Target: Secretary of State John Kerry
Goal: End millions of dollars in aid to police departments in the Philippines allegedly involved in extra-judicial killings.
Despite allegations of involvement in a campaign of extrajudicial killing that has left 5,600 people dead, police departments in the Philippines continue to receive millions in support and training from the U.S. State Department. These killings, a part of a crackdown allegedly targeting drug dealers and users, have led to widespread condemnation by the international community and senior U.S. government officials, however, the aid has not stopped. Furthermore, while State Department officials claim that training at police departments has shifted focus to matters that are unrelated to the crackdown, police in the Philippines claim that their training has remained the same.
In most police-involved killing, law enforcement claim to have acted in self-defense, however, there have been no internal investigations and no officer has been charged. Additionally, in many of the killings–on the street, in homes, in police stations–there have been no investigations and, in many cases, authorities have produced little evidence of the victims’ involvement in either drug use or the drug trade. Either way, the sentence for drug use or drug dealing should not be summary execution.
Under U.S. law it is illegal for the government to send monetary aid to military or police forces engaged in so-called gross human rights abuses. Considering the scale of the killing in the Philippines, these extrajudicial killings qualify as gross abuses. Sign our petition and demand an end to State Department funding to police departments in the Philippines.
Dear Secretary Kerry,
I was shocked to hear that the Department of State is continuing training and aid programs in cooperation with police in the Philippines despite mounting evidence of gross human rights abuses. As you no doubt know, 5,600 people have been killed by vigilantes and, allegedly, police departments throughout the Philippines following the election of President Duterte. However, despite the estimated 2,000 people who have allegedly been summarily executed by police since June, there has been little-to-no alteration to either training or funding.
Not only is the continued funding of these police departments immoral and contrary to principles such as the rule of law and the right to a fair trial, it is contrary to U.S. law. No government may fund any police force engaged in gross human rights abuses. If 2,000 deaths do not amount to a gross human rights violation, then consider that President Duterte has planned to kill 3 million people by the end of his term. These killings will not stop without external pressure, and continued funding and training can only facilitate them. I urge you to cease all funding and training of police forces in the Philippines.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Keith Bacongco