Dear Friends,

Warmest greetings!

With this message, we continue to call on the international community to support the Filipino people’s aspiration for just and lasting peace in the land.

Please find below, statements and (photos of) actions from various migrant and solidarity organizations across the globe, expressing their support for the urgent calls from our Filipino brothers and sisters:

1. New Zealand
2. Australia
3. Canada
4. Belgium
5. Italy
6. New York

In solidarity,

Angie M. Gonzales
Coordinator
International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines

#FreeAllPoliticalPrisonersNOW
#StoptheKillings
#JustPeacePH

1. New Zealand

Human Rights Day Statement: New Zealand Solidarity Groups Call for Release of Political Prisoners and End to Extrajudicial Killings
10 December 2016

As long time supporters of the struggle for genuine democracy and peace in the Philippines we are pleased to see some positive change under the Duterte Administration.

It is great to see mining companies breaching Philippine environmental law are finally being shut down and the Philippine government asserting an independent foreign policy from the United States.  We are also pleased Duterte has reopened peace talks with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines and seeks a peaceful settlement of the armed conflict.

Unfortunately there have been some concerning developments for human rights in recent months.

Oplan Tokhang, the Duterte Administration’s war on drugs, is giving the Philippine National Police impunity to shoot drug suspects, without first attempting arrest.

Thousands of people, mostly in urban poor communities, have been killed by the state or vigilante groups.  We are very concerned to hear of cases of mistaken identity, in which innocent people with no connection to the drug trade and even children have been killed.

Drug war used as cover to attack activists

The Philippine security forces have long used the counterinsurgency against the Communist Party of the Philippines and New People’s Army (CPP/NPA) as an excuse to attack activist groups.  Now Karapatan and other leading human rights groups have documented several cases of state and vigilante forces using the drug war as a front to arrest activists on trumped up charges or even violently attack them.

In October a group of farmer activists, resisting land grabbing in San Jose Del Monte, Bulacan, were arrested on drug charges, allegedly after police officers planted evidence on them.

On December 5th Joel Lising, a leader of the Tri-Wheels Organization para sa Kabuhayan (PATOK), was gunned down in Tondo, Manila during the early hours of the morning.

Oplan Tokhang promotes lawlessness and can be used as a convenient cover to attack activists from the people’s movement.

Political prisoners

The plight of the 400 political prisoners in jails across the Philippines is also cause for great concern.

Some of these prisoners are elderly or facing poor health and should be released immediately on humanitarian grounds.  This will ensure there is no repeat scenario like the recent tragic death of Bernabe Ocasla, who died of a stroke in custody on November 25.

Even for those political prisoners in good health a general release is the right thing to do.  Many of these prisoners were arrested on trumped up charges under the Arroyo and Aquino Administrations. Under these Administrations the authorities filed false charges to get activists out of action.

For the sake of justice and supporting the peace talks we urge President Duterte to release all political prisoners.  We also call for those responsible for extrajudicial killings be prosecuted and for the drug war not to be used as a front to attack activists.

Cameron Walker
Auckland Philippines Solidarity
ph.solidarity@gmail.com

Murray Horton
Philippine Solidarity Network of Aotearoa
cafca@chch.planet.org.nz

Rod Prosser
Wellington Kiwi Pinoy
communitymedia@paradise.net.nz

2.  Australia

Members of ICHRP Australia Chapter troop to the Philippine Embassy to call for the immediate release of political prisoners and for just and lasting peace in the country. Photo on the right shows Peter Murphy, Chairperson of the Global Council of the International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines, handing in ICHRP’s letter to Pres. Rodrigo Duterte to Consul Marford Angeles.

3. Canada

10 December 2016

AN OPEN LETTER
To His Excellency Rodrigo Roa Duterte

RE:  Marking the 68th anniversary of International Human Rights Day

Mr. President,

The Canada-Philippines Solidarity for Human Rights (CPSHR), the Alliance for Peoples’ Health and Migrante BC, join the Filipino human rights defenders, peace advocates and international rights groups in marking International Human Rights Day.

We are concerned about the extrajudicial killings being committed in your government’s war on drugs. According to the Philippine National Police (PNP), the government’s anti-drug war “Oplan Double Barrel” has resulted in the killing of 1,959 suspected drug pushers and addicts in police operations nationwide while 2,646 others were victims of summary execution as of
Nov. 23, bringing the total to 4,605 dead since you took office in July 2016.

We note that these killings are happening within the context of the military’s counterinsurgency operations that continue to violate the human rights of the Filipino citizens.

We are aware of the ongoing civil war in the country. We strongly support the continuing Peace Talks between the Philippine  government and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines to work on ending this war. The people suffer from widespread social and economic inequality thus,  economic and social reforms will help address the roots of the armed conflict.

