Canada-based Philippine groups decry military harrassment

Since its implementation in 2018, hundreds of families continue to face the violence that has been inflicted through Memorandum Order (MO) 32, the Philippine state’s increased deployment of military battalions in rural communities.
In the island province of Leyte, Eastern Visayas region, central Philippines, human rights defenders, including a journalist and climate activist, were recently illegally arrested as state agents unreasonably stepped up their activities, employing harassment and surveillance.
BAYAN-Canada and its member organizations call for international support for the so-called Tacloban 5, namely: Mira Legion of BAYAN-Eastern Visayas chapter, Alexander Abinguna of human rights group KARAPATAN-Eastern Visayas, Marielle Domanquill of the Rural Missionaries of the Philippines-Eastern Visayas, Frenchie Mae Cumpio of alternative media Eastern Vista and Marissa Abayare Cabaljao of People Surge alliance of disaster survivors, together with her one-year old baby Malaya.
On Friday February 7, elements of the 8th Infantry Division of the Philippine Army raided the BAYAN-Eastern Visayas office between 1am to 2:30am where Cumpio, Legion, and Cabaljao with her one-year old baby were sleeping. The three were arrested while Cabaljao’s baby was taken into custody. At the same time, the military arrested Abinguna and Domanquill at the KARAPATAN-Eastern Visayas staff house, where they share an office with BAYAN-EV and Sagupa, a peasants’ organization in the same province. Only after the arrest did the military plant guns and an improvised explosive device, and present the warrant of arrest, according to KARAPATAN. The military tagged both offices as safe houses for “identified communist terror groups”.
The continuous red-tagging and harassment of activists is overtly malicious and profoundly dangerous. It criminalizes political dissenters who merely advocate for concerns of the exploited and oppressed.
Eastern Visayas is the country’s third poorest region where families depend on subsistence farming and fishing. Genuine development, hampered by a bureaucratic government,is also challenged by natural disasters such as the super typhoon Haiyan.
BAYAN recently helped screen across Canada the documentary When the Storm Fades about the climate impact in the Philippines. Naomi Klein, Canadian social activist, journalist and co-producer of the said film, also expressed support for the Tacloban 5.
BAYAN-Canada calls on everyone to join us to call out the state forces and stop attacking human rights defenders.
𝗥𝗲𝗹𝗲𝗮𝘀𝗲 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗧𝗮𝗰𝗹𝗼𝗯𝗮𝗻 𝟱!
𝗔𝗰𝘁𝗶𝘃𝗶𝘀𝗺 𝗶𝘀 𝗻𝗼𝘁 𝗮 𝗰𝗿𝗶𝗺𝗲! 𝗔𝗰𝘁𝗶𝘃𝗶𝘀𝗺 𝗶𝘀 𝗻𝗼𝘁 𝘁𝗲𝗿𝗿𝗼𝗿𝗶𝘀𝗺!
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BAYAN Canada, an overseas chapter of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (New Patriotic Alliance), is an alliance of organizations of Filipino migrant workers, women and youth, indigenous people, church people, healthcare workers and professionals committed to advancing the cause of genuine national independence, people’s democracy and a just and lasting peace in the Philippines.
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For more updates regarding the #Tacloban5 and for donations, please like this page: Free Tacloban 5

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