A RESOLUTION CONDEMNING THE RAMPANT EXTRAJUDICIAL KILLINGS ALL OVER THE COUNTRY, COMMENDING THE SUPREME COURT FOR ITS QUICK AND DECISIVE ACTION, AND DEMANDING CONCRETE ACTION ON THE PART OF THE EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT OF GOVERNMENT
WHEREAS, occurrence of extrajudicial killings, of lawyers, judges, political activists, and journalists all over the Philippines has reached condemnable proportions as blatant examples of utter disregard for human rights and due process of law.
WHEREAS, this fact has been confirmed by findings of international bodies and even by the government-initiated commission headed by retired Supreme Court Justice, Hon. Jose Melo;
WHEREAS, the Supreme Court, under the leadership of the Chief Justice, Hon. Reynato S. Puno, has acted immediately and decisively to address the problem by designating nearly a hundred Regional Trial Courts as Special Courts hear, try, and decide cases of extrajudicial killings particularly of political activists and members of the media;
WHEREAS, the Executive Branch of the government, is widely perceived to be doing little to effectively act on the problem. On the contrary, representatives of the administration have publicly brushed the matter aside by generalizing the spate of killings as products of a purge in the ranks of the communist insurgency, by giving a blanket denial of perceived military and state involvement in the killing, and, even worse, by casting aspersions upon the those who brought the matter to light;
WHEREAS, law enforcement agencies, in particular, have been reported to be citing the trite and unacceptable excuse of having no witnesses or the absence of complainants to justify their marked inability to produce a resolution of these killings;
WHEREAS, the continued failure of the state to address the matter and cause an end to this problem will have grave and dire consequences as it seriously undermines the rule of law, exemplifies the government’s inability to maintain peace and order, and seriously degrades the general public’s trust in the justice system.
NOW THEREFORE, in view of the foregoing, it is HEREBY RESOLVED as IT IS RESOLVED in this Plenary Session of the 11th National Convention of Lawyers in Cagayan de Oro City, as follows:
a. THAT the Integrated Bar of the Philippines condemns in the strongest possible terms, the blatant and wanton disregard of the value of human life, of the most basic of human rights, and of the rule of law exemplified by the unabated wave of extrajudicial killings of lawyers, judges, political activists, and journalists all over the country;
b. THAT the Supreme Court of the Philippines be HIGHLY COMMENDED for it’s exemplary leadership in immediately recognizing and responding to the gravity of situation by designating Special Courts and promulgating special rules mandating the speedy resolution of cases involving extrajudicial killings;
c. THAT the Integrated Bar of the Philippines CALLS upon the Executive Branch of government to put a stop to the perceived indifference of it’s agents and representatives to the plight of the victims of extrajudicial killings and their families and, further, to cause the resolution of these so-called “UNSOLVED KILLINGS” with accountability on the part of the leadership of law enforcement agencies and other state forces who are shown to be unable to perform their duties and functions; and
d. THAT all chapters of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines be enjoined to assist the families of victims of extrajudicial killings by providing needed legal assistance and, further, to closely monitor the actions taken by law enforcement and other government agencies in addressing such cases;
Let a copy of this resolution be furnished the Supreme Court of the Philippines and the Office of the President of the Republic of the Philippines and all chapters of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines .
Done this 31st day of March, 2007 at Cagayan de Oro , Philippines
ATTY. CAESAR S. EUROPA
IBP – Davao City Chapter