NDF calls Arroyo’s European trip “tour of shame”

In a statement, Luis G. Jalandoni, chairperson of the NDF Negotiating Panel,
said that Arroyo "leaves Europe in disgrace."

Jalandoni noted that European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso
reminded Arroyo that the political killings in the Philippines “were a
matter of concern” to the European Commission.

While Barroso and Arroyo were meeting, some 100 Belgian, Dutch and Filipino
protesters gathered at the Schuman Plaza fronting the European Commission
building in Brussels.

"They denounced Arroyo, the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the
Philippine National Police as 'the masterminds' behind the political
killings," Jalandoni said.

He said that even before her trip, the EU ambassador to the Philippines, Jan
de Kok, had criticized the Arroyo regime for the extrajudicial killings,
naming in particular the murders of political leaders from the Cordillera
region.

“We also want to see an end to the political killings which form a harsh
reality of that country,” the NDF leader quoted Finnish Foreign Minister
Erkki Tuomioja to have declared in a speech before the Asia-Europe Peoples’
Forum in Helsinki.

He added the President of Finland, Tarja Halonen, raised the issue of
political killings during Arroyo’s official call on her.

International human rights groups like the London-based Amnesty
International had condemned the extrajudicial killings and the enforced
taking place in the country.

Malacañang has formed a commission headed by retired Supreme Court Associate
Jose Melo to investigate the killings of left-wing activists. But critics
doubted it would achieve anything.

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