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Proposition de résolution - B9-0297/2020Proposition de résolution
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MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on the situation in the Philippines, including the case of Maria Ressa

15.9.2020 - (2020/2782(RSP))

with request for inclusion in the agenda for a debate on cases of breaches of human rights, democracy and the rule of law
pursuant to Rule 144 of the Rules of Procedure

Bernard Guetta, Petras Auštrevičius, Stéphane Bijoux, Izaskun Bilbao Barandica, Dita Charanzová, Olivier Chastel, Klemen Grošelj, Moritz Körner, Ilhan Kyuchyuk, Frédérique Ries, Nicolae Ştefănuță, Ramona Strugariu, Hilde Vautmans
on behalf of the Renew Group

See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B9-0290/2020

Procédure : 2020/2782(RSP)
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European Parliament resolution on the situation in the Philippines, including the case of Maria Ressa


The European Parliament,

 having regard to its previous resolutions on the situation in the Philippines, in particular those of 15 September 2016, 16 March 2017 and 19 April 2018,

 having regard to the EEAS statement of 16 June 2020,

 having regard to the UN report on the human rights crisis in the Philippines of 4 June 2020,

 having regard to UN Human Rights Council Resolution 41/2 on the Philippines,

 having regard to the UN International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance,

 having regard to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR),

 having regard to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child,

 having regard to the EU Guidelines on Human Rights,

 having regard to the Rome Statute,

 having regard to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948,

 having regard to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR),

 having regard to Rule 144 of its Rules of Procedure,

A. whereas, since 1 July 2016, more than 27 000 people, including women and children, have reportedly been killed - including nearly 7 000 by the police - in the Philippines in the context of the 'war on drugs' led by President Rodrigo Duterte, who intends to continue this anti-drug campaign until the end of his presidential term in 2022;

B. Whereas on 4 June 2020, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) published a report on the human rights situation in the Philippines which provides detailed information on extrajudicial killings and points to:

 an environment of almost total impunity for such killings;

 falsified evidences used in police operations without a warrant;

 repeated encouragements by the highest government officials to use lethal force in the "war on drugs";

 repeated threats on the freedom of expression;

 frequent abuses on human rights by non-state actors;

C. Whereas last July President Duterte ratified the "Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020", replacing the 2007 Human Security Act, which provides an extremely broad definition of terrorism, and that this law allows the police or the military to detain suspects without a judicial arrest warrant for a long period of time;

D. Whereas in 2017, the House of Representatives of the Philippines approved a bill to reinstate the death penalty and that this bill requires prior approval of the Senate before President Duterte - who is actively campaigning for its reinstatement - can enact it into law; whereas the reinstatement of the death penalty would constitute a violation of the international commitments entered into by the Philippines in 2007;

E. Whereas the Cybercrime Prevention Act, passed in 2012, allows the authorities to shut down websites and monitor e-mails and instant messaging without special authorisation and provides for cumulative sentences of up to 14 years' imprisonment for simple libel;

F. Whereas the Philippines ranks 113th out of 180 countries in terms of corruption according to Transparency International's annual ranking of corruption; whereas in February 2020, the rate of prison congestion was 534 per cent, one of the highest in the world; whereas in 2020 the Philippines ranks 136th out of 180 countries in the Reporters Without Borders press freedom index 2020;

G. Whereas under Mr Duterte's mandate, 48 lawyers, prosecutors or judges and 18 journalists were murdered; whereas opposition Senator Leila De Lima has been in prison since 2017 without any solid evidence to support the charges against her, and  human rights and environmental activists have been subjected to violence, imprisonment, intimidation, rape and murder;

H. Whereas in March 2018, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Victoria Tauli Corpuz, who is accused of terrorism, was placed on a list of terrorist organisations by the Philippine Government, as were 600 other individuals, indigenous leaders and human rights defenders;

