MANILA – A group wants the United States to stop military assistance to the Philippines amid alleged human rights violations during President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs.
“For us here in the United States, we don’t want US taxpayer dollars to be used to, you know, fund and be used against the people of the Philippines and used to commit human rights violations,” International Council for Human Rights and Policy legislative coordinator Miles Ashton said.
Ashton said they are in no way stepping on the Philippines’ sovereignty by lobbying for the passage of the Philippine Human Rights Act, a proposal that could stop taxpayer-funded arms sales and other US security assistance to the Duterte administration.
“We are not imposing. We’re not trying to impose anything for electorally, we’re not trying to change domestic policy, we’re not trying to do things like that other than say we don’t want US military aid being used for human rights abuses by the Duterte administration,” he told ANC’s “Rundown.”
“This is US money, US aid, this is an issue of US sovereignty and what is being done with our money and it is our decision as US citizens to say no, we do not want our money being used for these kinds of human rights violations,” he said.
Ashton says the Philippine Human Rights Act is a stop-gap measure and that their group would like to see more of a human rights focus foreign policy within the United States.
“If anyone is committing human rights violations, clearly we should not be selling weapons to them,” he said.
-- ANC, 9 August 2021