Message and appeal from Dutch citizens to the government of Ferdinand Marcos Jr. of the Republic of the Philippines

December 10, 2023

Dear friends,

Sharing with you an open letter by the Netherlands Philippines Solidarity Movement (NFS) as an appeal of Dutch citizens to the Ferdinand Marcos Jr. government.

Please share. Thanks.

Karapatan Public Information Desk


75TH ANNIVERSARY OF HUMAN RIGHTS DAY: EVERYONE HAS THE RIGHT TO A DIGNIFIED EXISTENCE!

Message and appeal from Dutch citizens to the government of Ferdinand Marcos Jr. of the Republic of the Philippines

Netherlands Philippines Solidarity Movement (NFS) Open Letter
Amsterdam, December 10, 2023

Our constituents are concerned about developments in the Philippines today where brave people who stand up for poor communities, workers and protect nature, do so at the risk of their own lives. On this 75th anniversary of Human Rights Day, we bring this grave concern to your attention, with the urgent request to your government to address them.

Today, December 10, marks the 75th anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the United Nations General Assembly. Human rights are fundamental rights and freedoms that belong to all people. These are rights that are inherent to being human and that must therefore be recognized, protected, and upheld.

The physical needs for humans are food, water, shelter, clothing, health, safety (no threat of violence or natural disasters), and financial security (sufficient income to meet basic needs). Non-physical human rights include the right to freedom of expression, freedom of trade union, right to education and the right to a fair trial.

It surprises us that in a rich country like the Philippines, these physical and non-physical human rights are denied to millions of people. In addition, people who work on development or progress for the marginalized, to ensure that no one is left behind, run the risk of being arrested, disappeared or murdered.

Message and appeal from Dutch citizens to you:
· It is shocking to know that the Filipino people are still struggling to survive and that those who try to support the poor people in many different ways have to fear for their freedom or even for their lives. I urge the Philippine government to respect the International Declaration of Human Rights and guarantee a sustainable life for the people.
· If only we dared to share and wish for someone else to flourish. If we all grant each other that, there doesn’t have to be so much misery and injustice.
· There doesn’t have to be poverty and inequality in the Philippines if those in power want to share with all Filipinos!
· Sad to see that people who give their lives to the poorest suffer all kinds of repression from the Philippine Government.
· Hopefully the human rights violations will be brought before the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague so that a conviction can take place.
· We support the statement of the UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights, Dr. Ian Fry. It calls for the abolition of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) and the repeal of the Anti-Terrorism Law (ATL), among other relevant climate and human rights issues he raised during his official visit Examined November 6 to 15, 2023.
· A good peace agreement must be reached between the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) as soon as possible, so that disappearances, (political) murders and convictions after exaggerated or false accusations become a thing of the past. If this peace treaty is concluded on the basis of an acknowledgement of the root causes of the armed conflict and its resolution, a just society can be built, and the Philippine government can then properly follow and enforce the Declaration of Human Rights.
· Let the Peace Talks between the GRP and the NDFP finally be resumed soon!
· Justice for Zara Alvarez! Justice for all victims of extrajudicial killings!
· The right to work and to organize is security of existence. Despite this, many trade union leaders who fought for these rights have been murdered. Mr. President, prosecute the perpetrators of the murder of Jude Fernandez and many others!
· Put an end to the bombing of rural communities in the Philippines.
· We stand in solidarity with the victims’ families in the struggle for the return of their disappeared family members, and demand accountability from the perpetrators.
· Surface Dexter Capuyan! Surface all desaparecidos!
· After 75 years of the UN human rights treaty, we still see that human rights are being ignored and international law is being violated all over the world. Successive Philippine governments are responsible for violating the fundamental social and political rights of the population. Release Amanda Echanis with her baby and all other political prisoners. End poverty for thousands of Filipinos.
· Release the farmer leader Proceso ‘nong Cesoy’ Torralba!! Nong Cesoy has been held in Patin-ay Prison in Agusan del Sur since April 11, 2020. On April 11, 2020, 200 NGO workers were arrested by the government army. This was in revenge for an attack on a military ammunition depot elsewhere. A number of NGO workers have now been released. Nong Cesoy’s case has not been heard to date and he has therefore been detained for years without trial. Nong Cesoy has heart failure and needs daily medication. Release him so he can enjoy his old age.
· Anyone who wants a just world should have the right to take action without risking their lives. Release Amanda Echanis and baby Randall!!!
· Release Amanda Echanis and baby Randall, and all those imprisoned for their commitment to justice in Philippine society.
· Enough is enough, it is high time to release all political prisoners. Let the Philippines lead by example.

Mr. President, these Dutch citizens want you to acknowledge their concerns and address them in response to the needs of your people. You should be proud of the courageous people who work every day to ensure that no one is left behind in development and well-being, in implementation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

We await with great interest your positive response and your intentions, which will demonstrate your desire to implement the Universal Declaration of Human Rights to guarantee all physical and non-physical human rights and fulfill its requirements, for all citizens of the Philippines.

Let the Philippines set a good example to the international community.

Compliance with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights – NOW!