Oct 042014
 

http://wikileaks.org/cable/2007/03/07MANILA855.html#

Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07MANILA855 2007-03-15 09:57 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Manila
VZCZCXRO6050
OO RUEHCHI RUEHDT RUEHHM
DE RUEHML #0855/01 0740957
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 150957Z MAR 07
FM AMEMBASSY MANILA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5693
INFO RUEHZS/ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS IMMEDIATE
RHHMUNA/CDRUSPACOM HONOLULU HI IMMEDIATE
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC IMMEDIATE
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 MANILA 000855

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/15/2017
TAGS: PHUM PINS PREL RP
SUBJECT: PUSHING THE PHILIPPINES TO DO MORE ON KILLINGS

REF: A. MANILA 777

¶B. MANILA 683

Classified By: Ambassador Kristie A. Kenney, reasons 1.4 (b) and (d)

¶1. (SBU) Summary. Philippine media covered extensively the
U.S. Senate hearings on unlawful killings in the Philippines.
Ambassador and senior Embassy officials continue active
outreach to underscore U.S. concern and to plan additional
initiatives to support Philippine efforts to bring culprits
of such killings to justice. Upcoming visits by the new
PACOM Commander, EAP A/S Hill, and others will provide
excellent platforms to reiterate U.S. views and to encourage
further steps by the Philippine government and armed forces.
End Summary.

Local reactions
—————

¶2. (SBU) Philippine reactions to the March 14 U.S. Senate
Foreign Relations Committee hearings on unlawful killings in
the Philippines varied widely. Philippine House Foreign
Affairs Committee Chairman Cuenco condemned the hearing as an
“invasion of our sovereignty” and called upon the government
to protest. Executive Secretary Ermita clarified publicly
that “we are not against it (the hearing) because in the
first place there’s nothing to hide.” He offered to provide
Philippine experts to offer additional information to the
Committee or other U.S. lawmakers as needed. Ambassador’s
comments in an ambush interview following a March 14 call on
new Supreme Court Justice Puno clarified that the hearing was
not an investigation into the killings as much as the
lawmakers’ expression of interest in the Philippines.

¶3. (C) U.S. Deputy National Security Advisor J.D. Crouch’s
March 12 telephone conversation with Philippine National
Security Advisor Norberto Gonzalez prompted Malacanang to
convene a National Security Cluster meeting of Cabinet
officials on March 15, Executive Secretary Ermita told
Ambassador. She encouraged President Arroyo and Armed Forces
of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff General Esperon to
use upcoming speeches at the Philippine Military Academy to
make strong statements against unlawful killings, especially
by members of the Philippine security forces, and to outline
the steps the Philippine government and armed forces were
undertaking to ensure justice for any and all culprits.

Ongoing outreach
—————-

¶4. (SBU) In the meeting with Chief Justice Puno on March
14, Ambassador urged that the new special courts designated
by the Supreme Court begin soon to handle prosecutions
already in the works, and to ensure swift justice for those
responsible for these unlawful killings. She continues to
make the need to stop unlawful killings and to resolve
existing cases a major theme of all press remarks, public
speeches, and private remarks to senior Philippine civilian
and military officials.

¶5. (SBU) Pol/C has met in recent days with the head of the
new AFP Human Rights Office, the Deputy Ombudsman for the
Military, the AFP’s Judge Advocate General, and the
Chairperson of the Philippine Human Rights Commission to
encourage further and quick steps to ensure justice soon for
any and all responsible for unlawful killings, including
those in the military, and to seek additional ways for the
USG to help these organs. Mission now hopes to include
investigators from the AFP Human Rights Office and the
Commission on Human Rights to the April seminar (funded by
INL) featuring FBI, DOJ, ICITAP, and NCIS investigators and
prosecutors for Philippine investigators and prosecutors.

¶6. (SBU) Embassy has in recent weeks also brought an expert
from the U.S. Marshals Service to meet with Philippine
witness protection officials in order to survey existing
programs, exchange experiences, and to offer suggestions for
improvement to the Philippine witness protection program.

¶7. (SBU) Ambassador briefed EU Ambassadors on March 14 on
U.S. efforts to work with the Philippine government to
stimulate more vigorous programs to combat unlawful killings,
and urged both the EU and its member governments to seek
their own programs, perhaps most immediately helpful focused
on the witness protection program. Emboffs on March 14
attended a first-ever UNDP-sponsored coordination meeting of
foreign donors on how to coordinate assistance in this area.

Upcoming events
—————

MANILA 00000855 002 OF 002

¶8. (C) Embassy plans to use an expected late May visit by
incoming PACOM Commander Admiral Keating (to attend the
Mutual Defense Board/Security Engagement Board meetings) to
highlight the need for more progress by the AFP to stop
unlawful killings and to request a briefing on AFP efforts so
far from the AFP Human Rights Office. EAP A/S Hill’s late
May visit to Manila (to attend the ARF SOM) will also provide
an excellent opportunity to reiterate this message in
expected meetings with President Arroyo and others, as will
other possible upcoming senior-level visits.

¶9. (SBU) Our Public Affairs team is coordinating a DVC with
U.S. military investigators to offer practical advice to
Philippine military investigators on how to conduct
complicated investigations.

¶10. (SBU) Pol/C has also encouraged the new head of the
Presidential Human Rights Committee to include a stop in
Washington to her April travels to the UN in New York and
Geneva, and offered to provide assistance in setting up
appointments at State and on Capitol Hill in order to discuss
the Philippine government’s latest initiatives against
unlawful killings.

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/

KENNEY

   

 

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