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Human rights defenders Jenelyn Nagrampa and Dan San Andres arrested

On 7 and 9 July 2020, human right defenders Jenelyn Nagrampa and Dan San Andres were arrested for their alleged involvement in an ambush that resulted in the death of two soldiers. Jenelyn Nagrampa and Dan San Andres are currently being detained at the Nabua Municipal Police Station and the Philippine National Police Station in Sipocot, Camarines Sur.
Jenelyn Nagrampa is the national vice-chairperson of Gabriela, a grass-roots alliance that aims to empower Filipino woman, primarily from marginalised sectors of society, and help them in advocating for their rights and interests through collective action. It provides services such as counselling, medical missions, relief and rehabilitation in times of disaster, as well as capacity building trainings. Dan San Andres is a pastor at the United Church of Christ in the Philippines and a spokesperson for the Karapatan alliance in the Bicol region. The alliance is comprised of individuals, groups and organisations that work to promote and protect human rights in the Philippines.

On 7 July 2020, woman human rights defender Jenelyn Nagrampa was arrested at her home in Nabua, Camarines Sur. Two days later on 9 July, Dan San Andres was detained by police from his house in Sipocot, Camarines Sur. The defenders are accused of murdering two soldiers in Ragay, Camarines on 13 May 2018, under the Philippine Revised Penal Code. The murders took place during an alleged ambush involving the New People’s Army.

The murder charges brought against defenders Jenelyn Nagrampa and Dan San Andres are completely fabricated. Both defenders filed counter-affidavits during the initial investigation into the case and have denied any involvement in the ambush. Furthermore, both can prove their whereabouts at the time of the ambush: Dan San Andres was giving a mass in his parish in the UCCP Church, whilst Jenelyn Nagrampa was campaigning for the barangay (local authority) elections.

These arrests are part of a wider pattern by the military to intimidate and vilify human rights defenders, by linking them to crimes they did not commit or had no involvement in. Human rights defenders in the Philippines expect this pattern to continue and even be further invigorated by the signing of the Anti-Terrorism Act on 3 July, making their work in an already challenging environment increasingly difficult.
Front Line Defenders is deeply concerned by the increasingly hostile environment for human rights defenders in the Philippines. Front Line Defenders condemns the arrest of Jenelyn Nagrampa and Dan San Andres and the fabricated charges against them, as it believes they are being targeted for their legitimate and peaceful work for the protection of human rights.

Front Line Defenders urges the authorities in the Philippines to:
1. Immediately cease the investigation and drop all charges against Jenelyn Nagrampa and Dan San Andres, as Front Line Defenders believes that they are being targeted solely as a result of their legitimate and peaceful work in the defence of human rights;
2. Take all necessary measures to guarantee the physical and psychological integrity and security of the human rights defenders, in consultation with them;
3. Cease targeting all human rights defenders in the Philippines and guarantee in all circumstances that they are able to carry out their legitimate human rights activities without fear of reprisals and free of all restrictions including judicial harassment.

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.