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    Press Release: UN maintains pressure on Philippine human rights, ICHRP calls for an official UN investigation

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    October 7, 2021 – UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Ms. Michelle Bachelet, presented her oral report on the Philippines to the UNHRC today, one year after the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) passed a resolution to provide “technical cooperation and capacity-building” to the Government of the Republic of the Philippines for the protection of human rights.

    Ms. Bachelet noted the progress of the UN Joint Program for technical assistance and capacity-building on human rights, adopted only on July 22 this year. She also noted the ongoing lack of accountability for the killings and rights violations in the counterinsurgency program; continuing harassment, threats and killings of human rights defenders, church workers, environmental and land rights defenders, journalists, trade unionists, farmers and lawyers. She singled out the killing of 9 indigenous Tumandok leaders on Panay on December 30, 2020, and the killing of 9 community leaders during the Bloody Sunday operation on March 7, 2021. She maintained her criticism of the government’s red-tagging against activists, media and other actors, and called for an end to the hate language during the unfolding national election campaign. 

    The International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines (ICHRP) fully endorses High Commissioner Bachelet’s comment that the decision of the International Criminal Court Pre-Trial Chamber to open an investigation in the Philippines is a significant indication of the inadequate, if not non-existent, domestic remedies in the country. 

    The formal response of the Philippine Delegate demonstrated that the Duterte government continues to reject any criticism of its human rights record, doubling down on its use of red-tagging to terrorise any critics by alleging without evidence that they recruit fighters for the New People’s Army.

    The Duterte government continues to use the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC), created at the end of 2018, as the government framework to repress civilian dissent.  Human rights violations will continue unless the NTF-ELCAC is declared unconstitutional and dissolved. According to ICHRP Chairperson Peter Murphy “the Duterte government’s claims to uphold human rights and respect the UN Human Rights Council is shamelessly hypocritical”.

    High Commissioner Bachelet detailed some of the many human rights violations which have taken place since last October. INVESTIGATE PH, an independent international civil society initiative, reported extensive violations of economic, social, and cultural rights of the Filipino people, as well as violations of the rights to development, self-determination, and peace. The Duterte administration’s war on dissent is now using mechanisms and tactics which were previously used in the notorious war on poor people to target alleged drug users (such as tokhang-style killings by police) to maintain its state terror to control the people. 

    High Commissioner Bachelet’s report clearly demonstrated the lack of domestic mechanisms in the Philippines to end such human rights violations. In the wake of the worsening human rights situation, ICHRP reiterates the recommendations of INVESTIGATE PH, including the authorization of an official UN investigation of human rights violations in the Philippines. ICHRP also calls on the UNHRC to maintain its efforts to hold the Government of the Republic of the Philippines and its officials accountable for the thousands of violations of human rights carried out as official state policies.

    For comment: Peter Murphy, Chairperson, ICHRP Global Council +61 418 312 301 chairperson@ichrp.net 

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    Roundtable Discussion: An International Response to Human Rights in the Philippines

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    Join ICHRP for a roundtable discussion on human rights in the Philippines.

    Date: Friday October 8, 2021
    Time: 2pm Geneva / 8am New York / 8pm Manila
    Register here: https://www.tinyurl.com/ICHRPRoundtable

    This discussion will follow UN Human Rights Commissioner, Michelle Bachelet’s, update on the Philippines at the UNHRC. We will hear commentary on the presentation to the UN and the findings of Investigate PH, and consider their future significance in the context of the alarming human rights situation in the Philippines.

    Organizer: International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines
    Co-Sponsors:
    IBON International
    The General Board of Church and Society of The United Methodist Church
    United Church of Canada
    National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers
    Karapatan
    International Association of Democratic Lawyers
    Education International

    STILSTAAN BIJ DE MENSENRECHTEN IN DE FILIPPIJNEN EN PALESTINA

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    ALKMAAR – Tijdens de nationale Vredesweek organiseert Earth Caravan in samenwerking met de Nederlands-Filippijnse Solidariteitsbeweging op vrijdagavond 24 september 19:30-21:30 een informatiebijeenkomst in Alkmaar over de Filippijnen en Palestina.

    We sluiten ons graag aan bij de duizenden mensen in heel Nederland die actie voeren voor de vrede om van de wereld een mooiere plek te maken. Voor deze avond nodigen wij u van harte uit! Onder het genot van lekkernijen uit de Filippijnen en Palestina maakt u kennis met de mensenrechtensituatie in die landen.

