US Congressional Human Rights Commission to Hold Briefing on the Philippines

MEDIA ADVISORY
for Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Contact: Berna Ellorin, 347.244.8953

WASHINGTON DC– On the eve of an International Tribunal on the Philippines, the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission will hold a briefing on the Philippines. Testimonies will be delivered from victims of human rights abuses in the country, as well as top human rights watchdog Amnesty International.

WHAT: Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission briefing on the Philippines
TIME: 9:30am to 10:30am
WHERE: 2322 Rayburn House Office, Washington DC
WHO: Speakers testifying include:

T. Kumar, International Advocacy Directory for Amnesty International USA;
Bishop Solito Toquero, Bishop (retired) of the United Methodist Church and former Resident Bishop of the UMC Namila Episcopal Area;
Amaryllis (Marie) Hilao-Enriquez, Chairperson of KARAPATAN (National Alliance for the Advancement of Human Rights);
Marieta Corpuz, General Secretary of Samahan ng Katutubo sa Sierra Madre (SKSM);
Brian Campbell, Legal Advisor and Steering Committee member for the U.S.-based Ecumenical Advocacy Network on the Philippines (EANP)

PRESS ARE INVITED TO COVER THIS EVENT.
INTERVIEWS WILL BE MADE AVAILABLE

Background:
A 2007 Senate hearing on the Philippines led to cuts in the annual Foreign Military Financing package to the Philippines after evidence pointed to the culpability of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in gross human right abuses. Restrictions were placed on the military aid package to the Philippine government contingent on the latter’s ability to prove accountability of AFP and steps taken to stop the abuses.

Despite failing to meet the requirements, the Aquino government is strongly lobbying to have the restrictions to the aid package lifted. Along with the victims, human rights advocates in the US and the Philippines are working together and exhausting all channels to keep the restrictions and hold the Aquino government accountable for continuing and aggravating the human rights crisis in the country.

For more information, contact Berna Ellorin at 347.244.8953.

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