Philippine UPR Watch delegation in front of the United Nations
Building in Geneva call for a stop to extra-judicial killings in
the Philippines in time for the third cycle of the United
Nations Universal Periodic Review of Human Rights in the
Philippines scheduled for May 8 in Geneva, Switzerland.
members support call to stop killings in PH
May 8, 2017
BRUSSELS, Belgium –
The Philippine UPR Watch delegation met with members of the European
Parliament (MEPs) in an effort to share the human rights situation of
the Philippines and enjoin their support for the Filipino people’s
aspirations for just and lasting peace.
Francesco Giorji, attending
on behalf of Pier Antonio Panzeri, Chairperson of the European
Parliament Subcommitee for Human Rights, assured the UPR Watch
delegation of their support for the group’s calls for a stop to all
Extra-Judicial Killings in the country. He also warmly welcomed
ongoing efforts to push for the continuation of the Peace Talks
between the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) and
the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP). Giorji was
accompanied by other members of the Sub-committee secretariat in
separate meetings that were held at the MEPs’ offices.
MEP Estefan Eck of Germany
said that he will definitely relay the UPR Watch’s message to his
colleagues at the Delegation for the Relations with the Lands of
South-East Asia and the Union of Southeast Asian states (ASEAN). Eck
is an independent and is from the Confederal Group of the United
European Left - Nordic Green Left.
Marie Christine Vergiat from
France expressed her complete agreement that genuine peace in the
country cannot be achieved unless the roots of the armed conflict in
the Philippines are resolved. While acknowledging the high degree of
difficulty of being a human rights defender in the Philippines, she
wished everyone a productive session in Geneva and thanked the
delegation for sharing their views with the European Parliament.
Vergiat is a member of the EU Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice
and Home Affairs.
The Philippine UPR Watch
delegation is in Europe for the Third Cycle of the UN Universal
Periodic Review (UN UPR) of Human Rights in the Philippines to be held
May 8 in Geneva where Senator Alan Peter Cayetano is expected to
deliver the Philippine government’s report on the implementation of
recommendations made during the previous UPR in 2012. The 3rd Cycle of
the UPR of the Philippines will cover the last three years of the
Benigno Simeon Aquino III presidency up to the first months of current
Nardy Sabino, General
Secretary of the Promotion of Church People’s Response opened the
delegation’s presentation. “The election of President Rodrigo Duterte
was brought about by the Filipino people’s frustration over the
failure of past administrations to deliver on their campaign promises…
They thus, overwhelmingly placed their votes behind the candidate who
not only promised to end corruption, poverty and criminality, but
behind someone who is largely projected and believed to have led the
“cleanest and safest” city in the country”, he added.
However, Sabino continued,
“extrajudicial killings (EJKs) attributed to President Duterte’s War
on Drugs have reached alarming proportions only after a few months
since his term started in June 2016.”
“EJKs and various other
human rights violations (HRVs) mostly directed against peasant farmers
and indigenous people under the watch of former Presidents Benigno
Simeon Aquino III and Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo have continued under
President Duterte,” said UPR Watch delegation member Johanna de la
Cruz of the National Council of Churches in the Philippines (NCCP).
“Perpetrators of these HRVs, even from the time of the dictator
Ferdinand Marcos, are not made accountable for the violations they
commit thus emboldening to continue to repress the fundamental rights
of the people”, she added.
The UPR Watch likewise
shared with the MEPs the Executive Summary of their report including
the recommendations they earlier submitted to the United Nations Human
Rights Council (UNHRC) and its member countries through their
embassies in the Philippines and Permanent Missions in the UN in
In conclusion, UPR Watch
delegation member Dr. Angie Gonzales, Coordinator of the International
Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines (ICHRP), shared the
successes of the latest round of peace negotiations between the
Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the National
Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) in advancing the people’s
agenda for genuine development. She further pointed out that the Peace
talks hope to address the roots of the armed conflict in the country
as they are now discussing much needed socio-economic reforms.