News and features Statements

Faith Communities Oppose Use of the Anti-Terrorism Financing Law against Faith-Based Institutions and Human Rights Defenders

The members of the US-based Philippines Faith Working Group organized under the International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines (ICHRP) condemns the Marcos Administration for its trumped-up charges and forfeiture proceedings against the bank accounts, properties, and other assets of the Rural Missionaries of the Philippines, the United Church of Christ in the Philippines at HARAN, Amman National Federation of Peasant Women, journalist French Mae Cumpio, and lay worker Mariel Domequil.

The Terrorism Financing Prevention and Suppression Act in concert with the Anti-Terrorism Law of 2020 (ATA) have been weaponized by the Philippine Government to suppress, persecute and subject to criminal prosecution a number of faith-based institutions/groups and human rights defenders involved in humanitarian and advocacy work in impoverished and far-flung areas of the country. The Philippine Government used the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) to freeze the bank accounts of the organizations and people listed above, whom they falsely accused of funding communist rebels. Since the ATA has been implemented, institutions, groups, and human rights defenders whose development work caters to the most vulnerable communities in the Philippines face increased persecution.

Since 2013, ICHRP has advocated for human rights in the Philippines and is committed to achieving a just and lasting peace. As faith-based partners of ICHRP, we unite our voices to inform the international community and the US Congress and Administration, and to call for action to protect human rights in the Philippines.

We call on freedom loving peoples, organizations, political parties, and governments all over the world to express their concern and take action against the deteriorating human rights situation in the Philippines and to help victims of suppressive policies in their quest for justice. We call on the Philippine Government to drop enforcement of legislation that allows the government to freeze and seize funds of those whom they mislabel as “terrorists.”

Signed by,

The ICHRP Faith Working Group

Representing Faith Groups and Denominations including United Church of Christ-Disciples of Christ, Presbyterian Church USA, the United Methodist Church, various Catholic organizations and Ecumenical Advocates