A Letter to President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo 

A Letter to President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo
Malacañang Palace
J.P. Laurel St
San Miguel 1005
17 July 2003

Dear President,

Today, International Justice Day, the fifth anniversary of the adoption of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (Rome Statute), Amnesty International is launching a campaign for universal ratification of the Rome Statute. I am writing to urge your government to join in this effort.
As of 1 July 2003, 90 states, approximately half of the states of the international community have ratified the Rome Statute.
Reaching such a threshold in five years is a testament to the will of the international community to end the history of impunity for those who have committed genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes, and bring perpetrators of these crimes to justice where ever they may be.
States that have ratified the Rome Statute have committed themselves to a new system of international justice in which their national courts have the primary obligation to investigate and prosecute people accused of crimes under international law.
However, if states are unwilling or unable to genuinely investigate and prosecute these crimes the International Criminal Court (ICC) can do so. Such a system, if universally supported, would ensure an end to the horrific trend repeated throughout the last century where people were allowed to plan and commit these crimes knowing they would not be held accountable for their heinous acts.
Amnesty International is working to ensure that all states ratify the Rome Statute so that it has the widest possible jurisdiction.
Universal ratification will ensure that there are no more safe havens for those who commit the worst crimes under international law.
Accordingly, I am writing to urge your government to join the international effort to establish this new system of international justice by ratifying the Rome Statute as soon as possible. Amnesty International’s membership the Philippines, through the Coalition for the International Criminal Court, are already undertaking initiatives to support the Philippines’s ratification of the Rome Statute.
The Philippines has played an important role in supporting the establishment of the International Criminal Court, through participation in the Like Minded Group of States at the Rome Diplomatic Conference in 1998. The Philippines also signed the Rome Statute on 28 December 2000, indicating an intention to ratify. Amnesty International welcomes reports that ratification
of the Statute has been approved by the Department of Foreign Affairs earlier this year. We now urge the President to endorse this, and send the ratification bill to the Senate for approval, thereby allowing the Philippines to become a state party to the Rome Statute as soon as possible.
All states that ratify the Rome Statute will need to enact new legislation or amend existing legislation to ensure that their national courts can effectively investigate and prosecute persons suspected of the crimes defined in the Rome Statute and that they can cooperate fully with the Court. Such legislation should, if possible, be enacted by the time the Rome Statute enters
into force for the Philippines (60-90 days following ratification). Amnesty International welcomes reports that the Philippines has begun work on including the crimes in the Rome Statute, and encourages this work to move forward. The Philippines should also begin drafting implementing legislation covering cooperation with the Court. By doing so, the Philippines will be in a
position to fulfil its international responsibilities when the Rome Statute enters into force for the Philippines.
To assist states with reviewing their legislation in order to prepare national legislation, Amnesty International has prepared International Criminal Court: Checklist for effective implementing legislation (IOR 40/011/2000) May 2000, which I enclose for your information. We urge your government to conduct broad consultation with civil society groups in the Philippines and
internationally when preparing your country’s implementing legislation. We would be happy to assist by commenting on any draft legislation that is prepared.
Furthermore, in September 2002, the Assembly of States Parties adopted an Agreement on Privileges and Immunities of the Court, which provides important privileges and immunities for Court staff not covered by any other treaty. The Agreement is open for signature until 30 June 2004. We hope that the Philippines will sign the Agreement as soon as possible and to take measures to ensure that it ratifies the Agreement and implements it into national law before the Rome Statute enters into force for the Philippines, so that the International Criminal Court can operate effectively throughout the world.
Finally, as you are aware the Court is the object of a worldwide campaign by the United States of America (USA) to weaken it and to obtain impunity from international justice for US nationals accused of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.
Amnesty International was disappointed to learn that the Philippines signed an agreement with the USA committing not to surrender US nationals to the Court. These agreements violate the Rome Statute and other international law, by seeking to give impunity from international justice for the perpetrators of the worst crimes in the world. We hope that your government will cooperate with the ICC in all cases where a request is made, regardless of the nationality of the suspect, and that this
agreement with the USA will not be enforced.
Amnesty International, along with the vast majority of members of civil society and states, believe that US fears that the Court could be used to bring politically motivated prosecutions against US nationals are wholly unfounded. The Rome Statute contains extensive safeguards and fair trial guarantees to ensure that such a situation could not arise. Amnesty International is confident that the International Criminal Court will, through its practice, convince the USA to reconsider its position and to eventually ratify the Rome Statute. The more states that ratify the Rome Statute in the next years, the more likely the USA will reconsider its position in the foreseeable future.
The inauguration of the 18 judges and the Prosecutor of the new International Criminal Court this year, permitting it to become fully operational in the near future, is a momentous step forward in the fight to end impunity for the worst crimes known to humanity. I urge you to take the steps outlined in this letter to further strengthen the Court and contribute to making international justice a reality.

Yours sincerely,

Irene Khan
Secretary General

Sign the treaty and I will help you solve ALL your problems - oogle

Formula For Success

1) Sign the treaty and be seen campaigning for the "War on Terror".
2) Put two of your best and most loyal at the highest position in the Police and Defence.
3) Endorse the reforms to your cabinet forcusing on economic goals.
4) Be seen endorsing new ideas and reforms, even allying with the liberals, especially the young.
5) Endorse the Free Trade economy, and go to China to seek co-operation.
6) Seek funds from the World Bank to jumpstart your domestic economy.
7) The export of labor, although bring relief, cause the neglect of your domestic economy. Try to create jobs until there is a balance between brain drain and brain gain.
8) Implement VAT Tax reforms after there is political stability, after the cloud has cleared and the above measures are done. Short term fiscal deficit can be financed by borrowings, but there must be very clear direction of sustainability in the long run. Economic reforms can only fill this gap. The idea is to create an environment which is friendly to foreign investment, unlike the image of politic unstability with links to a safe haven for terror.
9) This generation may be foreign maids, but not the next generation. You must move up of the poverty ladder, invest in your child's education, and Phillipinos are not known to be very thifty. If you don't save to rebuild your homes, who do you think will?
10) Your country needs foreign capital to invest in a whole list of infrastructure. If you don't help to rebuild your own country, who do you think will?

Extracted from www.arabnews.com

The group headed by Rudy Dianalan, Vic Aguila and Gil Manese had prepared a manifesto or resolution saying OFWs ought to continue supporting Arroyo to “preserv(e) the gains” of her administration, according to the statement.
“If things will continue to deteriorate and the (Philippine) currency goes down the drain, all OFWs efforts and sacrifices will be in vain,” it said.
In a press release, the Kasapi Congress called for sobriety among OFWs, urging each one to tell family members who are in the Philippines to refrain from joining “any protest or extra-constitutional ways of wanting to tear down the present government...”

The Kasapi statement said it was pointed out during the meeting that:

• Filipinos, particularly the leaders of the political opposition, should avoid too much petty politics and preserve the gains of the present regime and move on to fight poverty, crimes and graft and corruption in all levels of our society.

• Arroyo should be given a chance to continue and finish her term for the good of all Filipinos, including OFWs.

• At this point in time, the Philippines can not afford another people power revolution, much more a coup d’ etat or a snap election.

• If there appears to be a wrongdoing on the part of the government, let it be investigated and resolved within the bounds of the law and the Philippine Constitution.

The Kasapi resolution comes in the heels of a controversy over a manifesto in support of Arroyo, which the chair of the OFW Congress in Riyadh presented to Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto Romulo last weekend.

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