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Protestants sue ex-president

Families of victims claim Arroyo's crimes included torture and abduction

Protestants sue ex-president
Activists assail former president Gloria Arroyo for human rights violations
D'Jay Lazaro, Manila
Philippines

June 16, 2011

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A Protestant group today sued former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo for human rights violations committed during her term of office. Bishop Reuel Norman O. Marigza, secretary general of the United Church of Christ in the Philippines (UCCP), joined families of victims in filing a 4.3 million-peso (US$100,000) class suit against Arroyo, who is now a member of the House of Representatives, for extra-judicial killings, abduction, torture and illegal detention of UCCP pastors while president. The suit was filed before the Quezon City regional trial court by Bishop Marigza, five families and one survivor of abduction, torture and illegal detention. Twenty-five UCCP members died in what were believed to be cases of political and extra-judicial killings in the Philippines since 2001. The UCCP deaths accounted for the highest number of casualties among Philippine churches. Aside from the killings, UCCP members have been among more than 200 victims of enforced disappearances and over 1,000 victims of torture in the same period. Human rights group Karapatan (Alliance for the Advancement of People’s Rights) reported that a total of 1,188 people have been executed since 2001 when Arroyo began her nine-year rule as president.
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