“Wala pa mang pormal na implementasyon ng Anti-Terror Law, ramdam na ng mga magsasaka, kababaihang magbubukid, manggagawa sa agrikultura, mangingisda at pambansang minorya ang lagim na dulot ng Anti-Terror Law. Laganap ang militarisasyon sa kanayunan, red-tagging, iligal na pag-aresto at pagkulong, sapilitang pagpapasuko at pamamaslang. Anong klaseng pandarahas at panunupil pa ang mararanasan namin kung pormal itong ipatupad sa bansa?,” Amihan National Federation of Peasant Women national chairperson Zenaida Soriano said in a statement as the Supreme Court oral arguments on the draconian Terror Law resumes today.

Amihan noted that there are 315 farmer victims of extra-judicial killings of which 38 are women. Most recent victims are Rommy Torres, a farmer from Norzagaray, Bulacan whose body was found stuffed in a drum in Mabitac, Laguna after reported missing by his relatives on February 3  and Antonio Arellano, a member of National Federation of Sugar Workers (NFSW) who was killed on February 2, the same day of SC’s oral arguments. Both farmers were active in asserting land rights and victims of red-tagging prior the incident.

“Red-tagging and political persecution has been rampant targeting peasant families, organizations and communities especially in areas where there is a strong resistance against land grabbing and other “development” projects which will lead to displacement,” Soriano added. 

At present, peasant women and peasant women organizers accused of crimes they did not commit are languishing in jail, such as Amanda Echanis, Beatrice Belen, Azucena Garubat, Ma. Lindy Perocho, Imelda Sultan, Moreta Alegre, Marivic Colito, Mylene Colito, Corazon Javier, Armogena Caballero, Geraldine Pelobello, Margie Baylosis, Merlinda Abraham, Rea Casuyon, Melissa Comiso and others. 

“Malinaw na hindi mga terorista ang target ng Anti-terror Law kundi ang mga mamamayang naggigiit ng karapatan sa lupa, kabuhayan, nakabubuhay na sahod at serbisyong panlipunan. Ang deka-dekadang karanasan ng mga magsasaka sa pakikibaka para sa lupa ang nagtuturo kung sino ang tunay na terorista,” Soriano said.

“ATL is an instrument of the Duterte government to silence all political dissenters and all opposition against its anti-farmer and anti-people policies with the aim to establish an authoritarian regime,” Soriano added. 

“We are urging our honorable justices to heed the broad opposition on this draconian law and heed the call to declare ATL as unconstitutional. We call onthe public to protect our democratic rights and join protests to junk the Terror Law,” Soriano ended.

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