Philippines president names panel to probe extrajudicial political killings Brett Murphy at 10:46 AM ET
[JURIST] Philippine President Gloria Arroyo [official website; BBC profile] on Monday appointed an independent commission [press release] to investigate "the series of extrajudicial killings of journalists and militant activists in the country." Arroyo has been criticized for the government's failure to solve the growing number of politically motivated killings of leftist activists and journalists. Members of Bayan [advocacy website], a leftist advocacy group, question the credibility of the commission. A Bayan press release [text] quotes Renato Reyes, Bayan secretary general, as commenting that "it is truly ironic that government agencies who have a record of covering up for the administration are now the ones being tasked to conduct an independent probe of the political killings." A government spokesman defended the independence of the commission [press release], saying that the panel will be "given a free hand in conducting its investigations."
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