“All lies and delusions” Karapatan Central Visayas slams of PTFOMS on “satisfactory” state of freedom of expression and HR in the region

January 31, 2024

Karapatan Central Visayas slams the lies and delusions declared by Atty. Hue Jyro Go, Chief of Staff for the Presidential Task Force on Media Security, during their meeting with UN Special Rapporteur Irene Khan yesterday last January 29.

The people’s growing movement is in stark contrast to what the fascist institution parroted. The Police Regional Office 7 desperation to conceal the truth only digs a shameful grave on their part and shows who they truly are: manufacturers of lies and number one violators of freedom of expression and opinion.

State agents have been terror-tagging and demonizing progressive people, organizations, and even media professionals on a large scale. Together with the AFP, they have been doing rounds of forums demonizing progressive organizations and individuals by red-tagging them. The most recent time that Karapatan Central Visayas was monitored was in December 2023 at Cebu Normal University. They even go the extra mile by distributing flyers and posters red-tagging Kyle Enero, a Sangguniang Kabataan candidate and a member of the Kabataan Party List.

Lest they forget how they violently arrested and manhandled seven protestors and a bystander on June 5, 2020, during an Anti-Terror Law protest in UP Cebu.

Lest they forget how they harshly dispersed and detained the residents and support groups of Sitio Camara, Bankal, Lapu-Lapu City after they demolished their homes on November 28, 2023. Just this month, they arrested two students for flashing the dirty finger with police in the background.

May we remind the police force of how they sabotaged and disrupted peaceful mobilizations by blasting music with loudspeakers and by doing “trying-hard” and amateur “rockstar wannabe” performances to wantonly silence the calls of progressive groups on economic and human rights issues. The most recent display of such brazen bombardment of deafening noise was during the 75th commemoration of International Human Rights Day in 2023. The police force is clearly missing the point—they can never drown out the call for justice for the families and friends of the victims of rights abuses.

Even the solemnity of Holy Mass in support of Carbon vendors who have been victimized by a modus modernization program was not spared by their grave disrespect of our freedom and rights.

We would also like to point out how most of our political prisoners are peasant advocates and organizers, artists, youth and women leaders, and human rights defenders who are facing trumped-up cases to justify their incarceration. In Bohol, the Special Weapons and Tactics unit of the police arrested Alvin Fortaliza on March 14, 2019, based on a fabricated charge of murder. One of the longest jailed is youth activist Myles Albasin and the rest of Mabinay 6, following their warrantless arrest in 2018.

The abduction of unionists and rights defenders Dyan Gumanao and Armand Dayoha in a busy port in Cebu by men who introduced themselves as police officers is still fresh in our memory.

These are just some of the cases highlighted during our consultation with SR Irene Khan.

No amount of lies concocted by the PNP can sugarcoat or conceal the absurdity of their claims because the people know and are continuously experiencing their brutality. It cannot hide the obvious truth about how it resorts to tyrannical measures in a show of desperation.

The authorities cannot get away from their atrocities. We will not cower in our faith in truth, justice, and accountability! #