Coalition calls on Canada to stop funding Philippine counter-terrorism campaign

The International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines Canada (ICHRP) and 20 organizations including faith-based institutions, non-governmental organizations, PSAC and other unions are calling on the Canadian government to stop funding so called “counter-terrorism measures” in the Philippines. 

Like many unions, PSAC has a Social Justice Fund to advance union values of solidarity and social justice in Canada and around the world. The SJF’s work includes building solidarity with human rights organizations in the Philippines to protect workers’ rights internationally. 

Extrajudicial killings and human rights violations 

The Philippine government was among recipients of Canada’s $13 million in anti-crime and anti-terrorism funding to Southeast Asian countries between 2017-21. 

A newly released report from ICHRP-Canada notes the Philippine government is “using [its] counter-terrorism campaign to criminalize dissent, target human rights defenders and critics of the government and constrict democracy. This has resulted in thousands of killings, false charges, arbitrary and irregular searches, arrests and detentions and other severe human rights violations and the vilification of those who challenge them by accusing these individuals of being terrorists or communists.” 

There are 204 documented cases of extrajudicial killings, along with disappearances and thousands of ordinary citizens falsely labeled by security forces as “suspect.” Of the 424 reported extrajudicial killings since President Rodrigo Duterte came to power in 2016, over half were human rights advocates. 

Given this troubling context, PSAC supports ICHRP-Canada in its appeal to the Canadian government to stop funding counter-terrorism measures in the Philippines. 

Read the ICHRP-Canada press release 

View the ICHRP-Canada report 

June 8, 2022