Karapatan TK and Quezon reiterates the call to drop sec-gen Genelyn Dichoso’s alleged attempted homicide charge
Last January 28 saw calls for the immediate dismissal of Genelyn Dichoso as the Karapatan Quezon secretary general went on pre-trial for alleged attempted homicide.
“Mula sa mga iligal na pagkaka-aresto at pagkakakulong hanggang sa mga tala ng ekstrahudisyal na pamamaslang, matagumpay niya itong hinarap nang buong tapang at lakas,” Karapatan Timog Katagalugan (TK) said in a Facebook statement, recalling how Dichoso involved herself in various quick response and humanitarian efforts in Quezon.
Also going by “Tita Jen,” Dichoso, said to have been red-tagged even before Pres. Rodrigo Duterte took office, was among the eight (originally said to be nine) members of one of Karapatan’s Quick Response Team (QRT) who were held by police in Brgy. Abuyon, San Narcisco, Quezon last September 18, 2020.
Originally heading to the area to inspect possible human rights violations that took place in an alleged encounter between elements of the 85th Infantry Battalion, Philippine Army (IBPA) and the New People’s Army (NPA). They were then shocked to discover the following day, after being forced to stay in a barangay hall there overnight, that they were being charged. This was despite not breaking any quarantine protocol (READ: Progressive groups denounce rampant Quezon red-tagging).
Karapatan-TK explained that, with 13 out of 363 slayings having involved human rights workers and the constant life-threatening presence of red-tagging, it was high time to drop the “trumped-up” charges” against Dichoso.
“Sa ganitong mga numero, lumang tugtugin na ang pagsampa ng gawa-gawang kaso sa mga tulad ni Dichoso. Walang pakundangan siyang dinawit ng mga sundalo bilang kalahok sa isang armadong engkwentro na naging daan upang masampahan siya ng kasong Attempted Homicide,” the alliance said.
Karpatan-TK explained further that Dichoso, temporarily freed to work with the alliance, distributed relief goods for those affected by the typhoons and the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Sa katunayan, abala siya kasama ang grupong Karapatan sa pamimigay ng kaunting tulong sa pamamagitan ng relief goods sa mga kababayan nating lubhang apektado ng bagyo at pandemya habang abala naman ang mga berdugong pwersang militar sa mga batbat nitong paglabag sa karapatang pantao,” Karapatan-TK said.
Fear no evil
Quezon has had various cases of red-tagging that happened last year, with the most recent involving two coconut farmers affiliated with the Coco Levy Fund Ibalik sa Amin (CLAIM) Quezon being branded as New People’s Army (NPA) members, with their families being barred from visiting them. (READ: 2 magsasaka sa Quezon, pinagbawal ng militar makipagkita sa pamilya)
The 13 slayings did not cover the number of times that Karapatan endured harassment and even illegal arrests while in the line of duty.
Just recently, Karapatan Quezon reported that, as some members flocked to support Dichoso in her pre-trial, military elements were said to have harassed them and blocked their way. It was also reported that authorities confiscated their streamers that had calls to end the attacks.
Besides Dichoso, 2020 had military forces harassing HR workers from distributing relief goods to those affected by Typhoon Ulysses in Quezon and Karapatan Rizal sec-gen Gloria Rodriguez being detained then freed while on a fact-finding mission.
(Related stories: KARAPATAN Rizal sec-gen freed after illegally detained by PNP and Humanitarian team na may relief goods, hinarass ng mga militar sa Quezon)
“Matindi at kritikal ngayon ang kalagayan ng karapatang pantao sa Timog Katagalugan at sa buong bansa. Kaya naman lubhang mapanganib ang buhay ng isang human rights worker gaya ni Dichoso na ang nais lamang ay mapawi na ang pagsasamantala ng uri sa uri kaalinsabay ang pagkawala ng mga batbat na paglabag sa karapatang pantao,” the alliance explained.
In light of these attacks, they have called for the ouster of Pres. Rodrigo Duterte. They said that as long as he remains in power, human rights in the country would continually be set aside.
“Habang nakaupo si Duterte at kanyang mga alagad siguradong dadami pa ang mga kaso ng paglabag sa karapatang pantao ngunit kaalinsabay din nito ang pagusbong ng mas marami pang mga militanteng tagapagtanggol ng karapatang pantao,” they concluded. [P]
Graphics by Justine Fuentes