Quezon City, Philippines–Just days after returning from a five region fact-finding stage of the International Solidarity Mission, more than 85 delegates from16 countries are taking full advantage of the current crisis facing President Gloria Macapagl Arroyo by turning over vast amounts of critical testimonies and human rights violation fact findings to be used by Minority Leader Francis Escudera in building the case for her impeachment. The centerpiece of the findings is a GUILTY verdict for U.S President George W. Bush and Gloria Arroyo for Crimes Against Humanity as declared by the International Peoples Tribunal (IPT) on August 19, 2005.
Three boxes of key evidence were the result of human rights documenation teams led by the human rights alliance Karapatan during four brutal years of GMA’s rule which revealed total disregard for international human rights laws and conventions such as the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law. Along with testimonies of 10 victims and horrifying reports from international delegates brought forward in the International People’s Tribunal, the ISM hopes that this extensive legal documentation will play a vital role in putting an end to record human violations and state sponsored terror.
“The timing of the ISM and International People’s Tribunal (planned before Gloriagate and alleged family jueteng crimes exploded into calls for resignation and ouster) allowed us to put forward larger concerns and accountability for thousands of proven human rights violations and abuses outlined by a verdict and judgement from the IPT,” said Kawal Ulanday, Chairperson of BAYAN USA and one of 40 delegates from the U.S.A. “International delegates included several human rights and public interest attorneys and social justice advocates who will now go back to their countries to build international pressure against Bush and GMA by demanding our governments to withdraw any support for what is clearly an illegitimate, inhumane regime that acts with impunity within the framework of George Bush’s so-called war on terrorism.”
According to Ulanday, U.S. ISM delegates will conduct educations and sharings nationwide as part of a strategy building towards U.S. Congressional meetings with target bodies such as the International Relations Commitee. Overall, support and funding through congressional appropriations committees will be challenged since U.S. tax dollars are supplying troops, arms and training to the Armed Forces of the Philippines who have demonstrated to be the main perpetrators of human rights violations.
International delegates to the ISM formed five fact finding teams assigned to regions where civilians have been massacred and terrorized by rampant human rights violations: Mindoro Island in the Southern Tagalog region, Hacienda Luisita in Tarlac, Central Luzon, Samar Island in Eastern Visayas, and Surigao del Sur in Mindanao. The teams are shocked to learn that since they left these regions, another peasant leader has been stabbed in Basey, Western Samar and a beloved local organizer recieved a death threat text on his own cellphone. A vocal human rights priest was also nearly killed in Palawan ST.
These type of shocking reports were presented at the International People’s Tribunal headed by Vice Chairperson of the International Association of Democratic Lawyers (IADL), Lennox Hinds and Nobel Peace Prize nominee Irene Fernandez. The ISM was endorsed by former US Attorney General Ramsey Clarke and former Justice of the Supreme Court of India Jittendra Sharma, Mumia Abu Jamal, Dolores Huerta, Jackie Goldberg, Amiri Baraka, and Noam Chomsky along with more than a hundred international personalities and institutions.
From Jan. 21, 2001 to June 30, 2005, Karapatan (Alliance for the Advancement of Peoples’ Rights) has documented 4,207 cases of human rights violations affecting 232,795 individuals or 24,299 families in 237 communities. These included 102 victims of frustrated murders and 130 victims of involuntary disappearances. The 411 documented summary executions included 51 leaders and members of the progressive political party-list Bayan Muna (People First), 20 human rights workers, and four lawyers and two judges in 2004 and 2005.
Below is the Jurors Verdict and subsequent Judgement form the International People’s Tribunal and International Solidarity Mission In Defense of a People Fighting Repression
INTERNATIONAL PEOPLE’S TRIBUNAL Manila, Philippines, 19 August 2005
We the COLLEGE OF JURORS of the International Peoples’ Tribunal, after considering the evidence presented by the People, find the DEFENDANTS, GLORIA MACAPAGAL ARROYO, GEORGE WALKER BUSH et al. on the charges of HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS which also constitute as CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY, as proven by ample testimonial and documentary evidence adduced during the trial and shown specifically by the following illustrative cases, GUILTY AS CHARGED..
A. For Crimes Against Humanity in the form of Extrajudicial Killings as proven by the cases of Hacienda Luisita Massacre, the Albarillo and Marcellana-Gumanoy cases in Mindoro and the Padiwan
Massacre in Sulu in violation of the Bill of Rights of the 1987 Philippine Constitution, GRP-NDF Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law, the GRP-MNLF Peace Agreement, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Convention on
the Rights of the Child; and International Labor Standard.
