Launching of DEFEND ST:

A Task Force to Defend the Victims of Political Persecution in Southern Tagalog

 

Benitez Hall, College of Education, UP Diliman

November 22, 2008

 

UN Human Rights Committee finds RP government guilty

of rights violations on the Eden Marcellana and Eddie Gumanoy case

 

Bonus Tracks: KARAPATAN Human Rights Monitor, July-Sept. 2008

 

 At the UP Diliman Sunken Garden: a message to the Arroyo government
 

Representaives of the families of arrested activists cpmdemn the persecution of their kin at the launching of the Defend ST Task Force

 

A total of 72 individuals, all known leaders, spokespersons and members of activist organizations have been charged with multiple murder for an alleged NPA ambush in  Mindoro in 2006. Included in the charges and facing possible arrest is Gabriela Southern Tagalog Secretary General Helen Asdolo and Gabriela provincial coordinator for Cavite, Amelita Sto. Tomas.

 
Of those charged, six individuals have already been arrested, including labor lawyer and KMU counsel Atty. Remigio Saladero.

 

                   

Arrested activists in Mindoro jail. Photos courtesy of Jeff Ocampo of Pinoy Wekly

/p

/p
           
Poet Axel Pinpin recitss a poem wearing his back-to-back placard: "Aktibista hindi kriminal", " NPA hindi terorista"
           

 

URGENT CALL FOR INTERNATIONAL SOLIDARITY

Defend Human Rights Defenders! Stop Persecution of Filipino Activists!

 

Warm greetings of solidarity from the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (New Patriotic Alliance) Philippines!

 

We are seeking your support to denounce the continuing persecution of Filipino social and political activists and human rights defenders.

 

A total of 72 persons in Southern Tagalog, Philippines, mostly leaders and members of people's organizations, are unfairly accused of multiple murder and frustrated murder. Since October 23, 2008, six of the 72 have already been arrested and detained: labor lawyer Remigio Saladero; bedridden peasant leader Rogelio Galit, who is seriously afflicted with diabetes; Anakpawis (Toiling Masses) party-list local organizer Nestor San Jose and Bayan Muna (People First) party-list local organizer Crispin Zapanta; labor union organizer Arnaldo Seminiano, and labor NGO official Emmanuel Dionida.

 

The United Nations (UN) Declaration on Human Rights Defenders describes the situation of human rights defenders, to wit: "A great many human rights defenders, in every region of the world, have been subject to violations of their human rights. They have been the target of executions, torture, beatings, arbitrary arrest and detention, death threats, harassment and defamation, as well as restrictions on their freedoms of movement, expression, association and assembly. Defenders have been the victims of false accusations and unfair trial and conviction".

 

As the world observes 60 years of the UN Universal Declaration on Human Rights, we urge you to support our campaign to bear pressure on the Philippine government to stop the wave of unjustified arrests and detention of Filipino activists and human rights defenders.

 

WHAT YOU CAN DO:

 

1) Sign the petition of DEFEND - Southern Tagalog at: http://bayan.ph/petition/

2) Organize protest actions in front of Philippine embassies/consulates on the 3rd of December, International Day for Solidarity with Political Prisoners and Prisoners of War, the 10th of December, marking the 60th International Human Rights Day to demand the Philippine government to stop persecution of human rights defenders and all forms of attacks on human rights.   

3) Send messages of support and solidarity to the victims and their families through bayan_national@yahoo.com.

4) Send protest letters to the Philippine government addressed to:

 

H.E. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo
President of the Republic
Malacańang Palace, JP Laurel St., San Miguel, Manila, Philippines
Voice: (+632) 564 1451 to 80
Fax: (+632) 742-1641 / 929-3968
Cell#: (+ 63) 919 898 4622 / (+63) 917 839 8462
E-mail:
corres@op.gov.ph /
opnet@ops.gov.ph

Sec. Gilberto C. Teodoro Jr.
Department of National Defense
Room 301 DND Building, Camp Emilio Aguinaldo, E. de los Santos Avenue, Quezon City, Philippines
Voice:+63(2) 911-9281 / 911-0488
Fax:+63(2) 911 6213
osnd@philonline.com

 

Sec. Raul M. Gonzalez
Department of Justice
Padre Faura St., Manila, Philippines
Direct Line 521-8344; 5213721
Trunkline 523-84-81 loc.214
Fax: (+632) 521-1614
Email
sad@doj.gov.ph

Hon. Leila De Lima
Chairperson, Commission on Human Rights
SAAC Bldg., UP Complex
Commonwealth Avenue, Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines
Fax: (+632) 929 0102
Email:
drpvq@chr.gov.ph

*Please cc: bayan_national@yahoo.com.

