End Canada's Support for Duterte Regime and Abuses of Human Rights

Canadians stand opposed to the Canadian government's continued support for Canadian mining companies' crimes against the people of the Philippines and the continuing sales of military equipment and training of police and armed forces. Canadian mining companies make up close to 20 per cent of all mining operations in the Philippines where they have forcibly displaced Indigenous peoples from their hereditary lands and collaborate in the Rodrigo Duterte regime's violent attacks on land defenders. The Canadian government also supports the regime with military funding and cooperation, in the amount of $37.9 million in 2018-2019, as well as providing training for Philippine military and police.

A recent report on human rights violations shows the need for Canadians to step up their work to hold the Canadian government to account and demand an end to the criminal activities of Canadian mining companies and an end to government support for the Duterte regime.

On September 13, the Independent Commission of Investigation into Human Rights Violations in the Philippines (INVESTIGATE PH) tabled the third and final report of its investigation into widespread and worsening human rights abuses by the Rodrigo Duterte regime since it came to power in July 2016.

INVESTIGATE PH was established by the International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines (ICHRP) in response to the tepid Resolution 45/33 adopted by the Office of the UN Human Rights Council which whitewashed the gross human rights violations which the UN Human Rights Office itself had documented. More than 250 extrajudicial killings of human rights defenders, legal professionals, trades unionists, Indigenous peoples and peasant activists were documented between 2015 and 2019.

INVESTIGATE PH was led by 17 eminent personalities and human rights defenders from around the world serving as Commissioners. They were assisted by a large number of legal workers, researchers and others who carried out extensive interviews with victims and their families as well as human rights activists. The report is a tribute to the fighting people of the Philippines as well as a call to action to end these crimes against humanity and war crimes by the regime.

The first report, released in March 2021, documented intensifying political repression immediately following the June 2020 report (A/HRC/44/22) of the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). It showed how the July 2020 Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA) and the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) are used by the government to terrorize, criminalize and eliminate opposition to the Duterte regime by progressive and democratic forces.

The second report released in July 2021 probed deeper into state abuse and impunity as well as the lack of redress mechanisms for victims of state terror and violence. The third report focuses on the violations of collective human rights to development, self-determination and peace in the Philippines, as well as violations of civil and political rights.

Of significance is the Report's conclusion about the key role played by the U.S. which has dominated the island nation and the conditions that have led to poverty, landlessness and exploitation which have worsened under the Duterte government.

The Report calls for the UN and the international community to do their duty to the people of the Philippines by supporting their struggle for their rights; it calls for the immediate resumption of the stalled peace talks between the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) and the Philippine state. It supports the Comprehensive Agreement on Social and Economic Reforms put forward by the NDFP as the basis of ensuring the rights of the people of the Philippines, among other proposals.

The Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist) congratulates INVESTIGATE PH for this historic document tabled before the world. This work brings into sharp focus the state of human rights in the Philippines under the U.S.-backed Duterte regime and calls on the people of Canada and the world to stand with the heroic people of the Philippines who are asserting their right to be under the most brutal conditions imposed by U.S. imperialism and its local collaborators.

No to Human Rights Abuse and Impunity in the Philippines!
One Humanity, One Struggle!

This article was published in

Volume 51 Number 10 - October 10, 2021

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