Geneva, Switzerland – Bread for the World, the Social Service Agency of the Protestant Church in Germany, through its Human Rights Adviser Sieglinde Weinbrenner, delivered an oral intervention on the continuing killings and attacks against human rights defenders in the Philippines, and the non-arrest of the perpetrators of the Lianga massacre at the 31st United Nations Human Rights Council Sessions in Geneva, Switzerland.
“With 31 reported killings in 2015, the Philippines have one of the worst track records in the killing of human rights defenders (HRD) worldwide,” according to the Bread for the World oral statement, during the interactive dialogue with Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights Defenders on March 4, 2016. Attached is a copy of the oral intervention.
“On September 1st, members of a paramilitary group opened fire at Dionel Campos and Juvello Sinzo, both indigenous leaders of the Lumad and killed Emerito Samarca, the Director of the Alternative Learning Center for Agricultural and Livelihood Development (ALCADEV) in Mindanao. As a result of the forced occupation by the Philippine Army and paramilitary troops 2,000 residents have had to evacuate. Although the perpetrators have been identified, no arrests have been made,” it added.
Michelle Campos, daughter of slain Lumad leader Dionel Campos of Mindanao, welcomed the statement.
“Justice remains elusive in the killing of my father, grandfather Juvello Sinzo, and teacher Emerito Samarca. Our community remains at peril because of the continuing military operations, and there has been no meaningful action by the Philippine government to address our issues,” Campos said.
Campos is with the group of human right advocates of Karapatan who are now in Geneva, Switzerland. (See related news link: UN Human Rights receives complaint from Karapatan on burning of Lumad evacuation center in Church compound )