Hakbang ng Maisug – USA & SDS New York letter to UN: Petition for Immediate Int’l Inquiry into Systematic Human Rights Violations by the PH Gov’t

Hakbang ng Maisug – USA & SDS New York letter to UN: Petition for Immediate Int’l Inquiry into Systematic Human Rights Violations by the PH Gov’t

Dear Secretary-General Guterres,

Subject: Petition for Immediate International Inquiry into Systematic Human Rights Violations by the Philippine Government

I write to urgently draw your attention to the systematic and escalating pattern of human rights violations perpetrated by the Government of the Philippines. These actions contravene the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), the UN Charter, and other relevant international human rights instruments, including the International Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), to which the Philippines is a signatory.

Over recent months, the Philippine government has increasingly used its facilities and resources to stifle political dissent, curtail free speech, and suppress the freedom of assembly. These actions have been particularly targeted at movements advocating for transparency, accountability, peace, security, and sovereignty, such as the national movement of Hakbang ng Maisug. This movement has faced significant government resistance, aimed at discouraging and even stopping peaceful assemblies and free speech.

Of particular concern is the recent use of excessive force by the Philippine National Police (PNP), the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG), and Scout Rangers. These forces were deployed in a highly disproportionate manner to serve a single warrant of arrest at the Kingdom of Jesus Christ (KOJC) compound in Davao City.

The operation involved two battalions of police and military personnel, resulting in a severe violation of the KOJC members’ religious freedoms. The compound has been occupied for more than a week, during which time the forces conducted unreasonable searches and seizures without proper warrants, destroyed property, and disrespected the Christian religious premises, including areas managed by Indigenous communities.

The ongoing militarization of the KOJC compound has caused significant distress and disruption to the lives of its members, including innocent children and women. These actions have not only violated their right to freedom of religion but have also instilled fear and confusion among the community members. The excessive use of force and the prolonged occupation of religious premises represent a grave breach of the rights enshrined in the ICCPR, ICESCR, and other international human rights instruments.

In addition to these violations, there are serious allegations implicating First Lady Liza Araneta-Marcos in the kidnapping or “extraction” of two minor children in Turkey, involving Philippine military agents. This act, allegedly carried out using government resources and influence, is a heinous crime and a blatant violation of international human rights laws, including the CRC, which seeks to protect the welfare of children. Such actions warrant a thorough investigation by the United Nations to ensure accountability and justice.

We express our outrage at the kidnapping of these minor children by government agents, reportedly on the instruction of First Lady Liza Araneta-Marcos. This case, which has now reached the halls of the United Nations, demands an impartial and thorough investigation. The involvement of a sitting president’s spouse in such serious allegations is unprecedented and raises significant concerns regarding the abuse of power and international relations.

Given these grave violations, I urgently request the United Nations to conduct an international inquiry into these incidents. The Philippine government should be called upon to respond to these systematic human rights abuses and to take immediate steps to cease the violations and restore the rights of the affected individuals and communities.

I trust that the United Nations will take swift and decisive action to address these grave concerns and hold the Philippine government accountable for its obligations under international law.

Thank you for your attention to this urgent matter.


Rev. Arnedo S. Valera, Esquire


Hakbang ng Maisug – USA & SDS New York

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Atty Angie Cordova Ciencia

VP External

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