For more information, please read the Bayan briefer and DEFEND-ST petition against persecution of activists at www.bayan.ph.

 

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

BAYAN invitation for Nov. 22 launching of Defend ST

DEAR FRIENDS:

Warm greetings from BAYAN!

Between October 23, 2008 and November 13, 2008, Atty. Remigio Saladero and five (5) other human rights defenders were arrested on trumped-up criminal charges. Sixty-six (66) others are facing threats of similar arrest. While extrajudicial killings and abductions continue, albeit not as frequently and as outrageously as before, the Arroyo regime is now resorting to wholesale illegal arrests and detention to neutralize social and political activists and cripple opposition to its illegitimate rule.

On November 22, 2008, DEFEND-ST, a Task Force to Defend the Victims of Political Persecution in Southern Tagalog will be launched at the Benitez Hall, College of Education, UP Diliman, Quezon City from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm.

On behalf of the victims and their families, BAYAN invites you to be part of this effort to defend human rights defenders who are being unjustly portrayed as criminals. We also urge you to add your name to the signature campaign initiated by DEFEND-ST and circulate the appeal to your networks. An online petition will be available soon. In the meantime you may send back your signature through bayan_national@yahoo.com or contact us at telephone number: 925-5906 or fax: 435-6930.

Thank you very much and see you on November 22.

In Solidarity,

DR. CAROL PAGADUAN-ARAULLO
BAYAN Chairperson

================================

 

Legal persecution of Southern Tagalog activists continues Bayan says corrupt GMA  allies go free, critics sent to jail


Bagong Alyansang Makabayan today said that while criminals who stole millions of  taxpayers’ money go free, staunch critics of the Arroyo administration are being sent to jail.

“On the day that Jocelyn ‘Joc-Joc’ Bolante simply walked away from a multimillion scam, another activist was nabbed and detained by police forces for crimes he did not commit,” Bayan said in a media briefing in Quezon City.

Emmanuel Dionida, 42 years old, Executive Director of the Labor Education Advocacy Development Research Services Inc. (LEADERS) was arrested last November 13 based on trumped up charges of multiple murder and multiple frustrated murder filed against him and 71 others.

Deonida is the sixth activist to be arrested and detained arbitrarily for the fabricated charges filed before the Regional Trial Court of Calapan City in Mindoro Occidental.

Among the respondents of these criminal charges is Arman Albarillo, an impeachment complainant against Mrs. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, and Secretary-General of Bayan Southern Tagalog.

“A new wave of wholesale and sweeping legal attacks is being waged by the Arroyo administration as part of its strategy to ‘neutralize’ activists --now by way of detaining them or forcing them to go into hiding,” Bayan spokesperson Eleanor de Guzman said.

Bayan blamed the Inter-Agency Legal Action Group (IALAG) headed by National Security Adviser Norberto Gonzalez as the mastermind behind the fabricated charges and arbitrary arrests.

The militant group said that the government is using such legal offensives, in combination with continuing extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances, to stifle opposition against the anti-people Arroyo administration.

United Nations Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary and arbitrary execution Mr. Philip Alston, in his report released last October 2007, found the military “in a state of denial concerning the numerous extrajudicial executions,” and also recommended the abolition of the IALAG as it “distorts the criminal justice system’s priorities,” and “has increasingly focused on prosecuting civil society leaders.”

Bayan noted that the case of Southern Tagalog activists is unprecedented because of the number of people, including the region’s most prominent mass leaders and activists, implicated by the court.

“This tactic however is not new. It also uses false witnesses and false testimonies to come up with false charges, like in previous cases of several activist leaders in other regions like Negros and Davao,” De Guzman said.

Murder charges were also filed against Bayan Muna Partylist Rep. Satur Ocampo and peasant leader Randall Echanis among other progressives in relation to alleged mass graves in Hilongos, Leyte.

