Although figures may be disputed, the existence of extra-judicial or extra-legal killings (ELKs) and enforced disappearances (EDs) in the Philippines is a fact acknowledged by different sectors of society. In response, government and non-government organizations have undertaken various efforts, and continue to look for new ways, to address the problem. Existing efforts include the documentation of incidents, the setting up of task forces, the holding of conferences and trainings, and the issuance of new rules on the Writs of Amparo and Habeas Data. At the series of workshops organized by the Supreme Court and PHILJA to address the situation, judges, prosecutors, law enforcement personnel, other government agencies (including CHR) and civil society groups have repeatedly recommended that the approach must not only be inter-agency but must also be multi-sectoral. It is in this regard that the idea of setting up multi-sectoral quick reaction teams (MSQRTs) in selected areas around the country was developed. The primary task of MSQRTS is to facilitate, at local level, immediate action by and cooperation among government agencies and civil society groups in addressing cases involving ELKs and EDs, including their documentation, investigation, resolution and prevention. The MSQRTs are designed to be one-stop assistance centers that are victim-centered in their efforts and approach.
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