The raids and arrests of 57 social rights activists in Bacolod, Escalante and Manila are the latest in a wave of repressive actions being conducted by the US-Duterte regime in the name of anti-communism to attack social activists and critics of the regime and its policies and actions, in a futile attempt to silence and destroy opposition to its undemocratic, inhumane and anti-people policies.
In typical Gestapo fashion the Duterte regime has used military and police to raid the offices of peoples organisations and rounded up trade union workers and human rights workers, including minors, all on the basis of trumped-up charges of being communist terrorists and with the planting of firearms and explosives as, “evidence”. It is utterly preposterous that legal patriotic and progressive organisations like the Kilusang Mayo Uno union organisation, the National Federation of Sugar Workers, Gabriela, Bayan Muna, the Philippine Chapter of the International League of Peoples’ Struggle (ILPS), even the National Council of Churches in the Philippines and Caritas, are “terrorist” organisations.
Clearly this is a further attempt by the US/Duterte regime to oppress and attack critics of its policies and actions in the hope of silencing and destroying opposition to its undemocratic, inhumane and anti-people policies.
There is evidence, actual video footage, showing how the military and police authorities planted the firearms and explosives in the offices of the peoples’ organisations.
The raiding teams used defective search warrants (the search warrant used in Negros Occidental, for example, came from Quezon City) and planted evidence in the Gestapo-like raids which is the oldest trick in the book by a desperate government trying to cover up its’ crimes against the Filipino people.
The ILPS condemns in the strongest possible terms this latest fascist oppression by the US/Duterte regime and calls on the people and Governments of the world to urgently condemn Duterte and his US backers in the strongest possible terms.
The League calls on its members and supporters across the globe to demand the immediate release of the 57 rounded up democratic rights and human rights activists and the minors involved.
We call on all defenders of peoples’ rights everywhere to organise solidarity actions, emails, fax messages and social media, demanding the immediate release of the arrested activists and the minors, the dropping of the trumped-up charges and ending of the deplorable oppressive situation in the Philippines.
We also call on you to organise exposure protests at the consulates, embassies and other appropriate establishments.
Kindly use the following hashtags in your campaign: #ReleaseNegros57 #DefendNegros, #ActivismIsNotACrime, and #StopTheAttacks against rights defenders and activists.
Len Cooper, Chair ILPS
You may also send your protest letters and statements to:
Hon. Rodrigo Roa Duterte
President of the Republic
JP Laurel St., San Miguel
Voice: (+632) 564 1451 to 80, 784-4286
Fax: (+632) 742-1641 / 929-3968
E-mail: Send message through https://op-proper.gov.ph/contact-us/
Hon. Cecilyn E. Burgos-Villavert
Regional Trial Court Branch 89
Room 119, Quezon City Hall of Justice, Mayaman St., Diliman, Quezon City
Phone: +632 8924 3912
Lt. Col. Jovie Espenido
Deputy Director for Operations
Bacolod City Police Office
Magsaysay Avenue, Barangay Taculing, 6100, Bacolod, Negros Occidental
Phone: (034) 435 5001
Col. Romeo Balleros
Negros Occidental Provincial Police Office
Aquarius Street, Barangay Estefania, Camp Alfredo Montelibano Sr., Bacolod, 6100
Brig. Gen. Jose Napoleon Coronel
Crime Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG)
Camp Rafael Crame, Quezon City
Lt. Gen. Noel Clement
Chief of Staff, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP)
Camp General Emilio Aguinaldo, EDSA, Quezon City
Phone: +632 8911 6001