ICHRP condemns Marcos Jr meeting with US Secretary of State Blinken

0
386

Oppose greater US military presence in the Philippines, ongoing violations of Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law

Press Statement
March 19, 2024

The International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines (ICHRP) salutes the protests organised by the New Patriotic Alliance (BAYAN) today in Manila against the Blinken-Marcos Jr. meeting taking place in Malacanang Palace.

“BAYAN is highlighting the bloody hand of the US in the Israeli genocidal war against the Palestinian people in Gaza, and protesting against the extension of the US military bases in the Philippines in preparation for a war against China. ICHRP upholds human rights and International Humanitarian Law (IHL), and sees these rights as universal and indivisible,” said Peter Murphy, ICHRP Chairperson.

“We call on the international community to hold both the Philippine and US governments accountable for the gross violations of these rights being perpetrated in the Philippines.”

In February 2023, the Marcos Jr administration agreed to provide four more military bases to the US, under their Enhanced Defence Cooperation Arrangement (EDCA). These are the Naval Base Camilo Osias in Santa Ana, Cagayan; Camp Melchor Dela Cruz in Gamu, Isabela; Balabac Island in Palawan; and Lal-lo Airport in Cagayan. Three of the four are oriented towards Taiwan, the flashpoint for a potential war by the US against China.

“Filipino people don’t want to be a battlefield for a great power war, and ICHRP urges all nations in the region – South East Asia and North East Asia – to deescalate the frightening military buildup towards war,” said Murphy.

In the Philippines, the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) and the Anti-Terrorism Law drive the repression of unarmed civilian critics of the government, and are part of the broader counterinsurgency war which is now escalating its aerial bombardment and artillery attacks of farming and indigenous peoples’ communities.

Two United Nations Special Rapporteurs, Ms Irene Khan and Mr Ian Fry, have called in recent months for the NTF-ELCAC to be abolished, but the Marcos Jr. administration continues to reject the call of the international community.

The US, Australia, Canada, and Japan turn a blind eye to the gross violations of human rights and IHL in favour of deepening military cooperation and arms sales to the Philippines as part of their broader China containment strategy.

No to US military expansion in the Philippines!
Defend Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law!
Stop the Bombings, End State Terror!
Address the Roots of the Armed Conflict! ###

Further comment: Peter Murphy, ICHRP Chairperson. WhatsApp: +61 418312301. Email: [email protected].