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AGHAM’s Statement on the Arrest of Journalists and Activists on Int’l Human Rights Day

There is no doubt that the Duterte regime is cowering in fear. As the socio-economic crisis worsens with the government’s failure to provide timely and relevant solutions to the COVID-19 pandemic and to the recent disasters, the Duterte regime, aware of the growing strength of the people’s movement, resorts to crackdown and arrest spree of activists to hide its fear and incompetence.

History repeats itself, as the saying goes. For human rights defenders and activists history repeats itself in the form of series of arrests perpetuated by a deadly duo of a judge who wantonly releases warrants of arrests and search warrants and a Chief PNP who has checkered history in disregarding human rights. Isn’t there a pattern? With the chief implementer of Oplan Sauron now holding a position as the PNP Chief, we are now witnessing how a series of killings and arrests becomes the norm on a national scale.

As history repeats itself, we see how the hand of the law is used against those who are most critical to the incompetence of the government. This tactic is not new. We have to be reminded that Jonas Burgos was abducted a month after the passage of the first Human Security Act (HSA). A month after the release of the IRR of the revised HSA (also known as the Terror Law), news about activists and peace advocates being arrested or left dead at the wee hours prove how the law is being weaponized against the people who are considered enemies by the state.

All of these at the closing days of the regime’s human rights summit. Where are these progress that this regime tries to parade, to appease the UN human rights council, when arrests are happening during the celebration of international human rights day?

These things are nothing new. We have warned those who pushed for the first HSA of how it will negatively impact human rights defenders and activists. And again, we also warned those who pushed for its revision on how it will repeat a bloody history against activists. They keep on padding the history books with the blood of activists on their hands.

History is never kind to fascists.

#FreeHRDay7
#JunkTerrorLaw
#NoToRedtagging
#ResistTyranny

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