Ms. Teresita Quinto-Deles, peace activist and gender equality advocate, is a leader of peace initiatives in the Philippines. A significant achievement under her leadership is the signing of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro in 2014, marking the end of four decades of armed conflict between the Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front. In another important feat, she led the Philippines to become the first country in Asia-Pacific to enforce a National Action Plan on Women, Peace, and Security.
The Philippine Centre Canada and the Filipino Students Association of the University of Ottawa had the honour of hosting Ms. Teresita Quinto-Deles at an open forum on Human Rights in the Philippines at the University of Ottawa on April 5, 2019. Ms. Deles highlighted examples of serious human rights violations in the Philippines, including: 1) 27,000 recorded extra-judicial killings executed for the War on Drugs; 2) Limitation of press freedom through threats against investigative journalists; 3) Persecution of individuals and organizations that oppose or criticize the current administration; 4) Erosion of citizens’ protection under the law; and 5) Promoting misogynistic culture.
As Filipino-Canadians, we are deeply troubled by these violations. As a signatory to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, all Canadians, including Filipino-Canadians, should be vigilant of human rights violations that happen globally.