Philippine DOJ files terrorist “watchlist,” including UN human rights defender

MANHATTAN, NY — Victoria Tauli Corpuz has been investigating and reporting human rights issues happening in different countries to the UN Human Rights council since 2014.

But since this petition surfaced in March, her own rights, Corpuz feels, has been attacked.

 

“When I read it, of course, I was shocked. How can my name be included there? Number one considering I am a special UN rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples,” she said. “Secondly, I am not associated in any way communist party, or the New People’s Army, and I’ve never been involved in any of the cases that they have cited there which is the evidence for them to prescribe the communist party as a terrorist organization. So in my mind, what ill intention does someone have to have me included on this list?”

Here’s a look at the 55-page petition that the Philippine Department of Justice filed with the Manila regional trial court on February 21, asking that the Communist party of the Philippines and its armed wing, the New People’s Army, be declared terrorist organizations.

The petition identified 600 people the government says were leaders of those organizations.

Many fear, the government is putting those people at grave risk — and that the petition is a virtual government hit list.

Corpuz tells us that she just learned who might be responsible in putting her name on that list.

“I was surprised because we have been inviting this chap to some of the meetings we held with the indigenous peoples just to bridge, to enable some dialogue between the Army and the indigenous people of course because that’s one of the many issues indigenous peoples raise so we have been inviting three times at least.”

Meanwhile, her lawyers in the Philippines have been working on getting some answers on why her name was included.

 

“Personally I didn’t receive it officially. But then that’s the kind of situation that’s more worrisome, in fact because you really don’t know what’s going to happen. You have no idea what their plans are.”

Corpuz says she does worry, more for her family’s safety, but it has not scared her away.

 

“In fact, it made me more determined to do more about these criminalization efforts taken by government and corporations against indigenous people.”

On Tuesday, a United Nations committee voiced its concerns over the terrorist list.

The committee on the elimination of racial discrimination is urging the Philippines to remove the indigenous peoples and human rights defenders from the list, including Corpuz.

The committee says the Philippines has until July 16th to respond.

 

No Comment

Leave a Reply

*

*

POPULAR POSTS