Condemn the Duterte Government’s Terrorist Rule!

CASE SUMMARY

Petition to Proscribe
The Department of Justice vs. The Communist Party of the Philippines and the New Peoples Army aka Bagong Hukbong Bayan

On February 21, 2018, the Department of Justice (DoJ) an executive agency of the Republic of the Philippines filed a petition with the Regional Trial Court, Branch 19 of the National Capital Region against the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and the New People’s Army (NPA). The said petition seeks to declare the CPP and NPA “as a terrorist and outlawed organizations, associations, and/or group of persons” under the Human Security Act of 20017 (Republic Act 9372) also known as the Anti-Terrorism law. Integral to the petition is a list of names that the DoJ claims to be known officers and members of the CPP and NPA.

Named in the petition are activists belonging to legitimate organizations including Indigenous Peoples, notably, Beverly Longid, global coordinator of the International Indigenous Peoples Movement for Self-Determination and Liberation (IPMSDL) and co-chair of the CSO Partnership for Development Effectiveness (CPDE). Other Indigenous rights activists included in the petition are Cordillera Peoples Alliance (CPA) Chairperson Windel Bolinget; SANDUGO co-chairperson Joanna Cariño; former Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact (AIPP) Secretary-General Joan Carling; former member of the UN Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (EMRIP) Jose Molintas, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Vicky Tauli-Corpuz; and at least 10 Lumad leaders from southern and northern Mindanao.

The Human Security Act defines and penalizes terrorism under existing provisions of the Revised Penal Code and several criminal laws mainly through acts it perceives that “thereby sowing and creating a condition of widespread and extraordinary fear and panic among the populace, in order to coerce the government to give to an unlawful demand” and “to overthrow the duly constituted authorities and to seize control of the Philippine Government through armed struggle.” It carries a penalty of forty (40) years imprisonment without the benefit of parole.
The DoJ to support its petition cites several alleged documents of the CPP and NPA, and incidents, and pending cases that are probably trump-up in several trial courts in the country as acts of terrorism.

The above charges are not only false and fabricated. They are baseless and malicious with intent to harass and intimidate those listed in the petition and the people’s mass movement to submission. It is meant to cripple the people’s mass movement in the country and criminalize the legitimate struggles of the people by treating such as terrorist acts.

Like others listed in the petition, we are in the process of consulting with our lawyers on how to handle the trumped-up charges and ensure that our life and rights are protected. We shall definitely look into the accountability of those responsible for putting not only our lives but also those of our families and loved ones in danger.

The International Indigenous Peoples Movement for Self-Determination and Liberation (IPMSDL) strongly condemns the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) harassment of human rights defenders in the Philippines by filing trumped-up charges against alleged terrorists.

The Government of the Philippines, through the DOJ, filed a petition in court naming over 600 leaders and activists as terrorists for allegedly “using acts of terror to sow fear and panic to overthrow the government”. Among the accused is IPMSDL Global Coordinator and CPDE (CSO Partnership for Development Effectiveness) Co-chair, Beverly Longid. Beverly is an Indigenous Bontok-Kankanaey activist from Cordillera, who has served various national and international organizations and alliances upholding Indigenous Peoples’ (IP) right to self-determination and liberation.

Other Indigenous rights activists included in the petition are Cordillera Peoples Alliance (CPA) Chairperson Windel Bolinget; SANDUGO co-chairperson Joanna Cariño; former Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact (AIPP) Secretary-General Joan Carling; former member of the UN Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (EMRIP) Jose Molintas, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Vicky Tauli-Corpuz; and at least 10 Lumad leaders from southern and northern Mindanao.

The above charges are not only false and fabricated. They are baseless and malicious with intent to harass and intimidate those listed in the petition and the people’s mass movement to submission. It is meant to cripple the people’s mass movement in the country and criminalize the legitimate struggles of the people by proscribing them as terrorist acts.

We condemn the Duterte government for filing trumped-up charges against IP and human rights defenders while protecting big businesses and landlords who steal and plunder indigenous peoples’ ancestral lands and resources.
Nevertheless, the government is gravely mistaken if it believes that intimidation and harassment will stop the people from fighting back and exercising their democratic rights. While injustice prevails and human rights are violated with impunity, there will be more human rights defenders who will rise up against tyranny.

We demand that the Government of the Philippines drop all trumped-up charges against human rights defenders be accountable for all human rights violations committed – directly through killings, torture, forced evacuations, etc.; and indirectly through the inaction and inutility of mandated government agencies such as the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples. We call on our international friends and allies to stand in solidarity with us and to support the campaign to put an end to criminalization of IP and human rights activists!

STOP THE CRIMINALIZATION & HARASSMENT OF INDIGENOUS PEOPLES & HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDERS!

FREE ALL POLITICAL PRISONERS!

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