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WASHINGTON
DC– Azadeh Shahshahani, prominent human rights attorney
and author, delivered the verdict declaring Philippine
President Aquino and the U.S. Government, as represented
by President Obama, “GUILTY of gross and systematic
violations of human rights.”

“Over
the past two long, painful and enraging days, We have
closely and keenly listened, watched, seen, asked,
pondered on an uninterrupted procession of witnesses,
survivors, families and friends – victims all in each
and every way – as well as experts whose opinions are
uncontested and indisputable because they constitute
very credible testimonies, accounts and reports,” Atty.
Shahshahani stated.

Nearly
300 observers packed into an auditorium, sitting behind
victims and families of victims of human rights abuses
under Philippine President Aquino, anxiously awaiting
the final verdict of the International Peoples’
Tribunal.

After
the verdict, the full group of expert witnesses of
victims and spouses or family members of victims stood
with raised fists. The packed room of observers rose to
standing ovation for their courageous presence and
testimony. They closed the applause with a chant of
“Makibaka, Huwag Matakot! Struggle
onward, have no fear!”

“I
am happy. Finally, through this peoples’ court, we
really got a just verdict,” said Melissa Roxas.

Nelson,
another witness whose wife Fidela Salvador was tortured
and killed by the Armed Forces of the Philippines,
shared, “When you seek justice and justice is so
elusive, the verdict addressed a longing that we feel.
In a world of injustice, this verdict is so enriching
and it fills the emptiness that I’ve had for a long
time. The execution of the verdict was for the whole of
all Filipinos and I hope it fuels more peoples’ fire for
justice.”

The
IPT verdict on charges against the Philippine President
Aquino and the US government under Barack Obama will be
serviced to the White House and the Philippine Embassy
in a rally and march throughout D.C. this Monday, July
19 beginning at 10:00am.

In
closing, Atty. Shahshahani stated that the panel of
jurors “enjoin the Defendants to undertake, and the
People to pursue proper remedial measures to prevent the
commission or continuance of such illegal and criminal
acts.”

The
International Peoples’ Tribunal (IPT) was convened by
the National Lawyers Guild, the International
Association of Democratic Laywers, the International
Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines, and IBON
International.
For more information, copy of evidence submitted, and
the full verdict, visit internationalpeoplestribunal.org.
Full coverage on testimonies heard is available on
Twitter @IPT_2015. Interviews available upon request.

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