KOREA HUMAN RIGHTS ADVOCATES JOIN THE GLOBAL CALL FOR ACTION TO END CULTURE OF IMPUNITY AND STOP U.S. INTERVENTION IN THE PHILIPPINES
On the occasion of the culminating action of the International People’s Tribunal in Washington D.C., 16-18 July 2015
The protection of human rights are enshrined in the constitution of the country, in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and in the specific agreements of parties in conflict but the actual practice of upholding and respecting the right to life, the right to economic prosperity, to right to express political perspectives, the right to cultural beliefs and self-determination have been grossly violated by the Philippine government both by the present Benigno Simeon Aquino III and the previous governments, with the support and collaboration of the government of the United States of America under Barack Obama.
We deplore the culture of impunity and the unabated extrajudicial killings in the Philippines. We support the call of the victims of human rights violations, families of desaparecidos and summary executions and the struggling masses of Filipino people to STOP U.S. intervention in the Philippines! END Culture of Impunity!
In the recently concluded trial of the government of Benigno Simeon Aquino III and of the Philippines and that of Barack Obama of the United States of America done by the International People’s Tribunal (IPT) which was convened in Washington DC on July 16-18, 2015 has found the incumbent governments of the two countries guilty as charge of perpetuating the culture of impunity and gross violation of human rights of victims individually and collectively. The 200 victims and families of victims of torture, frustrated summary executions, extrajudicial killings, political persecution, harassments and other forms of grave threat to life and intimidations by the state security forces and other military operatives have testified and corroborated on facts and preponderance of evidences of human rights violations on their persons and of their of family members.
The International People’s Tribunal (IPT) was headed by Lead Prosecutor: Ramsey Clark is an American lawyer, activist and former federal government official, who occupied senior positions in the United States Department of Justice under previous US Presidents and by distinguished panel of jurors that include Azadeh Shahshahani, President of the National Lawyers Guild; Camilo Bustillo-Perez, prominent Latin American human rights advocate, author, and lecturer; and Reverend Molofe Tsele, a minister with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in South Africa and former South African Ambassador. It has been convened by the National Lawyers Guild, the International Association of Democratic Lawyers, the International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines, and Ibon International.
The IPT sifted the testimonies of victims and witnesses that served as material evidences to the monumental derogation of human rights and other crimes committed against the Filipino people. The cases heard and examined by the jurors were taken from the well documented cases by established Philippine human rights group Karapatan which in their 2014 Report stated that in the period from 2010-2014 there have been a documented 238 cases of extrajudicial killings, 26 enforced disappearances, 110 cases of torture including rape and sexual assault, and 723 cases of illegal arrest and detention that remain unprosecuted. Notwithstanding the thousands of people that were displaced from their communities in Mindanao and other places in the country due to military operations carried out in the name of Oplan Bayanihan.
Finally as human rights advocates for the Filipino people and as mass organizations of Overseas Filipino Workers in Korea we entirely support the verdict of the International People’s Tribunal on the governments of Benigno Simeon Aquino III of the Philippines and that of Barack Obama of the United States of America. It has been found that Benigno S. Aquino, Philippine government, and U.S. government represented by Barack Obama found guilty on ALL COUNTS at the International People’s Tribunal for crimes and human rights violations against the Filipino people. The verdict are grounded on the following reasons:
1.Philippine government encourages culture of impunity by failing to investigate and prosecute the perpetrators of crimes.
2.Barack Obama is directly responsible for having devised and executed the Oplan Bayanihan and ensured its operationalization by the government of Benigno Simeon Aquino III.
3.Philippines poverty and underdevelopment are not accidents. Policies are designed to oppress Filipino people.
4.Forced labor migration has been institutionalized in the labor export policies and Filipino migrant workers face exploitative conditions as they join workers from hundreds of other countries providing cheap labor in labor receiving countries.
5.Tagging people as terrorists not only justifies killing military targets but also sabotages the peace process with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines.
We call all those who adhere to the protection of human rights including, political, economic and cultural rights and the right to self-determination to support this verdict. Once again we reiterate our call, STOP U.S. intervention in the Philippines! END Culture of Impunity! Respect and protect human rights in the Philippines! Justice for all the victims of human rights violations!
MR. CARLO OLIVER
Katipunan ng mga Samahan ng Migranteng Manggagawa sa Korea (KASAMMAKO)
REV. JEONG JIN-WOO
Member, Global Council
International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines (ICHRP)
19 July 2015, Seoul, Korea