A human rights activist warned that the extrajudicial killing and disappearance of activists in the Philippines could spike again in 2008, following steep declines last year.
Aurora Parong of Amnesty International said that poor witness protections, inadequate forensics and slow prosecution may threaten gains made against the killings, which claimed 33 lives last year, down from as many as 96 in 2006.
Parong also said that extrajudicial killings should be a separate class of crime from murder, and that families of victims may not be aware of legal measures that could help their cases, the Philippine Daily Inquirer reports.
She called for federal officials to be more responsive to communities, and blamed the lack of prosecutions on incompetance or “unwillingness” to pursue the cases.
“Lack of due diligence denies justice in extrajudicial cases”
Philippine Daily Inquirer, June 18, 2008