“To be hopeful in bad times is not just foolishly romantic. It is based on the fact that human history is a history not only of cruelty, but of compassion, sacrifice, courage, kindness…”  
Howard Zinn 

 CANADA-PHILIPPINES SOLIDARITY FOR HUMAN RIGHTS (CPSHR)
1-5687 West Blvd. Vancouver, BC Canada
Email: cps_hr@yahoo.ca

13 May 2017
AN OPEN LETTER
To His Excellency President Rodrigo Roa Duterte
RE: RELEASE Bishop Carlo Morales and NDFP Consultant Rommel Salinas

The Canada Philippines Solidarity For Human Rights (CPSHR), joins the Filipino human rights defenders, peace advocates and the international rights groups calling for the immediate release of Bishop Carlo Morales, his wife and public school teacher, Maria Teofilina Morales, and his two companions Isadome Dalid and Rommel Salinas.

The four were brought to the Ozamiz City Police Station on May 11, 2017 and their access to their legal counsels were restricted. Guns and explosives were planted in their personal belongings. The next day, May 12, trumped up cases of illegal possession of firearms and/explosives were filed against Salinas and Bishop Morales, while the two others were released.

Salinas is known to be the fourth National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) consultant arrested after the February 3 all-out war declaration of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), despite statements of the Government of the Philippines (GRP) on the reaffirmation of its adherence to the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees and the Comprehensive Agreement on the Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL), which were previously signed by both parties.
 
Mr. President, the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG), reaffirmed in the first round of the formal Peace Talks under your administration, remains in full force and effect even after the JASIG and peace negotiations are effective, precisely because it aims to protect duly accredited persons, including peace consultants, and encourage their participation or involvement in the peace process.

As concerned Canadians, we are well aware of the good Bishop Morales’ work with defending the poor and find it incredulous that those who arrested him would claim that the Bishop would be armed with anything else other than his faith, an unwavering faith, that there can be a just peace for the poor and oppressed.

It is evident to us in Canada, that there is an alarming State repression that is not only killing the civil liberties of the Filipino people but is in fact killing its own citizens. The very repression that Bishop Morales fought against is now a victim of.

WE call on your government to:
Release Bishop Carlo Morales and NDFP Consultant Rommel Salinas and the withdrawal of trumped up charges.
End the harassment of NDFP consultants and similar attacks against leaders of progressive organizations.
Pursue its commitments under the Comprehensive Agreement on the Respect of Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL) and the Joint Agreement on Security and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG) which have been reaffirmed in the first round of formal Peace Talks in Oslo last August 2016; and
Adhere and respect the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and all major Human Rights instruments that your government is a party and signatory. 

Thank you and we hope for your immediate attention and action on this case.
Respectfully yours,

The Canada-Philippines Solidarity for Human Rights (CPSHR)

Canada-Philippines Solidarity for Human Rights (CPSHR)
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Canada-Philippines-Solidarity-for-Human-Rights/

Member:  International Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines (ICHRP-Canada)/ Stop the Killings Network (STKN-Canada)/ International League of Peoples’ Struggle (ILPS-Canada)/ International Women’s Alliance (IWA)/ Coalition for Migrant Workers Justice (C4MWJ)/ Mining Justice Alliance (MJA)
Associate Member: International Migrants’ Alliance (IMA) 
Proud Supporter of Bayan-Canada and Migrante-Canada

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CPSHR Statement For Bishop Morales.pdf