SCRIPS Stands by Indigenous Human Rights Defenders in the Philippines

Society for Rights of Indigenous People of Sarawak stands by indigenous human rights defenders in the Philippines

The Society for Rights of Indigenous People of Sarawak (SCRIPS) expresses its human concerns about  the Department of Justice (DOJ) accusation against indigenous human rights defenders in the Philippines by filing trumped-up charges against alleged terrorists.

Those Indigenous human rights defenders that  we know  are  Beverly  Longid - the Indigenous  Peoples Movement  for Self-Determination and Liberation ( PMSDL) Global Coordinator and CSO Partnership for Development Effectiveness (CPDE) co-chair,  Joan Carling - former Asia Indigenous People Pact (AIPP) Secretary General, and  many others listed by DOJ as "terrorist and outlawed organizations and/or group of persons" under the National Security Act of 2007.

We believe that the charges against these indigenous activists are fabricated, false and unsubstantiated. This accusation is done with "mala fide" motive to stop their advocacy and continuous effort to promote and protect the rights of the indigenous peoples. Being a Christian country who should practice good governance based on principle of democracy and  justice  for  the  common  good  of  all, this  act  of  harassment  and Intimidation should be considered morally unacceptable.

We wish to proclaim that “…do unto others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets" (Mat 7:12). As indigenous peoples ourselves we know exactly what we are promoting throughout the years and to strive for the realization of human rights under the Declaration on Human Rights Defenders.

We therefore would like to state our appeal to the Philippines government to guarantee the rights of indigenous peoples based on the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of  Indigenous  Peoples (UNDRIP) as  well as to put  an end to  the criminalization of indigenous people as listed by the DOJ's petition in court.

Signed by SCRIPS Secretary General
Michael M Jok

22 March 2018