EU to finance program to help RP stop political killings

The Department of Foreign Affairs and the European Commission held a joint press conference this morning to announce that a technical assistance program to help the Philippines stop extrajudicial killings.

Ambassador Alistair MacDonald said the European Union Justice Assistance Mission (EU JAM) may start in Sept. or Oct., will involve all stakeholders including the government and so-called civil society and will be given adequate financing from the EU fund called “instrument for stability”.

While MacDonald acknowledged a decrease in the number of political killings, he said it was regrettable that not one perpetrator of the many slays has ever been punished.

Read the official press release from MacDonald’s office here.

MacDonald said that the EU will directly contact “civil society” organizations to consult them on the program.

The announcement was made exactly one week before the Philippines undergoes “universal periodic review” before the United Nations Human Rights Council on April 11 in Geneva.

MacDonald added that EU JAM is a result of EU Needs Assessment Mission sent to the Philippines in July 2007, the final report of which was also made public in the same press conference.

The DFA, as a matter of course, welcomed the program and expressed “readiness” to work with “civil society” on the issue. For the official DFA press release, click here.

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