|Cordillera Peoples Alliance|
Public Information Commission
Defend NL 7: Thank you for your support. We fight on!
Joint Statement of the Cordillera Peoples Alliance
and the Cordillera Human Rights Alliance
L-R: Steve Tauli, Sarah Abellon, Niño Oconer, Windel Bolinget, Renz KangOn February 20, 2023, Sarah Abellon, Windel Bolinget, Lulu Gimenez, Florence Kang, Niño Oconer, and Steve Tauli falsely accused of rebellion and insurrection posted bail in Baguio City for their temporary liberty. A warrant of arrest for rebellion was issued against the six activists and Jennifer Awingan who was arrested last January 30 and was released on bail last February 7.
The case filed against them is a reprisal against their work and advocacies as human rights defenders, as has been the pattern of the systematic political persecution against legitimate dissent by the Philippine State, especially through the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC).
We welcome the granting of their right to bail but we continue to condemn the weaponization of the law against activists, humanitarian workers and human rights defenders. While there was a strong expression for solidarity, it was a struggle to come up with a PhP 100,000.00 for the temporary liberty of each, given the worsening economic crisis. As long as activist organizations and civil society organizations are treated as ‘enemies of the State’ in terms of policies and programs, this pattern and incidence of trumped-up charges and other human rights violations will continue.
It is of utmost importance for the people to push back and assert human rights and democratic spaces for the attacks to stop. The Philippine government should be held to the highest account to their human rights obligations and erring State security forces and institutions should be brought to the bar of justice.
#DefendNL7#DefendTheNorth#StopTheAttacksClick here to read the statement of CPA Chairperson Windel Bolinget