“Extrajudicial killings” is one of those terms like “ethnic cleansing” which many suspect are deployed to blur a nasty reality.It describes what happens when a country’s military or police go round killing people illegally.

In the Philippines, a United Nations investigation has damned the government and the military for hundreds of such killings over the past six years.

Australian Philip Alston led the investigation. His initial findings reveal that the military is responsible for many deaths, but that the senior leadership is in a state of denial.

And with the Australian Defence Forces and the Philippines armed forces negotiating a closer defence relationship, he says this country has an opportunity to do something about it.

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