As a follow-up activity of the IADL/COLAP resolution on the extrajudicial killings in the Philippines, Japan Lawyers International Solidarity Association (JALISA), the IADL member association in Japan, invited a farmers’ trade union leader in Negros, Philippines, Mr. John Milton Lozande, to speak in Japan between 8 and 19 May.
In his talks and events, he exposed the situation of ongoing extrajudicial killings in the Philippines under President Rodrigo Duterte. He also spoke about the assassinated lawyer Benjamin Ramos from the National Union of People’s Lawyers (NUPL), the IADL member association in the Philippines. During his life and through his legal work, Ramos was a strong supporter of the farmers’ union’s activities in Negros.
While Lozande visited Japan, JALISA hosted press conference, meetings with members of Parliament and a visit to the embassy of the Philippines in Tokyo.
Japan provides Overseas Development Assistance (ODA) to the Philippines government and is in fact the largest source of foreign funding. In Japan, human rights violations in recipient countries are a condition for the limitation of ODA. In addition, arms exports are prohibited by law to countries with grave violations of international human rights and humanitarian law under the Arms Trade Treaty of 2014. These are key points to raise before the Japanese government and parliament in order to pressure Duterte to stop the killings and other violations. Duterte is scheduled to visit Japan in late May.
JALISA cited the verdict of the People’s Tribunal on Duterte, convened by IADL and partners in Brussels in 2018, as well as the report of the fact finding mission to the Philippines in March 2019 to highlight these violations of international human rights law.
The ambassador of the Philippines committed to deliver the statements of JALISA and IADL to his government. JALISA pledged to continue its international solidarity activities to end extrajudicial killings in the Philippines.
Read JALISA’s statement on the extrajudicial killings of farm workers in Negros:
In addition, Osamu Niikura of JALISA spoke alongside Lozande at the Foreign Correspondents Club of Japan (FCCJ) on Friday, 17 May. Read his statement below: