New York activists brandish pictures of
slain Philippine activists during the Sept. 21 protest against political
From Europe to the
Philippines, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo received relentless criticisms for
the unabated extrajudicial killings under her regime.
During her recent
trip to Europe, leaders of various countries expressed concern over the
Arroyo government’s bad human rights record.
During her visit to
Finland, President of Finland Tarja Halonen and Foreign Minister Erkki
Tuomioja expressed their concern over the killings.
President Jose Manuel Barroso said that political killings in the
Philippines were “a matter of concern” to the EC. Even before Arroyo left,
EU ambassador to the Philippines Jan de Kok had already criticized the
Arroyo regime for the spate of extrajudicial killings.
When Arroyo arrived
in Brussels, Belgium on Sept. 12, protest actions were staged by Belgian,
Dutch and Filipino activists. They held a rally at the Schuman Plaza
fronting the European Commission building.
Members of the
Belgian and Flemish Parliaments Inga Verhaer and Eloi Glorieux were among
those who joined the protests.
In Norway, activists lit candles beside sheets of paper with names of
victims of extra-judicial killings in the Philippines
strongly called on the Philippines to lead Asian countries in ratifying a
United Nations draft convention aimed at preventing abductions of
political dissidents and promoting human rights. Charge d'Affaires Bernard
Regnauld Fabre of the French Embassy in Manila said the UN Draft
Convention on the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance
seeks to establish measures to prevent politically related kidnappings as
well as bring justice to victims and their families.
From Europe, Arroyo
flew to Hawaii. Again, she was confronted with protests. Members of
Anakbayan at the University of Hawaii and the B
agong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan)
-United States chapter led a picket outside the Filipino Community Center
groups who have expressed alarm over the human rights situation in the
Philippines include the Geneva-based World Council of Churches,
London-based Amnesty International, the Asian Human Rights Council in Hong
Kong, the Fact-Finding Mission of Dutch and Belgian judges and lawyers,
the United Church of Canada, and the Uniting Church of Australia, among
Sept. 21 actions
other countries did not end with Arroyo’s arrival in Manila on Sept. 18.
On the 34th
anniversary of the declaration of martial law, Filipinos and other
nationals across the United States, Europe and Asia held protest actions.
In the U.S.,
Filipinos and Americans staged picket rallies in front of the Philippine
consulates in New York, Washington, D.C., San Francisco, Hawaii, and Los
Vigils were also held
in North Carolina, Massachusetts.
In Vancouver, Canada,
a protest rally was organized by Filipino-Canadians at the Philippine
Consulate. Activities were also held in Montreal and Toronto.
citizens of the Netherlands, Italy, Switzerland, Norway and United Kingdom
expressed their solidarity with the Filipino people.
In The Hague,
political capital of the Netherlands, Dutch, Turkish and Filipino
activists staged a picket in front of the Philippine embassy. In downtown
Amsterdam, a demonstration was held at the Dam Square in front of the
A forum organized by
the Rice and Rights Movement on the political killings was held Sept. 16
in Amsterdam. Speakers included Marie Hilao of Karapatan, Atty. Edre
Olalia of the Public Interest Law Center and Counsels for the Advancement
of Liberties (CODAL), and Gerrard Boot of the Lawyers for Lawyers, an
Amsterdam-based group of lawyers that joined a human rights fact-finding
mission to the Philippines.
In Rome, Filipinos
attended a mass the Chiesa Di Sant Alfonso (Redemptorist church) to
remember and pray for the victims of martial law and the victims of
political killings under the Arroyo government..
In Geneva, Filipino
and Swiss human rights advocates trooped to the Philippine Mission. They
were attending the 2nd Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council
in Geneva. The human rights delegation from the Philippines also delivered
a letter to the Philippine Mission to the UN regarding the human rights
violations in the Philippines.
were lit in Oslo for victims of human rights violations in the
Philippines. Filipino and Norwegian members of the Filipino Resource
Center and members of Changemaker, Kalayaan, Amnesty International and the
AKP (Norwegian Left Party) joined the activity in front of the Stortinget
In London, members of
the International League of People’s Struggle picketed the Philippine
embassy along Palace Green Road.
across Asia and the Pacific also joined the Global Day of Action against
Extrajudicial Killings in the Philippines.
In Sydney, Australia,
migrant Filipinos held a picket at the Philippine Consulate. A candlelight
vigil followed suit at the Town Hall. Protest actions were also held in
In his speech, Peter
Murphy of the Philippines Australia Union Link, said, “The Philippines is
now second only to Colombia for murders of union leaders, and second only
to Iraq for murders of journalists.”
Murphy also called on
the Australian government to review its $4.2 million annual aid to the
Australian senator said that the continuing detention of Anakpawis
Representative Crispin Beltran is a sign of the Philippines’ “dying
In an article
published in Socialist Objective (v.18 n.2), Senator Gavin Marshall, Labor
Senator for Victoria, wrote, "Most of us assume that democracy is alive
and well in the Philippines, yet there are some very worrying signs that
the Philippines is becoming once more a nation where the government can
and will abuse its power and citizens.”
concern over the mounting repression of progressive Philippine lawmakers
such as Beltran, saying that "If the Parliamentarians cannot even feel
safe in the Philippines, then what hope for ordinary citizens?"
Indonesia, members of the Front Mahasiswa Nasional (FMN), Gerakan Rakyat
Indonesia (GRI) and Aliansi Mahasiswa Papua (AMP) held a protest in front
of the Philippines Embassy.
In Seoul, South
Korea, Filipinos, Koreans, Bangladeshi, Nepali held a rally in front of
the Philippine embassy. Filipino migrant organization KASAMMAKO
spearheaded the activity. Seoul-based lawyers' group MINBYUN also joined
Lee Sang-hee, a
member of MINBYUN, said, "Many Korean activists and innocent people were
killed by our military regime, and so we feel that the Filipino people's
problem is also our problem.”
In Pakistan, the All
Pakistan Trade Union Federation (APTUF) held a demonstration in Lahore
City. Leaders of the APTUF also sent a letter to the High Commissioner of
the Philippines in Islamabad. They called on the Filipino official to take
immediate measures to stop the killings.
In Taiwan, members of
Labor Rights Association, Human Rights Program and the students of Soochow
University held a demonstration in front of the Manila Economic and
Cultural Office in Taipei.
Filipinos in Hongkong,
Tokyo and Nagasaki in Japan also held similar actions. Bulatlat
PRINTER-FRIENDLY VERSION ■
© 2006 Bulatlat
Alipato Media Center
Permission is granted to reprint or redistribute this article, provided
its author/s and Bulatlat are properly credited and notified.