MANILA - Leftist group Bayan Muna is urging international human rights lawyer Amal Alamuddin-Clooney to take up the cudgels for the 44 Special Action Force (SAF) troopers who were killed in Mamasapano, Maguindanao.
In a statement, Bayan Muna party-list Rep. Neri Colmenares issued a statement after Alamuddin-Clooney filed a case before the United Nations Human Rights Committee in connection with the prosecution of former President Gloria Arroyo.
"While we are glad that Atty. Clooney is concerned with the human rights situation in the Philippines, it is best that she also raise the issue of human rights violations of the poor and the powerless such as the at least 229 cases of extrajudicial killings of activists, media and ordinary people, enforced disappearances, illegal arrest and detention. Her skills and talents are needed by those who cannot afford legal services in their search for justice like the widows of the SAF44. We ask Atty. Clooney to visit the Philippines and see for herself the plight of the nameless poor who are victims of injustice and human rights violations."
Alamuddin-Clooney has asked the UN body to ask for the release of Mrs. Arroyo from detention as an interim relief pursuant to Rule 92 of the Committee’s Rule of Procedures to allow her to seek medical treatment abroad.
Philippine officials have come under fire for the January 25 operation of the police Special Action Force that targeted Malaysian terrorist Zulkifli bin Hir, alias Marwan, and Filipino terror suspect Basit Usman.
Forty-four SAF commandos, 18 Moro fighters and 5 civilians were killed in the operation.