The International League of Peoples’ Struggles (ILPS) Philippines condemns the murders of Dr. Mary Rose Sancelan and her husband Edwin. Dr. Sancelan was the city health officer of Guihulngan and was included in the hit list of an anti-communist vigilante group. The ILPS Philippines also denounces the anomalous arrests on International Human Rights Day of seven activists nabbed on the charges of illegal possession of firearms and explosives.
This recent spate of human rights violations follows the capture of Amanda Echanis and her month-old son. Amanda is the daughter of slain NDFP peace consultant and peasant advocate Randall Echanis. This was also preceded by the murders of NDFP peace consultants Agaton Topacio and Eugenia Magpantay, who like Amanda and those others arrested were allegedly found with a cache of military weapons. Human rights groups state that the evidence against those arrested were planted.
Under the pretext of combating terrorism and communism, the Duterte regime is prioritizing military funding over social services such as health, education and public housing. Military officials engage in corruption by staging fake surrenders and community projects, through intelligence operations, and extrajudicial killings. The president is hell-bent on stifling dissent through state terrorism in order to plunder the country’s wealth in collaboration with foreign monopolies and the local ruling elite.
Duterte and his cronies are engaging in a frenetic witch hunt, branding critics and activists as communists and terrorists without addressing the root causes of the decades-long communist insurgency in the Philippines. The arrests made during the celebration of International Human Rights Day attest to the regime’s insincerity in pursuing a just and lasting peace.
The ILPS Philippines enjoins its member organizations to strengthen its ranks, to continue asserting and exercising democratic rights despite the threats to life and liberty.
The ILPS Philippines calls on all Filipinos aspiring for peace and democracy to combat the fascist Duterte regime and its schemes to perpetuate itself in power beyond 2022, to assert national patrimony and sovereignty amidst intervention of the imperialist powers of China and the United States.
The ILPS Philippines welcomes the initiative of global organizations and religious and political leaders to conduct independent investigations on the human rights situation in the country and asks the international community for support and solidarity against Duterte’s tyranny. #