It has not even been a month since Duterte gave the “kill them all” order which led to 9 killings and 6 illegal arrests of farmers and activists in Southern Tagalog on March 7th. That day has since been called “Bloody Sunday” in the Philippines. The weeks following were stained with even more bloodshed and human rights abuses:
- On March 21, Renalyn Tejero, the paralegal officer of Karapatan, was arrested on trumped up charges in Cagayan de Oro
- On March 28, union leader Dandy Miguel, vice chairperson of Pagkakaisa ng Manggagawa sa Timog Katagalugan (Pamantik-KMU, Unity of Workers in Southern Tagalog) was shot 8 times and killed by death squads on his way home in Calamba City, Laguna.
- On March 30, police arrested Joseph Canlas, national vice chair of Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP, Peasant Movement of the Philippines), Pol Viuya, chair of BAYAN Gitnang Luson, and paralegal May Arcilla in Pampanga and Tarlac provinces using “fake” warrants.
- On March 30, police raided and planted evidence at the former union office of Alyansa ng mga Manggagawa sa Engklabo in Laguna, where workers displaced by the lockdown had been living
Leaders who were killed or arrested were previously terror tagged and put on hitlists due to their involvement in activism for worker and peasant rights.
As Duterte continues his brutal rampage on the mass movement, his response to the COVID pandemic has been an utter failure. It has been one year since he put the country in military lockdown and denied workers much needed protections, access to health care, and economic aid. Instead of putting resources into the health and wellbeing of Filipinos, he has demanded more money be poured into the budget for the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) and counterinsurgency programs, leading the charge to attack, murder, and silence trade unionists, lawyers, doctors, and human rights defenders. With the 2022 Philippine national elections fast approaching, there is growing momentum by everyday people and politicians across the political spectrum—from #DutertePalpak trending online to the formation of the 1Sambayan Coalition—calling to ensure the Duterte clique’s defeat and ensure the elections are not riddled with fraud and corruption. But while we continue to engage in the electoral arena, we cannot afford to allow Duterte even one more year in power. The call of the people’s movement remains the same: Duterte resign or be ousted!
As Filipinos in the U.S, we too must do our part to expose how our tax dollars are being used to buy the bullets being used to kill our people back home. U.S. Representative Susan Wild—who introduced the Philippine Human Rights Act to the House of Representatives last year—has called on her colleagues to condemn attacks on activists and demand a review of military aid. Let us mobilize in the thousands to demand our representatives sign on, and beyond that, continue organizing and taking action in every way we can to end Duterte’s dictatorship. We cannot stay idle as illegal arrests, torture, and extrajudicial killings happen every week. Together, we must build the broadest united front against Duterte and continue to demand for justice for all the lives lost under his bloody regime.
Duterte’s reign of terror and impunity must end!
TAKE ACTION TODAY
- Hold actions and issue statements of condemnation on the extrajudicial killings and illegal arrests in the Philippines.
- Call your local representatives to support the reintroduction of the Philippines Human Rights Act and to sign U.S. Representative Susan Wild’s Dear Colleague Letter: http://tinyurl.com/cutaidph
- Donate to the communities under attack in the Philippines: https://tinyurl.com/ichrpfund
- Post pictures on your individual and organizational social media pages. Use hashtags #StopTheAttacks #StopTheKillings #PassThePHRA #DutertePalpak #OustDuterteNow. Tag @bayanusa (FB) / @bayan_usa (IG)