The Duterte government is fast unfolding into another despotic regime.
Since last year, Pres. Duterte has unleashed police and police-backed death squads in a brutal and murderous “war on drugs” that has victimized thousands of mostly poor, suspected small-time drug users and pushers and even innocents.
In his rush to end armed conflicts with the Bangsa Moro and the CPP-NPA-NDFP, he has imposed martial law and suspended the writ of habeas corpus in Mindanao. He has unleashed the full might of the military to bombard civilian communities and terrorize, kill and illegally arrest those he considers as “enemies of the state”.
His regime has continued the practice of filing trumped-up charges against activists and government critics, thus accumulating political prisoners.
He has bristled at criticism of his human rights record and has tried to undermine and pressure into submission the very institutions that exist as a check and balance to his powerful office, including the Supreme Court, Congress, the Office of the Ombudsman, and the Commission on Human Rights.
He has lashed out at members of the mass media due to unfavorable or critical reports of his administration’s policies and pronouncements.
He has dismissed human rights as a needless obstacle to his administration’s law and order drive and continues to goad the police, military and paramilitary groups to violate those rights. He continues to incite state security forces to commit willful violence against the people while assuring them of protection from investigation, prosecution and punishment.
IN THE FACE OF SUCH BLATANT ACTS OF TYRANNY, IT IS TIME TO TAKE A STAND, TO SPEAK OUT AND TO ACT.
We demand an end to extrajudicial killings and mass murder in the name of the Duterte regime’s “war on drugs” and “war on terror”.
We demand a stop to indiscriminate aerial bombings, artillery fire and other destructive military operations that target civilian communities like Lumad and Moro communities, especially residences, schools, farms and commercial/business establishments.
We say no to blanket martial law powers and its inevitable abuse. We demand an independent and impartial investigation of reported lootings, illegal arrests, and other human rights violations committed in the course of the Marawi siege.
We resist efforts to silence the mass media and public opinion. We oppose moves to dismantle the system of checks and balances that are intended to prevent the return of dictatorship.
We oppose the filing of trumped-up cases, the unjust arrest and detention of critics, activists and those unjustly labelled as “enemies of the state”. We call for the release of all political prisoners.
We shall shatter the silence, fear and acquiescence that has afflicted many, especially the victims of human rights violations, corruption and abuse.
We shall defend and promote human rights and civil liberties at all cost.
We shall oppose tyranny wherever and whenever it rears its ugly head.#
Sen. Rene Saguisag; Mo. Mary John Mananzan, OSB; The Most Rev. Rhee
Timbang, Obispo Maximo, IFI; Bp. Broderick Pabillo, Cong. Lorenzo
Tañada III; Cong. Neri Colmenares; Cong. Antonio Tinio; UP Chancellor
Michael Tan; Atty. Jose Manuel Diokno; Edith Burgos; Dean Macrina
Morados; Prof. Julkipli Wadi; Prof. Roland Tolentino; Prof. Roland
Simbulan; Dr. Carol Araullo; Atty. Arno V. Savidad; Atty. Edre Olalia;
Vergel O. Santos; Inday Espina Varona; Kiri Lluch Dalena; Mae Paner,
a.k.a. Juana Change; Monique Wilson; Chikoy Pura; Audie Gemora; Chef
Chris de Jesus; Rossana Abueva; Kris Lanot Lacaba; Susan Tagle;
Christina Palabay; Raoul Manuel; Bonifacio Ilagan; Dr. Delen de la
Paz; Edna Aquino; Francisco Alcuaz; Tonyo Cruz, Katrina Stuart
Santiago; Prof. Jose Dalisay Jr.; Fulgencio S. Factoran, Jr.; Bart
Guingona; Dr. Potre Dirampatan-Diampuan; Tesa Casal de Vela; Clarita
Tambunting Ordonez; Ching Manapat Yujuico; Tes Choa; Fernando Hicap,
Danilo Ramos, D.D.; Fr. Gilbert Billena, OCarm; Rev. Oliver Castor,
CSSR; Rev. Rudy Abao, MSC; Bro. Ciriaco Santiago III; Sr. Elenita
Belardo, RGS; Teddy Casiño; Sol Juvida; Monina O. Valencia; Charo
Simons; Judy Tecson; Jenny Romero Llaguno; Lan Mercado; Edwina
Francesca Socorro S. Meily, OSA; Emily R. Bogayong; Concepcion
Poblador; Fe Mangahas; Malu Maniquis; Sister Maribel Carceller, RSCJ;
Weena Meily; Art Dimalanta; Josie Puey; Honorio Poblador III; Teresita
Feraren; Ellen Ongkeko Marfil; Sonny Redor; Gertrudes Ranjo-Libang;
Zanaida Soriano; Grundy Constantino; Sharon Cabusao-Silva; Rubylin
Litao; Darlene Marquez Caramanzana; Atty. Corazon Fabros; Menchu
Sarmiento; Menie Odulio; Ega Alcaraz; Carmencita Karagdag; Clemente
Bautista; Owen Migraso; Ezron John Cabrera; Finesa Cosico; Mac Yanto;
Atty. Minnie Lopez; Alex Umali; Prof. Fatima Castillo; Carla Samantha
Pulido Ocampo; Mark Lester Valle; Jhoanna Cruz; Susan Severino Lara;
Mark Lester Menor Valle; Carla Samantha Pulido Ocampo; Jhoanna Cruz;
Susan Severino Lara; Dr. Joseph M. Carabeo MD; Dr. Eleanor A Jara MD;
Violy Dr. Casiguran MD; Dr. Tess Betonio-Bacunata; Dr. Arnel Amata;