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PHILIPPINES: The Killings Must Stop

by Movements (Europe) Sunday, Oct. 01, 2006 at 8:28 PM

This is a Statement by European Church and Civil Society Organisations regarding the recent upsurge of political killings in the Philippines.

We are concerned about the upsurge of politically motivated killings and the constant deterioration of the human rights situation in the Philippines in recent years. Amnesty International informs that at least 51 political killings took place in the first half of 2006, compared to the 66 killings recorded in the whole of 2005. Since March 2006 we received an increasing number of reports on political killings – at times on a daily basis. We are particularly worried about the killings representing a pattern to target a broad range of critical and non-violent people involved in local or national politics.

We recognise the government’s initiative to increase efforts towards investigations into a number of assassinations. We stress the need to sustain these efforts, to investigate all political killings and to prosecute the perpetrators and their accomplices and to give justice to the victims and their families in order to prevent further escalation and grievance. We support civil society initiatives and efforts to press for investigations of political killings and human rights abuses.

__________________________________________________________________________________________

* We also condemn the violence and killings of the armed opposition groups. Their doings should however not be used as a justification for human rights violations and killings committed by paramilitary forces and the government. The use of paramilitary forces in the Philippine government’s all-out war against the New People’s Army (NPA) and other armed left groups as well as the spread of armed paramilitaries is particularly worrying. The decision of the Communist Party of the Philippines’ (CPP) leadership to set up armed partisan forces counterattacking operatives and masterminds of the killings does also cause great concern. We believe that these developments will lead to further deterioration of the human rights situation, severely threatening those engaged in non-violent, critical and investigative forms of civil and political activism *

__________________________________________________________________________________________

We call on all government departments concerned, especially the Department of Justice (DoJ) and the Philippine National Police (PNP), to investigate all killings with a political background, prosecute the perpetrators and their accomplices and to deliver justice to the victims and their families.

We call for the implementation of Republic Act 6981, providing witness protection, security and protection for activists facing death-threats.

We call for an independent investigation into the Department of Defence and the Armed Forces of the Philippines to investigate allegations concerning the use of political assassination as a counter-insurgency strategy.

We call on both the government and the CPP to continue serious peace negotiations and to respect human rights. We call on the armed opposition groups to refrain from the use of political killings.

We call our own governments and the United Nations (UN) to pay attention to these alarming developments and to urge the Philippine government to end the killings and guarantee justice for all victims.

Amnesty International German Section, Germany

Asia Foundation, Germany

Asia House, Germany

Babaylan, The Philippine Women’s Network in Europe, Germany

Babaylanes, Germany

Bayanihan - Philippine Women’s Center, Netherlands

Bishop Muskens of the Diocese of Breda, Netherlands

Mr. Harry van Bommel, Member of Parliament for the Socialist Party, Netherlands

South-North Exchange of Peoples Organizations (BOND), Belgium

Prof. Theo van Boven, Professor of International Law, University of Maastricht, Former UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and Former Director of the UN Human Rights Division, Netherlands

Bread for the World, Germany

Ms. Brid Brennan, Transnational Institute, Netherlands

Broederlijk Delen, Belgium

Bundeskoordination Internationalismus (BUKO), Germany

Christian Aid, United Kingdom

Church Development Service (EED), Germany

CMC Mensen met een missie, Dutch Catholic Missionary Development Agency, Netherlands

11.11.11 - Coalition of the Flemish North-South Movement, Belgium

Conference of Religious in the Netherlands (KNR), Netherlands

CORDAID, Netherlands

Critical Ecology - Institute of Applied Cultural Research, Germany

Mr. Boris Dittrich, Member of Parliament for the Democrats ’66, Netherlands

Rev. Dr. Markus Dröge, Conference Minister of Koblenz District Conference, Germany

Ecumenical Youth Council in Europe (EYCE), Belgium

Ms. Angelien Eijsink, Member of Parliament for the Social Democratic Party (PvdA), Netherlands

Evangelical Church in the Rhineland, Germany

Evangelical Church of Westphalia, Germany Philippine Solidarity Group (FGN), Netherlands

Ms. Thea Fierens, Member of Parliament for the Social Democratic Party (PvdA), Netherlands

Finnish Asiatic Society, Finland

Finnish Philippine Society, Finland

Prof. Kees Flinterman, Professor of Human Rights, University of Utrecht, Netherlands

Prof. Bas de Gaay Fortman, Professor of Political Economy of Human Rights, University of Utrecht, Netherlands

Ms. Cecilia Jimenez, Geneva Forum for Philippine Concerns (GFPC), Switzerland

Femke Halsema, Farah Karimi, Wijnand Duyverdak, Ineke van Gent, Nevin Özütok, Paul Jongbloed, Members of Parliament, Green Left Party, Netherlands

Interchurch Organisation for Development Cooperation (ICCO), Netherlands

Dutch section of the International Commission of Jurists (NJCM), Netherlands

International Peace Observers Network (IPON), Germany

Justitia et Pax, Netherlands

Prof. Menno T. Kamminga, Professor of

International Law, Director - Maastricht

Centre for Human Rights, University of Maastricht, Netherlands

Karl Kübel Foundation, Germany

Kindernothilfe (KNH), Germany

Philippine-European Solidarity Center (KSP), Netherlands

Foundation Lawyers for Lawyers, Netherlands

Misereor, Germany

Missio-Munich, Germany

Missionszentrale der Franziskaner (MZF), Germany

Netherlands Humanistic Committee on Human Rights (HOM), Netherlands

Mr. Nonoi Hacbang, Commission for Filipino Migrant Workers (CFAW), Netherlands

Office of Mission, Ecumenism and Global Responsibility of the Evangelical Church of Westphalia, Germany

One World Action, United Kingdom

One World Network Network Northrhine-Westfalia, Germany

Oxfam Novib, Netherlands

Partnership Third World, Germany

Pax Christi German Section, Germany

Pax Christi International, Belgium

Philippinenbüro, Germany

Philippine Solidarity Group- Protestant

Church of Jülich, Germany

Philippine Indigenous People’s Links, United Kingdom

ProMISPA Friends of the Philippines, Germany

Reporters Without Borders, International

Dr. Frithjof Schmidt, Member of the European Parliament, Germany

Ms. Dorothea Seeliger, Commissioner on Human Rights, Koblenz Church District Conference, Germany

Southeast Asia Information Office, Germany Ms. Katharina Stahlenbrecher, Asia

Working Group, Stiftung Umverteilen !, Germany

Terre des Femmes, Germany

Terre des Hommes, Germany

Task Force Carabao, Germany

Trade Union Solidarity Centre of Finland (SASK), Finland

United Evangelical Mission (VEM/UEM), Germany

United Society for the Propagation of the Gospel (USPG), United Kingdom

Ms. Pietje Vervest, Transnational Institute, Netherlands

Dr. Rainer Werning, Political Scientist and Author, Germany Workers´ Educational Association of Finland, Finland

XminusY Solidarity Fund, Netherland

Sunday, 24th September, 2006

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