Dear friends,

The research coordinator of the Cordillera Women’s Education Action Research Center (CWEARC) Alma Sinumlag is under attack. Please send your statement of support/solidarity and share more widely.

http://www.cwearc.org/main/press-releases-3/212-cwearc-and-innabuyog-condemn-afp-attack-against-staff

thanks and regards,

vernie

PRESS STATEMENT

13 October 2015

To lie is desperate, to vilify is much more desperate

Released by the Cordillera Women’s Education Action Research Center (CWEARC)

16 Loro St., Dizon Subdivision, Baguio City 2600, Philippines

(+63) (74) 442 5347;cwearc09@gmail.com; www.cwearc.org

Reference: Vernie Yocogan-Diano, Executive Director

The apparatus of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) are out of their head. Their announcement that Alma Sinumlag, a resident of Anonang, Rizal in Kalinga and research coordinator of the Cordillera Women’s Education Action Research Center (CWEARC) was killed during an encounter between government soldiers and the New Peoples Army (NPA) on 7 October 2015 in Uma, Kalinga, is a big lie meant to mislead and cause intrigue and bewilderment.

The employer of Alma, the Cordillera Women’s Educaton Action Research Center (CWEARC) condemns the disinformation. Alma is very much alive and has no involvement at all to the armed encounter that the AFP is desperately linking her. This is but another vilification plan to an innocent civilian and a woman human rights defender who is serving the interest of marginalized but struggling indigenous women. This is but part of the vicious strategy of Operation Plan Bayanihan, the Aquino government’s national internal security plan combining force, deception and demonization against civilians and legitimate organizations who stand for truth and justice. The truth is, Alma was in the office that day (7 October) and had not been on field to Kalinga since September. The intrigue and disinformation which was circulated to Alma’s family, relatives and community was made on 11 October. Alma was in Baguio at that time. Many saw her in a book launch event in UP Baguio in the afternoon of 10 October. No logic or reality would support what the AFP agent is concocting on Alma.

Again, we are witnessing the AFP’s re-use and recycle of old dirty tactics to create an atmosphere of fear, intrigue and bewilderment within the legal and progressive movement and the communities they belong.

By this vilification, the AFP apparatus is endangering Alma’s security and life. The AFP’s application of threats, harassment and intimidation is undeniable in this case.

We call the attention of concerned groups, organizations and communities to join us in ensuring Alma’s safety and in bringing the correct information that Alma is alive and had no involvement in the armed encounter of the government soldiers and the NPA. We enjoin you to protest against the Aquino government’s Oplan Bayanihan of desperately and maliciously linking persons of the legal and progressive organizations to the NPA. We enjoin you to expose that endangering lives of civilians particularly activists like Alma, is not acceptable by civilized and upright people and communities. We enjoin you to support CWEARC’s call making the Commander-in- Chief of the AFP, Pres. Benigno Aquino III to be accountable for these acts and that he corrects his government’s practice of impunity.

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Cordillera Women’s Education Action Research Center, Inc. (CWEARC)
#16 Loro Street, Dizon Subdivision, Baguio City 2600 Philippines
Telephone: (+63 74) 442 5347
Email: cwearc09@gmail.com
Website: www.cwearc.org
Executive Director: Vernie Yocogan-Diano

Empowering indigenous women in the Cordillera region, Philippines