TO ICC, THE HAGUE: PROSECUTE DUTERTE ADMINISTRATION FOR CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY ASAP
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AN OPEN CALL TO THE UNITED NATIONS, THE EUROPEAN UNION, THE ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS (ASEAN), AND THE INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT (ICC), THE HAGUE
The House of Representatives in the Philippines have just voted, in obeisance to the strongman President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, by 119 votes in favour (to 32 dissenting) to grant the Commission on Human Rights of the Philippines (CHR) a total budget for 2018 of Philippine Peso 1,000. This is equivalent to €16, or US$20. [The CHR's normal budget is c US$10 million per annum].
As the majority of the 24 member Philippine Senate are equally under the thumbs of the President, there is very little hope that the vote in Congress will be overturned in the Upper House.
This is an insult to the majority of the Filipino people, and a slap in the face of the international community. By starving the CHR of needed funds,the House of Representatives are effectively abolishing the CHR so that the latter cannot investigate the 13,000+ extra judicial killings and other human rights abuses committed by the Duterte government and other state players in the last year or so.
Much more ominously, this is a signal that the extra judicial killings and abuses will intensify now that the CHR has been decapitated by lack of operating funds and people are afraid that the Philippines will descend into chaos as state players kill more innocent people with impunity.
We therefore call on the United Nations, the European Union, ASEAN and the International Criminal Court to hasten the investigation into the complaint of gross human rights violations [crimes against humanity] by the Duterte government without delay.
Please save Filipino lives!
On behalf of Filipinos and friends around the world who believe in freedom, democracy and human rights
[Picture is of top portion of Bencab's Untitled etching 1975 showing the Philippines draped with the flag]
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