John Norton Pomeroy Professor of Law Philip Alston, the United Nations special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, and Frank La Rue, the U.N. special rapporteur on freedom of opinion and expression, called for a thorough investigation of the election-related massacre that resulted in 57 deaths in the Philippines on November 23.

“The pre-meditated killing of political opponents, combined with a massive assault on the media, must be tackled at various levels that go well beyond standard murder investigations,” the two stated in a news release.

In November, the United States Government announced that it will withhold $2 million in military aid to the Philippines, in large part due to continued human rights abuses in the country and the failure of the Philippines to implement the recommendations of Alston, who had originally investigated politically motivated killings of leftist activists there in 2007. Alston and La Rue stated that “elections in the Philippines have traditionally become occasions for widespread extrajudicial executions of political opponents,” and recommend that a task force be assembled to identify future measures to combat this practice.

Posted December 4, 2009