Ten activists in Negros Island, who are vocal against the Duterte administration, have received death threats following the government’s aggressive crackdown on dissenters, a human rights group claimed Tuesday, March 9.
Karapatan, through its national public information desk, said it received a text message Sunday, March 7, that named the 10 activists alleged to be the next targets of the “Kill, kill, kill” program.
The activists in the alleged “kill list” are:
*Iver of Bacolod (believed to be Iver Larit of Kadamay Negros)
*Butch of Bacolod (believed to be John “Butch” Lozande, secretary-general of National Federation of Sugar Workers)
*Erning of Bacolod (believed to be Ereneo Longinos, spokesperson of Bayan Negros)
*Clarissa of Bacolod (believed to be Clarizza Singson, secretary-general of Karapatan Negros Island)
*Alias Tatay “Ogie” and his wife
*Berting of Bacolod
*Christian of Bacolod (believed to be Christian Tuayon of NFSW and former secretary-general of Bayan Negros)
*Epi of Negros Occidental (believed to be Felipe Gelle of September 21 Movement)
*Darel of Kabankalan (believed to be Dharryl Albanez, secretary-general of September 21 Movement), and
*Roque of Bacolod (believed to be Rolando Rillo of NFSW)
Karapatan said they also received another threat on Monday, March 8.
The message read: “O ano takot na takot na kayo no? Susunod namin Negros humanda na asawa ni Clarisa na si Jules! Matataymingan din yan! (So are you very scared? Negros will be next, be ready Jules, husband of Clarisa!)”.
Jules or Julius Dagatan is currently the media liaison of Bayan Negros.
Karapatan Negros, in a statement, said they believe that the threats came from state forces, as they are the only ones who have the motive as shown by their relentless attacks and intimidation through red-tagging, vilifications, and harassments against leaders and members of activist organizations.
The horrible crackdown in Southern Luzon, that led to the deaths of nine activists, was patterned after the “Tokhang-nanlaban” style that was first executed in Negros, the group claimed.
Meanwhile, the Church People-Workers Solidarity said the recent wave of attacks against non-armed members of legal organizations came two days after President Duterte ordered the military and police to “kill and finish off” communist rebels.
San Carlos Bishop Gerardo Alminaza, CWS chairperson, said the violence perpetrated by the government only victimizes the poor, the vulnerable, and the defenseless. CWS would like to reiterate that those killed and arrested were activists who fought for land, just wages, human rights, the environment, civic space, democracy, and women’s emancipation.
“We join our voice with other cause-oriented groups who believe that defending the rights of workers, peasants, women, and marginalized groups is not a crime,” he said.*