Manila, Philippines – The Amihan National Federation of Peasant Women condemned the illegal search, red-tagging and harrassment of Leonisa Taray, a member of the group’s National Council from Bohol province and Chairperson of Sandigan sa Bol-anong Kababayen-ang Nag-uma ug Nanagat – SABAKAN at 5 am today in Carmen town. The group urged the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) to conduct an investigation on the recent human rights abuse to Taray to preempt worse cases such as extra-judicial killings, incarceration and other abuses perpetrated by Duterte and his state forces. Moreover, April last year, Taray was visited by two men claiming to be associated at the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) urging her to “clear her name. “

“We are enraged on the fascist attack to Leonisa Taray, our local peasant woman leader in Bohol. Amid pandemic, Duterte and his state forces continue their attacks to progressive leaders and activists. Leonisa and all peasant women in the country are victims of landlessness and neoliberal policies under the Duterte regime,” exclaimed by Zenaida Soraino, Amihan National Chairperson.

According to Hugpong sa mag-uumang Bol-anon (Humabol Bohol), Taray’s house in Brgy. Matin-ao, Carmen was searched by around 15 policemen led by Carmen police chief Police Major Jesus Casipong Daplin. The search warrant was issued by Acting Presiding Judge of Regional Trial Court Branch 51 Sisinio Virtudazo. The state forces failed to find any incriminating evidence at the victim’s house which were not specified in the warrant. Moreover, the police took pictuures of their motorcycle and old campaign materials of Anakpawis Party-list and Makabayan senatorial candidate Atty. Neri Colmenares.

In a statement, Amihan said that this violation of Taray’s basic rights should be condemned as it endangered her life and her family, At present, more than 300 victims of extra-judicial killings in the country are farmers, among them are 42 women. Moreover, 80 peasant women, where most or 62 among them were imprisoned under the Duterte regime and deprived them of their rights as women, mothers to their children and peasants advancing rights to land and livelihood.

“We urge the public to join us in calling for #HandsOffLeonisaTaray and condemn the fascist attack of the Duterte regime to peasant women and activists,” Soriano ended. ###

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