Int’l and local groups urge Supreme Court: grant petition of abducted activists Jhed and Jonila

by Kalikasan - People's Network for the Environment

February 5, 2024

Environmental and human rights groups held a protest action at the Supreme Court and Department of Justice today in support of abducted anti-reclamation activists Jonila Castro and Jhed Tamano, decrying the “slow movement” of a petition filed by Castro and Tamano last year praying for the writs of amparo and habeas data.

In letters submitted to the Supreme Court, 47 international organizations, along with several Filipino civil society leaders, appealed to the Supreme Court to “immediately grant the petition”, citing an “urgent need that a legal remedy be provided for [Castro and Tamano].”

“It has been over four months since Jhed and Jonila filed their petition at the Supreme Court, and we have yet to hear any response from them,” said Jon Bonifacio, national coordinator of Kalikasan People’s Network for the Environment. “Along with our local and international partners, we are urging for swift action to help protect Jhed and Jonila from the continuing surveillance and harassment they face.”

Among the international groups appealing to the Supreme Court include Global Witness, Both ENDS, Swedish Society for Nature Conservation, Asia Pacific Network for Environmental Defenders, Business and Human Rights Resource Center, and International Indigenous Peoples Movement for Self Determination and Liberation.

At the protest, the groups also condemned the recent resolution of the DOJ stating that Castro and Tamano should be charged for “grave oral defamation” in line with the statements they made at the September 19 press conference that secured their release from military detention.

“It is outrageous that Jhed and Jonila are made to face these trumped-up charges for simply trying to secure their own safety after their horrifying experience,” said Bonifacio. “This only goes to show that the Marcos Jr. administration has no intention whatsoever to respect the rights of the people protecting the environment. We continue to stand with Jhed and Jonila in their fight for truth and justice, and will not rest until their captors are held accountable for their actions.” #

Contact:

John Carlo Magallon / Communications Officer, Kalikasan PNE

maggie@kalikasan.net / 0955 299 5309

(FEATURED PHOTO from Rappler)

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article is that of the author only and do not necessarily represent the views of their organization nor of the CPDG.