Duterte’s campaign of terror in the name of the drug war has expanded in recent days to include targeted assassinations of religious rights activists. But the Philippine strongman is meeting blowback from the targeted communities that are aiming to organize protests against what they are calling (and rightfully so) ‘state terrorism.’
Church groups and human rights advocates are holding the Duterte administration accountable for the spate of attacks which killed 10 activists in a span of two days. The slain victims were two religious leaders in Luzon and eight Lumads massacred in Mindanao.
In an indignation rally at the Boys Scout Circle in Quezon City today, Dec. 5, progressives decried the brazen killings of civilians and activists, either in military operations, or assassination-style by suspected military death squads. The attacks, they said, are reminiscent of the open fascist rule during the Marcos Dictatorship and during the “undeclared martial law” under the administration of President Gloria Arroyo.
The protesters, led by Karapatan, the Promotion of Church People’s Response (PCPR) and Rural Missionaries of the Philippines (RMP) vowed to also raise the level of opposition to “state terrorism” and call for justice in a big protest in Luneta, Manila on Dec. 10, International Human Rights Day.
“Indeed, this fascist and terrorist regime has turned the entire country into a killing field,” said Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay in a statement.
Since Sunday, Dec. 3, Karapatan has been sending out one urgent alert after another, about various human rights violations happening all over the country. The human rights group denounced how unarmed civilians have become “open targets by state security forces, emboldened and reassured by their commander-in-chief.”
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