Sa pinakahuling episode ng Tambayan ngayong tinaguriang ‘International Day of Climate Action’, kumustahin natin ang dalawang environmental defenders na sina Jhed Tamano at Jonila Castro. Kamakailan lang ay kinasuhan sila ng Department of National Defense ng perjury kaugnay ng paglalantad nila ng pagdukot sa kanila ng mga militar.
(Para kay Gene Roz Jamil C. de Jesus)
Ni Ibarra Banaag
Kahit lumuluha sa gitna ng hinahon,
nawa’y mapangibabawan ang hamon,
sana’y maging kalmado sa kumunoy,
kahit pa tumatangis sa dapit hapon.
Ano kaya ang kaniyang dinadanas,
sa sakmal ng mga walang habag,
ang bunsong sa Ina ay tumahan,
na ilang araw na niyang hinahanap.
Sa nagpayabong ng dahon at bulaklak,
na sa alikabok ay muli pang madama,
sidhi at diliryo ng dambuhalang bigat,
namumukod tanging hangarin matupad.
Ang bisig at kamay na yumayakap,
mga matang may taglay na liwanag,
ang labi na humahalik sa dalamhati,
mga binting naghahatid ng pagbati.
Ngunit kahit sa siphayo’y di mapakali,
kahit pa pilit niyayapos ang pangamba,
kahit pa bangungot ay karimarimarin,
hiling sa Diyos, matunton ang hininga.
Higit na mahalaga ay magka-tuldok,
kaysa mabalisa ng walang tagpos,
at huwag matuyo ang luha sa pisngi,
o ibaon pa sa duyan ng huling hibik.
Subalit habang ang puso’y tumitibok,
ang bawat pintig ay lukso ng dugo,
handang manikluhod sa haring araw,
na bunutin na ang tarak na balaraw.
Ang salitang handa ay walang mukha,
ang tatag ng dibdib ay mapanlinlang,
abutin mang mapaos ang mga tinig,
‘di kailaman magbabago ang tindig.
—May 8, 2023
De Jesus is a former student leader and a cum laude graduate of UP Baguio, reported missing since April 28 with Dexter Capuyan, a Bontoc-Ibaloy-Kankanaey indigenous peoples’ right activist. The latter had been accused by state forces as a leader in the New People’s Army.
The two were in Taytay, Rizal where Capuyan was seeking medical attention before they became incommunicado. Human rights group said that it is likely that they have been abducted by the military and demand that the two be immediately surfaced.
25 June 2020
KATHMANDU, Nepal–AMARC Asia-Pacific demands the immediate release of Elena “Lina” Tijamo, the Community Radio Coordinator of a farmers’ group (FARDEC) in Bantayan Island, Cebu, the Philippines. Elena, 58, was forcibly taken from her home in Barangay Kampingganon, Bantayan, Cebu in the evening of June 13. According to media reports, suspected military elements—four armed masked men in civilian clothes accompanied by two women—held back family members while they covered Tijamo’s mouth with tape, tied her hands, and took her away. As of today, Elena remains missing.
Elena is the program coordinator for sustainable agriculture FARDEC, non-profit, non-government organization that offers paralegal and educational services to farmers facing land issues. She is also the Community Radio Coordinator of FARDEC in Bantayan Island, Cebu. According to media sources, Elena was red-tagged by state elements as being an “alleged New People’s Army.” In its statement of June 14, FARDEC has said “our stand for the rights of farmers has resulted in the targeting of FARDEC by protectors of vested interests.” A detail media report is available at https://kodao.org/iawrt-community-radio-coordinator-abduct…/.
The incident happened while the much-protested “Anti-Terrorism Bill” in the Philippines is in the process of becoming law. The bill, fast-tracked from May 29 and approved in Congress three sessions later, was condemned by all quarters of Philippine society—media, schools, lawyers, church, business, celebrities, etc. for the broad definition of terrorism that may be used against critics.
Speaking on the incident, Ramnath Bhat, President of AMARC Asia-Pacific has demanded the immediate release of Elena “Lina” Tijamo. He has also expressed grave concerns over the continuously deteriorating conditions of media freedom and freedom of expression in the Philippines. “Intimidation of human rights workers and media activists including community radio workers is deplorable and unacceptable, it must stop immediately. We call upon all concerned authorities of the Philippines including the judiciary to take necessary steps to protect human rights and media freedom and upon the wider media, activism and development community to highlight her illegal abduction. We express our solidarity and support to Elena’s family as well as with all community radio workers and human rights activists of the Philippines who are continuing the struggle”
On a similar case, AMARC Asia-Pacific has noted, with much distress the decision of the Tacloban Regional Trial Court to junk the omnibus motion to quash the search warrant used by the police and military to arrest broadcaster and journalist Frenchie Mae Cumpio and four other human rights defenders last February 7. The decision denies our colleague freedom and perpetuates the injustice she suffers. AMARC Asia-Pacific reiterates its protest against Cumpio’s arrest. We reckon that her imprisonment is unjust and she must be freed immediately!#
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AMARC is the World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters. It has more than 400 member community radio stations and advocate groups worldwide and enjoys an observer status with the United Nations.