KARAPATAN condemns continuing assault on activists and progressive organizations

Rights group raises alarm over rising violations cases in the run –up to the 2010 elections

Karapatan condemns continuing assault on activists and progressive organizations


The human rights alliance Karapatan today denounced the continuing state-perpetrated attacks on activists and progressive organizations.  Particularly, the Alliance condemns the June 11 raid of an electoral consultation and conference in Cagayan Valley, participated in by 19 representatives of people's organizations, as well as local coordinators of progressive partylist organizations Bayan Muna, Anakpawis, Gabriela Women's Party and Kabataan. 

At around midnight of June 11, not less than 30 men, some of whom were masked and wearing camouflage pants, combat boots, and armed with M16 rifles and .45 caliber pistols, forced their way into the sleeping quarters of the participants at MasCoop Resort, Bgy. Masisit, Sanchez Mira, Cagayan province.

The perpetrators threatened to kill the victims and took all of their personal belongings including laptops, personal documents and money.  The manner, accuracy and swiftness of the raid show a similar pattern of military attacks in many of the earlier cases of abductions and raids committed in other areas and in other cases.

Earlier in the day, the victims noticed surveillance being conducted by suspicious persons, who, according to police investigators, called themselves “human rights evaluators.”   The Sanchez  Mira PNP, however, blottered the incident as mere robbery.

The brazen terrorist attack came in the wake of the government-announced abolition of the Inter-Agency Legal Action Group (IALAG) which authored the trumped up charges against leaders and key members of progressive people’s organizations labelled as “enemies of the state.”  “Is this now the proof of General Ermita’s declaration that even without the IALAG the government will pursue "other means of monitoring the activities of those trying to destabilize the government?” Karapatan Secretary General Marie Hilao-Enriquez asked.

Right after the incident, Northern Luzon Command's Maj Gen. Isagani Cachuela stated in a Cagayan Bombo Radyo interview that the military is also "targeting white areas in urban areas."  Such statement proves that the government's offensives against people’s organizations are in accordance with the objectives of Oplan Bantay Laya 2 (OBL), which remains operational.

Karapatan also decries the increase in the cases of human rights violations as election in 2010, even if mired in uncertainty because of the con-ass moves in the House of Representatives, is being tackled by electoral groups in the country.

Victims of Extrajudicial Killings

Year

Total

2005

187

2006

220

2007

94

Based on reports gathered by Karapatan

Karapatan's data show an increase in extrajudicial killings and other rights violations in the years prior to the 2007 election.

Karapatan calls on the people not to be cowed by the government’s moves to silence the progressive partylist voices in the face of these attacks.  By all means, the people have a right to defend and assert their democratic rights.###

 

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