ESPERON’S ACTIONS ATTEST TO GRUESOME PERSECUTION FACED BY HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDERS — Migrante International

STATEMENT: (26 June 2019)

In defense of truth and justice, Migrante International fully affirms its steadfast support for Karapatan, the National Union of People’s Lawyers (NUPL), Rural Missionaries of the Philippines (RMP), and Gabriela as they face an uphill struggle to exact accountability from state forces for the spate of killings, harassment and intimidation inflicted against human rights activists in the Philippines under the bloody Duterte regime. 

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We denounce the Duterte government’s all-out campaign to silence legitimate dissent through vilification, arrests and prosecution of rights defenders. The recent carnage that claimed the life of a human rights lawyer in Negros point to the prevalent culture of violence and impunity that is being aggravated by government instigations.

In just a matter of hours, 7 people were again slain yesterday (25 July 2019) by unidentified assailants in the same province. Instead of elevating these killings as a national security issue, National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon filed perjury charges against justice advocates from Karapatan, NUPL, RMP and Gabriela. Esperon’s actions attest to the gruesome persecution faced by human rights workers and advocates. 

We earnestly appeal to the Supreme Court to turn its ears to the loud outcry from all the victims of human rights violations. This is the time to consider its position in history by siding with the embattled rights defenders. May justice prevail. 

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