Worsening Human Rights in the Philippines
President of the Uniting Church in Australia Dr Deidre Palmer has expressed concern at the worsening human rights situation in the Philippines.
Echoing the words of Bishop Reuel Norman O. Marigza, General Secretary of the National Council of Churches in the Philippines (NCCP), Dr Palmer said the Uniting Church was deeply concerned by what appears to be a shrinking of civic and democratic spaces and an increase in killings.
In a statement from the NCCP shared by the World Council of Churches, Bishop Marigza has called on churches and people worldwide to be in solidarity with the Filipino people in their quest for justice and accountability in the Philippines.
Bishop Marigza cited the massacre of nine Tumanduk indigenous people during a police raid in December as just one of many examples of lawyers, judges, union representatives, human rights advocates, and missionaries who have been attacked, detained, or killed.
In particular, the NCCP has asked churches to call on their respective governments to review development assistance to the Philippine government and to ensure that they do not support a national security policy that exacerbates the violations of human rights.
Dr Palmer acknowledged the impact of the human rights crisis on the people of the Philippines.
“I offer my support to our sisters and brothers in Christ in the Philippines and Filipino people here in Australia as they continue to struggle for justice, dignity and human rights for all Filipino people.”
“The Uniting Church in Australia will be contacting our Australia Government as requested,” said Dr Palmer, “and as our friends in the NCCP have asked, we will be encouraging our government to lobby the UN Human Rights Council to establish an on-the-ground independent, impartial investigation into human rights violations in the Philippines.”
The full World Council of Churches article can be found at
The National Council of Churches in the Philippines website is at: https://nccphilippines.org/
Photo: Indigenous people during a demonstration in Koronadal City, on the southern Philippine island of Mindanao in August 2016, where many of the indigenous are displaced, chased out of their rural villages by paramilitary squads. Credit: Paul Jeffrey/WCC