Oct 042014
 

http://wikileaks.org/cable/2007/03/07MANILA962.html#

Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07MANILA962 2007-03-23 09:35 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Manila
VZCZCXRO3428
OO RUEHCHI RUEHDT RUEHHM
DE RUEHML #0962 0820935
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 230935Z MAR 07
FM AMEMBASSY MANILA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5821
INFO RUEHZS/ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS IMMEDIATE
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RHHMUNA/CDRUSPACOM HONOLULU HI IMMEDIATE
C O N F I D E N T I A L MANILA 000962

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/23/2017
TAGS: PREL PHUM PINS RP
SUBJECT: PRESIDENTIAL ADVISOR COMMENTS ON UNLAWFUL KILLINGS

REF: A. MANILA 855
¶B. MANILA 777
¶C. MANILA 683

Classified By: Charge Paul W. Jones for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d)

¶1. (C) Presidential Peace Process Advisor and cabinet member
“Jess” Dureza raised the issue of unlawful killings with
Charge and poloff March 20 after discussing the peace process
(septel). The recent telephone call from D/NSA Crouch to
Philippine NSA Gonzales, together with U.S. Congressional
hearings, prompted another cabinet-level discussion of the
issue, Dureza said. The Executive Secretary summed up the
discussion by stating that the government should move
promptly to seek convictions of soldiers or police
responsible for unlawful killings. This was agreed, Dureza
said, despite a range of views within the cabinet on the
nature of the problem and the political impact of the U.S.
hearings. There was much discussion, Dureza continued, about
whether to make public the names of six soldiers whom the
Philippine National Police (PNP) has identified as being
involved in unlawful killings in order to send a public
message about the government’s seriousness. Some cabinet
members argued that the soldiers’ rights to privacy should be
protected, while others believed the information should be
made public. (Comment: The PNP has filed charges against
four of the suspects with the Department of Justice, and two
are already under arrest. The PNP continues to investigate
the other two cases and charges are imminent, according to
Captain Henry Libay, of the PNP’s Task Force Usig. End
Comment.)

¶2. (C) There was a sense in the cabinet that the New
People’s Army (NPA) and the leftists who support it were
winning the propaganda war, Dureza continued. Dureza and
some cabinet members believed that members of the military
probably have been involved in some unlawful killings, but
far from many or all of them. Charge underscored that the
best way to deprive the NPA of a propaganda victory was to
convict those involved, contrasting the government’s approach
to that of the NPA, which publicizes NPA executions. Dureza
agreed, adding that the cabinet was very receptive to U.S.
assistance to improve capabilities of investigators and
prosecutors.

¶3. (C) Dureza commented that unlawful killings take place in
a larger context of a lack confidence in the judicial system.
He noted the lack of a general public outcry against such
killings. There is an unfortunate prevalent attitude within
Philippine society that unlawful killings were an acceptable
way to eliminate criminals and “troublemakers.” By way of
example, Dureza said that unlawful killings of drug
traffickers in Davao City have long been an “open secret”
generating little or no public outcry. After the Philippine
Drug Enforcement Agency listed major drug traffickers in
Davao, unknown local actors had them “eliminated.” By
contrast, Dureza said that many years ago he and other
attorneys in Davao organized a well-publicized citizen’s hot
line to report instances of police or military abuse, which
lessened the problem.

——–
Comment:
——–

¶4. (C) Dureza’s comments underscore the need for capacity
building within the AFP, Philippine National Police, and
judiciary, as well as an extensive media/educational campaign
against unlawful killings. All U.S. training for the police
and military incorporates human rights and rule of law.
Continued U.S. engagement is critical to addressing this
problem.

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

You can also access this site through the State Department’s
Classified SIPRNET website:
http://www.state.sgov.gov/

JONES

   

 

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