FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 28, 2012
REFERENCE: Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines (CHRP) with US-based chapters in New York (NYCHRP), Portland (PCHRP), and San Francisco (SFCHRP) and the Washington D.C.-based Katarungan: Center for Peace, Justice and Human Rights in the Philippines will launch the Stop the Mining! Stop the Killings! Campaign 10 Days of Action on Saturday, December 1, 2012. The campaign, which culminates on December 10, International Human Rights Day, calls for justice for the Capion family, withdrawal of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) from all Lumad areas, Xstrata-SMI’s abandonment of the Tampakan Project, and cutting U.S. military aid to the Philippines.
The Stop the Mining! Stop the Killings! Campaign condemns the October 18th slaying of Juvy Capion and her two sons by the 27th Infantry Battalion (IB) of the AFP. Daguil Capion, Juvy Capion’s husband, had been targeted by the military for leading the B’laan tribe against the entry of Xstrata-SMI’s Tampakan mining project.
“Targeting and other tactics are part of a continuing pattern of intimidation and impunity used by the AFP to violently suppress the growing opposition to aggressive mining development in the ancestral lands of the indigenous peoples of Mindanao,” explained Hanalei Ramos, Director of Public Relations at NYCHRP.
With over 114 politically motivated killings, 12 enforced disappearances, 200+ citizens arrested and detained without warrant or trial, and 20,000 plus victims of harassment from the military and other government forces, a culture of impunity has been imbued within the Aquino administration and the culture of the AFP and police. Instead of tackling the human rights crisis head on, President Aquino and other key members of the military and police deny that a crisis even exists and has deemed human rights concerns as “leftist propaganda.”
“This language merely reinforces the culture of impunity and gives an explicit green light to further military and police operations that contribute to the worsening human rights situation in the Philippines,” said Rupert Estanislao, Chairperson of SFCHRP.
“During the 10 days of Action, we’re asking people who uphold human rights to condemn the AFP murders of Juvy, Jordan, and John Capion,” said Rossella de Leon, Secretary General of PCHRP. The public is urged to join the #StopTheMiningStopTheKilling social media campaign; sponsor delegates participating in Manilakbayan, a caravan and march that addresses the effects of large-scale mining on human rights; and to call Ambassador Cuisia at the Embassy of the Philippines in Washington, D.C. to demand justice for the Capion family.
To honor International Human Rights Day, chapters of the Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines are hosting the following events across the nation:
San Francisco/Bay Area, CA – March for Human Rights Monday, 12/10, 5:00 pm @ Union Square at Post and Powell
Join us as we hold a silent vigil for victims for human rights violations in the Philippines in Union Square then as we march to the Philippine consulate. Come hear speakers from various activist organizations in the bay area as we commemorate the victims of the Tampakan massacre. www.sanfranchrp.com
Vigil for Human Rights
Sunday, 12/09, 5:00pm
For updates on local International Human Rights Day events in Portland, please visit www.portlandchrp.org
New York, NY
International Human Rights Day Workshop
Sunday, 12/2, 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Solidarity Center, 55 W. 17th St., # 5C, Manhattan
This workshop will include an educational discussion on the Tampakan Massacre of the Capion family, the abduction of Melissa Roxas, and a briefing on the current human rights situation in the Philippines. www.nychrp.info
Second Annual Lights for Rights
Monday, 12/10, 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm
@Union Square Park North (by E. 17th St and Broadway, across from Barnes & Noble)
Join us in paying tribute to the victims and survivors of human rights violations with our interactive, informative props and commemorative glowstick “candles” to light the path for human rights. www.lights4rightsnyc.wordpress.com
Sign the CHRP online petition now: http://www.change.org/petitions/justice-for-victims-of-the-tampakan-massacre-cut-u-s-military-aid-to-the-philippines
Join our Call to Action: http://www.facebook.com/events/220651234734657
2/1-10: A CALL TO ACTION: #STOPTHEMININGSTOPTHEKILLING”