Hands off Karapatan human rights worker Daisy "Jackie" Valencia, drop trumped-up charges against rights defenders

Karapatan denounces the warrants of arrest issued against Karapatan National Council member Daisy “Jackie” Valencia and other human rights defenders based on fabricated charges of murder at the Regional Trial Court Branch 30 in Tagum, Davao del Norte.

The fabricated charges stem from the alleged murder of Garito Tiklonay Malibato, a member of Karadyawan, an organization of indigenous peoples in Kapalong, Davao del Norte on March 22, 2018. Police Major Ruth Dizon, chief of the Kapalong Police Station, filed the complaint based on questionable testimonies of alleged former New People’s Army members, more than two years after the killing of Malibato.

In 2018, Malibato’s relative Datu Delio Malibato, a Karadyawan leader, said that Garito had been receiving death threats from the paramilitary group Alamara, with known leaders Ungging and Laris Masaloon. Laris, Datu Delio said, had a video wielding a knife and threatening human rights groups for “interfering” in their community.

According to Valencia, she has never been to Mindanao in 2018 and thus was never involved in the alleged incident. She had been named in leaflets and posters disseminated by State forces, red-tagging her and her colleagues in Karapatan-Cagayan Valley and in other people’s organizations in the region. Jackie has been a National Council member of Karapatan since 2009. As such, she leads the alliance’s chapter in Region II in conducting fact-finding and documentation missions and provided paralegal and other forms of assistance to victims of rights violations and their families and communities. She assisted victims of Marcos’s martial law in their applications for reparations.

This recent form of judicial harassment against Valencia and other rights defenders, which includes Cordillera People’s Alliance chairperson Windel Bolinget, Bayan’s Lutgardo Jurcales Jr., peasant leader Reynaldo Gameng, and Makabayan’s Agnes Mesina comes as state security forces and the National Task Force to End the Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) intensified its red-tagging spree against activists and political dissenters and as the Anti-Terrorism Law comes into full force.

We call on the Philippine government to stop its attacks on human rights workers, activists, political dissenters and the Filipino people. We demand the dropping of charges against Daisy “Jackie” Valencia, Windel Bolinget, Lutgardo Jurcales Jr., Reynaldo Gameng and Agnes Mesina.