Please see request from CPA on threats they are receiving. Note request for personal signing online petition via this link: http://chng.it/SqPDJ7HttT (Please cut and paste this link into a browser to read it).
An intensified smear campaign is spreading lies about the Cordillera Peoples Alliance (CPA) Chairperson, Mr. Windel Bolinget, CPA Secretary General, Ms. Bestang Sarah Dekdeken, and their families as well as Mr. Santos Mero, Ms. Abigail Anongos and other members of the CPA through social media. We urgently need your support in condemning these threats, harassment and intimidation against CPA and its leaders. At this time of COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown, the smear campaigns against the CPA and its leaders have intensified. Worse, innocent family members are being included, which is taboo in Cordillera society. The attacks escalated after the CPA issued a statement criticizing the dropping of leaflets by two Philippine army choppers in some parts of the Cordillera on April 9, Easter Sunday. Numerous posts in Facebook have been posted recently providing false information about the CPA and its leaders aiming to destroy the long record of the CPA and its leaders in serving the people and in being resolute in its fight for the defense of indigenous peoples’ land and resources against destructive projects and militarization.
These attacks are not new and have been happening for a long time. Under the Duterte regime, CPA leaders and members have witnessed and experienced various forms of human rights violations such as the extrajudicial killing of Ricardo Mayumi, frustrated extrajudicial killing of Brandon Lee, filing of trumped-up charges against Rachel Mariano and other human rights defenders, surveillance, political vilification, harassment and threats. In 2018, a proscription petition was filed by the Philippine Department of Justice tagging Windel Bolinget and other CPA leaders as terrorists. Due to the vital absence of evidence and as a result of the overwhelming support of local government units, United Nations bodies, and various local and international organizations and individuals, the court decided In January 2019 to delist their names from the government’s terrorist proscription list.
Some ways that you can support and extend solidarity to CPA are:
1. Send your organizational endorsement (name of organization and country) on the attached letter of concern to be sent to the President. Please send your endorsements to firstname.lastname@example.org and /or email@example.com on or before May 18.
2. Send a letter of concern to the President of the Philippines. You can use the attached letter of concern and feel free to add your organizational messages. Please make sure that your also send the letter to those CCd in the letter. We’d greatly appreciate if you can also cc firstname.lastname@example.org to the letter you will be sending to the President so we can compile.
3. Issue statements in support of CPA for circulation to the public and mass media through our website and social media platforms. Please send a copy or link to your published statement to email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org.
4. Sign to our online petition via this link: http://chng.it/SqPDJ7HttT. (Please cut and paste this link into a browser to read it.)
You can find more information in the attached letter of concern.
Please feel free to also circulate this to your members and networks.
Vice Chairperson for External Affairs
CORDILLERA PEOPLES ALLIANCE