Karapatan condemns attempted violent dispersal of protest at CHR

Photo by Lisa Marie David/Reuters

Karapatan condemns in strongest possible terms the attempt of the Philippine National Police (PNP) to disperse the peaceful indignation protest today at the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) compound using violent force. According to health marshals, at least 10 individuals were reportedly injured after being hit with truncheons and shields while the protest was being bombed with water from a firetruck.

The right to peaceful assembly and protest is a basic right enshrined in our constitution; even our laws guarantee the exercise of this right, especially in a designated freedom park such the CHR’s Liwasang Diokno. Is the violent dispersal today a prelude of things to come under a Marcos-Duterte administration — where exercising our basic rights and freedoms are met with brazen State violence?

We will not take these violations sitting down, and in the face of the looming return of the forces of tyranny and fascism, all the more that we will protest and resist any and all attempts to unleash the horrors of Marcosian martial law and State repression. All the more that we should take to the streets and denounce a despotic tandem that has cheated their way to victory through lies, historical distortions, and mass deception.

We call on the CHR to investigate and condemn the PNP’s attempt to violently disperse a peaceful assembly right within their premises, and to hold the responsible PNP officials accountable for the incident. Above all, we call on all freedom-loving Filipinos to bravely stand to defend our hard-won rights and freedoms, and to reject the Marcos-Duterte tandem.

Cristina Palabay
Karapatan Secretary General