Human Rights group Karapatan and other progressive groups held a Black Friday Protest, September 14, at Gate 2 of Camp General Emilio Aguinaldo in Quezon City to call for an end to the attacks of the Duterte regime against the Filipino people.
According to Karapatan, the Duterte regime is a danger to the Filipino people.
Duterte’s reign of terror through its counterinsurgency program Oplan Kapayapaan and its imposition of martial law in Mindanao are taking advantage of alleged terrorist activities as pretext to attacks against civilians, the group said.
Two farmers from Compostella Farmer’s Association (CFA) were killed last August 19. Couple Gilbert and Jean Labial on their way home after visiting a wake from a fellow CFA member. They were killed by suspected elements of 66th IB because of their opposition to the entry of mining companies in their area, the protesters said.
Karapatan also cited the recent killing of Haide Malalay Flores last August 21 in Guihulngan City, Negros Oriental who was shot dead while on her way home. She was a businesswoman and an activist for peasant advocacies.
Karapatan reported as well the case of spouses Edison and Divina Erece who were arrested by elements of military and police last September 3 in Calayan, Cagayan. The couple were members of the peasant group Amihan-Cagayan.
They were charged with illegal possession of explosives, murder, arson and qualified assault.
Political prisoners now number 509, majority of whom are poor peasants, Karapatan said.
Meanwhile, Antonio Flores, secretary-general of Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP), stressed that aside from killings of 150 farmers, the Duterte government also slapped trumped up charges against peasant activists.
The filing of criminal offenses and red-tagging of farmer leaders as members of New Peoples Army are the trademark of this administration. Instead of addressing the problem of landlessness and poverty, continuos military operations and human rights violations happened almost everyday, Flores added.
Estrellita Bagasbas of Kalipunan ng Damayang Mahihirap (KADAMAY) said that even urban poor people were victims of Duterte’s attacks.
She cited the violence in Pandi Bulacan where “fake and ousted members” of KADAMAY are allegedly being used by the police as intelligence agents.
Some organizers and leaders of KADAMAY also recieved death threats and harassments, KADAMAY said. # (Video and report by Joseph Cuevas)