The virtual gathering was a time for church and ecumenical partners around the world to stand in solidarity with the Filipino people.
“We are particularly concerned for those most affected in urban poor areas and for indigenous populations, as well as human rights defenders who have been targeted when they have spoken out on behalf of others,” reads the intervention. “The journey towards peace and justice in the Philippines continues to be a long and difficult one.”
The WCC has, for many years, advocated with and for its partners in the Philippines to keep the awareness of the situation in the minds of the international community.
“In 2019, we had a glimpse of hope that the international community was starting to react, when the Human Rights Council adopted a resolution condemning the situation in the Philippines, and giving the High Commissioner for Human Rights a mandate to investigate and report on human rights in the country,” reads the intervention. “Since that report, the Human Rights Council has not taken the further strong investigative action that we had hoped for and called for.”
However, the WCC has been very encouraged by the announcement by the International Criminal Court last month that their Pre-Trial Chamber had granted the Prosecutor’s request to commence an investigation in relation to crimes within the jurisdiction of the court. “So the pilgrimage and the struggle for justice and for peace must go on, and there is hope in this journey we are on together,” reads the intervention.
The event was co-sponsored by the National Council of Churches in the Philippines, Ecumenical Bishops’ Forum, Manila Episcopal Area and Philippine Central Conference Board of Church and Society of the United Methodist Church, United Church of Christ in the Philippines, Iglesia Filipina Independiente, and Ecumenical Voice for Human Rights and Peace in the Philippines.
Video message by Peter Prove, WCC director of the Commission of the Churches on International Affairs at the International Ecumenical Solidarity Gathering for Human Rights and Peace in the Philippines