January 28, 2022
WASHINGTON, D.C. – This week, Representative Susan Wild (PA-07) led a bipartisan group of her colleagues in sending a letter to Secretary of State Anthony Blinken and Secretery of Treasury Janet Yellen, urging them to seek targeted sanctions against members of the Duterte regime with documented records of grave human rights violations in the Philippines. Reports of widespread harassment and assassinations have been observed by human rights groups, and the International Criminal Court (ICC) has now begun a probe into possible crimes against humanity during Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s infamous so-called “war on drugs” – a pretext for an estimated 30,000 killings by security forces during the Duterte presidency.
"Those behind these corrosive violations should no longer operate with impunity. In our stand for democracy, the United States cannot overlook the crisis in the Philippines, and we must take tangible action if we are to truly stand for human rights and the flourishing of freedom around the world," the lawmakers wrote. "To this end, we urge the imposition of sanctions on individuals who are behind these major human rights violations, particularly via the use of the Global Magnitsky Act."
In July, Rep. Wild reintroduced the Philippine Human Rights Act, legislation to reinforce American commitment to international human rights by suspending security assistance to the Philippines until violence against dissidents ceases and accountability against the perpetrators commences.
This letter also arrives alongside horrific reports detailing the rape of a 15-year-old girl, Belle, by the 59th Infantry Brigade of the Philippine Army (IBPA) under the leadership of Lt. General Antonio Parlade, who is among the individuals listed in the letter as responsible for human rights violations committed by the Philippine security forces under the Duterte regime. Rep Wild stands with Belle and her family, who filed charges against General Parlade and other officials this past week.
Rep. Wild was joined in sending the letter by Reps. Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-01), Dean Phillips (MN-03), Suzanne Bonamici (OR-01), Dina Titus (NV-01), Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC), James McGovern (MA-03), Steve Cohen (TN-09), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY-14), Jan Schakowsky (IL-09), Betty McCollum (MN-04), Ted Lieu (CA-33), Andy Levin (MI-09), Anna Eshoo (CA-18), Angie Craig (MN-02), Earl Blumenauer (OR-03), Chellie Pingree (ME-01), Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), Barbara Lee (CA-13), Jim Costa (CA-16), Ro Khanna (CA-17), Danny Davis (IL-07), Mark Pocan (WI-02), Gerald Connolly (VA-11).