Call on State Department to Examine Security Assistance to the Philippines in Light of ....... Lawmakers decry Philippine President Duterte’s ongoing deadly campaign of mass atrocities in response to drug crisis
BigNews.Biz - Dec 24,2016 - Senators Markey, Rubio and Coons Call on State Department to Examine Security Assistance to the Philippines in Light of Extrajudicial Killing Spree
Lawmakers decry Philippine President Duterte’s ongoing deadly campaign of mass atrocities in response to drug crisis
Washington – Senators Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Chris Coons (D-Del.), members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, sent a letter to the State Department expressing grave concern with Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s so-called “War on Drugs”, which appears to be little more than a brutal campaign of government supported extra-judicial killings and other human rights violations that is estimated to be responsible for the deaths of at least 6,000 Filipinos. President Duterte has pledged to kill another 20,000 to 30,000 people, many simply because they suffer from a drug use disorder. The United States has pledged $32 million in support of training and other assistance to Filipino law enforcement agencies, but the Leahy Law prohibits U.S. assistance or support of any unit of a foreign country’s security forces when its members have perpetrated gross human rights violations.
“While supporting law enforcement in foreign countries can be a key element of advancing U.S. interests overseas, recipients of our financial assistance must align with our values and ideals, including respect for human rights and the rule of law,” write the Senators in the letter to the State Department’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs. “Those suffering with a substance use disorder need access to treatment and a pathway to rehabilitation, not a summary execution where the police or vigilantes act as judge, jury, and executioner. We urge the U.S. to denounce these horrific violations of basic human rights, and ensure that no foreign assistance is being provided to support egregious acts against humanity.”
A copy the senators’ letter can be found HERE.
In the letter, Senators Markey, Rubio and Coons requested specific information from the State Department regarding U.S. monetary assistance being provided to the Philippines and the Department’s ability to ensure that funding is not being used to support egregious acts against humanity.