August 4, 2006

UNPO on Extrajudicial Execution of Cordillera People in Philippines

The Hague, 04 August 2006 - UNPO raises concern about the attempted assassination of Cordilleran Dr Constancio “Chandu” Claver and murder of wife Allice Omengan- Claver, and has issued an appeal to the president of Philippines.

The Hague, 04 August 2006- UNPO is concerned about the attempted assassination of Cordilleran Dr Constancio “Chandu” Claver and murder of wife Alice Omengan- Claver, and has issued an appeal to the president of Philippines Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

According to information received, 73 indigenous Cordillera have been subjected to extrajudicial killings since 2005. The recent attempted assassination of Dr. Constancio Claver, M.D. in Tabuk, Kalinga which resulted in the death of his wife, Alice-Omengan Claver and wounding of a bystander, Janet Ewag took place on 31 July 2006 shortly after the killing of Rafael Markus Bangit on 8 June 2006. Alike the other situations, no perpetrator for this crime has been identified and brought to justice so far.

The government is a structure which has the duty to guarantee the basic right to life of its citizens and should therefore exert all efforts to stop extrajudicial political killings. It has the duty to provide, protect and ensure the universal human rights for the people in its territory, also in context of Philippine Government election as a member of UN Human Rights Council. 

UNPO has therefore strongly urged the President to take action and intervene on the following recommendations:

To conduct a full investigation of these cases and bring the perpetrators before competent judicial authorities and provide justice for the committed crimes;

To invite Professor Rodolfo Stavenhagen, the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms of Indigenous People, to conduct a follow up visit to see how his recommendations from his 2003 visit were implemented;

To invite Dr Philip Alston, the UN Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial and Summary Executions to investigate the situation in Philippines.