From: firstname.lastname@example.org [mailto:email@example.com] On Behalf Of Ramon Bultron
Sent: Thursday, 18 June 2015 5:46 p.m.
Subject: #EndImpunity Challenge Marks Countdown to DC Tribunal on the Philippines
Please don’t forget to participate in the #EndImpunity Photo Challenge!
For Immediate Release
June 17, 2015
Jackelyn Mariano, International Peoples’ Tribunal, 347.244.8953, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo Challenge Marks
One Month Countdown to DC Tribunal on the Philippines
WASH INGTON DC – Supporters of an upcoming public opinion tribunal charging Philippine President Benigno Aquino III for rampant human rights abuses under his administration with US military aid are launching a social media campaign to raise online visibility of the human rights crisis in the country. The #EndImpunity Photo Challenge marks the one month countdown to the International Peoples’ Tribunal (IPT) on the Philippines , which will take place on July 16-18 at the Catholic University of America in Washington DC .
“We are concerned that the cries for accountability from the victims of human rights abuses committed by the Philippine military, who are supported by US tax dollars, continue to go unanswered by the Philippine government and its judicial system,” states Vanessa Lucas of the US-based National Lawyers Guild, a convening organization of the IPT.
Along with Aquino, the IPT will also charge the US government under Barack Obama for its role in supporting human rights abuses in the country.
“The US government has a longstanding relationship with the Philippines , and it is no secret that this relationship is unilateral on the part of the US government in serving its strategic geo-political interests. US taxpayers have every right to know how their dollars are being spent in the Philippines and elsewhere and to hold accountable those who use their dollars towards bloody counterinsurgency and human rights violations.”
According to human rights group Karapatan, there are at least 238 documented cases of extrajudicial killings and 26 cases of enforced disappearances since Aquino took office in July 2010. This continues the pattern of human rights violations under Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo which reached at least 1205 extrajudicial killings and 206 enforced disappearances. Despite documentary evidence pointing to the culpability of the Philippine military, few military personnel have been charged under the Philippine judicial system.
Participants of the #EndImpunity Photo Challenge will post photos of themselves online blindfolded and gagged to symbolize the experience of victims of human rights violations while holding up a sign that reads #EndImpunity #PeoplesTribunal with a link to the tribunal’s website.
The International Peoples Tribunal (IPT) on the Philippines is an initiative of the International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines, the National Lawyers Guild, the International Association of Democratic Lawyers, and Ibon International.
Cases to be reviewed include the killing of Filipina transwoman Jennifer Laude allegedly by a US Marine, US military involvement in the botched Philippine anti-terror mission in Mamasapano, Maguindanao, the extrajudicial killings of Aklan councilor Fernando Baldomero, Italian missionary Fr. Fausto Tentorio, Dutch aid worker Willem Geertman, fair trade activist Romeo Capalla, corruption of public funds as exposed in the DAP-PDAF scandal, and numerous cases of human trafficking of Filipino workers and government negligence, including that of domestic helper Mary Jane Veloso.
The distinguished panel of jurors include Reverend Dr. Molefe Tsele, current South African Ambassador to Jordan from 2010 to 2014 and former General Secretary of the South African Council of Churches; prominent human rights attorney Azadeh Shahahani of the American Civil Liberties Union and NLG; and Camilo Perez-Bustillo, a lawyer, author and research professor at the graduate program in Human Rights of the Universidad Autonoma de la Ciudad de Mexico (UACM, Autonomous University of Mexico City).
For more information on the IPT, including profiles of the cases, visit internationalpeoplestribunal.org.
Mr. Ramon Bultron
Asia Pacific Mission for Migrants (APMM)
World Association for Christian Communications – Asia Region (WACC-AR)
Office Address: G/F, No. 2 Jordan Road , Kowloon , Hong Kong SAR
Email: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org