Statements: Drop the charges vs the Cagayan 76


October 15, 2015

In solidarity with fellow indigenous peoples in Cagayan Valley, the Cordillera People’s Alliance (CPA) calls for the immediate dismissal of the trumped up charges filed against at least 76 advocates, activists and members of peoples organizations. The filing of kidnapping and homicide against the 76 individuals are clearly malicious, baseless and unfounded. The charges are a mockery to our justice system. But more than these, the charges put the lives and security of the victims in danger.

From Mindanao to the North, the State is using SLAPP (Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation) against leaders and members of progressive organizations to intimidate, silence and burden them with the cost of legal defense. SLAPP is part of the systematic and widespread attack against the people who are working and advancing for the protection of the environment, respect of human rights and indigenous people’s rights, and advocates for peasants, women, children and the youth.

The pattern is dangerous. The filing of fabricated and criminal charges, political vilification can lead to other forms of human rights violations such as abduction and even extrajudicial killings as experienced thru the Oplan Bayanihan and former security policies.

Among the known personalities included in the kidnapping and homicide charge sheet are Randy Felix Malayao, Vice President for Luzon, Makabayan Coalition and Bayan Cagayan Valley Convenor; Agnes Mesina, Regional Coordinator, Rural Missionaries in the Philippines; Romella Liquigan, Coordinator, Karapatan Cagayan Valley; Isabelo Adviento, National Auditor of Anakpawis and Regional Chairperson of Anakpawis-Cagayan Valley and Emil Dagdag, organizer of Piston.

The CPA firmly believes that advocating and working for the welfare and common good of indigenous peoples, peasants, women, children and other sectors are not criminal in nature. In fact, the killing, abducting, harassing and filing of trump up charges against activists and advocates by the State are crimes against humanity. The State should be accountable for these crimes against the people.

Lastly, we reiterate again our call for the immediate dismissal of the kidnapping and homicide filed against 76 activists and advocates in Cagayan Valley. We also call for the immediate release of all political prisoners in both regions. #


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