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CSULB’s ASI Senate votes to support Philippine Human Rights Act

Long Beach State’s Associated Students, Inc. Senate voted to approve the first reading of a resolution to formally support the Philippine Human Rights Act at its meeting Wednesday.

The Philippine Human Rights Act, introduced to the House of Representatives last month, would require the Filipino government under President Rodrigo Duterte to make substantial human rights reforms or lose military aid from the United States. With this resolution, CSULB would follow in the footsteps of universities like California State University, Northridge and University of California Los Angeles, which have passed similar resolutions.

“We also have a statement of solidarity with the Filipino community in Long Beach to condemn these human rights violations,” said Sumaiyah Hossain, ASI senator at-large. 

Duterte has a history of human rights violations and using violence to silence opposition. According to the Associated Press, Duterte’s war on drugs in the Philippines has led to the extrajudicial killings of more than 5,800 people and even more arrests.

One of the most recent examples of these human right violations is the Philippines anti-terror law, which took effect in July. This law expanded the definition of terrorism to include most forms of speech and protests against the Filipino government.

“The anti-terror law can label anyone with critiques on the government as a terrorist, so this affects both people in the Philippines and Filipino Americans,” said Irene Choi, president of the Pilipino American Coalition at CSULB.

The senate also approved the first reading of an action item on select California statewide ballot measures. The action item would see ASI formally support Propositions 16, 17, 18 and 25 and oppose Proposition 20.

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