Taiwanese Organizations Condemn Terrorist Listing of Philippine Human Rights Defenders

Twenty Taiwanese organizations jointly condemn the terrorist listing of Philippine human rights defenders by the Duterte regime in front of the Manila Economic and Cultural Office (MECO), Taipei at 10am on April 3, 2018.
Several representatives from the twenty organizations spoke at the protest action, including Chairperson Gilda Banugan of Migrante International-Taiwan Chapter; Professor Hsiao-Chuan Hsia representing Taiwan Committee for Philippine Concerns (TCPC), TransAsia Sisters Association of Taiwan (TASAT) and the Graduate Institute for Social Transformation Studies of Shih Hsin University; Director Sakinu of the Hunters’ School; Chairman Mei-wen Luo of Labor Party; Executive Secretary Jen-Yi Kao of Taiwan Alliance of Anti-Forced Eviction; Deputy Secretary General Yi-Hsiang Shih of Taiwan Association for Human Rights (TAHR); and Director Lennon Ying-Dah Wong from the Service Center and Shelter for Migrant Workers of the Serve the People Association (SPA).
All speakers shared their experiences working with the Filipino organizations and organizers on the terrorist list. They all testified that the organizations and organizers on the terrorist list are indeed genuine human rights defenders who have committed their lives for the welfare and rights of the marginalized people in the Philippines. These genuine human rights defenders are not only concerned with issues of the Filipino people but also reach out to organizations in other countries, including Taiwan, to help them organize and advocate. More importantly, these genuine human rights defenders strive to bring issues of the marginalized people all over the world, including the indigenous peoples, women, workers and displaced people, to the international platforms, including the UN, and advocate for their rights and welfare.
The Taiwanese organizations presented a statement appealing to the Duterte governments to revoke the terrorist listing of 600 individuals made by the Department of Justice; to repeal the Philippine Human Security Act; to halt the government’s anti-insurgency campaign called Oplan Kapayapaan; to dissolve the Inter-Agency Committee on Legal Action (IACLA); to resume the peace talk with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines to stop the civil war and give peace to the people and observe the obligations and commitments of the “Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law” (CARHRIHL); and to adhere to and attach importance to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights which the Philippine government has signed and ratified; to stop the “war on drugs” that already made thousands of civilian death; to stop the air bombing in the name of martial law throughout the Philippines that destroyed so many lives and houses of the civilians; Cooperate with the International Criminal Court (ICC) and let the latter to conduct full investigation on whether President Duterte committed the Crime against Humanity.
At the end of the protest action, one representative from MECO came down the building and received the statement. However, this MECO representative did not make any response to the appeal of the Taiwanese organizations. The protestors declared that they will continue to monitor and protest until the terrorist listing of the Philippine human rights defenders is revoked. The protest action was ended with loud chanting of “Long live, international solidarity;” “Activism is not terrorism;” “Stop the killing in the Philippines” and “Peace talk ituloy!”
This protest action is co-organized by Taiwan Committee for Philippine Concerns (TCPC) and Taiwan Association for Human Rights (TAHR). It is supported by eighteen other organizations from various sectors, including human rights; migrants and immigrants; indigenous peoples; environmental; and gender equality advocates, as the following: Serve the People Association (SPA); TransAsia Sisters Association, Taiwan (TASAT); Indigenous Youth Front; Migrante International-Taiwan Chapter; National Home-Based Workers’ Union; Association for Taiwan Indigenous Peoples’ Policy (ATIPP); Taiwan International Workers Association (TIWA); Assignment Theater; Yilan County Kanke Indigenous Sustainable Development Association (YIKIDA); Taiwan Forever Association; Taiwan Alliance to End the Death Penalty (TAEDP); Covenants Watch; Taiwan Gender Queer Rights Advocacy Alliance; Environmental Jurists Association (EJA); Taiwan Alliance of Anti-Forced Eviction; Labor Party; Labor Rights Association (LRA); New School for Democracy; Hunter School.