I. Whereas there is a serious concern about the fate of journalist Maria Ressa, a symbol of freedom of expression and independence of the press in the Philippines, whose numerous investigations have revealed corruption and murderous abuses at the highest levels of government and who, with her news site Rappler, has tirelessly defended the rights of the Filipino people; whereas Mrs Ressa is subject to incessant judicial harassment by the Philippine government; whereas Ressa was found guilty of cyber-defamation and sentenced to 6 years in prison on 15 June 2020;  whereas Ressa is being prosecuted in seven other cases, which could lead to an accumulation of sentences;

J. Whereas the programs of the main audio-visual group ABS-CBN have been suspended on 10 July  2020, following the refusal by Parliament to renew its broadcasting license acquired from President Duterte, in retaliation for the media's coverage of government activities;

K. Whereas the Philippine was a signatory to the Rome Statute since 2000 but left the International Criminal Court in 2019 after the Court opened a preliminary examination of the situation in that country regarding extrajudicial executions;

L. Whereas the Philippines benefits from the European Union's Generalized System of Preferences Plus (GSP+) and  the EU-Philippines Partnership and Cooperation Agreement provides for the establishment of a serious dialogue on human rights in the form of a working group;

1. Condemns all threats, harassment, intimidation, rape and violence against those who seek to expose allegations of extrajudicial killings and other human rights violations in the Philippines, including human rights and environmental activists and journalists; urges the Philippine government to ensure that they can all operate in an enabling environment without fear of reprisals;

2. Strongly reiterates its call on the government of the Philippines to end extrajudicial killings and condemns extrajudicial killings carried out by the military and militias in connection with the anti-drug campaign;

3. Urges the authorities of the Philippines to conduct their just fight against illicit drug trafficking in full compliance with due process of law, in accordance with national and international law, with emphasis on public health;

4. Urges the authorities of the Philippines to conduct immediate, impartial and effective investigations into these extrajudicial killings and to prosecute and bring to justice all perpetrators;

5. Reiterates its call on the Philippine authorities to end the detention of Senator Leila De Lima and to guarantee her a fair trial;

6. Calls on the Philippine authorities to revise the terrorist list and to remove human rights defenders from it and to drop all charges against them;

7. Urges the Philippine authorities to drop all charges against journalist Maria Ressa, the Rappler website and its staff, and to renew the broadcast license of the main audio-visual group ABS-CBN and to cease all harassment of independent journalists and media outlets;

8. Deeply regrets the decision of the Government of the Philippines to withdraw from the Rome Statute; calls on the government to reverse its decision;

9. Recalls that the Union considers the death penalty to be a cruel and inhuman punishment, which has no deterrent effect on crime, and reiterates its call on the Philippine authorities to immediately halt the ongoing proceedings to reinstate the death penalty;

10. Remains deeply concerned about corruption at all levels of governance; calls on the authorities to double their efforts to fight corruption effectively;

11. Urges the Philippines to end the ban on entry into the country of persons critical of President Duterte's policies;

12. Regrets that the Republic of the Philippines was re-elected to the UN Human Rights Council in 2018;

13. Urges the EU and its Member States to support the adoption of a resolution at the ongoing 45th session of the UN Human Rights Council to set up an independent international investigation on human rights violations committed in the Philippines since 2016;

14. Wishes to remind the authorities of the Philippines of their obligations under international law, the GSP+ regime and the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement, in particular with regard to human rights, and of the consequences of failure to comply with those obligations;

15. Calls on the Commission and the European External Action Service to use all available instruments, including the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement, to persuade the government of the Philippines to put an end to extra-judicial killings in connection with the anti-drug campaign;

16. Calls on the European Commission, in the absence of any substantial improvement and willingness to cooperate on the part of the Philippine authorities, to initiate the procedure which could lead to the temporary withdrawal of GSP+ preferences;

17. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the President, Government and Parliament of the Philippines, the Vice-President of the Commission/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the Council, the European Commission, the parliaments and governments of the Member States, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and the governments of the ASEAN Member States.


Dernière mise à jour: 15 septembre 2020
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