“Never again to martial law!” Migrant group condemns state attacks on political activists


photo from humanrightsphilippines.net
photo from humanrightsphilippines.net

Global alliance of overseas Filipinos Migrante International condemned the Aquino administration’s coordinated and intensified attacks against political activists and mass organizations.

“We condemn in strongest terms the harassment, repression and orchestrated attacks on the rights and civil liberties of political activists and mass organizations. We believe that the recent spate of harassments, warrantless arrests, filing of trumped-up charges, baseless red-baiting and surveillance being conducted by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and other state agents are all part of a coordinated attack on the democratic mass movement. There is an undeclared martial law happening and it is being perpetrated by the state,” said Sol Pillas, Migrante International secretary-general.

Pillas said that since April, there had been numerous cases of harassments being done by the military on political activists and activist leaders. Mass organizations and unions like COURAGE, BAYAN, KMU, KMP, Kabataan Partylist, Anakpawis, Anakbayan, ACT Teachers, Gabriela, KARAPATAN and Migrante nationwide have also reported different cases of harassment and surveillance in the last months.

The attacks have been especially brazen these past few weeks that union leaders and activists have filed for a writ of amparo and habeas data at the Supreme Court last July 14. Leaders of mass organizations are also set hold a dialogue with the Commission on Human Rights tomorrow, July 23.

“There is an intensified attack and it is intesifying still. We believe that the worst is yet to come, unless the people unite and come together to condemn Aquino’s martial law. If Aquino and the AFP think that these harassments will cause a chilling effect on human rights defenders and political activists, it is dead wrong. We are more resolved than ever to hold Aquino accountable for all his crimes against the Filipino people. Tens of thousands will march on Aquino’s last SONA (State of the Nation Address).”

She added, “The AFP and Malacanang can deny all they want but only Aquino stands to benefit from these coordinated attacks. We call on all freedom-loving Filipino migrants and their families to condemn, expose and fight these attacks. If Aquino and the AFP can do these to human rights defenders, what can stop it from violating the rights and civil liberties of civilians, supporters and any other citizen opposed to this government’s policies?”

Migrante said that it supports and stands in solidarity with other progressive people’s organizations and the Filipino people against Aquino’s martial law. Migrante and its chapters around the world will hold simultaneous protest actions on the People’s SONA on July 27. ###