Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Human rights in the Philippines

I was planning to do a post on this topic, but I just can't. Go and read this, and this, and this, and this, and then try telling me that Philippines President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo - who has been blamed by the UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions for abandoning the peace process with her country's rebel groups and letting loose the military to kill with impunity - is someone we should be welcoming, someone who should be shaking our Prime Minister's hand.

The news that Dennis Maga, a Filipino trade unionist who has been speaking in New Zealand to highlight human rights abuses in his country, may face arrest and assassination if he returns home, is just icing on the cake. While not a crime, advocating for human rights in the Philippines now carries a death penalty.

While I think the New Zealand government's offer of human rights assistance is a positive step, it ignores the Philippines government's role in perpetrating these abuses and suppressing its critics. that is something which deserves condemntation and isolation, not praise.

Update: The Philippines government has now given the New Zealand government an assurance that Maga will not be arrested. We should make sure we hold them to it.


This comment has been removed by the author. Posted by Anonymous : 5/30/2007 05:04:00 PM

Did you get the email I sent you a couple of weeks ago regarding the Dennis Maga tour? You mentioned you were having problems with your email a week or so ago so I thought I would check.

Posted by Joe Hendren : 5/31/2007 09:27:00 AM

joe: Yeah; I just ended up being bumped down the queue by other things (a constant danger - there's always more news than I can blog, and on some days I can't seem to blog very much at all).

Posted by Idiot/Savant : 6/01/2007 05:15:00 PM