Monday, October 22, 2007

Ermita off to NY to discuss RP rights situation with UN

Ermita off to NY to discuss RP rights situation with UN
By Lira Dalangin-Fernandez
Last updated 11:04pm (Mla time) 10/21/2007

MANILA, Philippines--PRESIDENT Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has dispatched a team to New York led by Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita to discuss with United Nations officials the country's efforts to end the wave of political killings that has been hounding her administration.

Arroyo sent Ermita, who is also chairman of the Philippine Human Rights Committee, Commission of Human Rights chairperson Purificacion Quisumbing and other officials to meet with the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights ahead of the submission of a formal report to the international body of the UN team that looked into the killings early this year, according to a statement from Ermita's office.

The UN team, led by Special Rapporteur Philip Alston, said a military could have involvement in a number of the cases of killings. It also said there was need for the Arroyo administration to acknowledge that the killings were a problem.

Ermita is expected "to personally update UN officials on government efforts in dealing with the situation."

He is also expected to convey "to them the government's continuing resolve and commitment to address all forms of human right violations, especially in light of the country's recent election to the UN Human. Rights Council."

Ermita and the other officials left Sunday night for the week-long mission.
Press Secretary Ignacio Bunye has been designated acting Executive Secretary.