Appeals for Action

Human rights activist, environmental advocate threatened and harassed by military agents


Human rights activist, environmental advocate threatened and harassed by military agents

July 27, 2017

Dear friends, 

Two human rights defenders - Karapatan Secretary General Cristina “Tinay” Palabay and Ilocos environmental advocate Sherwin de Vera - have recently experienced threats, harassment and intimidation from suspected State security forces. 

On July 20, 2017, at around 10:20 p.m., Palabay received a call from a man who repeatedly asked her if she is “Tinay Palabay” and refused to tell her his name. He told Palabay that she should stop what she is doing because she is in the “list” of people whom they consider as “courageous,” and that he called because she is within his “AOR” (interpreted as “area of responsibility”). He accused Palabay of being involved in the alleged ambush of the Presidential Security Group by members of the New People’s Army (NPA) in Mindanao. Palabay denied knowledge and involvement in the reported incident, as she was in Manila leading the preparations for protest actions in time for the State of the Nation Address of Pres. Rodrigo Duterte and his extension of the martial law declaration in Mindanao. The unnamed caller told Palabay that she should stop whatever it is that she is doing because “times have changed” and “martial law is in place.” Palabay was also repeatedly asked on her whereabouts, and that she should be cautious because he will soon meet her.  

Community leaders, teachers of Lumad school in CARAGA harassed with trumped-up cases

Dear friends, 

Community leaders in Lianga, Surigao del Sur, and teachers of Alternative Learning Center for Agricultural and Livelihood Development, Inc. (ALCADEV) and Tribal Filipino Program of Surigao del Sur (TRIFPSS) are facing trumped-up charges of child trafficking, concocted by the 75th Infantry Battalion-Philippine Army (IBPA) and the 402nd In fantry Brigade – Philippine Army. The leaders charged are all members of the Malahutayong Pakigbisog alang sa Sumusunod (MAPASU), a regional organization of indigenous communities opposed to mining, militarization and other anti-people State policies. This case has shown how the military have sunk to deplorable maneuvers of using children against teachers and leaders. Time and again, the State has resorted to the criminalization of environment, land, and human rights activists who defend their communities.



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