Dear Mr. President
I trust you were as shocked by the slaying of Romeo Capalla as were many other people. I believe he is the latest of many scores of human rights defenders and advocates who have been slain since you became President of the Philippines.
As Honorary President of the Campaign for Human Rights in the Philippines (UK) and Chair of the Global Council of the International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines, I, respectfully, ask for:
- The immediate formation of an independent fact-finding and investigation team composed of representatives from human rights groups, the Church, local government, and the Commission on Human Rights that will look into the latest extrajudicial killing of Romeo Capalla.
- An end to the policy of automatically labelling, and targeting of, human rights defenders as “members of front organizations of the CPP” and “enemies of the state.”
- The withdrawal of Oplan Bayanihan, your government’s counterinsurgency program, that you know very well victimizes innocent and unarmed civilians.
- The observation of, and adherence to, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and all the major Human Rights instruments that your Government is both party to and signatory of.
Your nation remains much in my prayers and my heart longs for the day when all your citizens may live in justice and in dignity with a fair share of the nation’s blessings and without the fear of the assassin’s bullet.
The Reverend Canon Barry Naylor
Urban Canon and Sub Dean
St Martins House
7 Peacock Lane
Leicester LE1 5PZ