Victories in the dismissal of cases against development workers and the release of political prisoners bring hope—CPDG
“The acquittal and release of several political prisoners is not only reason to celebrate but also vindicates us in our fight. Moreover, these legal victories show just how dubious so many of the warrants mysteriously issued by different courts really are,” CPDG spokesperson Liza Maza said. She added, “The judges who scrutinize these cases and stop the use of the legal system to harass activists should be lauded.”
Maza said that the remaining bits of integrity in the national elections will gradually disappear if this tactic remains legal. “It is so corrupted and it treats our voters as if they’re audiences waiting for entertainment: the cliffhanger, the “sundan ang susunod na kabanata”,” she said.
“Sec. Dominguez takes pride in the Sustainable Finance Roadmap and even declares concern about the marginalized sectors vulnerability in climate and ecological disasters. But the construction of large destructive dams and the continuance of chemical-intensive farming through GMOs defeats the purpose of climate action,” she further added.
Council for People’s Development and Governance (CPDG) raises alarm on these non-stop and wholesale violations of people’s rights and lingering impunity especially as the 2022 national elections close in. CPDG spokesperson Liza Maza said that incumbent administrations are known to use a climate of terror against critics and the opposition for electoral advantage, such the red-tagging and terror-tagging in the 2016 national and 2019 midterm elections.
“Recognition, not vilification for CSOs”—CPDG to PH Gov’t on the International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction
The recognition of CSOs’ efforts by local and international bodies including the UN belie the claim that their activities are meant for destabilization and confirm how they capacitate communities and build their resilience to disasters.
Shortly after the release of the UNHRC resolution, the country saw impunity and disrespect by law enforcers on the death of Baby River, the three-month old daughter of political prisoner Reina Mae Nasino. Even after the UNHRC resolution, in the closing weeks of 2020, there were successive arrests and killings of activists and development workers – i.e., the arrest of peasant volunteer worker Amanda Echanis and her then one-month old son Baby Randall (December 2), the arrest of seven activists ironically on International Human Rights Day (December 10), the extra-judicial killing of Dr. Mary Rose Sancelan and her husband (December 17), and the killing of nine Tumanduk indigenous people and the arrest of 16 more in Panay (December 30).
Many political forces, especially those who are critical of the current administration, expressed their rejection of any Duterte candidacy at the national level. The same sentiments apply for the possibility of the Marcoses’ return to power through the late dictator’s son, Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr.
Redtagging and smear campaign against Leyte CSO, “a brazen attack on volunteerism and development work”—CPDG
While civil society organizations (CSOs) like LCDe fill the gaps and limitations in the government’s pandemic response, they fall victims to its vicious counterinsurgency program. These malicious attacks do not contribute to anything but only deprives the poor, vulnerable, and marginalized Filipinos from receiving much needed assistance.
Just like the late dictator who is known for amassing ill-gotten wealth, Duterte clearly follows suit. There are billions worth of funds that have been misappropriated and misused, even though the pandemic demands increasing spending on health and medical services. The national debt also keeps on increasing but the funds are not used for the urgent demands and interests of the people. Maza added that “burying the country in debt is a legacy where Duterte and Marcos are very much alike”. Thus, the indignation and protest of the people constantly increase over his consistently failing policies, especially in combating COVID-19.
“There is clear and strong opposition against the Kaliwa dam in Dumagat communities. It will be best if the government and MWSS listen to the voices of the opposition, stop the project, and seek other alternatives to ensure stable water supply for Metro Manila and nearby provinces. The claim that many people ‘benefit’ from it does not justify the huge displacement and ethnocide,” Beyer further explained.