European rights advocates urge EU to withdraw 10M euro grant for Aquino's failed justice program

International delegates who attended the International Conference on Human Rights and Peace in the Philippines have urged the European Union to stop aid to the Aquino government, specifically the withdrawal of a 10 million euro grant for the Philippine Justice Support Programme.
 
The more than 250 foreign delegates, in a strongly worded resolution unanimously approved at the conclusion of the conference, said the Aquino government unjustly enjoyed aid from the European Union despite failing to stop extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances and impunity.
 
“Impunity in the violations of human rights in the Philippines continues amidst the unjust and selfish interests of European big businesses and their equally greedy and corrupt Filipino  collaborators in business and politics, that have resulted in unfair competition, corruption, environmental destruction, displacement of communities, maldevelopment, people's resistance and state repression, are placed above the aspirations of the Filipino people for genuine democracy, social justice, development and peace,” the resolution stressed.
 
The resolution cited specifically the unresolved and unprosecuted killings of Dutch missionary Willem Geertman of the Netherlands who was killed in Pampanga province, and Italian Catholic priest Fr. Fausto Tentorio, PIME, in Mindanao. Evidence in their killings point clearly to the military.
 
Earlier, the family of Dutch missionary Willem Geertman took strong exception to the statements of EU ambassador Guy Ledoux lauding the Aquino government for its supposed improved human rights record and extending another 10 million euro aid in support of the European Union-Philippine Justice Support Programme, supposedly to stop political killings.
 
Meanwhile, foreign delegates who attended the People’s SONA on July 22 were frustrated, but not surprised, that Pres. Aquino made no mention of concrete ways to address the prevailing impunity in the country.
Peter Murphy, elected secretary general of the newly established International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines, described the events on July 22 as a reflection of the “huge gap between the world the government is in and the real world of the people. The violence used by the police also demonstrates this massive gap.”
 
The People’s SONA, Murphy said, was a “successful display of protest against the government’s complete failure to meet the people’s basic needs. But, the police treated the people with deception and contempt. The People’s SONA however, answered this with the dignity of their protest.” 
 
The International Conference on Human Rights and Peace in the Philippines concluded its 3-day meeting of foreign human rights and peace activists in Quezon City last July 21, after vowing to intensify their campaign for human rights and peace in the Philippines in their countries.###