MANILA – A US -based human rights group has announced the launching of protest actions in Washington DC to coincide with the visit of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to US President Barack Obama at the White House on July 30.
Katarungan: Center for Peace, Justice and Human Rights in the Philippines, in an event notification posted in Facebook, said that “Filipino Americans, activist networks, social justice & faith-based organizations and concerned citizens are gathering across the U.S. to inform Pres. Obama that GMA is on the “wrong side of history.”
The group said that Obama must not support Arroyo as it cited a portion of the US president’s inaugural speech: “To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit, and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history.”
The group said that Mrs. Arroyo “has been criticized for human rights violations in the Philippines and remains stagnant in the pursuit of justice for victims of extra-judicial killings, torture, and disappearances, GMA’s credibility and accountability is in constant question.”
They appealed to the US president to include in his discussion with President Arroyo the case of Filipino American human rights activist Melissa Roxas.
The Fil Am activist has accused the Philippine military of abducting and torturing her. Roxas had returned to Manila last week from the United States to attend and testify at hearings being conducted by the Philippines’ Commission on Human Rights on her alleged abduction and torture case as well as a Court of Appeals hearing on her motion for writ of amparo. Roxas has been taken under the protective custody of CHR.
Katarungan said that Roxas is the first American victim of torture under both the Obama and Arroyo administrations.
The US-based group also said that with Mrs. Arroyo’s reputation in human rights, the Philippine president “still possess the audacity to pursue charter change (CHA-CHA) in order to prolong political power.”
The group announced that the protest action would be held on July 30, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. in front of the White House on sidewalks in between West and East Avenues.
Read more: abs-cbnnews.com