San Francisco Board of Supervisors Approves Resolution Condemning Philippine President Duterte’s Drug War

Resolution Urges Federal Representatives urged  to Support a Congressional Hearing to stop using U.S. Tax Dollars to fund Philippine Military and Police

San Francisco–  The San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted today on a resolution condemning the the extrajudicial killing of over 29,000 people, mostly urban poor Filipinos suspected of being drug users or sellers, killed in their homes or in front of their families, without due process whatsoever.  Many of those killed are also critics or political opponents of President Duterte, Mayors, Catholic priests, labor and indigenous leaders.

The resolution also puts San Francisco on record in support Congresswoman Jackie Speier’s and Senator Markey’s House resolution calling on the Philippine government to stop persecuting Senator de Lima and journalist Maria Ressa, vocal critics of the Philippine drug war.

The resolution urges our San Francisco federal leaders to support a Congressional hearing on the consequences of our tax dollars going to support the Philippine military and police. The resolution has 6 co-sponsors including Supervisors Matt Haney, Sandra Lee Fewer, Rafael Mandelman, Gordon Mar, Aaron Peskin, Shamann Walton, and Board President Norman Yee.

“As communities of conscience, we have a duty to take a stand against the brutal killings and political repression and to send a strong message to the U.S. Congress that we do not condone these actions.  We must stand with Maria Ressa and Senator De Lima and all the women that  have been killed, lost loved ones, and targeted for speaking out.”  said District 6 Supervisor Matt Haney who represents the historic and cultural hub for the Filipinos in the Bay Area.

“We thank the San Francisco Board of Supervisors for supporting our efforts to stop the use of our tax dollars  in the drug war killings and political persecution under the Trump-Duterte alliance.  In November 2016, I travelled to the Philippines and heard first hand from faith, labor, peasants, indigenous, environmental defenders and families of victims of the drug war.  My visit coincided with President Trump’s meeting with President Duterte where Trump made his first pledge of U.S. military and financial aid to Duterte’s Administration. I was there among the hundreds of thousands of people who took to the streets of Manila and across the Philippines to protest this alliance.  International solidarity has always played a key role in the struggle for world peace and human rights and a San Francisco value,” said Pam Tau Lee, a fourth generation San Franciscan and Richmond resident who serves as the Chairperson of the U.S. chapter of ICHRP- International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines, who is leading the campaign for the cutting of aid to the Duterte regime.  Ms. Lee is a long-time labor and environmental activist.

While there is mounting international condemnation of the Philippine Government’s Drug War campaign that has killed over 29,000 people including scathing reports from Amnesty International and Human Right Watch, San Francisco would be the first major city to adopt a formal resolution.

Earlier in the month, the San Francisco Labor Council passed a similar resolution.   In October 2016, when only 3000 Filipinos were killed under the Drug War, the SFPD suspended its 16 year old joint training with the Philippine National Police.

The Philippines is the largest recipient of U.S. military aid in East and Southeast Asia and received $184 million last year.