“The Philippine mission served as an echo of the Philippine military,” Clamor said. They are singing the same song, the very reason why we brought this case to the UN,” he added.
“The Morong 43 case sets a dangerous precedent,” Clamor said, citing the Court of Appeals’ decision to junk the habeas corpus petition on the basis of a martial law doctrine. The Ilagan v. Enrile doctrine declares that a petition for writ of habeas corpus becomes moot and academic once an information/indictment is filed in court and a warrant of arrest or an order of commitment has been issued against the person detained.
The case of the Morong 43 was formally brought to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and to the offices of the Manfred Nowak, United Nations Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment and to Shaheen Sardar Ali, vice-chair of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention of the UN Human Rights Council.
International Support for the Defense of Human Rights
The World Council of Churches (WCC), through Dr. Mathews George Chunakara, director for international affairs and Christina Papazoglou, CCIA-WCC executive director for human rights, also invited the Filipinos to share the status of human rights in the Philippines.
The WCC is a consistent partner of the Philippine churches and other non-government organizations in human rights advocacy. A highlight of the delegation’s visit to the WCC was a call to Dr. Olav Fykse Tveit, General Secretary of the WCC, who assured the delegation of WCC’s continuing support.
After the UN activities, the Ecumenical Voice delegation also met with the European Union Parliament Human Rights Unit Administrator Dionyz Hochel, who promised the group he will convey their concerns to members of the EU Parliament Human Rights Committee.
The Ecumenical Voice also met with Florimond Van de Velde, principal administrator for South-East Asia of the European Commission (EC), as well as Dr. Malgorzata Gorska, policy desk officer of the human rights unit of the EC. Both assured the group that the EU remains committed to ensuring the observance of human rights promotion and protection in their dealings with governments, including the new administration in the Philippines.
The Ecumenical Voice also included lawyer Edre Olalia, acting secretary general of the National Union of People’s Lawyers and president of the International Association of People’s Lawyers; Carlos Zarate, secretary general of the Union of Peoples’ Lawyers in Mindanao; and Dr. Angie Gonzalez of the International Coordinating Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines. (Bulatlat.com)