Just days before and after the murder of Alvarez, several members of Karapatan are receiving death threats, warning that they are next if they do not stop human rights work.
Tags: attacks on human rights defenders
“We are saddened and appalled by the ongoing violence and threats against human rights defenders in the Philippines, including the killing of two human rights defenders over the past two weeks.” — UN spokesperson
Duterte publicly labeled the communists as the number one threat to national security in his speech on June 22. He also declared communists as terrorists on July 8. Are these not treated as orders from the Armed Forces of the Philippines commander-in-chief? Are these statements aiming to justify the attacks on so-called communist-terrorists?
Zara, who loved the sea, who loved to eat seafood and their local rice cake dipped in chocolate sauce, who worked tirelessly and selflessly, was murdered in one rainy evening. Yet, her fire burns eternal.
Amid the pandemic, Zara Alvarez has been coordinating and conducting relief operations as part of a community health program. This despite repeated threats to her life and safety.
“Our call to drop all charges against Frenchie Mae and to immediately release her is now more urgent than ever.”
Who have been declared “communist-terrorists” by state security forces and the National Task Force to End the Local Communist Armed Conflict? Practically all sectoral organizations advocating for reforms and genuine change. They did not spread terror or cause panic among the public but called on the government to act on legitimate demands of ordinary citizens.
Farmers, indigenous peoples and teachers have been tagged as terrorists and subjected to various forms of attack since Duterte assumed office. The Anti-Terror Bill, if enacted into law, would only escalate what they describe as “state terror” and would target ordinary citizens for merely exercising their constitutional rights.
Hundreds of students and activists held a protest inside UP-Cebu grounds to call for the junking of Anti-Terror Bill but policemen forcibly entered the campus and arrested seven protesters.
On the same day that Kadamay Secretary General Carlito Badion was killed, members of urban poor groups in Rizal province were summoned by the military to clear their names from the list of alleged communists.
“Basta aksyon, Bad yon” tawa naming lahat. Siguro nga, kung si Ka Bea, bilang chairperson ang ‘nanay’ ng organisasyon, si Ka Inday iyung tita mong makulit, si Karlets naman ang inabutan kong tito na ‘bad boy’ ng kilusan ng maralitang lungsod. Hindi dahil pasaway siya o mahirap pakisamahan, pero dahil may taglay lang siyang swabeng angas na maganda kasama mapakwentuhan, sa init ng pagtuligsa sa bulok na gobyerno, at syempre sa pagharap sa masa.