June 13, 2020

H. E. Mr Rodrigo Duterte

President of the Republic of the Philippines

Malacañang Palace,
JP Laurel St., San Miguel

Manila, Philippines 

Appeal to accept report and recommendations of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights regarding human rights in the Philippines, turn away from the Anti-Terror Bill

Dear Excellency,

Congratulations to you and to the Filipino People on Independence Day yesterday.

Our Coalition writes to you today to urge you and your government to embrace the formal report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights issued on June 4, 2020, to accept its recommendations and thus begin to restore the basic rights of the people and repair your nation’s standing in the international community.

The United Nations Human Rights Council at its 44th Session, due to begin on June 29, 2020, will discuss this report, and we hope that your delegation will vote for the report and its important recommendations.

Just at that moment last June 4, the Philippine Congress passed the Anti-Terror Bill which is a green light for even more widespread repression of community efforts to create a democratic, just and peaceful Philippines. We urge you to set aside the Anti-Terror Bill, never to put your signature to it, and not to allow it to come into force, since it would radically strengthen the martial law machinery already in operation in your country.

Instead we call on you and your government for a wholehearted and committed return to the formal peace talks with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines, to rapidly adopt the draft Comprehensive Agreement on Social and Economic Reforms, to implement genuine land reform and national industrialisation, and to pursue the remainder of the agreed agenda for the peace talks.

Yours sincerely,

Peter Murphy, Chairperson, Global Council,

International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines