues to violate human rights” in Guantanamo Bay and Abu
Ghraib prisons. The editorial went on to claim that taking
human rights lessons from the U.S. was “like learning good
manners from Pol Pot.”

¶4. (U) According to NGO contacts, the Philippines section
was “thorough” in highlighting key human rights issues,
including extra-judicial killings, prison overcrowding, child
prisoners, etc. A legislator and his staff said that they
had found the report very useful as a comprehensive
“unbiased” reference tool that pinpointed where the GRP
needed to make more progress. A contact at Malacanang Palace
said he had found the report “constructive” and helpful for
the government as “a road-map setting out where we need to
focus our efforts.”

¶5. (U) Comment: Mission will continue to develop project
proposals focusing on ways further to assist the Philippines
make progress in key areas, such as good governance and rule
of law, labor conditions, human trafficking and women’s
rights.
Kenney

   

 

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