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Stop the killings, int’l human rights groups tell Duterte

01 July 2019

by Vir B. Lumicao
Image may contain: 7 people, including Baneng Mendez, Ma Jai and Eman Villanueva, people smiling, people standing, child and outdoor
Protesters set off from Chater Road in Central
Some 400 Filipino and international human rights campaigners have urged Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte to stop killing poor and innocent people in his bloody war against drugs.

Leaders of the International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines sent their message to Duterte in a communiqué issued at the end of a three-day conference hosted by the Hong Kong Campaign for the Advancement of Human Rights in the Philippines (HKCAHRP).

The statement was handed over to a representative of the Philippine Consulate on Jun 30, following a protest march from Chater Road in Central to United Centre in Admiralty where the diplomatic post has its offices.
Peter Murphy, ICHRP chairman, said some 160 delegates from 45 countries have expressed solidarity with the Filipino people by signing the declaration calling on the Duterte government to stop the killings.

The protesters, which included activists from Argentina, Australia, Canada, The Netherlands, United States and leaders of Anakbayan USA and Gabriela USA, chanted “Stop the killings in the Philippines” and “Long live international solidarity,” as they marched to the Consulate.
A few delegates from the International League of Peoples’ Struggle, which held its Sixth Assembly in Sai Kung recently, also joined the rally to show support.

A copy of the communiqué was handed by Murphy to PCG officer Danny Baldon, and asked that it be notarized as proof it was officially received by the government. Baldon told them to leave it with him and pick up a notarized copy in the afternoon.

Image may contain: 5 people, shoes, beard and outdoor
ICHRP chair Peter Murphy reads communique outside the Consulate building
In speeches on Chater Road and outside the Consulate, the protest leaders alleged that Duterte’s anti-drug campaign has led to the murders of activists, priests, journalists, students, farmers, workers and innocent children.

“We decided, as an Asia priority, to enable and support the United Nations and the International Labor Organization and other international fact-finding missions to enter the Philippines and investigate and ask the government to stop the killings", said Murphy.

Ma Jai, deputy secretary general of the ICHRP, called for more international solidarity with the Filipino people as, he said, Duterte’s government will get worse. 

“Hong Kong people respect the Filipino people for their resistance against Duterte, who uses his power against the vulnerable, the weak and the poor,” he said, “but not the drug lords and others who are destroying the country.”

Adrian Bonifacio, chairman of Anakbayan USA, said the repressive regime in the Philippines is forcing some 6,000 Filipinos to migrate daily, mostly to places where they are trafficked, abused, exploited, detained and deported.

He also slammed the US government for allegedly recruiting immigrant youth to the military to fight its imperialist war and “kill people who look like us, our own kababayans.”
Among the other speakers was Donna de Lima of  Gabriela USA, who pledged to fight for migrant women workers and for national democracy.

Migrante International chairwoman Joanna Concepcion said the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration had collected US$5 million in pre-departure processing fees and the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration US$20 billion as of 2017. But she claimed the funds were being used by Duterte to pay off his massive debt to China while neglecting the plight of distressed OFWs, like the 81 migrants who remain in death row.

She said that Migrante has just launched a global petition to be signed by migrants and submitted to the United Nations Human Rights Council to investigate the worsening human rights violations by the Duterte administration.

Eman Villanueva, chairman of Bayan Hong Kong and Macau, said migrant workers have long been suffering from forced separation from families back home and from maltreatment, unfair wages., discrimination and modern-day slavery.

“But we are unable to go home because in the Philippines, there is no justice for the poor and the Filipino people. Under the Duterte regime, the sufferings of the Filipino have only exacerbated,” Villanueva said.
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