The Europe Network for Justice and Peace in the Philippines (ENJPP) sponsored the Online Forum and Protest last July 11, 2020 as an expression of coordinated protests against the signing of Anti-Terror Law (and of the closure of the ABS-CBN channel) by the despotic president of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte.
The forum provided an open space for collective protest of Filipinos in the country and abroad.
“This anti-terrorism law threatens fundamental rights and freedom enshrined in the Philippine constitution… this is in contrary to the primary duty of the government to protect the people!” said Bishop Antonio Ablon, Europe Chaplain of Filipino Old Catholic Community, who presented the calls of the solidarity groups and of the UN Human Rights Council in Europe against the Anti-Terror Law and of the current abuses, he also moderated the forum.
The online forum speakers are: Aurora Santiago (Alliance of Concerned Teachers, Central Luzon) and Nanay Leorie Benedicto (Rise Up for Rights and Life).
Aurora Santiago sharing her own experience said: “We are already victims of this law, our work and advocacies are vilified in youtube, and we are receiving threats and attacks… and during this pandemic, even our relief drive operation is vilified. I have been red-tagged as a terrorist, even before this terror law.”
Nanay Leorie Benedicto, representing the families of the victims of Duterte’s drug-war shared: “Before the anti-terror law the Filipino people is already afraid, fearful of the non-stop killing of the poor because of the drug war… We are only fighting for our rights, the government should not accuse us as terrorists. We are calling to the mothers of the victims of the extra-judicial killings. Join and unite to fight the pandemic government of Duterte. Stop the Killings, and fight for the rights of the Filipino people.”
Sectoral Solidarity Messages from individuals representing organizations and communities in Europe provided a stronger support to work against the junking of the Anti-Terrorism Law:
Elnora Held (Gabriela-Europe)
“The signing of the ant-terror law will further sharpen the repressive claws of the government against any form of dissent…”
Marlon Lacsamana (Migrante-Europe, Secretary General)
“With the enactment of the Anti-terror Act of 2020 and of the denial of the extension of the franchise of ABS-CBN, Migrante Europe: (1) fears the escalation of human rights violations; (2) believes that the state repression will never be an answer to farmers’ demanding genuine agrarian reform, to workers struggling for just wage and security of tenure, to indigenous peoples’ communities struggling for self-determination and development, to urban poor communities longing for social services; (3) will struggle with economically and politically marginalized sectors of the Philippines society in calling for the junking of the Anti-Terror Law!”
Rev. Matthias (Evangelical Lutheran Church of Northern Germany)
“Human rights of every human being have to be defended… there should be no law that violates human rights…”
Julie Smith (Peoples’ Coalition of Food Sovereignty)
“The signing by Duterte of the Anti-Terror Law, the Philippines is spiraling further towards into fascism… we can clearly see, how he (Duterte) and his henchmen have step-by-step laid the groundwork to legalize state terror…”
Emma (United Society Partners in the Gospel, UK)
“By passing the bill into law, the government have shown that they have no intention to improve the human rights situation… The UN member states and the international community must go beyond the call to continue monitoring the human rights abuses, and act now, not for monitor, we cannot simply monitor and wait for these numbers to double or triple over the next two years. we must act on the recommendation of the High Commissioner to consider options for international accountability measures, this is why we will be calling on the British government to consider sanctions against the Duterte regime until they junk the terror law, and begin to seriously address the despicable human rights violations in the Philippines and against the Overseas Filipino Workers.”
Birgitta Jonsdottir (Iceland Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines)
“I encourage my former colleagues, members of the Parliament, to use this holiday, to do something really important meaningful, to use this break to fight for human rights in the Philippines and anywhere else in the world… We cannot let the COVID pandemic take the focus away from this terrible news coming over from the Philippines… The UN report is one thing, but where is the call for action? Fight on, and remember that you are not alone.”