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Philippine News Digest 90

November 18, 2006 · 

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Contents:
-UN adopts RP-initiated resolution on trafficking
-Fil-Am teenager found murdered
-Korean activists support Nicole
-Group criticizes illegal raid of Butuan convent

UN adopts RP-initiated resolution on trafficking
The Philippine STAR
Headlines – Publication Date: [Tuesday, November 14, 2006]

The United Nations has adopted a Philippine-initiated resolution that calls upon governments to criminalize all forms of trafficking and eliminate the demand for trafficked persons for all forms of sexual exploitation.

In a report to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), the Philippine Mission to the United Nations said the resolution one of the major and important resolutions to emanate from the Third (Social, Cultural and Humanitarian) Committee of the 61st UN General Assembly and co-sponsored by 81 member-states was adopted on Friday.

The countries that co-sponsored the resolution include Afghanistan, Angola, Argentina, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Benin, Bolivia, Burkina Faso, the Central African Republic, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Haiti, Honduras, Indonesia, Kyrgyzstan, Liberia, Mexico, Monaco, Morocco, Panama, Senegal, Swaziland, Thailand, Togo and Venezuela.

Ambassador Lauro Baja, Permanent Representative to the United Nations, said the resolution discussed under Agenda Item 61(a) on Advancement of Women also urges governments to devise, enforce and strengthen effective gender- and age-sensitive measures to combat and eliminate all forms of trafficking in women and girls, including trafficking for sexual and economic exploitation. He added that the resolution also urges governments to take all appropriate measures to ensure that victims of trafficking are not penalized for being trafficked and that they do not suffer from revictimization as a result of actions taken by government authorities.

Governments are encouraged to take appropriate measures to eliminate the demand for sex tourism, especially pedophilic sex tourism, through all possible preventive action.

The resolution also invites governments to encourage media providers including Internet service providers to adopt or strengthen self-regulatory measures to promote the responsible use of media, particularly cyberspace, to eliminate the exploitation of women and children, which could foster trafficking. Pia Lee-Brago

Fil-Am teenager found murdered
The Philippine STAR
Headlines – Publication Date: [Sunday, November 12, 2006]

The body of a 19-year-old girl, daughter of an US serviceman and a Filipina, was found yesterday in an empty lot northwest of the Philippine capital, about two weeks after she was abducted, police said.

The decomposing body of Mary Jhem Jipson was found by garbage scavengers in Dinalupihan town and bore signs of strangulation, said police desk officer Julian Macarubo.

Three suspects, all Filipino males, have been arrested and are being interrogated by police, Macarubo said, adding that the US embassy was aiding in the case.

The girl, the daughter of Japan-based US Navy man Jimmy Jipson, was seen being forced into a minibus on Oct. 27.

The motive for the crime was still being determined.

Jipson came to the Philippines to search for his daughter shortly after she was abducted.

The girl had been living with her mother in Dinalupihan although she had recently moved out to a friends house after quarrelling with her mother, police said. AFP

Korean activists support Nicole
The Philippine STAR
Headlines – Publication Date: [Sunday, November 12, 2006]

Militant Korean women yesterday expressed full support to the 23-year-old Filipina complainant in the Subic rape case, citing “similarly painful experiences” back in their country.

Sim Tong, spokesperson for the Korean women who are here to undergo training

at the Asian NGO Center, said they accidentally came to know about Nicole’s plight during the trainings opening rites.

“We have just started the training program and there are still many things we do not know about Nicole and the incident. However, there are similar painful experiences in Korea because we also have US military bases there,” Tong said during a news briefing.

She noted that yearly, about 600 to 700 crimes are taking place in that area in Korea, and attributed it to the presence of the US military bases. However, only five to seven percent of these incidents have reportedly been brought to court. Tong also said that from the year 1994 to 2003, there were about 17 incidents of rape cases in their country with US military personnel being pointed to as the accused.

“We are supporting Nicole in her fight. If one woman is not safe, every woman can never be safe,” she stressed.

Meanwhile, the Kilusan Para sa Pambansang Demokrasya blamed the governments ties with the US for the alleged rape in Subic.

“Whatever grief and vilification that has surrounded the Subic rape victim known as Nicole, the blame rests squarely on the government and its continued belief in the special relationship existing between the Philippines and the United States which is a euphemism for mendicancy and subservience,” said the groups secretary-general Millet Morante.

Judge Benjamin Pozon of the Makati regional trial court presides over the Subic Rape case trial. He has set Nov. 27, 2006 as tentative date to hand down his decision on the controversial case. Rhodina Villanueva

Group criticizes illegal raid of Butuan convent
The Manila Times
Saturday, November 18, 2006

BACOLOD City: The unjustified raid by a group of soldiers on a convent in Butuan City underscores the dangers of an antiterror law that the government is pushing hard, said Fred Cana of human-rights organization Karapatan.

Regional police forces conducted a warrant-less raid on the convent of the Contem-platives of the Good Shepherd in Tiniwisan, Butuan City, forcibly opening the gates and searching the premises.

The police claimed they were searching for Jorge Madlos, a regional spokesman for the National Democratic Front (NDF). They later admitted they made a mistake. They said they were actually targeting the convent of the Missionary Sisters of Mary.

Cana said, “If the military could act with such impunity, this could worsen with the passage of an antiterror law.”

The passage of the antiterror bill, which would allow warrant-less arrests, prolonged detention without charges, electronic surveillance, etc. may only embolden the military further to make fair game of anyone suspected of being a supporter or member of the NDF and other rebel groups, even unarmed activists and civilians, without respect for their civil rights, Cana stressed.

–PNA

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