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Protesters denounce Duterte terror list

03 April 2018

By Vir B. Lumicao

Militant groups and peace advocates in Hong Kong have protested the terror listing of more than 600 people critical of the Duterte government’s human rights policies.

The protest on Mar 21 led by the Hong Kong Campaign for the Advancement of Human Rights and Peace in the Philippines was held at the lobby of the Consulate under the watchful eyes of over a dozen policemen.
Leaders of Hong Kong Campaign for the Advancement of Human Rights and Peace in the Philippines take turns denouncing Duterte government policies and inclusion of 600 critics in the terrorist list,  during their protest at the lobby of the Consulate.

“Nais naming ipaabot sa ating gobyerno, itigil na po ang pandarahas, itigil na po ang pamamaslang, itigil na rin po yung pag-aakusa sa mga kritiko na sila ay mga terorista,” said Bayan Hong Kong & Macau chairman Eman Villanueva.

“Sa halip, pakinggan ang kanilang mga hinaing, pakinggan ang kanilang mga inihaharap na mga problema at resolbahin ang ito,Villanueva said, adding that there won’t be any protest if these issues are gone.

He later joined eight other rally leaders in a closed-door dialogue with Deputy Consul General Roderick Atienza.

Rally leaders in a closed-door dialogue with Deputy Consul General Roderick Atienza (right).
The protest focused on the inclusion of more than 600 human rights defenders nd government critics in a list of "terrorists" filed by the Department of Justice through senior assistant state prosecutor Peter Ong at a regional court in Manila on Feb 21.

The petition not only seeks to declare the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army as terrorist organizations, it also named individuals as their supposed leaders or members. These include the dead, missing and members of paramilitary units accused of killing Lumads in Mindanao.

“This is a brazen and malicious attack of the Duterte government against leaders of progressive and patriotic organizations and revolutionary forces who opted not to be silent in the face of anti-people policies and dubious campaign of President Duterte against illegal drugs and corruption,” the protesters said in a statement.

They said the petition filed at the regional trial court was an attempt to sow fear among Duterte critics and another step towards putting the country under martial law.

Included in the government's terror list is Ms. Victoria Tauli Corpuz, UN Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples and former chairwoman of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues.

Also on the list are leaders of indigenous people’s groups who are actively fighting to preserve ancestral domains and their right to self-determination.

After the dialogue, DCG Atienza told The SUN that the leaders "basically elaborated a bit more” on their concerns during their discussions.

He said the main issue was the DOJ's terror list, the suspended peace talks with the communist rebels, the impeachment case against Supreme Court Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, and several other concerns.

The Consulate will relay the protesters’ demands to the government in Manila as is the normal practice, Atienza said. 

The rally was supported by Legislative Councilors Fernando Cheung (Labour Party) and Au Nok-hin (Pan-Democrat), Civil Human Rights Front, League of Social Democrats, and members of the clergy Fr. Franco Mella, Fr. Dwight dela Torre of the Philippine Independent Church, and Pastor Joram Calimutan of ICCP.
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