Philippines: Indigenous rights groups appeal Duterte to drop trumped-up charges against Igorot activist Sarah Abellon-Alikes

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Mr. Rodrigo Duterte
President of the Republic of the Philippines

Re: Drop the trumped-up charges against Igorot activist Sarah Abellon-Alikes and Stop the Vilification of Human Rights Activists

Dear President Duterte:

Greetings from the Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact (AIPP).

We, the undersigned, express our deep concern and condemnation on the trumped-up charges filed against Igorot activist Sarah Abellon-Alikes. She is currently facing arson and robbery charges connected to the burning of two trucks of Philex Mining Corporation by alleged members of the New Peoples Army in Itogon, Benguet last 9 February. She has been temporarily released on bail on 11 February 2017 after she was detained without charges upon her arrest by the Armed Forces of the Philippines and turned her over to the Philippine National Police.

Abellon-Alikes is an indigenous woman human rights defender from Mt. Province of the Cordillera Administrative Region. She is a pioneer of the Cordillera Peoples’ Alliance (CPA) and member of the Board of Directors of the Regional Development Center – Katinnulong dagiti Umili ti Amianan (RDCKaduami). She has always been an advocate for peace, a supporter of the peace talks, and has been working to support marginalized communities in Cordillera and the rest of Northern Luzon. We firmly believe that it is because of her work that she was targeted and arrested on trumped-up charges.

With the cessation of the peace talks and the declaration of “all-out war” by your administration, targeting and vilification of human rights activists and development workers have intensified. We then call on your administration and relevant government agencies concerned to:

  • Drop the trumped-up charges of arson and robbery against Sarah Abellon-Alikes;
  • Release all political prisoners and stop the targeting, vilification, and political persecution of indigenous peoples, activists and development workers;
  • Withdraw the declaration of “all-out war” and continue the peace talks;
  • Respect and implement the gains that were made in the three rounds of the peace talks and the agreements that have been signed between the Government of the Philippines and National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP);
  • Adhere to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) and all the major Human Rights instruments that the Philippine government has signed and ratified.

Respectfully,
Gam Shimray
Secretary General
Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact

List of endorsements: 

S. No. List of endorsements: Organization Country
1 Bangladesh Indigenous Peoples Forum (BAF) Bangladesh
2 Kapaeeng Foundation (KF) Bangladesh
3 Chittagong Hill Tracts Citizen’s Committee Bangladesh
4 Christian Alternative Development Bangladesh
5 Cambodia Indigenous Peoples Organization (CIPO) Cambodia
6 Cambodia Indigenous Youth Association (CIYA) Cambodia
7 Adivasi Women’s Network India
8 Centre for Research and Advocacy, Manipur India
9 Naga Peoples Movement for Human Rights (NPMHR) India
10 Zo Indigenous Forum India
11 Borok Peoples Human Rights Organisation (BPHRO) India
12 Chhattisgarh Tribal’s People Forum India
13 Naga Women’s Union India
14 Peoples Action for Development (PAD) India
15 Indigenous Women Forum of Northeast India India
16 Karbi Human Rights Watch India
17 Centre for Orang Asli Concerns (COAC) Malaysia
18 PACOS Trust Malaysia
19 Chin Human Rights Organisation (CHRO) Myanmar
20 Nationalities Youth Forum Myanmar
21 Promotion of Indigeous and Nature Together (POINT) Myanmar
22 Active Society Nepal (ASN) Nepal
23 Bahing Kirat Mulukhim Nepal
24 Bahing Kirat Mulukhim Women Union Depart Nepal
25 Bote Adibasi Janajati Samuha Nepal
26 Forum for Public Awareness Rural Development and Environmental Conservation (FPARE) Nepal
27 Garivi Unmulan tadha Sahayog Anusandhan Kendra Nepal Nepal
28 Hamro Mechi Samajik Sanstha Nepal
29 Hurhure Yuwa Club Nepal
30 Indigenous Nationalities Single Women Network (INSWN) Nepal
31 Indigenous Nationalities Women Youth Network (INWYN) Nepal
32 Janauthan Manch Nepal
33 Kanchangjangha Women’s Development Group Nepal
34 Karani Community Development Centre Nepal
35 Kathriya Society Nepal Nepal
36 Kirat Chamling Association (KCA) Nepal
37 Kirat Chamling Language Culture Development Association (KCLCDA) Nepal
38 Kirat Chamling Youth Society (KCYS) Nepal
39 Kirat Youth Society (KYS) Nepal
40 Kulung Mingma Guskham Nepal
41 Lawyers’ Association for Human Rights of Nepalese Indigenous Peoples (LAHURNIP) Nepal
42 Lok Kalyan Nepal Nepal
43 Nepal Manav Adhikar Samaj Nepal
44 Nepal Rana Tharu Samaj Nepal
45 Pahadi Samaj Bikas Kendra Nepal
46 People Unity Youth Society (PUYS) Nepal
47 Prangbola Chhar Nham Nepal
48 Prasamsha Samudaik Bikas Kendra Nepal
49 Rasuwa Janajati Development Committee Nepal
50 Rasuwa Tamang Samaj Nepal
51 Routa Welfare Community Center Nepal
52 Shilichong Club Development Centre Nepal
53 Shilichong Club Social Development Centre Nepal
54 Siluti Namphunyak Paryatan Bikas Kendra Nepal
55 Tharu Innovative Youth Society Nepal
56 Unity Society Nepal
57 Youth Awareness Society Nepal (YASN) Nepal
58 Youth Federation of Indigenous Nationalities (YFIN) Nepal
59 NGO-Federation of Nepalese Indigenous Nationalities (NGO-FONIN) Nepal
60 Cordillera Peoples Alliance (CPA) Philippines
61 International Indigenous Peoples Movement for Self-Determination and Liberation (IPMSDL) Philippines
62 Asia Indigenous Peoples Network on Extractives and Energy (AIPNEE) Philippines
63 Rural Missionaries of the Philippines-Northern Mindanao Sub-Region (RMP-NMR), Inc Philippines
64 Katribu Kalipunan ng Katutubong Mamamayan ng Pilipinas Philippines
65 BAI Indigenous Women’s Network in the Philippines Philippines
66 SANDUGO Kilusan ng Moro at Katutubong Mamamayan para sa Sariling Pagpapasya Philippines
67 Center for Development Programs in the Cordillera (CDPC) Philippines
68 Papora Indigenous Development Association Taiwan
69 Papora Indigenous Youth Council Taiwan
70 Central Taiwan Ping-pu Indigenous Groups Youth Alliance Taiwan
71 Covalima Youth Center (CYC) Timor-Leste
72 Centre for Sustainable Development in Mountainous areas (CSDM) Vietnam
S. No. List of endorsements: Individual Country
1 William Nicholas Gomes UK

Submitted by email to:

Mr. Rodrigo Duterte
President of the Republic of the Philippines
E-mail: op@president.gov.ph

Copy furnished to:

Mr. Jesus Dureza
Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process
Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP)
Email: stqd.papp@opapp.gov.phfeedback@opapp.net

Mr. Delfin Lorenzana
Secretary, Department of National Defense
Email: info@dnd.gov.phwebmaster@dnd.gov.ph

Mr. Vitaliano Aguirre
Secretary, Department of Justice
Email: communications@doj.gov.ph

Mr. Jose Luis Martin Gascon
Chairperson, Commission on Human Rights
Email: chairgascon.chr@gmail.com

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