Press Release | October 10, 2017
Reference: Cristina Palabay, Secretary General, +63917-3162831
Karapatan Public Information Desk, +63918-9790580
On the creation of the PNP-AFP Inter-Agency Committee on Legal Action (IACLA)
The Philippine National Police and the Armed Forces of the Philippines Inter-Agency Committee on Legal Action further legitimizes and systematizes the political persecution, illegal arrest, and detention of vocal critics of the Duterte regime’s anti-people policies, dissenters and progressive groups through trumped up charges. Coupled with the AFP and PNP’s proposals on draconian amendments to the Human Security Act of 2009 and the institution of a national ID system, these schemes pose greater danger to peoples’ civil liberties and political rights.
IACLA is a redux of the Macapagal-Arroyo regime’s Inter-Agency Legal Action Group (IALAG), the government body responsible for the fabricated charges against the Batasan 6, a group of progressive parliamentarians including former Rep. Crispin “Ka Bel” Beltran, and against leaders of people’s organizations. The IALAG’s abolition is one of the key recommendations in the 2007 report of UN special rapporteur Philip Alston to the United Nations Human Rights Council.
While IALAG has been abolished in 2009, the policy and practice of filing trumped up charges or so-called legal offensives against activists continued during the BS Aquino III regime and the first year of the Duterte administration. The revival of IALAG through IACLA will inevitably result to more arrests and detention of those considered by the Duterte regime as “enemies of the State.” It is part and parcel of the regime’s fascist counter-insurgency program Oplan Kapayapaan and other repressive schemes against the Filipino people.
Even without IALAG or IACLA, Karapatan documented 1,112 victims of illegal arrests from July 2016 to September 2017; 219 of them were detained. As a result, there are at least 85 new political prisoners under the current administration, bringing the total to at least 430 political prisoners, all charged with trumped up criminal offenses.
Karapatan calls on the Filipino people to resist the worsening fascist attacks of the Duterte regime and to call for an end to the filing of trumped up charges against and illegal arrests and detention of activists, political dissenters and critics of the Duterte administration’s anti-people policies. We call on the international community to act against the revival of repressive policies in the Philippines, which were already previously proven to have resulted to blatant attacks on human and people’s rights. We reiterate our call for the withdrawal of any form of aid, especially to the AFP and PNP, by governments.
PUBLIC INFORMATION DESK
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
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.