The Regional Trial Court (RTC) in Tagum City, Davao del Norte granted Windel Bolinget’s motion for reinvestigation of the fabricated murder charge he is currently facing. The same court order also granted the recall or withdrawal of the issued warrant of arrest against Cordillera Peoples Alliance (CPA) Chairperson Bolinget and others implicated in the fabricated murder case, namely Jackie Valencia, Lutgarto Jurcales, Jr., Agnes Mesina and Reynaldo Garneng.
While this is a welcome development on Bolinget’s case, the threats to his security remains as the bounty and ‘shoot to kill’ orders from Cordillera police chief, General R’win Pagkalinawan is yet to be dropped. These are dangerous since these directly threaten the life and security of Bolinget.
The recent Regional Law Enforcement Coordination Committee’s (RLECC) Tokhang resolution for ‘left-leaning’ individuals, adds to these threats as Bolinget is a prominent activist leader who has been heavily red-tagged and unjustly labeled a terrorist.
Further, a memorandun from the Police Regional Office - Cordillera (PRO-Cor) dated February 9, 2021 is encouraging local government units to declare the CPA and its member organizations persona non grata in their respective localities. The memorandum maliciously alleged the CPA to be supporting the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and the New People’s Army (NPA).
Worse, recently the Regional Law Enforcement Coordinating Council (RLECC) issued resolutions to “tokhang” or kill/arrest left-leaning personalities” in the government, media and other groups.
Despite the police and the military’s failure to provide any factual evidence of Bolinget’s and the CPA’s association with any terrorist group or with the Communist guerillas, the insinuations and malicious allegations are still being used to harass Bolinget and threaten his life as well as other members of the CPA.
In the midst of the massacres, arbitrary search and arrests, extrajudicial killings and trumped-up charges based on planted evidence is rampant in the country, Bolinget and the CPA continue to speak out on human rights abuses and development aggression. We fear that the police and military in the Cordillera will commit the same atrocities if unhampered.
If any harm befalls Bolinget and other leaders and members of the CPA and its allied organizations, the police and military are accountable as they are the only ones who have such motive as they implement the End Local Communist Armed Conflict program which clearly target Bolinget, the CPA, and legitimate political dissent.
We call on kakailian, peace-loving individuals and human rights advocates to continue to speak out against police and military abuses, and for the dropping of the trumped-up case against Windel Bolinget.
We call on PRO-Cor Director General Pagkalinawan to withdraw the shoot-to-kill order against Bolinget, the February 9, 2021 memorandum to declare the CPA persona non grata by local government units, and the Regional Law Enforcement Coordinating Council resolution to kill/arrest “left-leaning” personalities.
We call on the Baguio City Council to uphold human rights and recommend the withdrawal of the RLECC resolution on Tokhang.
CPA- Deputy Secretary General