STOP TERRORIZING CANDIDATES OF THE PEOPLE! CONDEMN THE DEATH THREAT AGAINST ARTHUR ALLAD-IW!
Justice has not been served for Markus Bangit, Alyce Claver, Jose Doton, Albert Terredano and Pepe Manegdeg. James Balao has not been surfaced.
And here comes another desperate act of State terrorism with the death threat against Mr. Arthur Allad-iw, a native of Sagada, Mountain Province, a journalist, teacher and a member of the Cordillera Peoples Alliance where he served as Deputy Secretary General from 1992 to 1995. Prior to this, he was head of CPA’s Public Information Commission. A staunch indigenous peoples’ rights advocate, Mr. Allad-iw is currently vying for a seat in the Baguio City Council in the May 2010 elections as an independent candidate. Mr. Allad-iw is also an active member of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP).
Mr. Allad-iw received a letter yesterday March 23 addressed to the CPA regional office with clear death threats to him and his family for his so-called connection with the CPP-NPA (“Aming napatunayan na patuloy ang iyong pakikipag-alyado sa kaaway ng demokrasya, ang CPP-NPA”). A black ribbon was attached to the letter with signatory Mga Nagmamahal sa Bayan at Demokrasya. Former CPA chairperson Atty. Jose Molintas, who was running for Congressman in the 2007 elections, was also harassed with propaganda materials against him circulated to the public. Atty. Molintas also received a letter with black ribbon warning him to withdraw support for senatoriables Liza Maza and Satur Ocampo of the MAKABAYAN Coalition.
This attack on Arthur is an attack to the Cordillera peoples movement and the CPA. This continuing State terrorism and electoral violence is part and parcel of the GMA regime’s Oplan Bantay Laya happening at a nationwide scale, and its sheer desperation to block people’s candidates from winning in the May 2010 elections, that even a physically handicapped human rights advocate was subjected to such. In fact, Mr. Allad-iw should be lauded for his efforts advancing indigenous peoples rights, human rights and democracy despite his physical limitation, and thus his candidacy must be supported. The very act of sending death threats is in stark contrast with the principles of democracy—it is in fact an ultimate act of cowardice. The senders and authors of the letter are actually enemies of democracy and the people. This unjust and malicious tagging of progressive individuals is heightening with the nearing elections. With the Arroyo government hell-bent on attaining its targets at the close of Oplan Bantay Laya II in June 2010, human rights violations can intensify. Progressive candidates, political parties and grassroots organizations are all the more made open targets to political repression, extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances. And if this death threat is not resolved, another rights violations may happen. In the Cordillera provinces, our peoples organizations have long reported that it is the military responsible for the circulation and posting of materials against legitimate and progressive organizations such as the CPA. In the coming months and as the electoral campaign rolls, if anything happens to Arthur or any member and officer of the CPA, only the current regime shall be held accountable.
We call on the public especially our Igorot brothers and sisters not to allow such harassment and intimidation of candidates and political parties who are genuine advocates of the politics of change and have a clear track record of promoting human rights and indigenous peoples rights. We must rage against this injustice and assert the exercise of people’s rights, especially in the coming elections, where most Filipinos look forward to government reforms and a better socio-economic situation for the people. We must be keen on supporting candidates and political parties with a clear agenda on human rights. We also call on proper authorities to issue a security detail for Mr. Allad-iw, and we call on the Commission on Elections to act on these series of baseless and unjust tagging of people’s candidates and political parties.
The people’s rights must be upheld and protected at all times. #