“Whatever the suppression, however, they failed to stop her continuing courageous actions, inspiring global citizens throughout the world, and thus was selected her (Cariño) as the winner of the 2019 Gwangju Prize for Human Rights,” it added.
By ANNE MARXZE D. UMIL
MANILA – A Filipina human rights defender, Joanna Patricia Kintanar Cariño, has been named as this year’s recipient of Gwangju Prize for Human Rights.
Cariño is the founding secretary general and the current advisory council of Cordillera Peoples Alliance (CPA), regional council member of the Cordillera Human Rights Alliance (CHRA) and chairperson of SELDA-North Luzon, an organization of former political prisoners.
The May 18 Memorial Foundation is giving the Gwangju Prize for Human Rights to individuals, groups and institutions in Korea and abroad “that have contributed in promoting and advancing human rights, democracy, and peace in their work.” It also recognizes the exemplary efforts of individuals and organizations aspiring to the restoration of justice and human rights in their respective countries.
Cariño is among the 600 individuals listed in the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) so-called terror list, which seeks to proscribe the Communist Party of the Philippines and the New People’s Army as terrorist organizations.
Cariño, together with other activists who were included in the list, fought for the removal of their names and in January this year, the DOJ has acted by finally removing the names of scores of activists and human rights defenders in the Cordillera region.
The Foundation recognizes Cariño’s track record as human rights defender from the time of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos up to the present.
“She has been illegally arrested, detained and harassed for being tireless and vigorous in the indigenous people’s fight against militarization of their communities,” the Foundation said in their statement.
“Whatever the suppression, however, they failed to stop her continuing courageous actions, inspiring global citizens throughout the world, and thus was selected her as the winner of the 2019 Gwangju Prize for Human Rights,” it added.
The award also aims “to promote the spirit of the May 18 Democratization Movement, in which the people of Gwangju resisted against brutal military forces for the sake of democracy and human rights in 1980.”