UCCP: Killings in Philippines have continued unabated and with a vengeance

May. 04, 2007

May 03, 2007


In March this year, a multi-sectoral delegation of human rights advocates traveled to Canada, the United States, and Switzerland to raise in the international arena the issue of extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances and other forms of political repression in the Philippines. Named the Ecumenical Voice for Human Rights and Peace in the Philippines, the team presented Let The Stones Cry Out: An Ecumenical Report on Human Rights in the Philippines and Call To Action to ecumenical bodies, churches, legislators, and the United Nations Human Rights Council. A highlight of the trip was a hearing conducted by the US Senate Committee on Human Rights headed by Senator Barbara Boxer. For a considerable length of time, the media spotlight was focused on the Philippines following that trip. We had hoped that such an international exposure of the issue would move the Philippine President to bring to an end the sorry state of human rights in the country.

Nothing has happened. The killings have continued unabated and with a vengeance. More members of the United Church of Christ in the Philippines have been abducted and while we continue to hope, we are aware of the ghastly trend that attends enforced disappearances. There are no indications that, even with the barrage of appeals from international quarters, including the European Union and the United Nations Human Rights Council, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo intends to end this witch hunt and barbaric slaughter. The cutting criticism about the Philippine human rights record by Senator Boxer has been met, not by rectification, but by callousness and insolence. We doubt the seriousness of this government to halt the systematic assassination of critics. We condemn the foreboding authoritarianism that has began to stalk the land.

As we commiserate with the family members of the UCCP victims, we support their rage against the dying of the light of justice and freedom. We join their fight to bring back the light.


General Secretary
National Council of Churches in the Philippines
879 EDSA, West Triangle, Quezon City 1104
Phone: 929 3745
Fax: 926 7076
Email: srjrduremdes@nccphilippines.org, srjrduremdes@yahoo.com

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