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Public Forum: What's going on in the Philippines?

Wellington Public Forum: What's going on in the Philippines?

Speaker: Rod Prosser

Rod is a film-maker, who has recently returned from a fact-finding trip to the Philippines, along with three others. The trip was partly sponsored by the Philippines Solidarity Network of Aotearoa (PSNA).

Sunday 30th October, 2pm

Crossways Community Centre (cnr Brougham & Elizabeth Sts, Mt Victoria, Wellington)

The military in the Philippines has an appalling record of systematic human rights abuses. This is not just against the Muslim population in the south, but throughout the entire archipelago. A second civil war has raged throughout the whole country since the 1960s, between the military and communists. PSNA have written extensively about how the military operates in a culture of impunity, and this continues under the current Arroyo regime. Nobody is ever held accountable for the innumerable murders, abductions, disappearances, torture, terrorisation of communities, etc.

In August, the Philippines' human rights movement invited those from outside the Philippines to join an International Solidarity Mission (ISM) to five of the worst human rights hotspots. Four New Zealanders took part, including Rod Prosser, Tim Howard, Mary-Ellen O'Connor and Josephine O'Connor. They spent several weeks travelling throughout the Philippines, viewing graphic evidence of a War of Terror that is being waged by the Philippine military and Government against its 'own' people.

PSNA has recently learned that the head of the New Zealand Army, Major General Jerry Mateparae, made an official visit to the Philippines military forces stationed in the southernmost part of the country. This was as recent as September this year – last month! Who gave the NZ military and/or Government any mandate to get involved in the extremely murky and bloodsoaked politics of the southern Philippines?

Rod will talk about the human rights situation in the Philippines and show personal video material. He even has updates about what has been happening to activists there in the last couple of weeks.

The Philippines Solidarity Network of Aotearoa website is at: http://www.converge.org.nz/psna

Hosted by the Wellington People's Forum. A light afternoon tea will follow the forum.

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