Karapatan lauds recent European Parliament resolution on the human rights situation in PH

Photo by Basilio Sepe/BenarNews

Karapatan welcomes the recent adoption of the European Parliament resolution on February 17, 2022 renewing its condemnation of extrajudicial killings and other human rights violations in the Philippines, as well as threats, harassment, red-tagging and violence against human rights defenders, journalists, trade unionists, church and humanitarian workers.

We also laud the European Parliament, which categorically stated through the said resolution its position for the abolition of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC), as it denounced the practice of red-tagging by government officials against activists, journalists and critics, exposing them to potential harm. Such a position reaffirms the lack of credibility and the notoriety of the NTF-ELCAC, amid its hubris on its officials’ junkets in Europe.

It is likewise notable that the European Parliament expressed “fears that during the upcoming election and campaign period, political rights in the on and offline world will be further violated and restricted.” It also expressed regrets that the Philippine authorities have not invited the European Union (EU) to conduct an election observation mission,” and calls on “the EU Delegation and EU Member States’ representations to support sending an international electoral mission and give their full support to independent local election observers.”

The European Parliament also called on EU Member States “to refrain from all exports of arms, surveillance technology and other equipment that can be used for internal repression by the Philippine authorities.” It also reiterated its call for the European Commission “to immediately initiate the procedure which could lead to the temporary withdrawal of GSP+ preferences if there is no substantial improvement and willingness to cooperate on the part of the Philippine authorities.”

We thank the 627 out of the 705 Members of the European Parliament, especially the Chairperson of the Subcommittee on Human Rights Marie Arena, Miguel Urbán Crespo, Hannah Neumann, Svenja Hahn, Javi López, Seán Kelly, Jiří Pospíšil, Evin Incir, Soraya Rodriguez, Ryszard Czarnecki, Ernest Urtasun, and Heidi Hautala, for their support and relevant interventions during the plenary debates on the resolution.

Karapatan emphasizes the need for continuing solidarity for the Filipino people in our quest for justice and accountability. Such forms of support are most needed as we contend with the dire lack of effective domestic mechanisms that can truly render justice for the victims of human rights violations in the country and as anti-democratic forces poise to continue the fascist policies of the Duterte regime and restore the family of the dictator Marcos back into power through the 2022 elections.

Cristina Palabay
Karapatan Secretary General

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Full copy of the adopted resolution is available through this link: https://www.europarl.europa.eu/doceo/document/RC-9-2022-0097_EN.html