Former U.S. Attorney General and world-renown human rights lawyer Ramsey Clark registered his support for the call for the ouster of Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, according to the U.S. chapter of the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan or New Patriotic Alliance)-USA and the New York Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines (NYCHRP).
Former U.S. Attorney General and world-renown human rights lawyer Ramsey Clark has registered his support for the call for the ouster of Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, according to the U.S. chapter of the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan or New Patriotic Alliance)-USA and the New York Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines (NYCHRP).
“It seems awfully important to me, from a distance, that the people of the Philippines face up to the failure of integrity of their own government,” Clark said in a taped interview with Bayan-USA regional coordinator Berna Ellorin last week. “If you don’t have integrity in your own government, particularly in the highest position, the President, you can’t expect the government to protect or serve the people. We have a situation there which clearly calls for Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to step down.”
Protest actions calling for Arroyo’s ouster have been occurring almost daily in Manila and the provinces. Similar protests are also taking place in Canada, Hong Kong, Australia and other countries.
While scandals of illegal gambling and electoral fraud in 2004 have swiftly placed her under public scrutiny, groups under Bayan have been condemning her administration for calling for a massive influx of U.S. troops to the Philippines, sanctioning the political killings of activists and high-profile opposition leaders, and high corruption that is blamed for bringing the nation into a fiscal crisis.
Kawal Ulanday, chair of Bayan-USA, said “It is not just the Filipino people witnessing their own suffering under the GMA regime. International friends as far as the United States, such as Ramsey Clark, can no longer remain silent and are speaking out on what is clearly an anti-people administration that has failed Filipinos.”
A leading figure in the U.S. anti-war and anti-occupation movement, Clark was a staunch U.S. ally to the anti-dictatorship struggle under Martial Law, and continued leading investigative missions to the Philippines on human rights violations through the Ramos administration.
“In the darkest periods of our nation’s history, Ramsey shed light on the important role of international solidarity in supporting and strengthening the Filipino people’s movement against tyranny and fascism,” Ulanday said. “He was and remains an ardent anti-US interventionist, and as such has dedicated a good amount of time on raising public the dark realities and dangers of US militarization in the Philippines.”
Clark is expected to attend the coming International Solidarity Mission to the Philippines in August, where he will serve as a the main judge for a People’s Tribunal established to deliberate on the findings of five fact-finding missions in the areas reported to have the highest record of human rights violations in the Philippines under the Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo regime. Bulatlat