    De avond begint met een presentatie door Theo Droog over de Filippijnen. Ondanks dat de Filippijnen rijk zijn aan delfstoffen, en er grote oppervlakten in gebruik zijn voor exportgewassen, leeft de overgrote meerderheid in armoede. Daar bovenop is er een mensenrechten crisis gaande. Niet alleen de alom bekende oorlog tegen drugs, maar ook tegen kwetsbare groepen. Zo is er repressie van de inheemse bevolking bij de bescherming van hun voorouderlijk leefgebied, de bossen, natuurlijke hulpbronnen en de biodiversiteit. Vanuit de Verenigde Naties wordt gesproken van categorisch ernstige schendingen van de mensenrechten in de Filippijnen. Uit internationale aandacht putten nabestaanden van de slachtoffers een glimp van hoop en kracht om te werken aan gerechtigheid en duurzame vrede.

    Na de pauze verzorgt Miwa Tamamoto een presentatie over Palestina.

    Het lijkt voor velen dat de Israël-Palestina kwestie een probleem van religie is. Dat is niet waar. En nog minder waar is dat er een gelijkwaardig ‘conflict’ tussen de twee partijen is. De realiteit is een bezetting van Palestina door Israël. In strijd met het internationaal recht (inclusief bezetting wetten) worden Palestijnen continu geterroriseerd door het Israëlische leger, kolonisten en politie: lastiggevallen, hun toegang tot land voor begrazing en landbouw geblokkeerd, huizen gesloopt…. Dit alles om hen van hun land weg te jagen. In een korte documentaire zie je een deel van de totaal onrechtvaardige situatie, gedocumenteerd door Guy Hircefeld. Hij is een Israeli maar zet alles in voor de strijd voor de mensenrechten van Palestijnse herders en boeren in de Jordaan vallei. Na de film is een zoom-meeting gepland met een Earth Caravan lid in Tel Aviv die met hem samenwerkt.

    Na de presentaties is er volop gelegenheid om vragen te stellen en met elkaar in gesprek te gaan over wat we met elkaar kunnen doen voor de verbetering van de situatie.

    Iedereen is van harte welkom! (geen screening, wel volgens de maatregelen) Gezien het beperkt aantal bezoekers wegens corona is het noodzakelijk dat u zich aanmeldt. Vooraf aanmelden door een mail te sturen naar tao.sangha.nl@gmail.com

    Toegang: vrijwillige bijdrage.
    Datum: 24 september 2021
    Tijd: 19:30 – 21:30, inloop vanaf 19:15
    Plaats: Wijkcentrum De Rekere (zaal 512) bij Izumi Shiatsu en Earth Caravan Nederland, Drechterwaard 16, 1824EX Alkmaar
    Voor informatie: Miwa Tamamoto 06-44804369

    https://www.alkmaarsdagblad.nl/regio/stilstaan-bij-de-mensenrechten-in-de-filippijnen-en-palestina


    English Translation

    THINKING ABOUT HUMAN RIGHTS IN THE PHILIPPINES AND PALESTINE

    ALKMAAR – During the national Peace Week, Earth Caravan is organizing an information meeting in Alkmaar about the Philippines and Palestine on Friday evening 24 September 19:30-21:30 in collaboration with the Dutch-Filipino Solidarity Movement.

    We would like to join the thousands of people throughout the Netherlands who are campaigning for peace to make the world a more beautiful place. We cordially invite you to this evening! While enjoying delicacies from the Philippines and Palestine, you will become acquainted with the human rights situation in those countries.

    The evening starts with a presentation by Theo Droog about the Philippines. Despite the fact that the Philippines is rich in minerals and large areas are used for export crops, the vast majority live in poverty. On top of that, there is a human rights crisis going on. Not only the well-known war on drugs, but also against vulnerable groups. For example, there is repression of the indigenous population in the protection of their ancestral habitat, forests, natural resources and biodiversity. The United Nations speaks of categorically serious violations of human rights in the Philippines. From international attention, relatives of the victims draw a glimpse of hope and strength to work for justice and lasting peace.

    After the break, Miwa Tamamoto will give a presentation about Palestine.

