PRESS STATEMENT: Mindanaoans troop to DOJ to denounce trumped up cases vs. 700 community leaders, activists

Press Release Barug Katungod Mindanao 
6 December 2018

Mindanaoans troop to DOJ to denounce trumped up cases vs. 700 community leaders, activists

A Mindanaoan contingent composed of Lumad, Moro, peasants, workers, youth and advocates will barrage the Department of Justice with a slew of criticism on its complicity with the military and police in resolving to proceed with trumped up cases against 700 community leaders and activists all over Mindanao.

Bishop Antonio Ablon, convenor of Barug Katungod Mindanao, underscored that the more than 700 documented cases of trumped up charges filed against community leaders and human rights defenders is indicative of a sweeping crackdown on political dissenters.

He said elements in the DOJ are either “guilty of injustice, ineptness, cowardice, or an active collusion with armed state agents in deciding to proceed with the filing of these cases.”

“It is really ironical when you have this factory of criminal cases spawned from this agency acting upon the behest of Duterte’s Inter-Agency Committee for Legal Action (IACLA),” Ablon said.

“What is clear is that these cases have been filed against human rights workers, defenders of ancestral lands, and advocates of justice and peace, many of them are now languishing in jail,” Ablon said.

“The injustice is made more stark when these trumped up cases are contrasted with the government’s ‘slap on the wrist’ treatment of the cases against Imelda Marcos, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, and Juan Ponce Enrile. They have not seen a single day in a (real) jail,” Ablon decried.

The DOJ petition to proscribe the CPP/NPA as a “terrorist” organization before a Manila court has emerged as the “political tokhang” being waged by the Duterte government to silence vocal critics at the national and community levels. This is especially directed at Mindanaoans which comprise more than 300 of the 600 individuals essentially listed as “terrorists” in the petition.

“The DOJ under the Duterte administration has become a stamping pad and clearing house for unlawful procedures and baseless cases to further proceed,” Ablon further lamented.

“As this department acts as an apparatus for fabricating fake criminal charges, they also show what kind of ‘Justice’ is meant in the ‘Department of Justice’ — biased against the poor and brutal to those who stand for the people’s interests,” Ablon said.

For reference:
BISHOP ANTONIO ABLON
Convenor
Barug Katungod Mindanao

Ryan Amper 
Spokesperson 
Barug Katungod Mindanao

Source: Barug Katungod Mindanao facebook page

Date: December 06, 2018