B. For Crimes Against Humanity in the form of Torture as proven by the cases of the Calubid Case in Samar and the Cata Case in Surigao in violation of the Bill of Rights of the 1987 Philippine Constitution, GRP-NDF Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law the International Covenant for Civil and Political Rights and the Convention Against Torture, including its
provision on sexual violence and the aggravation of violence against women
Due to the particular heinousness of his offenses, we particularly make a specific finding of guilt against Gen Jovito Palparan, one of the conspirators of the defendants, for his involvement in the Marcellana-Gumanoy, Calubid and many other cases.
C. For Crimes Against Humanity in the form of forced disappearance as proven in the Cata case in Surigao, and the Marcellana-Gumanoy case, in violation of the Bill of Rights of the 1987 Philippine Constitution, GRP-NDF Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
D. For Crimes Against Humanity in the form of other human rights violations, including from the evidence heard, forced confessions, forced displacement of communities, violence against women and systematic persecution of people and their representatives, as proven in the documents submitted by the International Solidarity Mission, findings of Karapatan and other peoples’ organizations in violation of the Bill of
Rights and Article XIII provisions on social justice of the Philippine Constitution, international human rights law and generally accepted principles of international law.
THE MEMBERS OF THE COLLEGE OF JURORS REITERATE OUR VERDICT FINDING DEFENDANTS GLORIA MACAPAGAL ARROYO AND GEORGE W. BUSH et al: GUILTY AS CHARGED.
International Solidarity Mission: In Defense of a People Fighting Repression
INTERNATIONAL PEOPLE’S TRIBUNAL, Manila, Philippines – 19 August 2005
WE, the JUDGES OF THE INTERNATIONAL PEOPLES’ TRIBUNAL, considering the GUILTY VERDICT handed by the Panel Of Jurors, noting that the evidence demonstrates beyond a reasonable doubt that these human rights abuses are widespread, systematic and were done with impunity, WE hereby PROMULGATE the following JUDGMENT and CALL TO ACTION:
1. The Defendants are hereby adjudged to have forfeited any right or authority to occupy their current political positions and hereby ordered removed from positions of power and perpetually and absolutely disqualified from holding any public office;
2. The international community is urged to support the Filipino people’s struggle to oust Defendant Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and her government from power through a broad united front, so that immediate
measures beneficial to the Filipino people be implemented including purging the military and police of human rights violators, giving justice to victims of human rights violations and eradicating corruption in government;
3. The Defendants are sentenced to pay compensation and indemnification for the victims’ rehabilitation, restitute their material and moral damages, and issue a sincere public apology to the Filipino people
and that all prisoners incarcerated because of political repression be released;
4. The international community is urged to withdraw aid and recognition from the Defendant Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo administration, and allow selective repudiation of foreign debt and moratorium on debt payments by the Philippine government;
5. The international community is urged to exert pressure on the Defendant George W. Bush to desist from interfering in the affairs of and committing acts of aggression and infringement of sovereignty against the
Filipino people and other freedom-loving peoples worldwide; and that the international community oppose the presence of US troops in the Philippines;
6. The Filipino people is urged to file complaints with the United Nations and its pertinent committees and Special Rapporteurs, the International Criminal Court (ICC) under the Rome Statute as soon as it is
ratified by the Philippine Senate, the United Nations Human Rights Committee (UNHRC), the Organization of Islamic Countries (OIC) and the Joint Monitoring Committee (JMC) of the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) against the Defendants;
7. The Government of the Republic of the Philippines is urged to resume peace talks with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines and to comply with all agreements in the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations, including the Hague Joint Declaration, the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity
Guarantees (JASIG) and the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL);
8. The Government of the Republic of the Philippines is admonished to renounce its “total war” and other militarist policies, withdraw its support for the US “War on Terror”, repeal all repressive laws and decrees,
dismantle all paramilitary units and private armies, desist from passing repressive laws including, but not limited to the National ID System and the Anti-Terrorist Bills; and
9. The Government of the Republic of the Philippines is STRONGLY ADVISED to uphold the rule of law, respect the civil, political, economic, social and human rights of its citizens, which are protected and guaranteed by the Philippine Constitution and by the international human rights and humanitarian law and desist from adopting policies or measures that restrict, infringe upon or impair such rights.