Today (December 3) is International Day of Solidarity with Political Prisoners and Prisoners of War. The human rights situation in the Philippines worsens as President Rodrigo Duterte ramps up extrajudicial killings, illegal arrests and detentions, harassment and red-tagging, and militarization in response to people’s resistance.
As of September 2018, there are more than 500 political prisoners, 45 of whom are women. In the past 2 years of Rodrigo Duterte’s presidency, 141 people have been extrajudicially murdered, with 33 of these victims being women. 1,265 people have been victims of illegal arrest. In October, 5 women were illegally arrested and detained, including Gabriela Women’s Party organizer Eulalia Ladesma, who was tortured by the Philippine National Police (PNP), and Hedda Calderon, former Gabriela Deputy Secretary General. Four other women were arrested with Calderon in Santa Cruz, Laguna. This month, human rights Attorney Katherine Panguban was harassed and threatened by the PNP for assisting a 14-year old witness to the Sagay massacre of 9 sugarcane workers.
The US-Duterte regime must be held accountable for their criminalization of human rights work and political dissent. This regime’s counterinsurgency program, Oplan Kapayapaan, is a war on the poor and a war on the people. It is a framework for the systematization of extrajudicial killings, arbitrary arrests, harassment, and surveillance. Human rights defenders continue to resist and fight against the human rights violations of the macho-fascist US-Duterte regime, facing the threat of abuse, intimidation, and murder. Gabriela BC stands in solidarity with these defenders, political prisoners, and prisoners of war. We call for the immediate and unconditional release of Hedda Calderon, the Nueva Ecija 4, and Eulalia Ladesma!
Resistance is not terrorism!
Long live women’s liberation! Long live international solidarity!
We acknowledge that we work and live on the unceded and stolen Coast Salish territories of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations.