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Philippines president pledges to investigate extra-judicial killings

[JURIST] The Philippines will investigate and eventually prosecute those responsible for extra-judicial killings, President Gloria Arroyo [official website; BBC profile] said Wednesday, one day after a visiting UN official released a report revealing a high number [JURIST report] of such killings. On Tuesday, UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions [official website] Philip Alston [NYU Law profile] reported that his ten-day investigation showed that the Philippines military was responsible for many of the killings, which "severely undermine the political discourse central to a resolution of the problems confronting this country." Arroyo has denied that police and military officers were behind the deaths, but has consistently promised to cooperate with the UN investigation [JURIST report]. ABC Australia News has more.

Arroyo appointed an independent commission [press release; JURIST report] in August 2006 to investigate extrajudicial killings of journalists [Reporters without Borders 2006 annual report] and militant activists. Amnesty International [advocacy website] has called on the Philippines to investigate the killings [AI report] and resolve authorities' reluctance to prosecute perpetrators.

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