Joint statement: Stop the Attacks! Release all political prisoners!
We, human rights, justice, and peace advocates representing different cause-oriented organizations condemn the attacks on three mass organizations’ offices in Western Visayas, and another in the Metro Manila on the afternoon of October 31, 2019. These attacks are part of the crackdown on democratic forces fighting for peace and justice in the Philippines. We demand that the mercenaries involved be held accountable. We also demand that justice be given to the arrested, and that they be freed without conditions.
The offices of Bayan Muna, Gabriela, National Federation of Sugar Workers in Bacolod were raided. 62 people were arrested. In Manila, Gabriela Metro Manila chair Cora Agovida, urban poor group Kadamay-Metro Manila member Michael Tan Bartolome, and their two young children were arrested.
The Philippine government’s forces came like thieves in the night, striking in the dark. They claimed that these offices are training grounds of the New People’s Army. This is probably the reason they struck at night, because this flimsy, ludicrous excuse is criminal activity.
These attacks were ordered by President Rodrigo Duterte through Order 32 and Executive Order 70. Order 32 deals with the virtual martial rule in Negros, Samar, and Bicol, while Executive Order 70 is the whole of the nation approach and the task force to end local communist and armed conflict. The regime is hell-bent on bulldozing the political landscape in the Philippines. Duterte is keen on threatening and killing progressives, especially since we are not fanatics of his administration. It’s a different story with this allies, as he gives in to all their whims, and merely follows the orders of big capitalists and foreign masters. Clearly, he is not a President of the ordinary Filipino.
HKCAHRPP believes that activists are being attacked because the Duterte regime, through its armed forces, cannot decimate every fighter the NPA has. So they go after unarmed civilians, even children. This is not surprising, given that that regime has already killed innocents under its farcical war on drugs. However, HKCAHRPP is sure that the Filipino people will not take this sitting down. The Philippines has a long history of oppression and struggle, and Filipinos have shown, time and time again, that they rise again and again.
Free Cora Agovida and her husband Michael Tan!
Free the Bacolod 62!
Stop the Attacks on the Filipino People!
End the state of impunity in the Philippine
- Hong Kong Campaign for Human Rights and Peace in the Philippines (HKCAHRPP)
- Abra Tinguian Ilocano Society – Hong Kong (ATIS-HK)
- Asia Pacific Mission for Migrants (APMM)
- BAYAN Hong Kong & Macau
- Bayan Muna Partylist – Hong Kong
- Filipino Friends Hong Kong
- Filipino Migrant Workers’ Union (FMWU)
- GABRIELA Hong Kong
- Promotion of Church People’s Response – Hong Kong (PCPR-HK)
- United Filipinos in Hong Kong (UNIFIL-MIGRANTE-HK)
- Rev. Joram Calimutan, UCCP