146 unresolved politically motivated killings of Philippine activists is the disillusioning balance of almost two and a half years of the Government of President Aquino.
On the occasion of the International Human Rights Day on December 10 the Action Network Human Rights – Philippines (AMP) points out to the increasing number of victims among the indigenous peoples.
Since July 2010, 32 leaders of indigenous groups and members of their families have been killed. All of them had raised their voices against cases of landgrabbing and militarization of their ancestral domains in the context of large scale mining and big agribusiness.
“We are very much concerned about this increase in killings”, says Dr. Jochen Motte, chair of the AMP.
The last victims were Juvy Capion, the pregnant wife of a prominent opponent of mining, and her two sons. They were killed by soldiers of the AFP in the highly militarized mining area of Tampakan on October 18, 2012.
The alleged perpetrators often are members of the security forces of the Philippines and of paramilitary groups that are employed as “Investment Defense Forces” to protect the economic interest of foreign companies in the Philippines.
“The Philippine police seem to lack the required sincerity to carry out the necessary investigations within their own ranks or in the ranks of the military and paramilitary groups to arrest the perpetrators”, criticizes Maike Grabowski, the coordinator of the AMP. “So far, none of the alleged culprits have been finally convicted. Therefore, the government of the Philippines that promised to resolve the human rights violations of the past and to stop their continuation has lost its credibility. Without determined action and effective reform the prevailing culture of impunity will hardly change.”
The Action Network Human Rights – Philippines, therefore, repeats its demands to President Aquino to:
- Dismantle and disarm all existing private armies
- Demilitarize the ancestral domains of indigenous peoples
- To establish adequate mechanisms to protect human rights defenders against displacement, harassment, trumped-up charges, enforced disappearance and killing
- To abolish executive order No. 546 which allows the military to employ the police and civilian groups as “force multipliers”
- To create the conditions for independent and speedy investigations and court proceedings against alleged perpetrators of human rights violations
Furthermore, the AMP calls on the German Government and the European Union to consequently name and condemn human rights violations in the Philippines and to advocate for a visit of the UN Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples.
The Action Network Human Rights – Philippines advocates the sustainable improvement of the human rights situation in the Philippines. Members are: Amnesty International, Bread for the World – Church Development Service, Misereor, Missio Munich, philippinenbüro e.V. and the United Evangelical Mission (UEM).