Rights group: Arroyo misinformed UN

By , on March 12, 2015

Former president and now Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO
Former president and now Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

MANILA — A Philippine-based human rights group is suggesting that the camp of former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo “misinformed” UN body and prominent rights lawyer Amal-Alamuddin-Clooney.

“In our view, it is the height of irony that Mrs Arroyo is now complaining over ‘violations’ of her civil and political rights when she enjoys the most special treatment of detained persons in the Philippines under the current Aquino administration,” Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay said.

The statement was made through a letter sent to the United Nations Working Group of Arbitrary Detention (WGAD).

The letter was addressed to Vladimir Tochilovsky, chair rapporteur of WGAD and was sent via email on March 10.

According to Palabay, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for the Human Rights (OHCHR) has acknowledged receipt of the letter the day after it was sent.

The group denied truth on Arroyo’s lawyers claims that Arroyo’s rights were violated.

On earlier reports, Arroyo’s lawyers elevated the case to the United Nations hoping that the international body can “compel the Philippine government to release the former president for humanitarian reasons.”

“The President has been in detention for nearly 3 years despite the weak evidence of the prosecution,” according to Modesto Ticman Jr.

On their letter, Karapatan however said that it was Arroyo who “violated every single article” of the ICCPR. It argued,among others, that:

  • She enjoys the first-class amenities of the Veteran’s Memorial Medical Center, where she is detained.
  • She is answerable for various human rights violations allegedly committed under her administration.

“We hope that the UN WGAD would consider our views, and those of the victims of rights violations and their kin under the Arroyo regime,” the letter said.