Friday, June 26, 2015

Phl has significant HR problems – US

From the Philippine Star (Jun 26): Phl has significant HR problems – US

Extrajudicial killings by security forces and vigilante groups, an overburdened criminal justice system, a meager record of prosecutions, and widespread official corruption and abuse of power are the most significant human rights problems in the Philippines, the US State Department said.

In its Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2014, the State Department said the Philippine government investigated and prosecuted only a number of reported human rights abuses, and concerns about impunity persisted.

At the same time terrorist organizations such as the Abu Sayyaf Group, Jemaah Islamiya (JI) and the New People’s Army (NPA), as well as elements associated with the separatist Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) –  including the breakaway Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) – continued to kill security forces, local government officials and other civilians, the report on the Philippines said.

The Moro National Islamic Liberation Front (MNLF) also conducted military operations against government security forces and civilians.

Security forces and police allegedly abused and sometimes tortured suspects and detainees. Common forms of abuse during arrest and interrogation included electric shock, cigarette burns and suffocation, the report said.

The Commission on Human Rights (CHR), as of September, investigated 44 cases of alleged torture involving 49 victims, with police suspected in 35 cases, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in two, jail guards in three, the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency in two, other government officials in four and unidentified individuals in two of the cases.

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