JASS-SEA Stands with Filipino Women HRDs Included in the Duterte Gov't' Terrorist List

For immediate Release: 22 March 2018

For reference, contact: Osang Langara

JASS Southeast Asia Stands with Filipino Women Human Rights Defenders Included in the Duterte Government’s Terrorist List

JASS Southeast Asia, a feminist organization dedicated to strengthening and mobilizing the voice, visibility, and collective power of women and a regional network of JASS (Just Associates), raised concern to the safety of women human rights leaders in the Philippines whose names are included in the (Department of Justice) DOJ’s proposed terrorist list. We express our solidarity with members of the international community, their families, and loved ones in urging DOJ to drop the allegations.

Change makers, not terrorists. We believe that this criminalization of activists disguised as anti-terrorism is meant to silence legitimate dissent.
Victoria Tauli-Corpuz is the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, former Chairperson of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues; Elisa Tita Lubi, is a staunch human rights activist who offers her time as part of the Executive Committee of a human rights organization, KARAPATAN, and former interim Regional Coordinator of the Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development (APWLD); Joan Carling is the co-convener of the Indigenous Peoples Major Group on the Sustainable Development Goals, and former Secretary General of the Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact (AIPP) and member of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues; Joanna Cariño, is a member of the Cordillera Peoples’ Alliance (CPA) Advisory Council and SANDUGO Co-chairperson; Beverly Longid, is the Global Coordinator for the Indigenous Peoples Movement for Self-Determination and Liberation (IPMSDL); Zara Alvarez, is the Research and Advocacy Officer of Negros Island Health Integrated Program for Community Development (NIHIPCD); Jeanette Ribaya Cawiding, is the Regional Coordinator of the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) – Cordillera; and Rogina Navarro Quilop, is the Administrative Officer of the Center for People’s Resources and Services (CPRS)-Negros.

They are women who stand for truth and call for just peace. On top of that, they are mothers, sisters, and daughters who now fear for the safety of their families because of the petition filed by the Justice Department of the Philippines declaring them as terrorists.

As a global women-led human rights organization, JASS recognizes the need to unite and support our sisters and comrades in countries where democracy and peoples’ rights are threatened. The shrinking of civic spaces in the Philippines is not an isolated case. Last week in Brazil, Marielle Franco, known for her work to expose police brutality and state violence, was assassinated by unidentified gunmen. As we demand justice for Marielle’s death, we want to lift our grieving hearts through amplifying our voices for our sisters in the Philippines in this difficult and challenging time.

We appeal to the Duterte administration to drop all charges and petitions against WHRDs and stop criminalizing human rights defenders. Along with the rest of the international community, we stand with the WHRDs in the Philippines in upholding the rights of women and the Filipino people. ###