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Philippine News Digest 34

August 21, 2002 · 

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Contents:

  • 10 minors moved out of death row
  • Solons pressure governments to ratify the ICC

10 minors moved out of death row

Ten of the 12 minors on death row were transferred to the medium security compound of the New Bilibid Prisons (NBP) August 19, at least three weeks after the Supreme Court issued the order. The two other inmates would be kept in death row until the NBP has ascertained that they were indeed minors when they supposedly committed their crimes. Their ages now range between 20 and 22 years after languishing in death row with hardened criminals for years. Like the other inmates, the twelve were prohibited from leaving their cells and were not allowed to receive visitors aside from members of their immediate families. In the medium security compound, they will be allowed to join educational and recreational activities in jail. They will also be allowed “free movement” inside the compound from 6am to 6pm daily. Source: Christian V. Esguerra, Philippine Daily Inquirer, 21 August 02 and correspondent report.

Solons pressure governments to ratify the ICC

Two opposition senators in Japan and party-list Rep. Satur Ocampo of the Philippines will pressure their governments to ratify the 1998 Rome Statute that created the International Criminal Court. Yoko Tajima of the Social Democratic Party said Tokyo for many decades now has concentrated on strengthening economic relations with other countries but has forgotten to compensate war crimes. Tajima, along with Sen. Tomiko Okazaki of the Democratic Party of Japan, assured Philippine diplomatic officials of compensation for Filipino comfort women and a formal apology from Tokyo. Ocampo, on the other hand, challenged the Arroyo government to ratify the Rome Statute despite pressure from Washington. The Bush administration said it would suspend military aid to allied countries that would sign the accord placing Manila in a predicament in light of the US’s pledge to grant $55 million in military aid to the country. Source: Estrella Torres, Today, 21 August 02.

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