Cordillera IP group leaders report harassment for the second time

Artemio Dumlao - Philstar.com
Cordillera IP group leaders report harassment for the second time
This undated file photo shows the city hall of Baguio.
Baguio City Facebook page

BAGUIO CITY — Indigenous Peoples leaders in the Cordillera region reported that they were harassed at a Baguio court for the second time around.

The Philippine Task Force for Indigenous Peoples’ Rights (TFIP) denounced the recent “harassment” and said that the incident occured inside the Baguio Regional Trial Court in time of the court hearing of Cordillera Peoples Alliance (CPA) leaders on Thursday last week. 

According to the Cordillera Human Rights Alliance (CHRA), an affiliate of the national human rights group Karapatan, a man wearing a black cap was seen following CPA’s Windel Bolinget, Sarah Alikes, Jennifer Awingan and Steve Tauli.

He reportedly identified himself as Zyrus Tarnate from La Trinidad, Benguet, and revealed that an unidentified man instructed him to deliver an envelope to Alikes, which was opened and found empty.

During a human rights case hearing of the National Union of Peoples Lawyers last December 14, Free Legal Assistance Group, and their clients, policemen accosted a plainclothes gun-tucking police intelligence agent out from the premises of the same court.

These harassment and intimidation cases against progressive individuals should stop, the TFIP said.

 “They further reiterate the risks to the safety and security of the four CPA leaders due to the malicious and unjust terrorist designation by the Anti-Terrorism Council," it added.

The TFIP is urging the government to revoke Resolution No. 41 and junk the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020.   

“We call on all human rights advocates and groups to denounce these harassment incidents, the unjust terrorist designation of four CPA leaders, and the continuing weaponization of the laws against dissenters,” the group said.

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