Greenpeace: DOJ “terror” list puts innocents in danger

Press release - March 23, 2018
Quezon City, 23 March 2018 – Environmental organization Greenpeace is calling to junk the government’s list that seeks to label more than 600 individuals as “terrorists,” saying that the move is careless and puts the lives of innocent individuals and advocacy champions in grave danger. The organization is also urging citizens to be on guard and stand up to such efforts that pose threats to our constitutional rights and to democracy.

"We are gravely alarmed over such moves that target, harass, and criminalize individuals and organizations that legitimately work to protect human rights, including those who seek to protect our rights to enjoy the blessings of nature, to a stable climate and to a healthy environment. The tagging of activists and environmental and human rights defenders is being used by those in power to make sure that the exploitation of the people and of our environment goes on unabated,” said Yeb Saño, Executive Director of Greenpeace Southeast Asia.
 
The list, drawn up by the Department of Justice (DOJ) to petition the Manila Regional Trial Court Branch 19 to formally cite the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and its armed wing, the New People’s Army (NPA), also included environmental defenders, educators, human rights lawyers and advocates, as well as single-name aliases that could be used against anyone, and names of people who are already dead.
 
“The listing is obviously a mechanism to discourage and limit the capacity of communities to stand up against environmental destruction, land grabbing, illegal fishing, illegal logging and the general corporatization of natural resources. We fear that the killing of activists may increase in the coming months as a result, and may surpass the number of deaths during the brutal days of the Marcos dictatorship, if the DOJ petition is granted,” Saño added.
 
The organization points out that there is a growing global trend of impunity and tyranny against citizens that are legitimately standing up and speaking out for environmental and human rights, those in the Philippines included. The country currently ranks third globally among the deadliest places in the world for land and environmental defenders. [1]  
 
“We call on all people of goodwill to continue to stand up and peacefully fight for the  protection of  our constitutional rights to a healthy and balanced ecology, and reclaim the diminishing democratic space. A working democracy is necessary to uphold the welfare and well-being of our people.  Activism is not a crime. We will not be cowed.” Saño said further.

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Note to Editors:
[1] https://www.globalwitness.org/en/campaigns/environmental-activists/defenders-earth/
 
Media Contacts:
Vince Cinches, Political Campaigner, Greenpeace Philippines, +639498891336,
 
JP Agcaoili, Communications Manager, Greenpeace Philippines, +639498891334,


 

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