Compel the Philippines to implement UN Special Rapporteur, Philip Alston's, recommendations to end extra-judicial killings and other human rights abuses in the Philippines or lose its seat in the UNHRC!

We, the undersigned, in the worldwide interest of promoting and advancing peace and economic, social, and political justice, appeal to the United Nations to compel the Philippines to implement the recommendations of UN Special Rapporteur on Extra-judical Killings, Philip Alston, to address the problem of extra-judicial killings, disappearances, and other forms of human rights violations plaguing the Philippines at this time.

We also ask the UN to re-visit the decision to appoint the Philippine government to the vice-president seat of the United Nations Human Rights Council or UNHRC, especially in light of its failure to adopt any of the recommendations of Professor Alston. The UNHRC is a distinguished body appointed by the UN General Assembly to review and address cases of human rights violations by state governments. With such a distinction, there is a significant and irreconcilable conflict of interest in carrying out this responsibility and at the same time having a well-known, and well-documented human rights violator, such as the government of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, sitting in this body in the position of vice-president.

We believe this recent development is a step in the wrong direction. First, it sends the wrong message to the Arroyo administration whose miserable record in prosecuting military perpetrators encourages the culture of impunity in which these crimes persist. More importantly, it sends the wrong message to the victims of human rights abuses and their families who may see this development as the UNHRC turning a blind eye to their cries for justice.

In 2007, a high-profile report from Professor Alston implicated the Philippine military as responsible in large part for the systemic pattern of politically-motivated killings and abductions of over 1000 advocates from legal people's organizations in the Philippines. But even before recognition of these more visible crackdowns on legitimate dissent in the Philippines, the Arroyo government through its military was already engaged in a massive and bloody counter-insurgency scheme in the Philippine countryside that included vast militarization of rural communities. Under this scheme, thousands of Filipino families in countryside have suffered displacement, torture, hunger, and death.

When international outrage flew in the aftermath of the so-called Hacienda Luisita Massacre of 2004, it became evident to the Philippine public and the international community that the Arroyo government was out to continue the tradition of training the Philippine military to operate more as a renegade mercenary group, protecting the interests of the wealthy through violence and intimidation, rather than function as public servants of the people.

Since then many significant international human rights institutions and international bodies, including the World Council of Churches (WCC), Committee for the Protection of Journalists (CPJ), Amnesty International (AI), Human Rights Watch (HRW), the International Association of Democratic Lawyers (IADL), the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU), as well as the International Labor Rights Forum (ILRF), have released statements and reports denouncing the worsening human rights situation in the Philippines under the Arroyo government.

Even a public US Senate hearing on March 2007 in Washington DC had a number of US lawmakers question the integrity of the Arroyo government's use of US military aid, of which it is the 4th largest recipient of in the world. As a result of the testimonies of human rights advocates from the Philippines and Philip Alston's harrowing report, restrictive language was eventually included in the next US Appropriations Bill drafted, withholding $2 million in US aid contingent upon adherence to Alston's human rights recommendations.

Such widescale international scrutiny simply cannot be overlooked. We ask that, as a member of the UNHRC, the Philippines be forced to fulfill its obligations to international human rights treaties and laws and be held accountable.

Thus, we demand the following:

1. That the UN compel the Philippines to implement Professor Alston's recommendations.

2. That the UNHRC retracts its appointment of the Philippine government as its Vice President for a one year term, especially while Professor Alston's recommendations have yet to be implemented.

3. That the outcome of recent Universal Periodic Review by the UNHRC in Geneva accurately reflect the reality of the human rights crisis in the Philippines.

4. That the failure to address the human rights crisis in the Philippines, especially through the recommendations of Prof. Philip Alston, be basis for the UN General Assembly to retract the Philippine government's seat in the UNHRC all together.

We believe the good dignitaries of the United Nations have it within their capacity to come to a decision that stands for the integrity and just cause of the genuine promotion of universal human rights, one that will sit in peace with the thousands of loved ones of those victimized by human rights violations in the Philippines.

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Latest Signatures

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  • 28 November 2015297. Frank Jh
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Carmen NielsenBy:
Petition target:
United Nations General Assembly


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