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15 American Deaths Counted in Philippines

October 31, 1985|Associated Press

MANILA — U.S. Ambassador Stephen Bosworth today said that 15 Americans have been killed in the Philippines in the last two years, including four allegedly slain by security forces.

While Bosworth did not elaborate about the deaths of Americans here, a U.S. Embassy spokesman said none of the killings appeared to be politically motivated.

The embassy spokesman, asked about Bosworth's statements during a speech and open forum with Philippine lawyers, refused to give details about the cases except to say the deaths were generally not reported by the news media and occurred in the provinces.

"We are not releasing names and not discussing the cases publicly," embassy spokesman Alan Croghan said. "We have sent specifics on each case to the Philippine government and we are continuing to discuss the matter. We are doing this because it is a matter of concern to the American people."

In one of his strongest speeches about the Philippines, the ambassador also criticized alleged human rights violations here, saying they have dismayed the international community.

Bosworth noted that there have been only two convictions so far in the cases involving the Americans.

"In neither instance do we consider that the punishment was appropriate to the crime," he said.

He said the killings had aroused the growing concern of the U.S. Congress, press and public.

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