The human rights situation in the Philippines is deteriorating with the widespread cases of extrajudicial killings and ongoing attacks against voices critical to the government.
A petition was recently filed in court by the Philippine State Prosecutor of the Department of Justice (DOJ), that seeks to have a number of indigenous peoples' leaders and human rights defenders declared as terrorists and outlaws pursuant to the National Security Act of 2007.
The list of alleged terrorists includes the following renowned indigenous leaders and human rights defenders from the Cordillera Region:
- Ms. Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, former Chairperson of the UN Permanent Forum of Indigenous Issues;
- Ms. Joan Carling, Co-convener of the Indigenous Peoples Major Group on the Sustainable Development Goals, former Secretary General of the Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact (AIPP) and member of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues;
- Ms. Joanna Cariño, member of the Cordillera Peoples Alliance (CPA) Advisory Council and SANDUGO co-chairperson
- Mr. Windel Bolinget, Chairperson of the Cordillera Peoples Alliance (CPA);
- Atty. Jose Molintas, human rights lawyer and former member of the UN Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (EMRIP);
- Ms. Beverly Longid, global coordinator for the Indigenous Peoples Movement for Self-Determination and Liberation;
- Ms. Jeanette Ribaya Cawiding, Regional Coordinator of the Alliance of Concerned Teachers - Cordillera; and
- Mr. Sherwin De Vera, Regional Coordinator of DEFEND- Ilocos and member of the Save The Abra River Movement (STARM)
An estimate of around ten (10) indigenous peoples' leaders and human right advocates from Mindanao are also included in this list.
ORGANIZATIONS: Add your name to a letter to President Duterte (see below). Email your organization's name and country to: firstname.lastname@example.org and to email@example.com. The deadline for endorsements is MARCH 18, 2018.
INDIVIDUALS: Sign on to this letter at Change.Org using this link: 1. H.E. Rodrigo Duterte President of the Republic Malacañang Palace, JP Laurel St., San Miguel : STOP THE HARASSMENT & INTIMIDATION OF INDIGENOUS PEOPLES' LEADERS / HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDERS.
EVERYONE: Send letters of concern to the Philippine Embassies in your respective countries and the government officials listed in the letter of concern below.
Kindly inform the Indigenous group <firstname.lastname@example.org> of any actions you have undertaken so they can share this as part of their campaign.