LIST: Human rights watch (July 11 – 17, 2021)

Last week saw illegal arrests and other forms of harassment on both progressives and everyday citizens.

In the midst of it all, Bagong Alyansang Makabayan Southern Tagalog (BAYAN-ST) feared that another wave of search warrants will be used against activists in the first district of Laguna (including the Cities of Biñan, San Pedro, and Sta. Rosa).

They explained that while the warrants were approved by the Siniloan Regional Trial Court, located outside of the first district, state forces will still argue that the Siniloan RTC has a say thanks to the Fourth Judicial Region trial court.

“Clearly, this is another desperate attempt of Duterte regime to silence dissenters. Instead of striving competence on governance, it is easier for the tyrant regime to tag activists and critics as criminals, terrorists, and even members of gun-for-hire syndicate groups,” the alliance says.

Though no updates were reported since then, groups such as BAYAN-ST saw this as another sign of a state that has long since neglected the public’s interest in favor of silencing critics.

Here are all of the human rights violations that took place last July 11 to 17.

July 12 – Bay, Laguna

Multisectoral alliance Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN) Laguna says that elements of Philippine National Police (PNP) seek records of personal information belonging to homeowners of Jubilee Ville Subdivision in Bay, Laguna. These include birthdates, contact numbers, and home addresses.

PNP said that this move was in relation to the ground mobilization of National Coalition of Lingkod Bayan Advocacy Support Groups and Force Multipliers, aimed at organizing individuals to “support campaigns [against] illegal drugs, criminality, insurgency, and terrorism, among others.”

BAYAN Laguna expresses concern over the PNP’s request, noting that the police have already done active campaigns such as “Kabataan Kontra Droga at Terorismo” in Biñan, as well as other programs in Santa Rosa, Kalayaan, Cabuyao, and other cities and municipalities. They added that for PNP, “peace and order” is not the goal. Rather in “increasing their civilian force to silence the wide opposition.”

July 13 (date reported) – Dumaguete, Negros Oriental

LGBTQ+ advocacy group Bahaghari says that last July 9,2021, three non-uniformed individuals (one thought to be armed) “viciously surveilled” a member and their brother.

The men first followed the brother after reciting “a list of names that included another member of Bahaghari,” people that the men claimed to have ties with the New People’s Army (NPA).

After the men followed the brother to his and the member’s home, they have since “[lied] low, in fear of their personal safety and liberty.”

Bahaghari denounced the act of red-tagging, relating the risks of being red-tagged to the fates of LGBTQ+ activists like Arvin Fortaliza, Verdy Pongasi, Jay Apiag, and Ryan Hubilla among others.

Police elements flock outside the furniture shops. Photo from SAMATA / Facebook

July 14 – Brgy. Tartaria, Silang, Cavite

Farmers and Ifugao furniture shop owners from Brgy. Tartaria, Silang, Cavite were on “high alert” after demolition teams were spotted near their area, farmer alliance Katipunan ng mga Samahang Magbubukid sa Timog Katagalugan (KASAMA-TK) says.

The alliance explained that 100 homes along the boundary of Brgy. Lumil and the Church of Tartaria were expected to be demolished. They added that there was no court order to support this move.

(FULL STORY: Cavite farmers, shopkeepers stand against demolition threats)

July 14 – Crossing, Calamba

BAYAN Laguna also said that three police officers harassed an unnamed Bayan Muna Southern Tagalog peasant leader.

According to them, two of the officers first reprimanded the leader for allegedly not wearing a face shield. When they questioned why were they the only one being reprimanded for not wearing a face shield, the three police officers interrogate them on their personal information, including their personal address.

“Last mo na ito, binabalaan ka namin, alam mo na ‘yon,” an officer threatened.

Nahahalata na takot at desperadong kumapit sa kapangyarihan si Duterte at ang mga kampon nito, kaya hayok na hayok silang gamitin ang kahit anong pamamaraan upang takutin ang mamamayan! Alam ni Duterte na wala siyang suporta mula sa mamamayan, kung kaya’t mas pinipili niyang takutin ang sambayanan at patahimikin!,” BAYAN Laguna exclaimed.

Human Rights Watch is a weekly collation of human rights news stories gathered from different sources by UPLB Perspective. This initiative was launched in response to the sweeping number of human rights violations (HRVs) among various sectors across the country.

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