Rep. Wild Reintroduces Philippine Human Rights Act

June 15, 2021
Press Release
Legislation is Endorsed by the Malaya Movement, Communications Workers of America (CWA), AFL-CIO, Service Employees International Union (SEIU), and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters

 

Washington – Today, Representative Susan Wild (PA-07) is reintroducing the Philippine Human Rights Act, legislation to reinforce American commitment to international human rights by suspending security assistance to the Philippines until violence against dissidents ceases and accountability against the perpetrators commences. 

 

“I’m proud to announce that, today, I am reintroducing the Philippine Human Rights Act in response to the mass human rights violations perpetuated by the Duterte regime against dissidents, labor organizers, members of the clergy, and others,” said Rep. Wild. “By blocking assistance to Philippine security forces until such time as human rights standards are met, this bill makes a commonsense proposition: Standing up for human rights requires more than rhetoric. It requires action.”

 

“Congress cannot stand idly by while U.S. funding for the Philippines is being used by the Duterte regime to target labor organizers, journalists, workers, people who suffer from substance abuse problems and political opponents," said Rep. Hank Johnson. “We need to show that we do not support tinpot dictators who engage in this kind of oppressive, flagrant form of human rights abuses. Simple reforms could go a long way in helping preserve and strengthen our long-time relationship with Manila.”

 

"The Malaya Movement is committed to working with Rep. Susan Wild in pushing for the Philippine Human Rights Act,” said Yves Nibungco, from the Malaya Movement National Secretariat. “We should be punishing, not bankrolling, human rights violators and tyrants like Duterte. We need immediate action from the U.S. Congress to pass the PHRA now."

 

“The danger to labor leaders and other activists in the Philippines from the brutal regime of Rodrigo Duterte increases with each passing day,” said CWA’s Senior Director for Government Affairs and Policy Shane Larson. “We cannot turn our backs on them. The Philippine Human Rights Act will save lives, and CWA members are proud to support this bill.”

 

The Philippine Human Rights Act takes significant action to ensure accountability for human rights violations and reinforces human rights standards that have been repeatedly violated under Duterte’s regime. It does the following:

  • Suspends U.S. security assistance to Armed Forces of the Philippines and Philippines (AFP) National Police (PNP);
  • Instructs U.S. representatives of multilateral development banks to veto loans to Philippine military and police;
  • Requires the U.S. State Department and U.S. Department of Defense to jointly submit a report to the Congressional Appropriations Committee specifying,
    • 1) All security assistance from the US to the AFP and PNP, and
    • 2) Reports from the Philippine recipients on usage of said aid, and
    • 3) All misuses of said aid by the recipients, including but not limited to extrajudicial killings, intimidation, illegal sales, and misappropriation.

 

The PHRA also takes significant action to ensure dissidents and other marginalized groups in the Philippines are protected, and that perpetrators of violence against them are held accountable under the judicial system in Philippines.

 

In addition to Rep. Wild, the original cosponsors of this legislation are Rep. Jan Schakowsky (IL-09), Rep. Henry C. “Hank” Johnson, Jr. (GA-04), Rep. Alan Lowenthal (CA-47), Rep. Bobby L. Rush (IL-01), Rep. Mark Pocan (WI-02), Rep. Ilhan Omar (MN-05), Rep. Dina Titus (NV-01), Rep. Earl Blumenauer (OR-03), Rep. Katie Porter (CA-45), Rep. Grace Meng (NY-06), Rep. Jimmy Gomez (CA-34), Rep. Betty McCollum (MN-04), and Rep. James P. McGovern (MA-02).

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