Bayan warned that the case of Southern Tagalog activists could just be the first in a series of wholesale legal attacks against critics of the government, and if not exposed and opposed by the people, will be surely repeated in other regions. #

 

 

     
Relatives and friends of the 72 activists persecuted by the Arroyo regimel
     
     
     
     

 

           
Recently-released Pastor Berlin Guerrero and some members of the DEFEND-ST Task Force

 

ANAKBAYAN-SOUTHERN TAGALOG anakbayan_st@yahoo.com
PRESS RELEASE Reference: John Paulo Bautista
November 22, 2008 Deputy Secretary General, ANAKBAYAN-ST

Militant youth group defends accused youth leaders,
Underscore political persecution as strong basis for Arroyo’s impeachment

As the House Committee on Justice is set to vote on the impeachment complaint next week, militant youth group ANAKBAYAN-Southern Tagalog underscored the heightening political persecution among youth activists as a strong basis for Arroyo’s impeachment.

ANAKBAYAN-ST secretary general Pedro “PJ” Santos , Jr. is one of the 72 individuals, including prominent activist leaders, facing warrants of arrest for trumped-up charges of multiple murder and multiple frustrated murder in Mindoro . Two more of the accused are former provincial coordinators of ANAKBAYAN-Cavite while former secretary general of ANAKBAYAN-Batangas Noriel Rocafort is one of the respondents in a separate case of arson and conspiracy to commit rebellion filed against 27 individuals. Aside from this, three student leaders at the Polytechnic University of the Philippines-Lopez are also facing charges of rebellion filed by the military.
 

“The alarming state of human rights in Southern Tagalog has long been one of our bases for calling for Arroyo’s removal from office. Now, her continuing fascist administration is implementing a wide-scale criminalization of political acts that includes youth and student leaders. She has long denied the youth our basic rights, thus she should not be allowed to fulfill her obvious ambition to cling to power beyond 2010 through Charter Change,” Bautista said.
 


Santos is an active youth leader calling for Arroyo’s ouster. He is one of the convenors of multi-sectoral alliances STOP GLORIA (Southern Tagalog for the Ouster of Gloria) and of Youth Act Now-Southern Tagalog.

Youth leaders held placards showing Arroyo in jail with the words “Ikulong ang mga pasista, hindi ang mga aktibista!” They also showed pictures of Santos as a cultural activist – making effigies, painting murals – and facilitating psycho-social activities to child victims of typhoon Milenyo.

Bautista said they have already launched a signature campaign for PJ in schools and communities in the region. On December 1, Bautista said they will also hold a regionally-coordinated protest action of the youth. Last November 19, ANAKBAYAN-ST launched a Black Wednesday habit in which their chapters and supporters will wear black shirts or ribbons and hold a noise barrage every Wednesday until December 10 to highlight their calls against political persecution and air their support to the impeachment complaint. Friends, colleagues, and supporters of PJ also launced a task force to defend PJ last Thursday at the University of the Philippines-Los Banos.

“It is clear that the case filed against PJ and the other youth leaders is meant to silence activists. These activist leaders are responsible citizens merely struggling for the advancement of youth rights and welfare and seeking genuine change in the country. We call on all Filipino youth, friends, colleagues, supporters, human rights advocates, and civil libertarians to unite and make a stand in upholding the rights of PJ and other activists. Let us link arms and once again protect human rights and civil liberties in the country just as thousands of youth stood up against fascism during Martial Law,” Bautista said.###

For more information, please contact Aaron - 09214879060.

 

           
Former Vice-Presdient Tiofisto Guingona Anakpawis Rep. Rafael Mariano BAYAn Chair Dr. Carol Araullo
           
           

NEWS RELEASE
November 22, 2008

SOUTHERN TAGALOG WOMEN REMAIN DEFIANT IN THE FACE OF PERSECUTION, TRUMPED UP CHARGES, ARRESTS

"We will not be cowed and we will not be silenced. We shall remain indignant and fighting in the face of persecution and injustice. Patuloy kaming makikibaka at hindi matatakot."

