3,000 flip-flops placed in the National Mall to protest against the funding of the Philippine army by the United States
November 18 (UPI) – Activists placed flip flops on the National Mall in Washington, DC on Thursday to protest extrajudicial killings by Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte.
As a member of organized event By the International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines, protesters placed 3,000 pairs of flip flops, each representing 10 of the 300,000 murders carried out under Duterte’s leadership as they urged U.S. lawmakers to stop providing a military aid to the nation.
The protest aimed to encourage Congress to pass the Philippine human rights law, which would reduce support for the Philippine military and police until alleged human rights violations were examined. .
It calls for the suspension of US security assistance and the veto of loans to the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police and also demands that the US State Department and the US Department of Defense report to the Congress on the misuse of aid, “including but not limited to extrajudicial killings, intimidation, illegal sales and embezzlement.”
The bill cites the threat posed by Duterte and the military to trade unionists, journalists, small farmers, LGBTQ activists and government critics.
One of the bill’s sponsors, Rep. Susan Wild, D-Pa., Reacted to the protest on Twitter.
“This human rights tragedy must end. It is time to pass my bill, the Philippine human rights law,” she wrote.
Oregon Democratic Reps Suzanne Bonamici and Earl Blumenauer also posted a joint declaration calling for the adoption of the bill.
“During President Duterte’s regime, we have witnessed widespread and well-documented extrajudicial killings in a so-called ‘war on drugs’, and Philippine security forces are suspected of murdering defenders of the democracy, indigenous peoples and other dissenting voices, “they wrote.” It is unacceptable that US military aid continues to flow into the Philippine government. “