Speaking tour addresses human rights issues in the Philippines
DALY CITY, CA — Ellecer Carlos is a spokesperson for the In Defense of Human Rights and Dignity Movement.
He visited Daly City as part of a nationwide speaking tour addressing human rights violations in the Philippines by the Duterte government.
Carlos was previously in Washington DC and Chicago informing Fil-Ams and US lawmakers that the Philippines’ war on drugs is what he calls a “war on poor people.”
“We have 40 to 50 killings everyday of the most impoverished, beaten down… individuals in Philippine society, and this administration should actually prioritize the root causes of crime and drugs in the Philippines.”
Carlos cites how President Duterte and his followers are not only dismissing human rights violations, but are condemning his detractors.
“This president has actually consciously vilified human rights defenders, our commission on human rights, and effectively distorted the values having taken advantage of a disoriented Philippine public,” he said.
Although critical of the president, Carlos says he nor his organization is calling for his ouster.
“We are not against Duterte. We are not against the response to the issues of drugs and crime, but we critique the violent method to which this President has chosen to respond to these issues.”
Following his San Francisco Bay Area stop, Carlos traveled to Los Angeles over the weekend, where he encountered some opposition.
Supporters of President Rodrigo Duterte defended his war on drugs, and say that the US government should not intervene in the West Philippine sea unless President Duterte asks for help.
“As long as the administration is not asking for help, it’s the prerogative of the president; if he needs why not, if he doesn’t, much better. Until now, I think Duterte is doing right,” said Jun Gonong.
On his final stop of the tour, Carlos will address the US Congress’ Human Rights Commission on July 20 in Washington DC.
Carlos will be gathering victims of human rights to testify in Congress, and are hoping to gather support for the bipartisan Philippines’ Human Rights Accountability and Counternarcotics Act.
The bill would investigate the so-called drug killings, would halt the US sales of some 26,000 firearms to the Philippines, and it does give some humanitarian aid.
The bill was introduced two months ago before martial law was declared in Mindanao.
The Filipino American Human Rights Alliance will see if the current situation in Mindanao will warrant any amendments to the bill.