    It seems to many that the Israel-Palestine issue is a problem of religion. That is not true. Even less true is that there is an equal “conflict” between the two sides. The reality is an occupation of Palestine by Israel. Contrary to international law (including occupation laws), Palestinians are continuously terrorized by the Israeli army, settlers and police: harassed, their access to land for grazing and agriculture blocked, houses demolished…. All this to drive them away from their land. to hunt. In a short documentary you see part of the totally unjust situation, documented by Guy Hircefeld. He is an Israeli but is committed to fighting for the human rights of Palestinian shepherds and farmers in the Jordan Valley.

    After the presentations there is plenty of opportunity to ask questions and to discuss what we can do together to improve the situation.

    Everybody is welcome! (no screening, but according to the measures) Given the limited number of visitors due to corona, it is necessary that you register. Register in advance by sending an email to tao.sangha.nl@gmail.com

    Admission: voluntary contribution.
    Date: September 24, 2021
    Time: 19:30 – 21:30, walk-in from 19:15
    Place : Wijkcentrum De Rekere (room 512) at Izumi Shiatsu and Earth Caravan Netherlands, Drechtwaard 16, 1824EX Alkmaar
    For information: Miwa Tamamoto 06-44804369

    DUTERTE, THE NEW FACE OF MARTIAL LAW IN THE PH

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    Composite taken from Coconut Manila/ROMEO GACAD

    September 21, 2021 — “The imposition of martial law under former President Ferdinand Marcos brought about thousands of cases of killings and human rights violations in the Philippines, and decades after, the Duterte Administration’s war on the Filipino people and lack of effective domestic remedies caused more human rights violations than the 14-year Marcos Dictatorship.

    And as before, justice is yet to be served.”

    This is what Peter Murphy, International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines (ICHRP) Global Chairperson, said as the Philippines marks the 49th year of the declaration of martial law in the Philippines.

    ICHRP is leading groups and individuals in the international community this Global Day of Action Against Fascism in the Philippines in solidarity with the Filipino people’s struggle against the tyranny of Duterte.

    Murphy further elaborated the crimes against humanity Duterte committed throughout the years. In the call for support for the Global Day of Action Against Fascism in the Philippines, he said:

    Under the US-Duterte regime, martial law was declared in Mindanao four years ago leading to an alarming increase in human rights violations. Hundreds of thousands of Moro people were displaced and turned into refugees by the wanton bombing and destruction of Marawi City at the hands of the Philippine Army. Indigenous people’s schools have been shuttered and their communities remain under attack and occupation by the Philippine Army. While peasants in Negros and Panay islands are being arrested and massacred as they defend their right to till and their ancestral domain. In the cities, Duterte has unleashed a war against the poor through his drug war which has now claimed more than 27,000 lives including children. Worse, the country is now one of the most dangerous places in the world for human rights defenders.”

    This is also reflected in the findings of the First, Second, and Third Reports of the Independent International Commission of Investigation into Human Rights Violations in the Philippines (Investigate PH).

    We call on Duterte and his cohorts to end the repression now in the Philippines and to take accountability for all the human rights violations they committed against the Filipino people,” Murphy said, as the Philippine Government refuses to cooperate with the formal investigation launched by the International Criminal Court (ICC).

    “We challenge him to face the ICC,” he added.

    ICHRP also continues to call on governments of the international community to stop supporting the tyranny of Duterte through their military aid to the Philippines. 

    “As we commemorate the imposition of martial law in the Philippines and the thousands of its victims who have yet to be served justice, we would like to remind Duterte that the world is watching. He is the new face of dictatorship in the Philippines, and as history taught us, dictators eventually fall.” Murphy said.

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    Media Contact:

    Peter Murphy – ICHRP Chairperson  +61 418 312 301

    chairperson@ichrp.net 

    INVITATION: ECUMENICAL DAY OF PRAYER FOR THE PHILIPPINES

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    You are invited to join A Day of Ecumenical Prayer for the Human Rights Situation in the Philippines. The service, which features church leaders from Canada and the Philippines, follows the release of the third report of Investigate PH to the UN Human Rights Council. Investigate PH is an international independent investigation into the human rights situation in the Philippines endorsed by several Canadian churches and KAIROS. 

    When: Friday, 24th September and 25th in the Philippines 8:00 PM ET, Canada /Saturday 8:00 AM Philippines

    Where: https://www.ICHRPCANADA.ORG/ECUPRAYER

    Meeting ID: 992 7975 2563

    Password: 842098

    We look forward to seeing you there.