Demonstration in Philippines

Church activists sing the national anthem on September 21, 2022, as they protest in Manila the 50th anniversary of martial law in the Philippines. Church leaders earlier in the day commemorated the anniversary with a memorial service for those killed during martial law, which was imposed by President Ferdinand Marcos and effectively lasted until a pro-democracy uprising drove Marcos from office in 1986.


The family members of the thousands killed under the previous Duterte administration are still working for justice and accountability but have few legal options in local and national courts,” reads the statement, which goes on to condemn in the strongest possible terms the extrajudicial killings and other grave human rights violations being committed in the Philippines, and calls upon the government of the Philippines to take all necessary measures to stop these violations, to uphold human rights, to ensure that impartial investigations are carried out to hold perpetrators accountable, and to engage seriously and constructively with the three-year United Nations Joint Programme on Human Rights in the Philippines.”

The central committee also expressed its condolences to the families of the victims, especially to the families of church workers, pastors, and priests who have been among the victims of extrajudicial killings.

The statement affirms the National Council of Churches in the Philippines, member churches, and ecumenical partners of the WCC, and other faith-based organizations and religious workers, for their courageous work with and for the poor in the face of violent opposition, and supports their call for the government and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines…to resume the formal peace negotiations and to address the root causes of the armed conflict.”

The WCC central committee usually meets every two years and serves as the chief governing body of the WCC between assemblies. This year’s meeting is the first since the central committee was elected at the WCC 11th Assembly in Karlsruhe, Germany, in 2022.

Statement on the Human Rights Situation in the Philippines

Photo gallery of the WCC Central committee meeting

WCC Central committee meeting, June 2023