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  • MANILA - Twenty-three years after the Philippine government ratified the Convention Against Torture (CAT), a domestic law penalizing acts of torture in the country was finally passed last week when President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo signed Republic Act 9745 or the Anti-Torture Law.

    The United Nations' Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT) mandates state party to the convention to "take effective legislative, administrative, judicial or other measures to prevent acts of torture in any territory under its jurisdiction."

  • The murder earlier this month of a Catholic priest, Father Cecilio Lucero, has enraged leaders of the Catholic Church. "I cannot stomach what Malacañang is doing," said recently retired Lingayen Archbishop Oscar Cruz of the extrajudicial killings in the Philippines. "It seems they do not fear God."

    MANILA - As the Philippines marks tomorrow, Sept. 21, the 37th anniversary of the declaration of martial law that ushered in one of its darkest periods, religious leaders are convinced that the Arroyo regime is proving to be much worse than the Marcos dictatorship.

  • Has the VFA served its avowed purpose? Or has it only reinforced the unequal alliance between the Philippines and the United States, a relationship so tilted in the Americans' favor that to call the VFA a treaty - with all the word's connotation of equal rights, benefits and privileges - would be a travesty?

    MANILA - On May 27, 1999, the Philippine Senate passed the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) between the Philippines and the United States. Then president Joseph Estrada soon after signed the agreement.