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Philippine News Digest 82

September 19, 2006 · 

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Contents:
1. Women’s Group Lists 58 kids Victims of Killings

2. GMA Ready to Parry HR Abuses Charges

3. Owners Refuse to Dismantle Subic Fish Pens

Women’s Group Lists 58 kids Victims of Killings
By: Delfin T. Mallari Jr.,Inquirer Southern Luzon,
The Philippine Daily Inquirer, Sept. 19, 2006


A total of 58 children have become victims of political killings in different parts of the country since President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo assumed office five years ago, a militant women’s organization Gabriela said on Monday.

Emmi de Jesus, Gabriela secretary general, said the murders of innocent children happened in several massacres and indiscriminate firings during the military’s counterinsurgency operations in the countryside. She said four more would have to be added to the list of victims because their pregnant mothers were also killed by the suspected members of state security forces.

According to De Jesus, Gabriela has documented 78 women-victims of political killings, many of whom were mothers.

In some pars of Quezon, young children had also used o be taken along by their parents on a hike through mountain trails even in the foulest of weather just to register their presence in a compulsory meeting called by the army.

Gabriela vowed to stop the slaughter of children. Leftist groups invariably blamed the military and the police for more than 700 extra judicial killings they said had happened since Ms. Arroyo came to power in 2001, a claim that the government has repeatedly denied.

The strings of killings have caused a big embarrassment to the Arroyo Administration, prompting the President to create the Melo Commission.

GMA Ready to Parry HR Abuses Charges
By: Tess Bedico
People’s Journals, Sept. 13, 2006

PRESIDENT Macapagal-Arroyo went to Europe prepared to defend her administration from allegations of human rights violations, Vice President Noli de Castro yesterday said amid concern by the international community, notably European leaders, over the unabated killings of militants and journalists in the country.

Mrs. Arroyo earlier explained the government side on the extra-judicial killings during a bilateral meeting with Finland President Traja Halonen on the sidelines of the Asia-Europe Meeting in Helsinki, the first stop of her nine-day, five-country trip.

National Security Adviser Norberto Gonzales, who is part of the Mrs. Arroyo’s delegation, had also expressed confidence that the President can convince top European leaders she would meet in Brussels that her administration does not condone the killings of militants and journalists.

Owners Refuse to Dismantle Subic Fish Pens
by: Allan Macatuno, Inquirer Central Luzon
Philippine Daily Inquirer, Sept. 19, 2006

SUBIC, ZAMBALES ­ Illegal fish cage operators have failed to dismanntle their structures within the municipal waters of this town despite cease- and-desist orders issued by the Environmental Management Bureau on September 1.

Lormelyn Claudio, EMB Director in Central Luzon, ordered the removal of more than 100 fish cages built within 22 hectares of seawater in Barangay Cawag because their owners were operating without environmental compliance certificates.

The orders were issued to six fish cages operators identified as Biotop Philippines Agriculture Co., Manuel Sy Ko and Danilo Javier, Sahara Feeds Corp., Golden Aqua Harvest Inc., Neo Mega Seahorse, Aqua Farms Corp. and Saka Agri ventures.

The operators were directed to voluntarily dismantle their structures within seven days after receiving the orders. But EMB investigators Ermita Sebial said the illegal fish cages were spotted within Subic Bay and their operators had failed completely to tear them down.

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