International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines icchrp@gmail.com

To
ICHRP2013@gmail.com

Feb 5 at 10:13 AM

To our dearest members and friends,

Warmest greetings from the International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines!

The year 2015 have been wrought with increasing attacks against the Filipino people, most notably the indigenous peoples and peasants who consistently resist not only against plunder of their (ancestral) lands but continuously fight for their collective right to genuine liberation and self-determination.

The US-Aquino presidency will go down in history as no different from his predecessor, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, as a guilty party in the systematic violation of the Filipino people’s socio-economic, cultural, civil and political rights. As Macapagal-Arroyo and Bush Jr. were adjudged by the Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal 2nd Session on the Philippines (PPT2) as guilty of these crimes against the Filipino people in 2007, the Aquino and Obama regimes were also adjudged by the International Peoples’ Tribunal held in Washington DC, USA last 16-18 July 2015.

For the full verdict, please visit: http://internationalpeoplestribunal.org/verdict/

Yet, instead of heeding the call to put an end to these violations, the US-Aquino regime even intensified its attacks against the people through its unabashed implementation of its so called “peace and development plan” – Oplan Bayanihan. This plan has long been unmasked as a brutal counter-insurgency tactic – mercilessly targeting civilians, activists and human rights defenders to compensate for the state’s failure to trim down the still growing revolutionary movement in the country today.

Most hard hit was the island of Mindanao, where more than 50% of military forces are already deployed. Alternative schools put up by the indigenous peoples themselves are attacked, occupied and ordered closed; these schools are vilified as “rebel training camps”, whole communities of the Lumad (the collective term for the indigenous peoples of Mindanao) labeled as “communists” or “rebel supporters”, thereby setting the stage to commit the most heinous forms of human rights violations against them.

These attacks are not only an affront on their individual rights but a definite violation of the Filipino people’s collective rights!

At this point, we’d like to thank everyone who had and are still actively participating in the intensified people’s campaign against these attacks on the Filipino people – your moral and concrete support means so much for our Filipino brothers and sisters! Salute to you who accompany the people in trying to re-establish their fundamental rights, a duty incumbent upon all members of the international community when these rights are seriously disregarded (Article 30 of the Universal Declaration of Peoples’ Rights, 4 July 1976, Algiers).

With this, we are very pleased to invite you to extend your support further and VISIT these sites of people’s struggles from 16-20 July 2016 (Solidarity Missions); soon thereafter, PARTICIPATE in the International Conference on People’s Rights in the Philippines on 23-24 July 2016, all set to be held in Mindanao.

The solidarity missions and conference aim to gather leaders of human rights organizations and HR advocates, leaders and representatives of church institutions, peace advocates, lawyers, media practitioners, academics and other professionals, victims of human rights violations, representatives of sectoral and multi-sectoral or community organizations, rights advocates from among parliamentarians and other government institutions as well as other concerned individuals not only to arrive to a common understanding of the context of the rights and peace situation in the Philippines, but more importantly accompany the Filipino people in their continuing journey for just and lasting peace in the land.

We shall also take this opportunity to hold the second General Assembly of the International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines (21-22 July 2016).

The newly elected President of the Philippines will be holding his/her first State of the Nation Address (SONA) on 25 July. We shall strive to communicate the conference’s position on human and people’s rights issues confronting the country then, and emphasize the fact that the international community shall never leave the side of our Filipino brothers and sisters.

We hope to be able to inform you more about the details of the Solidarity Missions, Conference and ICHRP General Assembly as well as provide some budgetary advise in the weeks to come. We look forward to your most positive consideration.

In solidarity,

Peter Murphy
General Secretary of the Global Council
International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines

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

Noted by:

Canon Barry Naylor
Chairperson
Global Council
International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines