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Philippine News Digest 20

March 20, 2002 · 

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Contents:
1. Vigilante group kills three
2. US-wide internet child-sex ring busted
3. RP-US war games threaten tribe with eviction
4. Mayor threatens street children

Vigilante group kills three

Unidentified vigilante groups killed three persons on two separate occasions in as many weeks in Manila, the capital city of the Philippines. It is believed that the group operates with the approval of city and tourism officials in order to rid the city of criminals preying on tourists. The victims’ bodies were dumped in Malate but it has not been determined whether they were killed in the same area. They bear messages pledging to protect tourists and kill any suspected pickpockets. The Secretary of Tourism has promised to rid the city of those robbing foreign tourists. Source: Internet News Network, 20 March 2002.
US-wide Internet child-sex ring busted

Federal officials of the United States smashed an Internet child- pornography ring after a long investigation that began in January 2001. Ninety people were arrested and charged with various felonies, including possession, production or distribution of child pornography. Authorities also shut down a website based in Houston that used “the Candyman” as a general heading for its Internet postings. They have counted about 7,000 computer addresses in the Candyman group, with about 2,400 of those outside the United States. Atty. General John Ashcroft said investigations into child pornography often lead to evidence of actual molestation, so that indulging in pornography can in no way be viewed as a harmless diversion. Source: David Stout in The New York Times, Today, 20 March 2002.

RP-US war games threaten tribe with eviction

The National Commission for Indigenous People, through its legal counsel Rejoice Sobejano, said the Philippine government failed to consider the rights of the indigenous people when it allowed the use of lands occupied by indigenous communities for the RP-US war games. She pointed out that the Indigenous People’s Rights Act of 1997 or Republic Act 8371 specifically stated the right to prior consent of the people. At least 17 Subanen families in Barangay Limpapa are threatened to be displaced if the war games continue. However, Atty. Merianthe Zuraek, Balikatan Human Rights Violation Monitoring chief said the military did their part in informing the people and that the only way to address the issue is to come up with a consensus. Source: Julie S. Alipala, Philippine Daily Inquirer Mindanao Bureau, 19 March 2002.

Mayor threatens street children

Mayor Rodrigo Duterte of Davao City, Southern Philippines has threatened street children and youth in his jurisdiction with public reading of their names exposing them as targets of the feared shadowy vigilante group known as the Davao Death Squad. The Davao Death Squad has, in many instances, pulled off killings ahead of the police denying the suspects due process. The mayor said he may agree with sending youth offenders to render community service than jailing then, but he warned that he may impose a martial law type of implementing law and order and even publicly announced he is planning to send in a massive covert operation in the city. Source: Internet News Network, March 2002.

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