Stand Up for Human Rights Activists in the Philippines: Stop Duterte from Silencing Critics!

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For Immediate Release

March 13, 2018

Reference: Jessica Antonio, Secretary General, BAYAN-USA,

BAYAN-USA condemns the US-Duterte regime for its latest act of repression on activists and criminalization of activism in the Philippines. The Duterte administration recently filed a list of almost 600 individuals in a Justice Department petition to proscribe the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and the New People’s Army (NPA) as terrorist organizations, baselessly tagging the individuals therein as “terrorists.” In fact, many of those listed are simply courageous people who have consistently voiced their criticism of the Philippine government’s broken promises, bloody drug war, bombing of indigenous schools, anti-women remarks, and abuse of power.  

The list includes respected human rights defenders who have called on Duterte to end corruption and corporate landgrabbing of the ancestral lands of indigenous people and the end of militarization of communities, and opposed Duterte for his triple wars against the Filipino people, including the Oplan Tokhang “Drug War,” Oplan Kapayapaan counter-insurgency, and martial law in Mindanao.  Notable people on the list include:

  • Victoria Tauli Corpuz, current United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, former Chairperson of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Peoples and former Secretary General of the Cordillera Peoples Alliance (CPA);

  • Elisa Tita Lubi, current Karapatan National Executive Committee member, former interim Regional Coordinator of the Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development (APWLD) and founding Vice Chairperson of Gabriela Women’s Party;

  • Beverly Longid, current global coordinator of the International Indigenous Peoples Movement for Self-Determination and Liberation (IPMSDL), former CPA Chair and current Advisory Council member;

  • Joan Carling, current Member and Co-Convenor of the Indigenous Peoples Major Group for the Sustainable Development Goals, former Secretary General of the Asian Indigenous Peoples’ Pact (AIPP), and former member of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues;

  • Atty. Jose Molintas, former Asia representative to the UN Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (EMRIP), former CPA Chair and current Advisory Council member;

  • Joanna Cariño, member of the CPA Advisory Council and Co-Chair of the SANDUGO Movement of Moro and Indigenous Peoples for Self Determination;

  • Windel Bolinget, current Chairperson of the CPA and National Co-convenor of KATRIBU National Alliance of Indigenous Peoples in the Philippines;

  • Jeanette Ribaya-Cawiding, former Chairperson of CPA-Tongtongan ti Umili and current Regional Coordinator of the Alliance of Concerned Teachers – Cordillera;

  • Sherwin de Vera, Regional Coordinator of DEFEND Ilocos, member of the Save The Abra River Movement (STARM) and former Secretary General of the Ilocos Human Rights Alliance-Karapatan;

  • Datu Isidro Indao, Matigsalog-Manobo village chief, council member of the PASAKA Lumad Confederation in Southern Mindanao and an active member of the Parent-Teacher Community Association of the Lumad school run by the Mindanao Interfaith Services Foundation, Inc.;

  • Datu Mandayhon Han-ayan, Talaandig village chief in Malaybalay, Bukid and member of the PIGYAYONGAAN Lumad organization;

  • Datu Mandayhon, a Talaandig village chief and member of the PIGYAYONGAAN Lumad organization;

  • Sergio Lumonday, a Manobo and the Tinananon Kulamanon Lumadnong Panaghiusa secretary general;

  • Zara Alvarez, Research and Advocacy Officer of the Negros Island Health Integrated Program (NIHIP) and former Campaign and Education Director of Karapatan-Negros chapter;

  • Romulo Bito-on, Regional Coordinator of Makabayan-Negros and member of the Samahan ng Ex-detainees Laban sa Detensyon at Aresto (SELDA);

  • Rogina Navarro Quilop, Administrative Officer of the Center for People’s Resources and Services (CPRS)-Negros;

  • Isidro Castillo, former Chairperson of the National Federation of Sugar Workers (NFSW); and

  • Arnold Evangelista and Erlindo Baes, officers of the Batangas Human Rights Alliance-Karapatan

According to human rights watchdog KARAPATAN, the Duterte regime has a growing track record of human rights violations including 256 illegal arrests,  113 extra-judicial killings, and 486 political prisoners. Two months ago, the regime arrested 69 year old, Rafael Baylosis, a long-time labor leader and consultant with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP).  In December, two young farmers Janry Mensis (age 22) and “Jerry” (age 17), were abducted, illegally detained, and burned alive by elements of the Armed Forces of the Philippines AFP).

“This seemingly arbitrary list is really a targeted hit list known as an Order of Battle (OB) list. It will be utilized to file trumped up charges against activists and justify other fascist tactics including surveillance, harassment, disappearances, and extrajudicial killings. This list will further embolden the Philippine National Police and Armed Forces of the Philippines to carry out Duterte’s dirty work and violence against the people,” stated BAYAN-USA Secretary General Jessica Antonio.

BAYAN-USA calls on all member organizations, allies, and advocates to stand with human rights activists in the Philippines in calling for the end of the cynically named Oplan Kapayapaan (Operation Peace Plan) and to stop the killings, harassment, and criminalization of activists.

Stop the Killings in the Philippines!

Resist the Crackdown on Activists!

Activism is Not a Crime!

End State Fascism!


BAYAN-USA is an alliance of 20 progressive Filipino organizations in the U.S. representing youth, students, women, workers, artists, and human rights advocates. As the oldest and largest overseas chapter of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN-Philippines), BAYAN-USA serves as an information bureau for the national democratic movement of the Philippines and as a center for educating, organizing, and mobilizing anti-imperialist Filipinos in the U.S. For more information, visit