Plenary speech on cases of impunity in the Philippines

Marietje
Marietje Schaake, on behalf of the ALDE Group – Mr President, President Aquino declared that human rights, good governance and the fight against corruption will be a priority. He wants clear policies against extra-judicial killings and other violations of human rights. This is a positive declaration. We also welcome the ratification of the Rome Statute by the Philippines, but now these words need to translate into actions and results. There is plenty of reason for concern about impunity in the Philippines. Witnesses, as well as journalists, are being killed, and sadly the Philippines ranks as one of the most dangerous countries for the media. Urgent measures are needed to protect witnesses, judges, lawyers and prosecutors involved in investigating the sensitive trials. A clear message should be sent by ending impunity for extra-judicial killings, forced disappearances and torture by bringing those responsible to justice, including people with high-ranking military or government jobs or who are in the chain of command of paramilitary factions. The government of the Philippines is urged to invite the UN Special Rapporteur to visit the country to investigate the human rights situation, and the EU stands ready to help with the Justice For All programme, which has been allocated EUR 10 million for 2012-2015.