“All these and more only make the calls to end Duterte’s murderous regime and to prosecute him for his atrocities even more urgent. One more year of Duterte is too long. We cannot let another dead body be added to this regime’s death toll.”
Cristina Palabay, secretary general of Karapatan said that the police narrative of nanlaban and that weapons recovered from the two are not only ludicrously false but “unbelievable tall tales because both unarmed activists and they surely do not bear arms while doing graffiti.”
Under the Duterte administration, Karapatan has noted a pattern of using search warrants issued by executive judges in Quezon City and Manila regional trial courts to conduct police and military raids on homes and offices of the progressive leaders and activists which led to the killings or if not, end up arrested after supposed “evidence” were gathered by the authorities.
Cristina Palabay, secretary general of Karapatan, said that in implementing counterinsurgency policies, state forces have made no distinction between legitimate dissent and armed struggles, and wrongly equated such to terrorism.
“True enough, the dismissal of the case is a step forward, but there is much to be done that necessitates our collective action and continuing calls for accountability and justice.”
Karapatan-Caraga said that Julieta Gomez and Niezel Velasco are both engaged humanitarian work over the years. In fact, the group said that “officers and personnel of some of government agencies in the region know them personally as they have coordinated activities particularly with the Department of Social Welfare and Development and local government units in the Surigao and Agusan provinces and several municipalities.”
A local court said that two Aeta farmers charged with terrorism were just running at the moment of their arrest, and thus, their warrantless arrest was unlawful.
“The State itself is directly involved in planning, implementing and sanctioning widespread human rights violations.”
The groups are firm that the filing of charges against them and their members are pure harassment as these charges were later dismissed by the courts.
“Release your incontrovertible evidence in public.”
“It is terrifying to see so much state power wielded with impunity against the powerless, defenseless and innocent. Yet it is also tragicomic that the high and mighty would plunge into such a squalid abyss for such puny gains, and ultimately counterproductive outcomes.”