Condemn the killings and arrests of activists in the Philippines. Suspend U.S. military aid to the Philippines now.
We are asking President Joe Biden and the U.S. Congress to immediately condemn the massacre of 9 activists in the Philippines. The behavior of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippines National Police is not acceptable.
Moreover, we ask that the U.S. government immediately suspends military aid and any form of security assistance to the Philippines. This recent turn of events shows that our tax dollars, weapons and military equipment are being used to violate the human rights of the Filipino people.
Last week, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte gave a horrific order to the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to "kill them, don’t mind human rights," referring to so-called “communist rebels.” This is a common label used to justify assassinations and to vilify activists, critics, and human rights defenders as “terrorists.” Two days later, on March 7, the PNP and the AFP raided offices and homes of activists across the Southern Tagalog region leaving 9 activists dead, and many more arrested. That day is now known as "Bloody Sunday."
The massacre of activists and human rights defenders came a day after Philippine Ambassador to the United States Jose Manuel Romualdez confirmed that the U.S. government has "given in" to Duterte's demands for more military aid. Given the human rights record of the Philippines, to give the Philippines military aid and any more security assistance is irresponsible and is tantamount to condoning the state-sanctioned and state-perpetrated atrocities.
Duterte is doubling down on his attacks against critics with what seems to be a “kill, kill, kill” or a “kill them all” program. This is causing the further deterioration of human rights and democracy in the Philippines. We need immediate and strong action from the United States now.