URGENT APPEAL FOR SOLIDARITY: Philippines
I have just received a direct plea for help from Christina Palabay, Secretary General of Karapatan, perhaps the leading Human Rights organisation in The Philippines, that is being harassed by the Duterte government, and is in the middle of potentially devastating court proceedings. She writes:
Please see the attached urgent appeal for action which we issued vis-a-vis the threats and judicial harassment against Karapatan, Gabriela and RMP. We are disseminating this via email only (and not on social media) as the authorities may misconstrue this as something else.
We cited the appeal for friends both here and abroad to write to the Philippine Supreme Court and the Department of Justice, including to the Prosecutor handling our case. Another hearing was held yesterday, September 5, on the perjury charges against us, and there will be another one on October 3. After that, it will be submitted for resolution. We are expecting the resolution of the case from October to December this year. We hope that the appeal letters will make the authorities think twice in coming out with a resolution finding probable cause, as this will result to issuance of warrants of arrests against us in which case we will be subject to arrest and may have to post bail (which is at PhP6,000 - Php10,000 per person). The appeal letters may do wonders in terms of dissuading authorities to not file the case in court. In any case, we are also preparing ourselves for the eventuality that warrants of arrest may be issued against us.
Our Chairperson, Elisa Tita Lubi, is again faced with threats of arrest, and we will soon be coming out a statement regarding this. We are enjoining CHRP-UK and members to write to the authorities concerned and come out with statements of support. Outreach to other networks will be very much appreciated. As always, thank you for your support.
This is not an official Amnesty action, but I am hoping that local AI groups can show their solidarity by sending the requested emails as a matter of urgency. I met Christina in London last year, when we were both lobbying at the House of Commons, and she is a remarkable – and brave – woman.
Thank you for all you do.
UK Country Co-ordinator – The Philippines