The International League of People’s Struggle (ILPS)-Africa, a broad anti-imperialist alliance of mass organizations on the continent, vehemently condemns in the strongest terms the October 31 and November 1 mass arrest of 59 activists and human rights defenders in the Philippines, in particular in Negros province and Metro Manila. ILPS-Africa expresses our solidarity with the working masses and people of the Philippines who are resisting the dictatorial regime of Rodrigo Duterte. Those arrested must be set free immediately and unconditionally!
Those who were arrested come from well-known and legitimate organizations of the marginalized that are working in the legal sphere in the Philippines: labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno (May First Movement), peasant organization Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (Peasant Movement of the Philippines), women’s liberation champion Gabriela, among others. These organizations have remained steadfast in criticizing the Duterte regime and opposing its anti-poor and repressive policies despite the regime’s campaign of repression – which it tries to legitimize by tagging these organizations as communist fronts and supporters of the armed struggle.
The mass arrest of activists and human rights defenders is not new to the Philippines, which has been under various dictatorial regimes. Under the Duterte regime, there have been constant arrests on the basis of trumped-up charges and even assassinations of activists and human rights defenders.
ILPS-Africa condemns this latest mass arrest that is clearly conducted on the basis of trumped-up charges and planted evidence. The modus operandi of Duterte’s notorious “war on drugs” has been developed alongside the long-standing campaign of repression against activists.
This mass arrest marks yet another level of deterioration in the human-rights crisis and suppression and criminalization of dissent in the Philippines. It signals de facto martial law in the country. Under the Duterte regime, the Philippines has consistently been high in global rankings in the killings of human-rights defenders, environmentalists, journalists, labor rights activists, among others.
We are calling on all progressive and democratic organizations in Africa and the world, and on the entire international community, to stand up in solidarity with the Filipino working masses and people who are bearing the brunt of government repression for opposing the Duterte regime and its dictatorial policies.
ILPS-Africa urges everyone to condemn this mass arrest, keep an eye on developments in the Philippines, and speak up against the Duterte regime’s crimes.
Free the PH activists and human rights defenders arrested on October 31-November 1, 2019!
Free all political prisoners in the Philippines
Condemn the Duterte regime’s dictatorial and fascist policies!
International League of Peoples’ Struggle – Africa
05 November 2019