A man fatally shot a left-wing activist in a central Philippine city on Tuesday in an attack that coincided with a Manila conference called by the Supreme Court to find ways of halting a wave of killings of government critics.Charlie Solayao, a fish vendor who was an active member of a left-wing political party, was walking with his wife toward a coastal area in Tacloban city when a man alighted from a motorcycle driven by a companion and shot him twice
A high-powered judicial summit ended Tuesday with calls for President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to order a stop to political killings and for the adoption of new laws that would empower investigators to search state and private premises for victims of forced disappearances.Experts who attended the two-day summit also proposed giving more prosecutory powers to the Commission on Human Rights which was perceived to be a “more trustworthy” arm of the government than the Department of Justice.
The wave of extrajudicial killings, which the Supreme Court-initiated summit on Monday seeks to end, may have begun after the Arroyo administration allegedly launched a campaign to “neutralize” the Communist Party of the Philippines by curbing the expansion of the party-list group Bayan Muna.
A week after GMA-7 news revealed the existence of what appeared to be Palace directives on extrajudicial killings of activists, the umbrella group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan called on the Arroyo government to make a full public disclosure of the controversial "Operation Bluetooth" and other similar issuances that may have come from top cabinet and military officials.
The news clip from GMA network's website appears to show a systematic government policy on dealing with legal leftist groups, observed Bayan. The government approach includes the "neutralization" of certain personalities within the legal organizations.
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