This was the statement issued today by women's group Gabriela Southern Tagalog as various militant Southern Tagalog organizations launched today the Defend-ST, an alliance in defense of the ongoing spate of attacks against preogressive leaders and activists in the Southern Tagalog region.

A total of 72 individuals, all known leaders, spokespersons and members of activist organizations have been charged with multiple murder for the alleged NPA ambush of a police detachment in Puerto Galera, Mindoro last March 3, 2006. Included in the charges and facing possible arrest is Gabriela Southern Tagalog Secretary General and Gabriela Women's Party 5th Nominee Helen Asdolo and Gabriela provincial coordinator for Cavite, Amelita Sto. Tomas. 18 other women are included in the trumped up charges including Luz Baculo of PAMANTIK-KMU and Doris Cuario and Dina Capetillo of Karapatan.

Of those charged, six individuals have already been arrested, including labor lawyer and KMU counsel Atty. Remigion Saladero.

"Napakahaba na ng karanasan ng aming pakikibaka at marami nang napagdaanan ang Timog Katagalugan. Hindi kami mapa-aatras ng gawa-gawang mga kaso laban sa amin. These trumped up charges are clear attempts to immobilize and silence the militant people's organizations in the Southern Tagalog region who has successfully survived and remained defiant despite the onslaught of Oplan Bantay Laya I and II."

"We have been witness to Palparan's terror in Mindoro and we continue to defy the killings, disappearances, arrests and militarization in our region. The Arroyo regime's slapping of trumped up charges to harass and step up political persecution in the region will fail."

For Reference: HELEN ASDOLO (GABRIELA-ST Secretary General) 0918-4698497
JANG MONTE (GABRIELA-ST Secretariat) 0917-4049119
 

===============================================

 

Center for Trade Union and Human Rights (CTUHR)
Rm. 702 Culmat Building 127 E. Rodriguez Sr. Avenue, Brgy. Mariana, Quezon City
Telefax: 632.411.0256 email address: ctuhr.manila@gmail.com
www.ctuhr.org

Press Release:

Arrests of labor activists are ridiculous,
aimed to sabotage workers --Canadian labor groups

Canadian labor unions representing some 1.5 million workers express alarm over the worsening labor rights situation in the Philippines, including the on-going crackdown against labor unions, formations and institutions.

In spate of 'legal offensives' in the form of false criminal charges filed against 72 Southern Tagalog activists, largest Canadian labor groups conducted the "Canadian Trade Union Mission in the Philippines (CTUMP)," a weeklong investigation of labor rights situation in the country starting November 14.

The mission was composed of leaders from Public Service Alliance in Canada representing some 1.2 million workers, United Steelworkers representing some 270,000 workers, and Canadian Union of Postal Workers representing some 60,000 workers.

The mission had conducted investigations in Laguna, Cavite, and Batangas. It also visited urban poor areas in Metro Manila.

Based on initial report, it said that arrests against union leaders, including labor lawyer Remigio Saladero Jr., was 'ridiculous' when it found out that those already held in custody could have impossibly committed the crimes of arson, rebellion, murder and multiple frustrated murders on which they were charged.

For example, Atty. Saladero, who handles loads of labor cases, could impossibly attend court hearings; work as a columnist while performing duties in NPA armed activities. In addition, two of them are badly ill, one has polio since birth and the other is suffering from diabetes for years now, which makes them impossible to engage in armed conflicts that requires physical strength.

The mission also highly suspects that those legal offensives were just aimed to "sabotage the workers (activities) and try to instill fear among the people."

The CTUMP is set to reveal its findings, conclusions, and recommendations on Tuesday, November 25. It will also hold a dialogue with Commission on Human Rights Chairperson Leila De Lima in the afternoon of the same day.#

Reference:
Philip Anorcio
CTUHR Public Information Officer
0915.981.3990

Stills from a video by ST-Exposure
     
     
     
     
     
     
           
           
           

 

Press Release – November 22, 2008
Reference: Marie Hilao-Enriquez, Secretary General (Mobile No. 0917 817 6274)

UN Human Rights Committee finds RP government guilty of rights violations on the Eden Marcellana and Eddie Gumanoy case

The UN Human Rights Committee, the UN treaty body monitoring the States parties' compliance to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), has found the Philippine government guilty of violating primarily the right to life of human rights defenders Eden Marcellana and Eddie Gumanoy. The Committee's Views were put out on October 30, 2008 in its 94th session held in the UN in Geneva.

