30 June 2015

Dear friends and colleagues,

We enjoin you to show solidarity by responding to the urgent appeal to support the campaign to stop the attacks on progressive public sector unionists of the Confederation of Unity of Recognition and Advancement for Government Employees (COURAGE). Dubbed “Courage for COURAGE,” the campaign aims to raise awareness on the threats, harassment, and violations on the right to organize, to liberty and security of members, organizers and officers of COURAGE, and to offer solidarity to thwart further attacks against their unions, members and families. Attached are the appeal issued by COURAGE and an account of the above-mentioned incidents.

Please also find the statement of the National Council of Churches in the Philippines on the latest spate of attacks which involved the Mervin Toquero, Acting Program Secretary of the NCCP’s Program Unit on Faith, Witness and Service and his wife, Raquel Toquero, National Organizer of COURAGE. Please read the statement through this link: http://nccphilippines.org/blog/2015/06/nccp-decries-harassment-of-staff-family/

KARAPATAN Alliance for the Advancement of People’s Rights – Philippines supports this campaign of COURAGE. These attacks are part of the over-all design of the Aquino government, the Armed Forces of the Philippines, and the Philippine National Police to quell dissent and protest on the legitimate issues concerning the welfare of employees and workers in the Philippines and the anti-people policies of the current administration.

We enjoin you to show courage for COURAGE through the following:

Write letters of concern to Philippine authorities and to Philippine embassy officials. KARAPATAN earlier issued an appeal, which can be used as a reference and guide. You may view the appeal through this link: http://karapatan.org/State+forces+tail%2C+harass+members+of+people%27s+organizations

Release statements of support for the COURAGE unionists and to call on Philippine state agents to stop such attacks;

Write letters of concern to the UN Special Rapporteurs on the Protection of the Rights of Human Rights Defenders via defenders@ohchr.org , to the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Opinion and Expression via freedex@ohchr.org , to the UN Special Rapporteur on Peaceful Assembly and of Association via freeassembly@ohchr.org , and other relevant international human rights mechanisms;

Take groupfies or pictures of you and your organizations/friends with the call “HANDS OFF OUR UNIONISTS AND ACTIVISTS” and/or with following hand sign:

Like and post your statements, letters and pictures to https://www.facebook.com/pages/Hands-Off-Our-Unionists-and-Activists/853717978050787?fref=ts

Provide financial support for the legal fund to support the unionists in filing complaints before various institutions and bodies.

For journalists and friends in the media, write stories on the cases to help in providing visibility for the issue.

In solidarity,

Cristina Palabay

Secretary General



Alliance for the Advancement of People’s Rights

2nd Flr. Erythrina Bldg., #1 Maaralin corner Matatag Sts., Central District

Diliman, Quezon City, PHILIPPINES 1101

Telefax: (+63 2) 4354146

Web: http://www.karapatan.org

KARAPATAN is an alliance of human rights organizations and programs, human rights desks and committees of people’s organizations, and individual advocates committed to the defense and promotion of people’s rights and civil liberties. It monitors and documents cases of human rights violations, assists and defends victims and conducts education, training and campaign.