President Biden, Rescind Duterte's Invitation to the Summit on Democracy!
Dear President Biden,
We are enraged at Philippine President Duterte's acceptance of your invitation to the virtual Summit on Democracy December 9-10.
Since the election of Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte in 2016 democracy has not only eroded, democracy has been under direct attack. A recent independent investigation, Investigate PH, notes: “Philippine security forces are perpetrating extrajudicial killings -- and obstructing justice. . . In “tokhang”-style raids, police and military in Negros, Panay, and Southern Tagalog have extrajudicially killed farmer leaders, city councillors, teachers, lawyers, doctors, peasant leaders, human rights defenders, trade unionists, indigenous leaders and urban poor organizers in their own homes or going to or from their work. Harmful impacts of repression are now widespread across civil society. The justice system participates in suppressing dissent both by weaponizing the law to facilitate human rights abuses, and by failing to enforce legal protections.”
The main perpetrator of these crimes in the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, has no place at a Summit for Democracy.
We are aware that the Summit was given the admirable themes of defending against authoritarianism, addressing and fighting corruption, and advancing respect for human rights. The Duterte administration fails these goals in every possible way and their presence would violate the spirit of the Summit. This is why we write to 1) rescind your invitation of President Duterte to the Summit 2) instead you invite credible and independent human rights groups as well as representatives of Makabayan (Patriotic Coalition of the People), a coalition of partylists in the Philippines who can speak on the national situation as well as repression of political dissent.
We await your response and expect you to uphold the standards of genuine human rights and democracy.