The Ecumenical Voice for Human Rights and Peace in the Philippines (EcuVoice), a network of human rights and faith-based organizations, will be participating in the 25th sessions of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland from 9-20 March 2014 to raise the pressing human rights concerns in the Philippines, including the unabated extrajudicial killing of political activists and the Aquino administration’s incompetence in addressing the needs of typhoon Yolanda victims.
Pastor Jerome Baris, national coordinator of the justice, peace and human rights program of the United Church of Christ in the Philippines, and Atty. Ephraim Cortez, deputy secretary general of the National Union of People’s Lawyers, will represent the network in the said UN sessions.
Baris and Cortez are also set to report on the increasing attacks against activists and rights defenders via fabricated charges filed against them by state security forces; killings of children and attacks against schools: on the violent and forced eviction of urban poor dwellers in San Roque, Quezon City and in San Juan City; and the harassment and threats against typhoon victims in the Panay region by units of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
“The human rights situation under the Aquino administration is as worrisome as the situation during the Macapagal-Arroyo administration. Perpetrators from state security forces are not made accountable for their crimes, and much worse, they get juicy promotions, thereby keeping and perpetuating themselves in power. Instead of addressing the people’s urgent concerns and needs such as housing, relief and rehabilitation for typhoon victims, education, and livelihood, the Aquino administration suppresses the people’s voices through various schemes,” Baris and Cortez said.
Under the Aquino administration, human rights group Karapatan recorded 169 victims of extrajudicial killing, 825 victims of illegal arrest, 13,528 victims of demolition and 63, 077 victims of threats and harassment. (please check Karapatan’s latest report on the human rights situation http://karapatan.org/2013+Human+Rights+Report)
The delegation is a follow-up engagement to the Universal Periodic Review of the Philippines in 2012 and the review of the Philippine government’s compliance to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
Pastor Jerome Baris
Ecumenical Voice for Human Rights and Peace in the Philippines (EcuVoice)
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KARAPATAN is an alliance of human rights organizations and programs, human rights desks and committees of people’s organizations, and individual advocates committed to the defense and promotion of people’s rights and civil liberties. It monitors and documents cases of human rights violations, assists and defends victims and conducts education, training and campaign.