September 11, 2018
Reference: Roneo Clamor, Deputy Secretary General +63999-7721233
Karapatan Public Information Desk, +63918-9790580
PNP Memorandum, another brazen attack against rights defenders – Karapatan
Rights groups were informed of a memorandum released by the Philippine National Police (PNP) Intelligence Group, directing the country’s police officers to provide a summary of information (SOI) on alleged leaders of the New People’s Army (NPA). Though groups only knew of the memorandum this September, said memo was dated May 28, 2018.
“There is not a hint of intelligence in that memo, only the perpetual red-baiting of known activists. This is the Duterte regime’s relentless political persecution, mobilizing all its forces to threaten and harass those who pose as hindrances to the government’s slaughter of the Filipino people,” said Karapatan Deputy Secretary General Roneo Clamor, adding that the list is strikingly similar to the proscription petition filed by the Department of Justice on February 2018. DOJ Secretary Menardo Guevarra has since admitted that his department did not verify the names on the said list.
Included in the list are prominent indigenous rights activists from the Cordillera region: Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, current United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples; Joan Carling, Co-convener of the Indigenous Peoples Major Group for Sustainable Development Goals; Atty. Jose Molintas, former Asia representative to the UN Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (EMRIP) and former Cordillera People’s Alliance (CPA) Chair; Beverly Longid, current global coordinator of the International Indigenous Peoples Movement for Self-Determination and Liberation (IPMSDL); Joanna Patricia Cariño, member of the CPA and Co-Chair of Sandugo; Windel Bolinget, CPA chairperson and National Co-convener of Sandugo; Jeannete Ribaya-Cawiding, former Chairperson of CPA-Tongtongan ti Umili and current Regional Coordinator of the Alliance of Concerned Teachers – Cordillera.
Included also is Sherwin De Vera, Regional Coordinator of DEFEND Ilocos, member of the Save The Abra River Movement (STARM) and former Secretary General of the Ilocos Human Rights Alliance-Karapatan.
“Duterte’s attacks against rights defenders betray his fear of being exposed as a President who has killed thousands but has never solved any social problem. There is no doubt that those on these “lists” are targeted because of their work and advocacy as rights defenders and activists,” Clamor further said.
Clamor noted that “many other activists were extrajudicially killed because of these baseless lists, even used by the opportunist police and military to satiate their greed and fatten themselves.” He cited the 2014 joint memorandum of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the Department of National Defense (DND) that ordered the arrest of alleged communists, funded with P46 million. The said memo resulted to a series of arbitrary arrests and cases of mistaken identities.
“If this government thinks it can go on a killing spree without a hint of resistance from individuals and communities, then it is seriously mistaken. The Duterte regime has underestimated the resolve of the Filipino people to fight and defend people’s rights. As Duterte and his cohorts wreak havoc in the country’s economy, while simultaneously attacking the poor and rights defenders who stand by the deliberately silenced, his government is all the more exposed as useless and ineffective. The Duterte regime has high marks in manipulation, repression and instilling terror, but inutile in everything else,” concluded Clamor.
PUBLIC INFORMATION DESK
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KARAPATAN is an alliance of human rights organizations and programs, human rights desks and committees of people’s organizations, and individual advocates committed to the defense and promotion of people’s rights and civil liberties. It monitors and documents cases of human rights violations, assists and defends victims and conducts education, training and campaigns.