Mr. President, to ensure that the peace talks continue, we urge you to release ALL THE POLITICAL PRISONERS which includes the sick, elderly and women.

We CALL ON YOUR GOVERNMENT TO:

Stop the killings! Stop the anti-drug war “Oplan Double Barrel!”
Demand transparent and credible investigation into these drug-related killings and bring the perpetrators to justice.
Address the root causes of the drug problem by creating livelihood and opportunities in under-served communities.
Facilitate the immediate release of ALL Political Prisoners!
Uphold the rights of citizens against unwarranted and unjustified arrest and detention and correct the injustice against them.
Continue the PEACE TALKS between your government and the National Democratic Front (NDF)

Respectfully yours,

Canada-Philippines Solidarity for Human Rights (CPSHR)
Alliance for People’s Health (APH)
Migrante BC

Copy furnished:

Hon. Jesus Dureza
Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process, Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP), 7th Floor Agustin Building I, Emerald Avenue, Pasig City 1605 Voice:+63 (2) 636 0701 to 066 | Fax:+63 (2) 638 2216
Email: stqd.papp@opapp.gov.ph, feedback@opapp.net
Ret. Maj. Gen. Delfin Lorenzana
Secretary, Department of National Defense, Room 301 DND Building, Camp Emilio Aguinaldo, E. de los Santos Avenue, Quezon City
Voice:+63(2) 911-6193 / 911-0488 / 982-5600 | Fax:+63(2) 982-5600
Email: info@dnd.gov.ph, webmaster@dnd.gov.ph
Hon. Vitaliano Aguirre
Secretary, Department of Justice, Padre Faura St., Manila
Direct Line 521-8344; 5213721 | Trunkline: 523-84-81 loc.214 | Fax: (+632) 521-1614 Email: communications@doj.gov.ph
Hon. Jose Luis Martin Gascon
Chairperson, Commission on Human Rights, SAAC Bldg., UP Complex, Commonwealth Avenue
Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines
Voice: (+632) 928-5655, 926-6188 | Fax: (+632) 929 0102
Email: chairgascon.chr@gmail.com
Neil Frank Ferrer
Consul General
Philippine Consulate General
999 Canada Place, Suite 660
Vancouver, B.C., V6C 3E1

KARAPATAN Alliance for the Advancement of People’s Rights
National Office
Email: urgentaction@karapatan.org; karapatan@karapatan.org

Canada-Philippines Solidarity for Human Rights (CPSHR)
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Canada-Philippines-Solidarity-for-Human-Rights/

Member:  International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines (ICHRP-Canada)/ Stop the Killings Network (STKN-Canada)/ International League of Peoples’ Struggle (ILPS-Canada)/ International Women’s Alliance (IWA)/ Coalition for Migrant Workers Justice (C4MWJ)/ Mining Justice Alliance (MJA)
Associate Member: International Migrants’ Alliance (IMA)
Proud Supporter of Bayan-Canada and Migrante-Canada

4. Belgium
December 8: Stop the Killings Network – Belgium supports the calls to end the killings and free all political prisoners in the Philippines!
Video: https://www.facebook.com/ICHRPhilippines/videos/vb.119250371509814/942057582562418/?type=2&theater

5. Rome, Italy
December 10, 2016: International Human Rights Day
JustPeacePH members join Migrante Europe in commemorating the International Human Rights Day in Rome, Italy. Upper left photo shows lawyers from the International Association of Democratic Lawyers with ICHRP Global Council member Luciano Seller calling for the immediate release of political prisoners.

6. New York, United States of America

On International Human Rights Day, NYCHRP demands the release of political prisoners and justice for human rights violations!
The New York Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines (NYCHRP) was formally founded on December 10, 2004, in New York City during the U.S.-wide speaking tour of Marie Hilao-Enriquez, then secretary general of KARAPATAN, the largest and most militant alliance of human rights organizations in the Philippines.

Since then, our organization has grown and continued to commit ourselves to advancing the Filipino people’s struggle for self-determination and national liberation. For over a decade, NYCHRP has met this goal by acting as a public information bureau for the current human rights situation in the Philippines, conducting campaigns and advocacy to advance the rights of Filipinos back home and in the diaspora, participating in exposure trips and fact-finding missions in the Philippines, and building networks with human rights defenders in NYC to bolster our movement.

Join us today at our anniversary event to fight for the release of political prisoners who are being used as pawns by President Duterte in the peace negotiations with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines. We also demand justice for all victims of extrajudicial killings, especially as the poor, marginalized, and resisting masses have systematically become targets. True just and lasting peace comes from securing fundamental social and economic rights and upholding human rights across the board!

LONG LIVE INTERNATIONAL SOLIDARITY!

__._,_.___

Posted by: International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines