Philippine UPR Watch Delegation hold meeting with Swedish Mission in Geneva

News Release (September 20, 2017)

The Swedish Mission to the United Nations expressed concern over the increasing human rights violations perpetrated by the Duterte administration against the Filipino people. Ms. Anna Envall, head of the Swedish Mission to the United Nations held a dialogue with members of the Philippine Universal Pediodic Review (UPR) Watch to discuss the human rights situation in the Philippines.

Roneo Clamor, deputy secretary general of Karapatan, provided updates on the increasing number of abductions and killings linked to the Duterte administration’s counter insurgency and war on drugs campaigns.

Amirah Lidasan of Sandugo, a broad coalition of indigenous organizations in the Philippines, stressed that the indigenous peoples and communities face the threat of ethnocide as they are displaced from their ancestral lands because of the continuing martial law in Mindanao and military bombings of indigenous communities. Lidasan also denounced the deliberate omission of the ongoing attacks on Lumad schools in Mindanao in the Philippine government representative’s report to the Special Rapporteur on Indigenous Peoples in the afternoon of September 20.

Eule Bonganay of the Children’s Rehabilitation Center shared how Lumad school teachers who painstakingly serve the Lumad children in remote areas of Mindanao have been charged by the Duterte administration with trumped-up charges of illegal possession of firearms, arson, and child trafficking. At present, about 70% of Lumad schools had been closed or rendered non-operational because of military occupation by soldiers of the Armed Forces of the Philippine. These Lumad schools are duly recognized by the Department of Education and local government, and some had even received awards from these bodies for excellent service.

Envall expressed the mission’s support in the Filipino campaign for respect for human rights as she reiterated the importance of listening to reports from the ground which provide a clearer picture of the human rights situation in the Philippines.

The Philippine UPR Watch delegation interacted with other international human rights advocates and organizations to bring to the attention of the international community, the grim situation of human rights in the Philippines as well as gather support for the Filipino peoples’ for the struggle against the imminent return of tyrannical rule through the Duterte administration.

The Philippine UPR Watch delegation co-headed by Atty. Ephraim Cortez of the National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers and Roneo Clamor of Karapatan is composed of 13 representatives from different sectoral and human rights organizations. They will continue to engage in dialogues with different Special Rapporteurs and organizations to highlight the Philippine case and campaign for the adoption of relevant provisions that address the dire human rights situation in the Philippines.#

Philippine UPR Watch

References (Heads of Delegation):
Atty. Ephraim Cortez, secretary general, National Union of Peoples Lawyers, (+63) 9175465798
Roneo Clamor, deputy secretary general, Karapatan, (+63) 9997721233

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