Drop the trumped-up case against CPA Chairperson Windel Bolinget!

Migrante International stands in solidarity with human rights defenders to condemn state terrorism against Cordillera Peoples Alliance Chairperson

Bolinget is clearly a victim of Duterte’s Executive Order 70 and the ruthless National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) that has systematically attacked political dissenters and human rights activists through red-tagging, terrorist-labeling, dirty tactics of smear campaign and paid trolls, and now a trumped-up murder case filed by a police officer in a court in Tagum City, Davao Del Norte, Philippines late last year.

A staunch protector of indigenous peoples’ rights, Bolinget’s trumped-up case is obviously meant to silence him and the CPA from asserting the human rights of indigenous communities who are impacted by development aggression in the form of destructive mining and dam projects. According to reports, Bolinget and nine other individuals are being accused of killing Garito Tiklonay Malibato on March 22, 2018 in Barangay Gupitan, Kapalong, Davao del Norte. Windel Bolinget has never been to the place. The Cordillera Peoples Alliance has learned that a warrant of arrest has been issued against Bolinget in relation to the case. Moreover, Bolinget’s residence and hometowns have been put under visible surveillance, with members and assets of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and Philippine National Police (PNP) swarming around in search for him. Based on information gathered by the CPA, the manhunt intensified just before the New Year.

Furthermore, the Bolinget family and CPA fear the “tokhang”-style execution (extrajudicial killing under the pretext of “resisting arrest” or “nanlaban/fought back”) if Bolinget is arrested and even during his transportation to Davao Del Norte where he should face his case. This has been the track record of the PNP and AFP, the latest of which was the extrajudicial killings of 9 indigenous leaders and arrest of 16 others in a synchronized operation of the AFP and PNP last December 30, 2020 in Capiz and Iloilo provinces.

MIGRANTE International, a global alliance of Filipino migrants’ organizations strongly condemns this state repression against Bolinget and the Cordillera Peoples Alliance. As migrants, we were forced to leave our families behind in our home country for survival and hearing this kind of harassment and trumped up charges against people whose conviction is to defend the rights of Filipinos, affirm our calls for genuine systemic change in our country.

MIGRANTE International strongly supports the Cordillera Peoples Alliance in their demands to drop the trumped-up case against Windel Bolinget, to put an end to the harassment and red tagging and the abolishment of the NTF-ELCAC.

Duterte’s War on Terror must be stopped!