Call for support

Europe Network for Justice and Peace in the Philippines

10 December 2017

On the occasion of the International Human Rights Day, people across Europe view with deep concern the rapid deterioration of the human rights situation in the Philippines.

The news and images from the Philippines speak of brutal state-sponsored killings and repression committed by the Armed Forces of the Philippines, Philippine National Police, paramilitary groups and motorcycle-riding assassins against unarmed civilians and advocates of human rights, social justice, social development and peace – indigenous peoples, poor farmers and landless peasants, urban poor, environment activists, human rights defenders, journalists and religious leaders.

  • Last week, 03 December, units of the Philippine Army and Philippine Marines shot and killed eight farmers and injured two others in the town of Lake Sebu, South Cotabato province in southern Philippines. The victims were part of a group of indigenous farmer families asserting their ancestral claims against the DMCI corporation, which displaced them to use the lands to plant coffee for Nestlé.
  • On the same day, elements of the Philippine National Police shot and killed Lovelito Quiñones, a pastor of the Kings Glory Ministry, in Mansalay town, Oriental Mindoro, in central Philippines. The police alleged that Pastor Lovelito was a member of the New People’s Army. Witnesses claim that the pastor was unarmed and police planted a handgun near the victim’s body. A paraffin test on the victim’s body confirmed that the pastor never fired a gun.
  • Two days later, on 05 December, motorcycle-riding assassins shot and killed Fr. Tito Paez, provincial coordinator of the Rural Missionaries of the Philippines. Earlier that day, Fr. Tito assisted in facilitating the release of political prisoner Rommel Tucay.

These atrocities, combined with the daily murder of suspected drug users and small-time dealers by police forces, paint a government callous to individual liberties, human rights and human life. The Duterte government’s so-called War on Drugs has reportedly claimed more than 7,000 lives, mostly coming from the urban poor. Even so, by Duterte’s own admission, the illegal drug trade remains as pervasive as ever.

As of October 2017, 449 prisoners of conscience are languishing in detention centers of the Duterte government. They are uniformly charged with trumped up criminal cases, allowing the government to claim that there are no political prisoners in the country. Among them are 30 senior citizens, 117 suffering from chronic illnesses and five under the age of 18. Bishop Carlo Morales of the Philippine Independent Church has been kept in jail since May 2017 on spurious charges of illegal possession of explosives.

In the rural areas, units of the Armed Forces of the Philippines routinely occupy villages and conduct artillery and aerial shelling in populated areas. These are areas where the people are actively resisting mining exploration and extraction, corporate farms expansion, resorts development, and various forms of environmental destruction.

From July 2016 to November 2017, human rights group KARAPATAN recorded about 365,000 cases of indiscriminate shooting and bombings of communities, 39,600 cases of military occupation of public places, and more than 426,000 villagers forced to evacuate as a result of military operations. Just on 26 November 2017, 12 communities of indigenous peoples in Surigao del Sur, composed of about 244 families, were forced to evacuate due to intensive military operations. Worse still, on 01 December, humanitarian aid groups were prevented by the military from entering the evacuation area.

We will not allow ourselves to just sit and watch as a humanitarian disaster unfolds in the Philippines. We heed the call of the Filipino people to defend their basic human and democratic rights and join them in condemning the increasingly fascist character of the Duterte government. With our linked arms, we vow to strengthen our solidarity with the Filipino people in their continuing fight for genuine democracy, economic and social development, and national liberation.

On the occasion of the International Human Rights Day on 10 December, we hereby convene ourselves as the Europe Network for Justice & Peace in the Philippines, and dedicate ourselves to:

  • Raise our awareness and others in Europe about the situation in the Philippines
  • Organize and participate in activities in support of the Filipino people’s rights and democratic aspirations
  • Condemn the intensifying killings, repression and other human rights violations in the Philippines
  • Stop the support of governments in Europe and the EU for the repressive Duterte government.

Signatories:

NAME ORGANIZATION COUNTRY
Fr. Herbert Fadriquela Jr. Chairman, Migrante Europe United Kingdom
Fr. June Mark Yañez Iglesia Filipina Independiente Germany
Johnna Mortensen Southeast Asia Group, International Forum Denmark
Sr. Elizabeth Pedernal Missionary Sisters of St. Charles Borromeo Italy
Luciano Seller Italy-Philippines Friendship Association / ICHRP Global Council Italy
Fr. Aristelo Miranda, MI Camillian Disaster Service International (CADIS) Italy
Archbishop Joris Vercammen Global Council, International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines (ICHRP) The Netherlands
Dr. Angie Gonzales ICHRP Global Coordinator The Netherlands
Romy Corpuz President, Ugnayang Pilipino sa Belgium Belgium
Phil Butland Co-Speaker, Die Linke Internationals – Berlin Germany
Karin Louise Hermes Humboldt University of Berlin Germany
Cathy Abon Gabriela Germany Germany
Boyen Baleva Chairman, Filipino Refugees in the Netherlands The Netherlands
Bro. Louie Salle ICHRP Rome Italy
Marie Mercado Secretary, Nagkakaisang Pilipino sa Pransya France
Hameed Khasawnih DiEM 25 – Berlin Germany
Paloma Polo UNREST The Netherlands
Pierre Massilia Front Revolutionaire Antifasciste de Provence France
Alessio Arena General Secretary, Fronte Popolare Italy
Vito Meloni Secretary, Partito della Rifondazione Comunista Federazione di Roma Italy
Father Barry Naylor Church of England United Kingdom
Steven Bouvier Collectif Livreurs Autonomes Paris France
Kaleb Lloyd Secretary, Campaign for Human Rights in the Philippines (CHRP) United Kingdom
Eva Mayor Chairperson, Kanlungan Filipino Consortium United Kingdom
Phoebe Dimacali Chairperson, Filipino Domestic Workers Association United Kingdom
Rafael J. Maramag Coordinator, UNISON Filipino Activist Network United Kingdom
Rev. Dr. Klaus Schäfer Director, Center for Global Ministries and Ecumenical Relations – Evangelical Lutheran Church in Northern Germany (ZMÖ) Germany
Rev. Stefan Block CEO, Center for Global Ministries and Ecumenical Relations – Evangelical Lutheran Church in Northern Germany (ZMÖ) Germany
Shanthi Sivakumaran International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines (ICHRP) Global Council United Kingdom
Sophia El Moutaouakil Chairperson, Belgian-Filipino Friendship Association (BFF) Belgium
Sophie Passelecq Secretary, Belgian-Filipino Friendship Association (BFF) Belgium
Theo Droog Chairperson, Dutch-Filipino Solidarity Movement (NFS) The Netherlands
Rev. Salvador Telen St. Saviour’s Walthamstow United Kingdom
Fr. Franz Segbers Professor, University of Marburg Germany
Canon Steven Saxby Executive Officer, London Churches Social Action United Kingdom
Anders Andersen International Committee for Support of Political Prisoners in Iran Denmark
Dagmar Eberhard Deutsch-Philippinische Freunde e.V. Germany
Mike Forschner Deutsch-Philippinische Freunde e.V. Germany
Rainer Werning Deutsch-Philippinische Freunde e.V. Germany
Stefanie Augustin Deutsch-Philippinische Freunde e.V. Germany
Jeanne Babar  Quinoa Belgium
Julie Smit International Coalition for Justice & Peace in the Philippines Luxembourg

(partial list of signatories, more names to follow)

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