Oct 042014
 

http://wikileaks.org/cable/2005/10/05MANILA4984.html
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
05MANILA4984
2005-10-23 07:29
2011-08-30 01:44
UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY
Embassy Manila

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 MANILA 004984

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

DEPT FOR EAP/MTS, G/TIP, EAP/MLS, EAP/RSP, INL, DRL/IL,
DRL/CRA
DEPARTMENT PLEASE PASS USAID FOR ANE/TS – L. SAULS
LABOR FOR ILAB

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV PHUM KWMN ELAB KCRM ECON RP
SUBJECT: TIP: USG-FUNDED TRAINING AIMS TO ASSIST HUMAN
TRAFFICKING-RELATED PROSECUTIONS

REF: A. MANILA 4831

¶B. MANILA 3500
¶C. MANILA 3011
¶D. MANILA 2200

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

¶2. (SBU) Summary: GRP prosecutors and NGO lawyers continue
to make limited headway in prosecuting traffickers under
anti-trafficking laws. The slow pace of progress is due in
part to inadequate training of local law enforcement
personnel, and ineffective coordination between police and
prosecutors. A USG-funded project aims to improve training
of law enforcement personnel on TIP cases, while a broader
USG/GRP initiative seeks to address key flaws in the
Philippine justice system that hamper TIP-related
prosecutions. Mission continues to highlight the need for
all levels of the GRP to assert strong leadership in
combating TIP. End Summary.

————————–
Slow Progress on TIP Cases
————————–

¶3. (U) The GRP’s Department of Justice (DoJ) and the
Philippine office of the NGO International Justice Mission
(IJM) are making slow progress in pursuing trafficking-
related cases under the terms of the 2003 Anti-Trafficking
Law (R.A. 9208) and other statutes. (Note: In a local
innovation, NGO lawyers may file TIP cases on behalf of
victims, augmenting the limited number of government
prosecutors. End Note.) IJM recently reported that it is
working on 11 cases under R.A. 9208, up from the nine cases
that it was pursuing when Mission last reported on this
matter on August 1 (Ref B). In addition, the DoJ’s Task
Force on Anti-Trafficking in Persons, a government team of
14 state prosecutors, has filed seven cases under R.A. 9208
and is currently investigating another 10 cases. Thus far,
there have been no convictions under R.A. 9208.

¶4. (SBU) Despite the passage of R.A. 9208, the
comprehensive anti-TIP law in 2003, prosecutors have been
slow to file cases against suspected traffickers. Many have
chosen instead to pursue cases under statues they are more
familiar with such as the anti-illegal recruitment law. In
addition, police often lack the skills to build solid cases
under R.A. 9208, resulting in many cases being dismissed
(ref A). Systemic weaknesses in the judicial system and the
slow pace of cases compound the problem of obtaining
convictions in a timely fashion.

——————————
Mission to Train Police on TIP
——————————

¶5. (U) In order to help ameliorate these problems, Mission
is planning a major training project to raise understanding
of the anti-TIP law, with the goal of increasing the number
of prosecutions and convictions of traffickers. On November
7-8, the USAID-funded Rule Of Law Effectiveness (ROLE)
project will conduct two days of seminars for members of the
police Women and Children’s Concerns Division (WCCD) at the
Philippine National Police (PNP) headquarters in Manila.
High-level DoJ and PNP officials are scheduled to kick off
the training, which is geared toward officers most likely to
have day-to-day contact with trafficking victims. Training
seminars will cover:

— Implementing rules and regulations of R.A. 9208
— Guidelines for law enforcers in TIP cases
— Rights of trafficking victims and advice on dealing with
them
— Elements and evidence in prosecuting TIP cases
— Proper preparation of sworn testimony in TIP cases

¶6. (U) The training builds on work conducted over the past
yeas by several USG-funded projects implemented by NGOs,
including the Visayan Forum Foundation, End Child
Prostitution and Trafficking (ECPAT), and the American
Center for International Labor Solidarity (ACILS). These
groups have trained hundreds of police, prosecutors, local
officials, and workers who provide assistance to victims.
The goal of this training is to enable these “front line”
responders to identify instances of human trafficking and to
prosecute traffickers more effectively (Ref D).

——————————————— –
Building Closer Police-Prosecutor Coordination
——————————————— –

¶7. (SBU) Mission is also working on a longer-term strategy
meant to address one of the major weaknesses in prosecuting
TIP cases — ineffective coordination between prosecutors
and judges. A high percentage of TIP cases that are filed
are eventually dismissed, often due to insufficient evidence
due, in part, to the lack of coordination between police and
prosecutors (a factor common in other kinds of criminal
cases in the Philippines as well). Mission is currently
working to build support among officials at the highest
levels in the PNP, DoJ, and Malacanang Palace to encourage
greater coordination between police and prosecutors in
criminal cases. In early October, Justice Secretary Raul
Gonzalez and Chief State Prosecutor Jovencito Zunio agreed
to begin implementing a policy in the DoJ’s TIP prosecution
unit that would require police and prosecutors to coordinate
closely during the investigative and trial period. If this
project proves successful, the DoJ plans to expand the
policy throughout the Department to include areas outside of
TIP. Mission is also planning a series of seminars in 2006
to be led by officials from the U.S. Department of Justice.
These officials would share best practices with Philippine
police and prosecutors on how to work together to build more
effective cases.

——-
Comment
——-

¶8. (SBU) The ineffective prosecution of TIP cases by the
GRP and a lack of convictions under the 2003 anti-
trafficking law have been flagged as key reasons for the
Philippines’ continued Tier Two Watch List rating in 2005.
Improving the GRP’s performance will require sustained
efforts both to upgrade training of law enforcement
personnel on TIP cases and to address some of the more
serious flaws in the Philippine justice system such as the
chronically ineffective coordination between police and
prosecutors. In the meantime, Mission continues to
highlight the need for all levels of the GRP to assert
strong leadership in combating TIP.

BELLARD

   

 

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