Human Rights in the Philippines

The 218th General Assembly (2008) of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) adopted a resolution expressing concern for human rights violations in the Philippines.

The Assembly voted to direct “the appropriate agencies within the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) to advocate that the United States Congress and the Department of State reduce U.S. funding of the Philippine military and to condition all future aid on: (a) concrete signs that the human rights of unarmed citizens and groups within civil society are respected by all levels of government, including the Philippine military; and (b) evidence that those elements of the Philippine military that are implicated in murder, abduction, torture, and other gross human rights violations are held accountable by the government.”

An advocacy campaign that included Presbyterians resulted in human rights conditions and funding restrictions on U.S. military aid to the Philippines being added to the U.S. budget for Fiscal Year (FY) 2008.

Groups and individuals concerned for our sisters and brothers in the Philippines are working on the FY 2009 budget. They have begun this effort with a Letter of Concern (Download Letter of Concern on the Philippines) addressed to all members of the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate asking them to hold the Philippine government accountable concerning extrajudicial killings and other human rights violations against civil society groups in the Philippines as they develop the FY 2009 budget.

Sign on to the letter (affiliation would be for identification purposes) by emailing the following information to the Rev. Larry Emery who is collecting the signatures:
Name, Title
City, State
The deadline for receiving signatures is Thursday, February 5, 2009.

The Letter of Concern acknowledges that deaths and disappearances in the Philippines have declined. But it also notes that the conditions included in the FY 2008 budget were not met.

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