Human rights group concerned over use of Canadian military helicopters in the Philippines

  • Page Views 2968
  • A human rights group based in Canada has asked the Canadian foreign affairs ministry to inquire if helicopters sold to the Philippine military are being used in aerial strikes that have alleged targeted civilian communities.
    Bern Jagunos of the International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines (ICHRP) wrote to Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland following reports that airstrikes during operations against communist rebels.
    The strikes reportedly razed a forest and destroyed farms tilled by indigenous people in the town of Malibcong, Abra.
    The Malibcong bombings and other incidents reported in Compostela Valley and Maguindanao provinces followed President Rodrigo Duterte’s order to the military early this month to “go ahead, flatten the hills” by launching air strikes against the New People’s Army and “If there’s collateral damage, pasensiya (too bad).”
    While acknowledging that no civilian deaths were caused by the bombardment, Jagunos said they have terrorized communities and sent hundreds of families fleeing their homes.
    Jagunos reminded Freeland that they had raised these concerns as early as 2014 when the Canadian government announced the sale of eight Bell 412EP choppers to the Philippines, five of which have been deployed as combat utility helicopters.
    While assurances were given then that the sale of the aircraft complied with Canada’s military export control guidelines, she wanted to know, “has there been a follow-up to ensure respect of the guidelines?”
    “Additionally, we’ve learned that another Canadian company, Calgary-based Eagle Copters Ltd., has been involved in another helicopter deal to the Philippines,” Jagunos pointed out.
    “We strongly urge the Canadian government to assess whether the criteria for the sale of the helicopters are being observed by the Philippine Army; we call on the Canadian government to suspend all sales of military goods and all defense-related assistance to and cooperation with the Philippine Government and we urge the Canadian government to call on President Duterte to put an immediate stop to the military aerial bombings on civilian communities and instead to vigorously pursue the continuation of the Peace Talks between the Government of the Philippines and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines,” Jagunos said.
    The Toronto-based ICHRP-Canada is a network of organizations who are concerned about human rights and committed to working for a just and lasting peace in the Philippines.

    In the group’s letter to Freeland dated March 26, 2017, Jagunos said the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) have been conducting a number of aerial strikes on indigenous and rural communities.
    The escalation of military aerial bombardment on civilians follows the decision of President Duterte on February 5, 2016, to call off the Peace Talks between the Government of the Philippines (GRP) and the National Democratic Front (NDFP), according to the letter.
    “When the Canadian government announced the sale of the 8 Bell 412EP helicopters to the Philippine Army in 2014, we raised our concerns to the government and parliamentarians that the helicopters might be used against civilian communities in military operations such as those now taking place,” the letter recalled.
    “We call on the Canadian government to suspend all sales of military goods and all defense-related assistance to and cooperation with the Philippine Government,” the letter also stated.

    Share

    New Posts Recently publish post More

    • 28 January 2023
      1 week ago No comment

      Tinig Migrante By E Maestro

      Minister Fraser’s Pathway Announcement: “Disappointing” Migrant organizations, migrant justice advocates, allies, and the thousands of undocumentedmigrants all across Canada still have to see Prime Minister Justin Trudeau deliver onthe promise he made on December 16, 2021 to create a regularization program that willensure regularization for undocumented migrants and permanent ...

    • 27 January 2023
      1 week ago No comment

      Hop on to the Year of the Rabbit

      Welcome to the Lunar Year of the Water Rabbit! On Jan. 25, let’s wish formerpresident, the late Cory Aquino, a very happy birthday in heaven! Rabbits are cute, cuddly, joyful furry creatures and many believe to be superproductive, too. They reproduce fast, which makes them ideal to breed for ...

    • 20 January 2023
      2 weeks ago No comment

      Wala siyang ginawang mali’: Shamcey Supsup on Celeste Cortesi, Miss Universe Philippines future plans

      MANILA, Philippines — Miss Universe Philippines National Director Shamcey Supsup commended Miss Universe Philippines 2022 Celeste Cortesi for a job well done at the recently concluded 71st Miss Universe pageant. The Miss Universe 2011 3rd runner-up also stressed that Celeste should be proud of herself and that the Philippine ...

    • 20 January 2023
      2 weeks ago No comment

      The Menu (PG) *** Running time: 1h 47m Bon Appetit! By Robert Waldman

      Dine out on the antics displayed in The Menu. Now be honest, who doesn’t like to go toa nice restaurant for a good meal? All of us like to be wined and dined. Only the guestswho sign up for The Menu get just a little more than they bargained ...

    • 20 January 2023
      2 weeks ago No comment

      Liza Soberano is moving to LA

      Liza Soberano is moving to Los Angeles, California.This she shared through Filipino–American makeup artist Patrick Starrr’s mostrecent vlog where she underwent a transformation as Miss Universe.When Patrick asked why she is moving to the City OF Angels, Liza explained it’s a careermove.She said: “That’s just because it is much ...

    %d bloggers like this: