Philippine, U.S. govts violate rights of Filipino people: Tribunal

29 July 2015

For immediate release

Philippine, U.S. govts violate rights of Filipino people: Tribunal
Montrealers to gather Thursday, July 30, 2015 for report-back

Montreal — An international tribunal in Washington, DC, has ruled that the current governments of the Philippines and the United States are responsible for a wide range of human rights violations against the Philippine people. 

A delegation from Montreal that attended the tribunal as observers will be hosting a public meeting and fundraising BBQ-potluck on Thursday evening to discuss the findings.

The International Peoples’ Tribunal (IPT), which took place in the US capital from July 16–18, heard from 32 witnesses whose testimonies revealed the extent of violence, displacement and political repression being experienced by the Philippine people.

An international panel of jurors ruled on 18 July that the governments of the Philippines and the United States are guilty of gross and systematic violations of human rights, including civil and political rights; economic, social and cultural rights; and the right to national self-determination. A “tribunal of conscience,” the ruling is legally non-binding, but organizers say its force is both political and moral.

The IPT’s verdict came after two full days of testimonies, many by those who had experienced these violations directly. They described in vivid detail their experiences of torture, arbitrary arrest, and the assassination of loved ones.

These crimes were committed by Philippine military, police, and paramilitary forces that use the government’s counter-insurgency program, known as Oplan Bayanihan, to justify the suppression of movements for social justice, the tribunal found.

The tribunal also ruled that the United States has participated in these violations through its aid to the Philippine military, direct intervention in the Philippines by US troops, and the imposition of policies contributing to poverty, exploitation, and environmental destruction in the Philippines.

The Montreal delegation included students, migrants, writers and activists who will be sharing their observations Thursday evening and discussing how people in Montreal can support the struggle for human rights in the Philippines.

Event details:

6:00-9:00 PM, Thursday 30 July
4709 The Boulevard, Westmount, Québec
Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/1427795717550829/

The IPT’s ruling and other information can be found at: internationalpeoplestribunal.org

Centre for Philippine Concerns

Contact: David Koch

+1 514-966-7604 / davidgkoch@gmail.com

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