The official UN 12-page communication tabbed as CCPR/C/94/1560/2007 and dated 11 November 2008 was received by Karapatan yesterday, November 21, 2008. It states that the Committee "is of the view that the facts as found by the Committee reveal a violations by the Philippines of article 2, paragraph 3 (the right of violated persons to effective remedies and the State ensuring that such remedies are provided and enforced); article 6, paragraph 1 (the right to life of every person); and article 9, paragraph 1 (the right to liberty and security of persons) of the Covenant."

The Committee further declared that the Philippine government "is under an obligation to provide the authors with an effective remedy, including initiation and pursuit of criminal proceedings to establish responsibility for the kidnapping and death of the victims, and payment of appropriate compensation. The State party should also take measures to ensure that such violations do not recur in the future."

Further, the communication states, "the Committee wishes to receive from the State party, within 180 days, information about the measures taken to give effect to the Committee's Views. The State party is also requested to publish the Committee's Views.

Under the ICCPR's Optional Protocol, Mr. Orly Marcellana - husband of Eden Marcellana, then Secretary General of Karapatan-Southern Tagalog and Mr. Daniel Gumanoy, son of farmer leader Eddie Gumanoy - both represented by Karapatan National Secretary General Marie Hilao-Enriquez, have filed their complaints with the UN Human Rights Committee on 9 March 2006 for the killing of the two human rights defenders and leaders of progressive organizations on April 21, 2003.

Atty. Edre Olalia, President of the International Association of People's Lawyers (IAPL), assisted the victims' relatives and Karapatan in filing the said complaint.

The members of the UN Human Rights Committee who participated in the examination of the complaint are: Mr. Prafullachandra Natwarlal Bhagwati, Ms. Christine Chanet, Mr. Maurice Glčlč Ahanhanzo, Mr. Yuji Iwasawa, Ms. Helen Keller, Mr. Ahmed Tawfik Khalil, Mr. Rajsoomer Lallah, Mr. Michael O'Flaherty, Ms. Elizabeth Palm, Mr. Rafael Rivas Posada, Sir Nigel Rodley and Mr. Ivan Shearer.

The UN Human Rights Committee findings came out at a time that Mr. Orly Marcellana, husband of slain human rights worker Eden Marcellana is himself presently the subject of political persecution in the country. ###

Karaptan Secretary General makes a presentation

of the continuing violation of human rights by the Arroyo regim

     
     
           

 

 

The Free Atty. Saladero et. al. Coalition has put up a website dedicated to the campaign to release prominent labor lawyer Atty. Remigio D. Saladero Jr., and to stop the criminalization of other Southern Tagalog activistS, Nov. 21, 2008.

           

 

ANAKBAYAN-SOUTHERN TAGALOG

PRESS RELEASE

Reference:  John Paulo Bautista

Deputy Secretary General, ANAKBAYAN-ST

November 19, 2008

 

SOUTHERN TAGALOG YOUTH LAUNCH “BLACK WEDNESDAY HABIT” TO CONDEMN

POLITICAL PERSECUTION, CALL FOR PROMPT IMPEACHMENT TRIAL

 

In defense of the rights of their leaders, members of militant youth group ANAKBAYAN-Southern Tagalog wore black shirts and held a noise barrage at the University of the Philippines-Los Banos to kick-off what they called a “Black Wednesday habit” of students and youth in the region.  The campaign is in condemnation of the “wholesale filing of criminal cases against activists in the region” including ANAKBAYAN-ST secretary general Pedro “PJ” Santos, Jr.  They also called for the prompt holding of the impeachment trial “to make Pres. Arroyo accountable for this heightening political persecution and the issues of corruption such as the fertilizer fund scam.”  

 

John Paulo Bautista, deputy secretary general of ANAKBAYAN-ST, said that black symbolizes the death of human rights and civil liberties in the country under the Arroyo administration.  He said ANAKBAYAN chapters in communities and schools in the provinces of Laguna, Batangas, and Quezon are participating in the campaign that will culminate on December 10, the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which falls on a Wednesday.

