The Amihan National Federation of Peasant Women joined the protest today showing support behind the lawyers who will represent the 37 petitioners against the Anti-Terrorism Law on the Supreme Court oral arguments to be held later at 2pm. The peasant women group vowed to fight the ATL along with the broad opposition of multi-sectoral organizations, social movements and human rights advocates.

“To the peasant women, the Duterte government, its armed forces and attack agents, are the state terrorists.  Extrajudicial killings, bombings of peasant communities, forced evacuation illegal arrests, filing of trumped-up charges, red-tagging, other forms of abuses, you name it, and it has been carried out by the military and police.  These are forms of state terrorism.  The ATL will amplify these systematic attacks against peasants and peasant women,” Zenaida Soriano, Amihan National Chairperson said in a press statement.

“The Duterte government is using ATL as an instrument to sow fear on the peasantry and indigenous people resisting land grabbing and plunder of natural resources by local and multi-national corporations. Habang papalapit ang presidential election at itinutulak ang Charter Change sa Kongreso at Senado, hindi malayo na gagamitin ni Duterte ang ATL para makapanatili sa poder at supilin ang oposisyon katulad ng ginagawa nito sa Makabayan bloc,” Soriano added.  

“Sa gitna ng pandemya, panunupil ang inuuna ng gobyernong Duterte sa halip na atupagin ang pagpapatupad ng malawakan at libreng mass testing, ligtas na bakuna at ayuda,” Soriano said.

“We speak for the peasant women victims of EJK and other human rights abuses.  The Duterte regime via its counter-insurgency programs killed 38 peasant women, 11 children, 9 peasant couples and at least 34 older persons.  The ATL will lead to the worsening of the already atrocious plight of rural-based sectors in the country,” Soriano added.

“Under this fascist regime, women have to stand and defend fellow women against abuses, red-tagging, EJK, illegal arrest and detention and other human rights abuses. We call on the people to support the lawyers who will represent our voice at the Supreme Court. Let us resist the continuing attacks against activists, human rights defenders and political dissenters. Biguin natin ang kahibangan ng gobyernong Duterte na maghasik ng takot para makapanatili sa poder,” Soriano ended. ###

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