Karapatan urges DOJ to dismiss sedition case vs. opposition

Karapatan, a human rights alliance, strongly condemns the sedition case filed by the Philippine National Police (PNP) against Vice President Leni Robredo, detained Sen. Leila de Lima and other current and former senators, Catholic bishops and priests including Socrates Villegas, Pablo Virgilio David, Honesto Ongtioco, and Teodoro Bacani, Jr., human rights advocates Erin Tanada, Chel Diokno, Samira Gutoc, and other opposition personalities – 36 in all – over the infamous “Bikoy” videos allegedly made by a certain Peter Joemel Advincula to “spread lies against the President, and to destroy its administration.”

“In this dictatorial regime that is manipulating all the branches of government by implementing fascist rules, the cases being filed against opposition personalities, mostly human rights defenders and Church leaders in the Philippines, truly leave us in distress and alarm,” said Karapatan Secretary General Cristina Palabay. 

“This recent move initiated by the Duterte regime, alongside the countless human rights violations it has committed against Filipino people, especially the poor, human rights defenders, and activists, shows us how Duterte and his associates are willing to persecute their critics just to have full control over the country and for them to be able to exploit its resources,” she added. 

The Karapatan official said that “this case shows how the Duterte government wepaonizes the legal system in the country to harass its critics – the same tactic he used to persecute the likes of De Lima and former Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno.” 

“We call on the Department of Justice, the agency where the case was filed, to immediately dismiss the case. We will stand by  against all attempts to muzzle and silence critical voices,” Palabay concluded.