Statements of condemnation of the brutal dispersal of protesters in front of the US Embassy in Manila October 19, 2016

Dear Friends,

Please find below statements from the ICHRP and some of its member organizations:

1. Peter Murphy (Chairperson), on behalf of the International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines (pdf also attached)
2. Hong Kong Campaign for the Advancement of Human Rights and Peace in the Philippines (some pictures of their condemnation rally also attached)
3. New Zealand Solidarity groups: Philippines Solidarity Networl of Aotearoa, Auckland Philippines Solidarity, and Wellington Kiwi Pinoy

And finally, a link to a video (courtesy of the International League of Peoples’ Struggles) showing how the police van brutally plowed through the ranks of the protesters.

Respectfully,

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

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1. ICHRP: Condemn brutal police action at US Embassy protest

The International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines condemns in the strongest terms the brutal dispersal yesterday of Philippines protesters by police in the capital city of Manila. We watched in horror and rage as a police van rammed several times into the peaceful protesters, and uniformed police used their batons to strike at the civilians and their vehicles.

Organizations of various sectors including national minorities were assembled in front of the US Embassy on Wednesday 19 October, protesting the unequal relations between the Philippines and the US and the continuing presence of US military troops in the Philippines. The program of cultural performances and speeches was already winding down when the police started their violent attacks. Video footages from numerous local and foreign news agencies caught the brutality committed against the Philippine protesters.

These actions by uniformed agents of the Duterte government are patent violations of the peoples’ rights to peaceful assembly and free speech. The brutality by which their rights were violated constitutes a criminal act which should never be justified nor condoned. Officials who ordered such brutality on their own citizens should be held liable to the full extent of the law.

We call on President Rodrigo R. Duterte and the Director General of the Philippine National Police Ronald M. de la Rosa to immediately suspend and file administrative charges against all police personnel and officials involved in violating Philippine citizens’ rights to assembly and free speech. We call on President Duterte and Director General de la Rosa to order the arrest and filing of criminal charges against those who commanded the dispersal, the driver of the police van, and all the police personnel who struck against defenseless protesters.

This is an attack on a nation fighting for their sovereignty against foreign intervention and plunder.

We call on the global community to join us in condemning these acts of brutality, and in strengthening our unity with the Filipino people in their continuing fight for national and social liberation and a just and lasting peace.

Reference:

Peter Murphy
Chairperson, Global Council, ICHRP
Mobile: +61 418312301

2. Hong Campaign for the advancement of Human Rights and Peace in the Philippines

Statement
20 October 2016

Condemn the brutal dispersal of protesting indigenous peoples
Support the rights of national minorities; bring peace to their communities

Human rights and peace activists for the Philippines are one in condemning the vicious attack perpetuated by the Manila police against protesters from the ranks of national minorities and peoples organizations calling for an independent foreign policy for the Philippines.

The brutality of the police force, as caught on videos and pictures, is most contemptuous and showed the shallow regard of these beasts in uniforms to human rights and the search for a just peace for the country.

As narrated by leaders of SANDUGO and other organizations, the rally was about to end and peacefully disperse when the attack came. It is so abhorrent to see a police van ramming against protesters several times as well as a number of police officers beating rallyists who were already inside moving jeepneys.

Even more condemnable are the subsequent statements of the Manila police that tried to justify their atrocious actions, rewrite the events, and place the blame to the protesters who are raising legitimate grievances and are actually supporting the direction of independence in foreign relations as indicated by Philippine Pres. Rodrigo Duterte.

These attacks – including the murders of a Lumad peasant leader and a Lumad youth – can very well be perceived as acts to sabotage the relatively more favorable climate for the peace negotiations that have been making strides in the past months after being stalled for years.

How can there be peace if the Philippine state’s forces continue to inflict violence against the people? Particularly, indigenous peoples have been at the receiving end of untold repression and harassment whether in their own lands and communities, or in Manila exercising their right to protest.

Since last week, thousands of indigenous peoples from the Cordilleras in the north to the Lumad and Moros in the south have converged in Manila after weeks of journey to drumbeat their issues including the pull-out of military troops from their communities, plunder of giant mining firms of the riches of their ancestral lands, and the continued oppression of their sector.

Their call for self-determination is legitimate and is their right. They do not deserve to be ran over by a police van or beaten by police truncheons.

We call for an end to impunity that has plagued the human rights situation in the Philippines for so long. An independent and transparent investigation should be conducted on the brutal dispersal yesterday and perpetrators must face the consequences of their actions.

Moreover, we call for the Philippine government to consider with sincerity and immediacy the demands of the indigenous peoples especially the demilitarization of their communities.

A just and lasting peace for the Philippines is only possible if the comprehensive rights of the people including to freedom of speech and assembly are truly respected and realized.


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Hong Kong Campaign for the Advancement of
Human Rights and Peace in the Philippines
c/o ASA, No. 4 Jordan Road, Kowloon, Hong Kong SAR
Tel. (852) 98105070, 97585935        Fax. (852) 27354559
E-mail: hkcahrpp@gmail.com

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PRESS STATEMENT

20 October 2016

New Zealanders Decry Police Brutality Vs Indigenous Folk

New Zealand solidarity groups join the calls for Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte to hold accountable all the police officers involved in the most brutal attacks on indigenous peoples who were rallying for rights to land and self-determination at the United States Embassy protest in Manila yesterday.

We were greatly shocked and outraged as we watched the videos how police officer Franklin Kho repeatedly ran over the protesters with police vehicle, while the rest of police sprayed tear gas, beat and arrested scores of protesters, all upon Col. Marcelino Pedrozos orders for dispersal. Col. Pedrozo and his team of brutal police deserve nothing less than permanent discharge from official duty for serious human rights breaches.

The indigenous groups expressed support for Pres. Duterte’s declaration of independent foreign policy, but Manila police not wanting to lose face with the US Embassy officials led to such brutal dispersal of peoples assembly.

In the first 100 days of Duterte presidency, we were glad to see police forces respecting the rights of Filipinos to peaceful assembly. For the first time in many years, no one was hurt at the first State of the Nation Address (SONA) rally last July. At the US Embassy, Col. Pedrozo and his forces acted as if they were directly under US payroll. They totally contradicted the president’s strong stance against US intervention in the Philippines.

October is Indigenous People’s Month in the Philippines. This is supposed to be time for police and all government authorities to be reminded of their duties to uphold, protect and promote the rights of indigenous peoples, instead of defending US-led militarization and large-scale open pit mining operations that brought decades of injustice to indigenous communities.

Video of dispersal:
http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/827774/police-van-rams-protesters-disperses-rally-at-us-embassy

Signed:

MURRAY HORTON
Secretary, Philippines Solidarity Network of Aotearoa (PSNA)
cafca@chch.planet.org.nz

CAMERON WALKER
Spokesperson, Auckland Philippines Solidarity (APS)
ph.solidarity@gmail.com

ROD PROSSER
Convener, Wellington Kiwi Pinoy
communitymedia@paradise.net.nz

VIDEO:

Police gone crazy, runs over rallyists at US embassy

Police gone crazy, runs over rallyists at US embassy
A peaceful demonstration of lumads and other indigenous peoples in front of the U.S. embassy in Manila turned in…

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Attachment(s) from International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines | View attachments on the web 4 of 4 Photo(s)

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2016_20October_ US Embassy.pdf