World Council of Churches slams impunity under Duterte
MANILA, Philippines – The World Council of Churches (WCC) slammed the culture of impunity under President Rodrigo Duterte as around 23,000 people, including Father Richmond Nilo and two other Catholic priests, have been murdered under his watch.
In a statement Wednesday, June 20, the WCC said it is "deeply alarmed by the escalating violence, extrajudicial killings, and other human rights abuses in the Philippines in the context of President Rodrigo Duterte's 'war on drugs,' the continuing imposition of martial law in Mindanao, and non-tolerance of principled dissent and criticism."
The WCC central committee then urged the Philippine government "to end the culture of impunity, order the investigation of all killings, and drop the Department of Justice's petition to declare activists as terrorists."
The WCC is a group of 350 member-churches from more than 110 countries and territories, representing more than 500 million Christians around the world.
The WCC includes members from the Orthodox, Anglican, Baptist, Lutheran, Methodist, Reformed, United, and Independent churches.
Its members from the Philippines include the following:
- Convention of Philippine Baptist Churches
- Episcopal Church in the Philippines
- Evangelical Methodist Church in the Philippines
- Philippine Independent Church
- United Church of Christ in the Philippines
The WCC central committee issued its statement on the Philippines as part of its meeting in Geneva from June 15 to 21. (Read the full statement below.)
It also "welcomes the initiative for an International People's Tribunal for the Philippines, being planned for September 17-20, 2018, in Brussels, to bring before the bar of international opinion the human rights situation in the Philippines in an attempt to end extrajudicial killings, human rights abuses, and the culture of impunity." – Rappler.com