MANILA, Philippines – President Arroyo appealed yesterday to the members of the judiciary to swiftly resolve human rights cases in the country.
In her speech during a luncheon with the delegates of the 14th national convention of the Philippine Women Judges Association and International Association of Women Judges at Malacañang, Mrs. Arroyo also cited the gains the government has achieved in improving the country’s human rights record as recognized by foreign institutions.
“I ask the support of the Women Judges Association to make it our joint advocacy so that human rights cases can move faster in the courts because the World is waiting for more convictions,” she said.
On recent negative reports on the country, she said “human rights conditions in any state is always a work in progress.”
The President said various international agencies, including the US State Department, cited the country’s gains such as the huge drop in the number of cases of unexplained killings in the last two years as a result of many deterrents that the government has instituted;
Recognition of the continuing human rights education and information campaigns in the police and military organizations, usually in partnership with the independent Commission on Human Rights;
Identification of non-state actors such as the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army, lawless groups within the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, the Abu Sayyaf Group as among the major perpetrators of human rights violations in the Philippines;
Improvement in jails and detention centers managed by the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology as a result of decongestion efforts; and Recognition of freedom of speech and of the press, among others.
Mrs. Arroyo said the Philippines has also made great strides in terms of gender parity. – Paolo Romero, Philippine Star