A Democrat lawmaker has filed a bill in the United States House of Representatives seeking the suspension of Washington’s police and military aid to the Philippines due to the alleged human rights violations of the Duterte administration.
Pennsylvania Rep. Susan Wild introduced the bill with 20 co-sponsors at the House Thursday, Manila time (September 24).
She said the bill is in response to the passage of the Anti-Terrorism Law in the Philippines, which she said attacks activists and political opponents of President Rodrigo Duterte.
“Today, across the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte’s brutal regime is using the pretext of so-called anti-terrorism law to ramp up efforts targeting labor organizers, workers, and political opponents,” Wild said in a speech at the US House.
She urged the US to ensure it will “not participate in the repression” by supporting the measure.
Wild’s bill seeks to block US security assistance to the Philippines. It also provides for requirements that the Philippines must comply with for aid to resume.
These requirements are:
- investigating and prosecuting members of the military and police forces who are credibly found to have violated human rights
- withdrawing the military from domestic policy
- establishing protections of the rights of trade unionists, journalists, human right defenders, indigenous persons, small-farmers, LGBTI activists, and critics of the government
- taking steps to guarantee a judicial system that is capable of investigating, prosecuting, and bringing to justice members of the police and military who have committed human rights abuses
- fully complying with any and all audits or investigations regarding the improper use of security aid