A US lawmaker announced that she will reintroduce a bill that seeks to end US support to Philippine security forces.
In an online event organized by Malaya Movement, a US-based organization promoting freedom and democracy, Pennsylvania’s 7th Congressional District Representative Susan Wild announced she will reintroduce the Philippine Human Rights Act to the US congress.
The bill intends to “suspend the provision of security assistance to the Philippines” until it has made “certain reforms to the military and police forces, and for other purposes.” If passed, the Philippines will lose military support from its long-time ally and one of major providers of security aid.
The US lawmaker also said that the US government should stop supporting violent regimes like the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte.
“What this bill says is very simple: US taxpayers’ funds should not be used to supply weapons to a regime that violently targets its political opponents, including US citizens like Brandon Lee, a human rights activist, who was shot by state security forces in 2019 and remains paralyzed from the chest down today,” Wild said.
Wild also cited the killings of labor organizers and activists, including the Bloody Sunday operations by police and the military that killed at least nine individuals.
More than rhetoric
According to Wild, the reintroduction of the bill is a sign of standing up for human rights.
“By blocking assistance to Philippine security forces until such time that human rights standards are met, this bill makes a common sense proposition. Standing up for human rights requires more than rhetoric, it requires action,” the US lawmaker said.
Wild first filed the bill in 2020 and reached the US House committees on foreign affairs and financial services.
The Canadian government was also urged to stop its military aid to the Philippines, days after Bloody Sunday.
On March 16, 2021, the International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines (ICHRP) Canada urged Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to end all forms of military and police support to the Philippines, including anti-terrorism assistance. – Rappler.com