Stop the Killings! Stop the Attacks! Foster a Just Peace in the Philippines!

In response to the recent International Peoples Tribunal on War Crimes in the Philippines, the international interfaith community calls for an immediate stop to the killings and addressing of the underlying causes of the armed conflict in the Philippines, paving the way to an enduring and just peace.

We, the undersigned representatives of religious organizations and religious leaders, urgently implore the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP), the international communities, and all relative stakeholders to immediately confront the deep-seated roots of the decades-long armed conflict, fostering a pathway towards a truly equitable and lasting peace, thus putting an end to the horrors of injustice, oppression, violence, and death.

We are appalled by ongoing violations of International Humanitarian Law (IHL) by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP). We condemn indiscriminate bombings of peasant communities, continued imprisonment and killings of protected National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) peace consultants, and the designation of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and New People’s Army (NPA) as terrorist organizations by the GRP.

The path towards just peace requires a negotiated political settlement with respect for, and upholding of, previously agreed-upon frameworks, such as those laid out in the Hague Joint Declaration, the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG), and the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL). Respecting the principles of justice, democracy and human rights, we pledge our solidarity to the Filipino people and people of faith as they mobilize to stop the current state of violence and rights violations, and focus on building the foundations for a just and lasting peace.

To achieve such a vision, we urgently make these calls to the GRP:

  1. Stop all violations of IHL and HR, giving full access to international and domestic human rights groups for investigation of reported violations.
  2. End red-tagging, harassment, and stigmatization of social movements, religious leaders, journalists, and HR defenders.
  3. Release all political prisoners, including the expedient release of detained NDFP peace consultants.
  4. Remove the designation as terrorists of the CPP, NPA, and all NDFP personalities.
  5. Repeal and rescind repressive laws and executive orders, like the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 (RA 11479), the Terrorism Financing Prevention and Suppression Act of 2012 (RA 10168), and Executive Order 70 of former President Rodrigo Duterte including the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict that it created.

In these calls, we amplify the voice of the Filipino people for a just and lasting peace.

This requires the dismantling of the structures and systems that impede access to fundamental rights, including the right to peace. It will require both sides to embrace an end to the armed conflict that goes far beyond the silencing of the guns. We urge all peoples committed to peace to join our call.

May we work together to bend the arc of history toward Justice: for the fruit of Justice will be Peace. #

Signatories:

Individuals

Benjamin E Alforque, National Ecumenical Forum for Filipino Concerns in the Inland Empire
Michèle Ashby, United Church of Canada
Lamar S Bailey, Sisters of Mercy of the Americas
Marie Boti, Iglesia Filipina Independiente
Linda Buchanan, United Church of Canada
Naida C Castro, National Ecumenical Forum for Filipino Concerns in the Inland Empire
Hyuk Cho, United Church of Canada
Paolo Fernando Caragan Colabres
Beth Dollaga, United Church of Canada
Kimberley Douglass, United Church of Canada
Rev. David Kennedy Farley, Echo Park United Methodist Church
Nathan Garthwaite
Wendy Gichuru, United Church of Canada
Pierre Goldberger, Eglise Unie du Canada réseau Justice et Communauté
Anne Hoganson, United Church of Canada
Kevan Hudson
Won Hur, United Church of Canada
Bern Jagunos, ICHRP Canada
Antonio de Jesus, St. Veronica Parish
May Kotsakis, Centre for Migrant Workers’ Concerns
Sheila Margaret Lavender, United Church of Canada
Ronnie Manalo, Spokesperson, Tanggol Magsasaka
Rafael Mariano, Chairman Emeritus, Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas
Barry Naylor, Church of England
Royal Orr, United Church of Canada
Danilo Ramos, Chairperson, Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas
Elizabeth Anne Stevenson, United Church of Canada
Frank Dale Wulf, United Methodist Church
Michael Arthur Yoshii, ICHRP

Organizations

Anglican Church of Canada
Ecumenical Advocacy Network on the Philippines
Iglesia Filipina Independiente Diocese of Tampa
KAIROS: Canadian Ecumenical Justice Initiatives
Methodist Federation for Social Action
Migrante Philippines
National Lawyers Guild San Francisco Bay Area
National Lawyers Guild Task Force on the Americas
Netherlands Philippines Solidarity Movement
People’s Forum on Peace for Life
United Church of Canada
United Methodist Church California Pacific Annual Conference
United Methodist Church General Board of Church and Society