Fil-Am activists protest President Duterte’s reported roundup of critics

NEW YORK — Dozens of Filipino activists and their allies gathered at the Philippine consulate in New York recently to condemn the recent spate of mass raids and arrests of their counterparts in the Philippines.

They said these roundups are part of President Duterte’s intensified attacks on his critics.

“This intensification of raids, arrests, kidnapping, hacks; we blame the Philippine state, we blame the combined security forces in the Philippines namely the Philippine National Police and armed forces of the Philippines,” said Nina Macapinlac.

Their demand: for the government to release 62 activists.

After the Philippine police and military forces conducted simultaneous mass raids and arrests in the regional offices of GABRIELA, Bayan Muna party-list, Bayan Metro Manila, as well as Negros Federation of Sugar Workers in Bacolod City, Negros Occidental and Metro Manila last week.

The government claimed they seized weapons during the raids — but arrested activists said those weapons that were found were actually planted by the police and military themselves.

“We demand stop immediately, and we also demand that the U.S. be accountable for the funding of this human rights violations, for funding of this illegitimate dictatorship.”

Meanwhile, human rights advocate group Amnesty International, in a public statement, urged the Philippine government to conduct a prompt, thorough and effective investigation into the alleged planting of weapons during the raids.

Amnesty International is also calling on the Duterte administration to investigate threats and acts of violence against government critics — and hold accountable those responsible for such offenses.

In the Philippines, the House minority bloc, condemned President Duterte’s administration’s attacks on the opposition and his critics, saying they may not always agree with what these activists are fighting for but they will always defend their rights to do so.

House minority leader Rep. Bienvenido Banney Abante is “urging Philippine authorities to respect the rights of progressive groups and to respect the law.”

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  • Tiago Del Mundo
    8 November 2019 at 3:16 am - Reply

    My Tito Jose Maria Sison had claimed many times that the CPP-NPA have many branches like Gabriela and Bayan Muna, sometimes they can be activists, labor organizers, or the highly controversial “human rights advocates”, or just simply farm workers… If you do not have the kind of iron fist or guts like President Duterte, then how are going to fight the terrorist activities of the CPP-NPA in the Philippines? The sad part is that incumbent politicians have done nothing. In some cases, they are the real protectors are the politicians…I’m talking about Tita Cory releasing all the imprisoned CPP-NPA members during her tenure. And then the Aquinos sheltered them in the backyards of Hacienda Luisita (Claudio, 2016).