On the Palace’s remarks tagging HROs as tools of drug lords

The International Indigenous Peoples Movement for Self-Determination and Liberation (IPMSDL)
reiterates its condemnation of the Philippine Government’s attack against human rights activists and
organizations. After tagging IP leaders and human rights defenders as terrorists, the Duterte
administration is hell-bent in demonizing its critics and silencing democratic dissent by claiming that
human rights organizations (HROs) are “unwitting tools of drug lords to hinder the strides made by the
administration [on the war against drugs].”

This newest tirade against HR defenders proves that previous efforts to delegitimize principled criticism
have failed miserably, after strong condemnation domestically and internationally. Tactics like this further
unmasks the anti-people character of the administration. This psy-war against HR defenders is nothing
short of concealment for the administration’s failure to address the root causes of poverty, inequality,
and marginalization, and its ineptitude to bring change that the President has promised.

While the administration continues to claim that their war against drugs are harboring positive results,
the President and his team are hypocrites as they have been purposely turning a blind eye on big drug
personalities, including the reported involvement of former Davao City Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte in a drug
syndicate. This administration’s Department of Justice has easily named 600+ individuals as “terrorists”
without any evidence while acquitting self-confessed drug lords, Kerwin Espinosa and Peter Lim.

Together with other movements in the country, we strongly oppose the administration’s war against
drugs. This war, which has only led to the massacre of thousands of the country’s poor, including
Indigenous Peoples, is nothing but a desperate move by the government to pacify social unrest. We
challenge the President to address issues of land rights, unemployment, inaccessibility of education,
among others, and stop silencing and discrediting those who rightfully fight for the rights of the people.

In these trying times when the state is purposely sowing confusion and mistrust among the people, let us
remain vigilant and stand our ground against Duterte’s tyrannical rule. IPMSDL stands with human rights
activists all over the world fighting for freedom and genuine democracy.

CONDEMN DUTERTE’S TERRORIST RULE!

HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVISTS ARE NOT TERRORISTS! STOP CRIMINALIZING DISSENT!

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