Migrante International condemns in the strongest terms the recent filing of a perjury case by National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr. against Karapatan, Gabriela, and the Rural Missionaries of the Philippines (RMP) on 2 July 2019. This is clearly a bid by the regime to prevent its military officials from facing the court and to extricate their blood-stained hands from judicial liability for all the threats, killings and other Fascist attacks being instigated against rights defenders.
With the recent efforts by the international community to push for a UN action against the extreme violence perpetrated by state forces, the Duterte regime is now in panic as it goes to unleash all its criminal orchestrations against progressive movements that are actively defending the people’s rights and interests.
Reeling from the latest round of killings that claimed the lives of many Human Rights workers in the Philippines, Karapatan, et al lodged petitions for writ of amparo and habeas data at the Supreme Court.
Duterte and Esperon would rather bolster state terror against the Filipino people and their defenders instead of spending their time and efforts to actively pursue national security in the face of China’s aggression in the West Philippine Sea. In fact, millions of fisherfolks in our coastal regions are bearing the brunt of the ineptitude of Duterte’s security cluster to which Esperon belongs. As a result, many more Filipinos from these poor fishing communities would now be driven to sign up for overseas jobs in place of their besieged livelihood while Chinese-owned fishing vessels and naval ships are plundering our marine resources and defiling our national integrity.
After daring the US to fire the first shot at China, Duterte is plainly offering the Philippines as a battleground between two rival military world powers. Esperon should have already realized at this point that the US-Duterte regime itself is the number one threat to Philippine national security.
Pulling off their inutility, the Duterte regime’s security cluster have fielded military attaches in Philippine embassies overseas adding up to the vast number of unproductive parasites who drain government resources at the expense of Filpino communities abroad. Upon the auspices of Esperon, these military attaches are conducting government-funded seminars where progressive groups like Migrante and Gabriela are red-tagged and demonized to discredit our rights-based advocacies.
At a time when thousands of OFWs in Saudi Arabia are in need of immediate assistance and evacuation due to the flaring war between Saudi forces and Yemeni fighters, these military attaches are not even lifting a finger to help lay out concrete measures to save OFWs from the growing threat of a full-blown crisis that will stem from the armed conflict.
As defenders of people’s rights, Migrante International stands with Gabriela, Karapatan and the Rural Missionaries of the Philippines as they seek judicial protection from harassment and state-sponsored terror. We will not watch idly as the rights of the people are violated by the blood-thirsty Duterte regime. The day of reckoning is surely at hand. Duterte and his fawning accomplice like Esperon will never escape the tremendous rage of the Filipino people.