On the Detention of Jerome Succor Aba

The International Indigenous Peoples Movement for Self- Determination and Liberation (IPMSDL) indignantly condemns the unjust deportation of Jerome Succor Aba, a Moro leader and peace advocate in the Philippines, after being arbitrarily detained by the US immigration authorities at the San Francisco International Airport.

Aba, the vice-chairperson of Sandugo – Movement of Moro and Indigenous Peoples for Self-Determination, is scheduled for immediate deportation on April 18, US time. But 24 hours of detentioned passed, authorities failed to give any basis or explanation on the reasons of denial of entry. He was also unlawfully denied his right to any legal counsel, and denied any access to communication to talk with his hosts and friends in San Francisco, USA.

Aba was scheduled to attend the Sixteenth National Ecumenical Advocacy Days (EAD) for Global Peace with Justice in Washington D.C. on April 20 to 23. He was set to join various activities in the USA to speak about the human rights and martial law situation in Mindanao, Southern part of the Philippines, under the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte.

The event is organized by US Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Sisters of Mercy, and the General Board of Global Ministries-United Methodist Church as part of the annual national gathering of churches on peace and social justice. The Stop The Killings Speaking Tour sponsored by International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines will also have him as a resource speaker during his stay in the US.

Aba was set to expose the role of the US military in the atrocities against the national minorities in Mindanao, especially at the height of the siege in Marawi, showing the outright intervention of US military facilities, weapons, and troops. Thousands of Meranaw, Moro peoples of Marawi, were forcibly evacuated and up to the present are not allowed to go back home.

Under current state of martial law and the fascist attacks of the Duterte administration, harassments, intimidations, massacres, killings, forced mass evacuations and other human rights abuses to Indigenous Peoples and other sectors has been rampant.

Last February 2018, the Philippine government tagged several progressive leaders and Indigenous activists as terrorists, including Beverly Longid, the global coordinator of the International Indigenous Peoples Movement for Self-Determination and Liberation (IPMSDL) and CPDE (CSO Partnership for Development Effectiveness) Co-chair. These steps are blatant recourse of the state in criminalizing the dissent and legitimate struggles of the people by treating such as terrorist acts. These are cunning attacks against the peoples’ clamor for justice against the plunder of Indigenous Peoples’ ancestral lands and resources.

We condemn the deportation of Jerome Succor Aba by the US government! We denounce this move of the US government to prevent Jerome from exposing the culpability of the US military forces and the Philippine government in all atrocities against the Filipino people! We call on our international friends and allies to condemn the harassment against Jerome Succor Aba! We call on all organizations, individual and advocates to stand in solidarity with us and to support the campaign to put an end to criminalization of IP and human rights activists!


Reference: Beverly Longid | IPMSDL Global Coordinator


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