 

Santos is also a convenor of youth alliance Youth Act Now-Southern Tagalog (YAN-ST) and regional coordinator of KABATAAN Partylist in last year’s elections.  He is among the 72 persons, which includes regional and provincial leaders of progressive organizations in the region, accused with multiple murder and multiple frustrated murder for an NPA ambush in Mindoro Oriental last March 3, 2006.  A warrant of arrest was released by the Calapan Regional Trial Court even without a preliminary investigation leading to the arrest of 6 of the accused, the first of which was labor lawyer Atty. Remigio Saladero.  Also included in the case are Sheryll Villegas, former ANAKBAYAN-Cavite secretary general and current BAYAN-Cavite secretary general; Karen Ortiz, former ANAKBAYAN-Cavite provincial coordinator and current deputy secretary general of Cavite Ecumenical Movement for Justice and Peace.     

 

A separate case of arson and conspiracy to commit rebellion has also been filed against 27 individuals, some of which are also included in the ST 72 case, in at the Batangas RTC.  Included in this case is Noriel Rocafort, former ANAKBAYAN-Batangas secretary general and current BAYAN-Batangas secretary general.  

 

Bautista said that students are not spared from this renewed wave of political persecution by the Arroyo government.  Three student leaders of the Polytechnic University of the Philippines-Lopez in Quezon are facing charges of rebellion filed by the military:  Catherine Rufo, editor-in-chief of school paper The Epitome; Eugene Nollas, president of KAESKWELA student party; and Jerome Obligar, former student council officer.►►►

 

 

 

“These student and youth leaders are actively advancing the rights and welfare of the youth.  They have consistently been fighting for a stop to tuition and other fee increases and clamoring against the increasing prices of oil and other basic goods and services.  Aware of the rampant poverty and hunger under the Arroyo administration, they know that the Arroyo administration does not prioritize the interests of the youth.  Because of this they are part of the broad mass movement calling for Arroyo’s ouster.  It is clear then that they are being subjected to such harassment because they have dared stand up for their rights and are exposing the many ills of the Arroyo administration,” Bautista said.

 

Bautista noted that corruption is one of the issues highlighted by PJ as one of the convenors of Youth Act Now-Southern Tagalog.  “We call on Bolante to look at and take from the courage and principled stand of these student and youth leaders who, despite such forms of harassment and risk to their lives, have chosen to continue fighting for what is right and just.  Arroyo must be made responsible for the massive corruption she has benefited from.  This issue, and that of political repression, are strong bases for our support to the impeachment complaint currently filed in Congress,” he said.

 

Meanwhile, Charisse Bernadine Banez, spokesperson of YAN-ST, called on fellow youth to once again unite in the face of the still unresolved corruption scams and the impeachment complaint.  “Let us fight for our youth leaders, and let us be vigilant in our campaign for truth and accountability in these pressing times,” she said.

 

Bautista said they will be holding a prayer service and launch the Defend PJ Santos Movement, an alliance of friends and supporters of PJ, tomorrow.  They will also be holding a series of other activities such as signature campaigns in schools and communities to support the victims of political persecution.###

 

For inquiries, please contact Pau – 09282039214. 

 

           

 

ISANG BUKAS NA LIHAM MULA KAY HELEN ASDOLO, PANGKALAHATANG KALIHIM NG GABRIELA TIMOG KATAGALUGAN, IKA-LIMANG NOMINADO NG GABRIELA WOMEN'S PARTY AT KABILANG SA SOUTHERN TAGALOG 72

Nov. 25, 2008

Para sa aking mga kabaro at sa lahat ng naniniwala sa pagsusulong ng karapatan,

Pagbati ng Kapayapaan!

Ako si Helen E. Asdolo, tumatayong Pangkalahatang Kalihim ng GABRIELA Southern Tagalog at ika-limang nominado at Pangrehiyong Tagapag-ugnay ng GABRIELA Womens Party. Kasalukuyan rin akong kasapi at convenor ng iba't iba pang mga organisasyon at alyansa tulad ng Southern Tagalog Women Against Tyranny and Charter Change (ST-WATCH), Consumers Watch at Save the Laguna Lake Movement.

