𝗦𝗜𝗚𝗡 𝗧𝗛𝗘 𝗣𝗘𝗧𝗜𝗧𝗜𝗢𝗡: 𝗗𝗘𝗙𝗘𝗡𝗗 𝗡𝗢𝗥𝗧𝗛𝗘𝗥𝗡 𝗟𝗨𝗭𝗢𝗡 𝟳! 𝗗𝗥𝗢𝗣 𝗧𝗛𝗘 𝗧𝗥𝗨𝗠𝗣𝗘𝗗-𝗨𝗣 𝗖𝗛𝗔𝗥𝗚𝗘𝗦! 𝗦𝗧𝗢𝗣 𝗧𝗛𝗘 𝗔𝗧𝗧𝗔𝗖𝗞𝗦!
February 6, 2023
SIGN THE PETITION HEREhttps://forms.office.com/r/DRaP6JPtyj
Last January 30, 2023, Jennifer “Jen” Awingan of the Cordillera Peoples Alliance Research Commission was arrested at her residence. She and 6 other land rights, human rights, and environmental defenders were named in a January 24, 2023 warrant of arrest issued by Abra Judge Corpus Alzate for a trumped-up charge of rebellion referring to an incident between the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the New People’s Army (NPA) on October 27, 2022 in Brgy. Gacab, Malibcong, Abra. The other 6 activists accused in the same case are CPA leaders and members Windel Bolinget, Lulu Gimenez, Steve Tauli, Sarah Abellon-Alikes and Ilocos development workers Niño Oconer and Florence Kang.
The human rights defenders named in the said case are collectively referred to in our campaign for justice and due process of law as the Northern Luzon 7. All of them have been subjected by the Philippine government, especially through the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC), to political vilification, surveillance and harassment prior to the filing of the rebellion case. Alikes and Bolinget faced trumped-up criminal charges that were dismissed due to the glaring lack of merit and evidence filed in courts since 2017. Tauli was a victim of abduction and torture in 2022. The red tagging campaign against all of them by State security forces and their agents did not spare even their families.
We strongly assert that the rebellion and insurrection allegation is mired with inconsistencies, bereft of factual basis, and is generated despite non-observance of due process: from proper preliminary investigation to the issuance of a subpoena.
We have always stressed, and we reiterate that these unrelenting attacks on government critics, and human rights defenders by criminalization of activism, red-tagging and terrorist labeling of progressives is borne out of the government’s effort to stifle dissent.
The unconstitutional legal frameworks of the government’s anti-insurgency program, like the ATL, Duterte’s EO 70, are wielded against activists and human rights defenders with no regard to due process as in this case; such that state forces can easily target those they deem as enemies of the state even without proper and sufficient investigation. The distinction between legal, democratic civilians from armed rebels is no longer upheld.
Therefore, we demand that the charges against the NL7 be dropped and that Jen Awingan be released from detention, immediately.
We ask the Supreme Court to take swift action and look into these instances of wanton warrant issuances without due process. Moreover, we demand that those who are instrumental in these outright violations be held accountable.
Ultimately, in sum, we appeal to peace and democracy loving organizations and individuals to speak out and join us in our calls:
Free Jen Awingan!
Immediately and unconditionally drop the trumped-up charge against the Northern Luzon 7 activists!
Assert due process and the rule of law!
Stop the weaponization of the law against legal and legitimate political dissent!
Stop the Filing of Trumped-up Charges! Stop Political Persecution!
Abolish the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict!
Prosecute and hold the Duterte and Marcos governments accountable for its human rights violations!
See Case Brief here: https://drive.google.com/.../1LlbV0fxyjj1uxZTHK0SSiR.../view