IHRA congress to strengthen ranks against tyranny


CANDON CITY — All is set for the 5th Congress of the Ilocos Human Rights Alliance (IHRA) at the Stay Light Hotel, here on December 11. The theme of the congress is –“Strengthen and consolidate our alliance to advance the struggle for peoples’ rights and just peace! Stand up against state repression and the impending dictatorial regime!”

“As the theme implies, IHRA’s fifth congress intends to prepare our members and allies in order to confront the challenges under the tyrannical US-Duterte regime,” explains Rev. Saranay Respicio, an Aglipayan priest and the current Chairperson of IHRA.

Eighty human rights advocates representing chapters and interim formations from Ilocos Sur, Ilocos Norte and La Union, and human rights officers from regional sectoral organizations are expected to attend. They will approve a new two-year program of action and elect a new executive committee.

“Our program of action will definitely contain steps on how to fully expose and oppose the Duterte administration’s actions to lay the ground for a dictatorial rule while empowering the people to assert and defend their rights against the violent rampage of the police and military,” said Respicio.

Mary Ann Gabayan, IHRA’s deputy secretary general pointed out that under Duterte’s Oplan Kapayapaan, the 81st Infantry Battalion and the 7th Civil Military Operations Company, both under the 7th Infantry Division have already committed 32 cases of rights violation with 259 victims as of October this year.

According to her, the figure does not include the 38 cases of encampment in 27 barangays in the second district of Ilocos Sur affecting 2855 households in violation of Republic Act 7610. She added that the most recent act of the 81st IB to threaten and intimidate activists was the filing of trumped-up charges against five women development and human rights workers.

IHRA was established in 1996 with the aim to protect and advance the peoples’ rights and welfare, and struggle for justice for victims of state violence. The group’s services include monitoring and documentation of human rights violations, legal assistance and referrals for victims of state violence, and human rights education and paralegal trainings. # nordis.net


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