Ako, kabilang na si Amy Sto. Tomas na Panlalawigang Tagapag-ugnay ng Gabriela at Gabriela Women's Party sa Cavite at labing-walo pang mga lider kababaihan at 52 pang mga lider aktibista sa Timog Katagalugan ay isinasangkot sa kasong "Multiple Murder at Multiple Frustrated Murder" na isinampa ng mga kagawad ng Philippine National Police at Armed Forces of the Philippines. Ito ay kaugnay sa diumano'y isinagawang pagsalakay ng mga New People's Army sa isang detachment ng pulis sa Puerto Galera, Mindoro Oriental.

Ito ay aking pinasisinungalingan. Inosente ako at ang aking mga kasamahan sa kanilang paratang na ito. Mapatutunayan ito ng aking pamilya, kaibigan at mga eryang aking pinupuntahan upang organisahin lalo na ang mga kababaihan mula sa maralitang lungsod at iba pang lugar sa Timog Katagalugan na siyang naging saksi sa aking pagsusulong ng adbokasiya para sa kababaihan. Ito ba ang batayan ng hangarin ng rehimeng Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, ang kami'y kanyang ipabilanggo?

Masakit at nakapanggagalit isipin na isinangkot ako/kami sa kasong ito.
 

Malinaw na ang lahat ng ito ay ginawa nitong rehimen ni Gloria macapagal Arroyo upang supilin ang aming mga lehitimong karapatan na isiwalat sa publiko ang mga katiwaliang kinasasangkutan ng kanyang administrasyon at kanyang pamilya. Ginawa ito upang busalan ang aming mga bibig dahil sa patuloy niyang ambisyon na manatili pa sa kapangyarihan.
 



Tinitingnan ko itong isang malinaw na pagsupil sa aking karapatan bilang isang malayang mamamayan at lider ng mga kababaihan.

Ang magpahayag ng mga katiwalian sa ating gubyerno, ang tumulong sa mga kababaihan nakararanas ng karahasan at magsulong ng karapatang pantao ay isa na palang krimen sa ating bansa. Wala kaming hangad na masama at di ko kailanman magagawang pumatay. Ako kabilang ang iba pa ay nahaharap sa kasong wala kaming kinalaman. Hindi ito makatarungan.

Sa bawat gabi di ako makatulog ng mahimbing. Mahirap at lubhang nakakabahala para sa akin ang ganitong sitwasyon, nasusupil ang aking kalayaan at ang tuloy-tuloy kong pagsusulong ng gawain sa hanay ng kababaihan. Hindi ako lubos na makakilos ngayon dahil sa kalagayang maaaring oras na lumantad ako ay dakpin na lamang at dalhin doon sa Oriental Mindoro kung saan naroon na ang anim pa sa aming mga kasamahan.

Maatim ng estadong ito na supilin ang aming karapatan sa pamamagitan ng pagkukulong sa amin sa loob ng rehas na bakal, subalit, sa kabila ng lahat ng ito, magpapatuloy ang aming panawagan, magpapatuloy ang aming pagkilos at paglaban para sa aming karapatan at ng mamamayan.

Nais kong iparating ang aking tinig at panawagang mabigyan kami ng katarungan sa pamamagitan ng liham na ito. Nais kong maipaabot ko sa aking mga kabaro at sa lahat ng naniniwala at naninindigan para sa katarungan ang inhustisyang ginagawa ng rehimeng Arroyo laban sa amin at sa mamamayan. Mali at di makaturungang ituring na mga kriminal ang mga lider na nagpapahayag ng kanilang mga opinyon sa publiko at sa mga masang kanilang pinamumunuan.


Hinihingi ko at ng aking mga kasamahan ang patuloy ninyong suporta, pagkilos at paninindigan para sa agarang pagbabasura ng gawa-gawang kaso laban sa amin, sa pagpapalaya sa aming mga kasamahan, at sa paglaban sa panunupil at paglabag sa karapatang pantao ng rehimeng Arroyo.

Maraming salamat po at mabuhay kayo!

Lubos na gumagalang,

Helen E. Asdolo

           
           
Origami sent by one of the activists charged with criminal raps, Bani Cambronero
 

BONUS TRACKS:

The KARAPATAN Human Rights Monitor

July-September, 2008

           
           
Download: Complete KARAPANTAN human rights monitor for 3rd Quater of 2008
           

 

 
 

Google