Fri. Apr 16th, 2021

The Amihan National Federation of Peasant Women condemned and called for an independent investigation on the killing of Julie Catamin, the barangay captain of Roosevelt in Tapaz, Capiz and a whistleblower to the state-perpetrated Tumandok Massacre last December 30, 2020 who was shot dead earlier this morning in Brgy. Malitbog, Tapaz by unidentified riding in-tandem on her way home.

“It is clear that the forces behind this killing are the same forces behind the Tumandok Massacre. This is a desperate attempt of the military forces to silence her for exposing their crimes against the Tumandok and the people. Ito ay isang mensahe ng pananakot sa sinumang magpapahayag ng pagtutol laban sa tuloy-tuloy na pandarahas sa isla ng Panay at sa mga titindig para sa karapatan ng mga pambansang minorya at ng mamamayan,” Amihan national chairperson Zenaida Soriano said.

Catamin in a Facebook post on December 30 said that state forces planted arms and bullets to the villagers arrested in her barangay during the joint military and police operations.

Prior to her death, a certain Lt. Estrada called Catamin on February 25 asking her to visit the headquarters of the 12th IBPA in Jaycon, Calinog, Iloilo. She was told that they are aware that her constituents are seeking the help from Bayan Muna Partylist and church missionaries who are red-tagged as affiliated to the NPA. Catamin was threatened of another massacre if these continue.

Reports say that several men who identified themselves as members of the CIDG (Criminal Investigation and Detection Group) came to her house looking for her.

“Ang pagpaslang kay Catamin ay bahagi ng gyera ni Duterte laban sa mga katutubo, magsasaka at sa mamamayan upang patuloy na makapaghari, manatili sa poder at magpatupad ng mga anti-magsasaka at anti-mamamayang proyekto katulad ng Jalaur Megadam project na nagkakait ng karapatan sa mga Tumandok sa kanilang lupang ninuno,” Soriano said.

“We demand justice and accountability for Julie Catamin! We demand justice and accountability to all the victims of human rights abuses committed by this government. We demand the scrapping of Executive Order No. 70, Memorandum Order No. 32, Anti-Terror Law and other state policies authorizing extra-judicial killings, illegal arrests and detention, red-tagging and other forms of human rights violations,” Soriano added.

“Instead of heeding the people’s call for immediate aid and production subsidy, Duterte and his fascist government is allotting billions for security and military offices and programs.

“The death of another peasant woman sends a clear message for peasant women and women from various sectors to unite, stand and defend fellow women against abuses, red-tagging, EJK, illegal arrest and detention and other human rights abuses. On March 8, marking the International Women’s Day, we will join the nationally-coordinated protest to demand an end to Duterte’s human rights abuses and tyranny,” Soriano ended. ###

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