Copyright 2014. Ecumenical Advocacy Network on the Philippines.
All Rights Reserved.
We need to put pressure on the key members of Congress who have influence over the State Department Foreign Operations appropriations bill that provides funds for the Foreign Military Financing aid to the Philippine military ($45 - $50 M in recent years) and aid to the Philippine National Police (about $9 M in recent years). The Ecumenical Advocacy Network on the Philippines (EANP), which has been active lobbying Congress on human rights restrictions on aid to the Philippine military since 2007, was in Washington DC in March visiting with Congressional offices. Members of the Peace Tour 2017 will also visit with Congressional offices when they are in Washington DC April 20 -24.
The EANP submitted suggested restrictive language for inclusion in the Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 bill to fund State Department Foreign Operations. (see page 2). Both the House and Senate appropriations subcommittees are now preparing to write versions of the bill that will be first sent to the whole Appropriations committee for consideration with eventual final passage on the floor of the House and Senate.
Please contact Senators and Representatives from the attached lists in your area to advocate for inclusion of the EANP language in the FY 2018 Appropriations Bill for State Department Foreign Operations. Attached is a list of the priority senators and representatives in your state which includes all the members of the Appropriations Committees and most importantly those who are members of the State Department Foreign Operations subcommittees.
There are 3 ways to lobby for the human rights language:
1. Electronically (preferred method of support by individuals)
Various senators and representatives provide access for the submission of written opinion on a website or via email. Use Google or another search engine to search for your senator or representative by name, e.g. Senator Marco Rubio. You will quickly find a link to email or a website where you will be able to submit your opinion. The legislative language is given below and on our Facebook page www.facebook.com/eanphil. If you are limited by the space allowed you can break your message into 2 separate messages, one about the army and the other about the police.
2. By Phone
Call Washington DC Congressional offices and tell the person answering the phone that you would like your Representative or Senator to Support Human Rights restrictions on aid to the Philippine Army and Philippine National Police in the Appropriations bill for State Department Foreign Operations. Congressional staffers report that this is an effective way for constituents to communicate with their Senators and Representatives.
3. Organization a Delegation from Your Organization to Visit Local Offices of Your Representative or Senator
Personal visits to the local offices of your Senators and Representatives can help assure that your support for the language will be heard, especially if you organize a group visit with faith-based leaders. The best time to do this is when the Senator or Representative is in town but it is effective to visit with a staff person.
Suggested Content for Message:
“I am concerned about the continual human rights violations by the Philippine Army and Philippine National Police and request (Senator or Representative xxxx) support the following language in the FY2018 Appropriations for State Department Foreign Operations.”
FOREIGN MILITARY FINANCING
Philippines: Funds under Foreign Military Financing Program should only be obligated for assistance for the Philippine army if the Secretary of State certifies and reports to the Committees on Appropriations that the Government of the Philippines is:
a ) investigating and prosecuting army personnel who are credibly alleged to have committed, or aided or abetted, extra-judicial executions, forced disappearances, and other gross violations of human rights, and strengthening government institutions working to eliminate such crimes;
b) implementing a policy of promoting army personnel who demonstrate professionalism and respect for human rights; and
c)) taking steps to ensure that the Philippine army and paramilitary groups under its control are not engaging in acts of intimidation or violence against journalists or human rights defenders.
INTERNATIONAL NARCOTICS CONTROL AND LAW ENFORCEMENT
There is strong evidence the Philippine National Police are participating in, and encouraging, extrajudicial killings and any aid to the National Police will only promote more killing. The money appropriated to the Philippines for Narcotics Control and Law Enforcement shall be allocated for a public health approach that consists of integrated and comprehensive treatment and rehabilitation programs in line with international standards, shifting the current anti-drug policy from killing and punishment to treatment and rehabilitation.
For Questions Contact: Tim McGloin, EANP Co-Coordinator, at email@example.com or 919-475-0725, or
Paul Bloom, EANP CoCoordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 651-646-1985
Links to Recent Human Rights Reports:
US Department of State Country Report on Human Rights Practices 2016 Philippines
Amnesty International Report 2017: “If You Are Poor You Are Killed” www.amnestyusa.org/research/reports/if-you-are-poor-you-are-killed-extrajudicial-executions-in-the-philippines-war-on-drugs
Human Rights Watch, Jan. 2017: “Deadly Milestone In Philippines Drugs War”www.hrw.org/news/2017/01/24/deadly-milestone-philippines-abusive-drug-war
Mailing Address: EANP, P.O. Box 51844, Durham, NC 27717 Email: EANP2007@email.com www.eanp.org www.facebook.com/eanphil