On July 30 President Gloria Arroyo of the Philippines will be visiting with the President of the United States.
This is an opportunity to make the White House more aware of the human rights abuses in the Philippines by asking sympathetic members of both the Philippine-American Press and the Philippine media to ask the Presidential press secretary if the President intends to speak with Arroyo about the abduction and torture of Melissa Roxas, an American citizen.
One specific question the President should ask Arroyo is:
Will she publicly go on record as commanding the Philippine military to co-operate with all investigations and legal proceedings in the case of Melissa Roxas conducted by the Commission on Human Rights of the Philippines, the Philippine courts, and Melissa Roxas’ lawyer?
PLEASE NOTE THAT THE CHAIRPERSON FOR COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS OF THE PHILIPPINES HAS PUBLICLY STATED THAT THE PHILIPPINE MILITARY HAS NOT CO-OPERATED WITH HER INVESTIGATION AND EVEN TRIED TO STOP HER FROM AN ONSITE INSPECTION OF A MILITARY CAMP SUSPECTED AS BEING WHERE ROXAS WAS HELD!
THIS IS AN IMPORTANT QUESTION FOR THE PRESIDENT TO ASK ARROYO.
The Commission on Human Rights of the Philippines and the court system have tried in recent years to address human rights violations, but the Philippine military has not co-operated with most of the investigations, not producing requested evidence and sometimes not even showing up for proceedings.
Also note there is a difference between the Presidential Human Rights Commission (PHRC) and the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) of the Philippines. PHRC is a PR gimmick of the Arroyo administration, the CHR is a constitutionally established commission and the current Chairperson is a diligent advocate of human rights. Check out their website: http://www.chr.gov.ph.
Rev. Larry Emery
Community Presbyterian Church
Post Office Box 93
Walnut Grove CA 95690