Declaration of the Austrian Episcopal Conference concerning the human rights situation in the Philippines

Socrates B. Villegas
Archbishop of Lingayen Dagupan
CBCP President
lingayendagupan@gmail.com

Vienna, 17Th of March 2017

Ref.: Declaration of the Austrian Episcopal Conference concerning the human rights situation in the Philippines

Excellence,

Dear Archbishop Villegas,

In the last months Ecclesial leaders from the Philippines and national and international networks called attention to the alarming situation in their country.

Also the Catholic Children’s Organization of Austria and its development agency DKA-Austria together with Philippine partner organizations advocated against the two draft laws, which are currently under review: The reintroduction of the death penalty and the reduction of the age of criminal responsibility.

The Austrian Bishops’ Conference hereby declares its solidarity with the fundamental concerns of the Filipino Bishops’ Conference and supports the strong stance of the Filipino Bishops’ Conference. It adds its voice to the growing number of condemnations against the proposed law reforms. Find the declaration of the Austrian Bishops’ conference attached.

Yours Sincerely


Heinz Hödl
Director


Declaration concerning the human rights situation on the Philippines:

 

When Rodrigo Duterte’s term of presidency began in June 2016, several thousand extrajudicial killings of alleged criminals were committed within only a few weeks following his appeal to take violent action against drug dealers and drug consumers. Ecclesial leaders, together with national NGOs and international networks, repeatedly call attention to this alarming situation. Beside this „war against drugs“, as it was declared by President Duterte, also violence against human rights activists, indigenous activists and journalists is on the rise. The lack of condemnation of these human rights violations leads to a culture of impunity. 

At the same time two drafts of laws are currently under review: The reintroduction of the death penalty and the reduction of the age of criminal responsibility. The Filipino Bishops’ Conference is strongly opposing these draft laws.

The Austrian Bishops’ Conference solidarily shares the fundamental concerns of the Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines and supports their firm advocacy for justice. This is why the Bishops of Austria call upon political decision makers in Austria to commit themselves to the respect of human rights in the Philippines. The Austrian Government and European Institutions are asked to use all political power and diplomatic channels to bring public attention to these human rights violations and help mitigate them.

General Assembly of Austrian Catholic Bishop`s Conference
Vienna, 17Th of March 2017


Read CBCP Statement of Gratitude to Austrian Bishops.

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