100 signatures reached
To: Minister for Foreign Affairs the Hon Marise Payne
Stop Australian military aid to the Philippines
Supported by Australian military aid, the Philippine government, police force, and military are violently cracking down on Filipino activists and civil society.
The Foreign Affairs Minister must immediately end all military aid to, and training operations in, the Philippines.
Why is this important?
318 human rights workers and activists murdered. 27,000 lives lost to extrajudicial killings. 122 children caught in the crossfire.
In the Philippines, a humanitarian crisis is raging out of control.
Since President Rodrigo Duterte assumed office in June 2016, thousands have lost their lives in his administration’s confected “War Against Drugs” and bloody crackdown on civil society.
Emboldened by Duterte’s encouragement to “go ahead and kill [suspected drug dealers and users] yourself”, the Philippine National Police, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, and armed vigilante groups have mercilessly gunned down “suspects” — some as young as 17 years old — on the basis of false or non-existent evidence.
Only three police officers have ever been convicted for their role in the killings.
Under cover of the COVID-19 pandemic, Duterte has escalated his assault on activists, civil society, and the urban poor. While the Philippines braces for a third wave of the virus, police continue to harass and criminalise community pantries, murder Indigenous land rights activists, and “red-tag” (designate as a terrorist and place on a Government watch list) who dares speak out.
As long-term supporters of the Philippine Military and Police Force, Australia has blood on its hands. Yet the Morrison Government refuses to condemn President Duterte and distance itself from his fascist regime.
In February, The Sydney Morning Herald revealed that Australian security agencies provided “technical assistance” over 3 years to help draft the Filipino Anti-Terror Law that experts have dubbed a “‘human rights disaster”. The law provides legal basis for incorrectly labelling activists and humanitarian and civil society groups “terrorists” and allows their harassment, criminalisation, and murder.
The Morrison Government does not publicly disclose the exact monetary value of military aid provided to the Philippines each year. However, the Australian Defence Force provides annual training for personnel from the Philippines Coast Guard and Department of National Defence. The Australian Government has also previously provided military personnel and equipment to the Philippines and trained over 10,000 Filipino army and marine personnel “in urban combat, air strike tactics in an urban environment” — the same tactics used to terrorise Filipinos and Filipino civil society.
In solidarity with activists in the Philippines and the Filipino community in Australia, BAYAN Australia, Migrante Australia, and the Sydney and Melbourne chapters of Anakbayan call on Minister for Foreign Affairs Marise Payne and Minister for Defence Peter Dutton to immediately cease all military aid to the Philippines.
Will you join us in demanding the Australian Government end its role in the bloodshed in the Philippines by immediately ending all military aid to, and training operations in, the Philippines?