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

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

Submitted by email to:

Mr. Rodrigo Duterte
President of the Republic of the Philippines
E-mail: [email protected]

Copy furnished to:

Mr. Jesus Dureza
Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process
Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP)
Email: [email protected][email protected]

Mr. Delfin Lorenzana
Secretary, Department of National Defense
Email: [email protected][email protected]

Mr. Vitaliano Aguirre
Secretary, Department of Justice
Email: [email protected]

Mr. Jose Luis Martin Gascon
Chairperson, Commission on Human Rights
Email: [email protected]

Click here to download full endorsement letter.

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