The Amihan National Federation of Peasant Women expressed and urged the people to support the House Resolution No. 1812 filed by the lawmakers from the Makabayan bloc yesterday directing the lower house to conduct an inquiry, in aid of legislation, on the intensifying attacks and human rights violations against peasant women in the country. Amihan drafted the House Resolution with the office of Gabriela Women’s Party Representative Arlene Brosas.
“We call on our lawmakers to investigate the rising cases of extrajudicial killings, illegal arrest and detention, filing of trumped-up charges, red-tagging and forced surrender against peasant women and their families by state forces. Leaders, organizers and members of peasant women organizations under Amihan who are asserting their rights to land, food and livelihood and are active critiques of the Duterte government’s anti-farmer policies have become systematic targets of the government’s counter-insurgency policies,” Amihan national chairperson Zenaida Soriano said.
The group noted that as of March 2021, more than 300 farmers were killed including 42 peasant women such as Nora Apique, Lucresia Tasic, Julie Catamin and Ana Mariz Evangelista.
Rights group Karapatan has documented that 63 out of the total 80 peasant women political prisoners were imprisoned and charged with trumped-up charges such as illegal possession of firearms and explosives under the Duterte government. Among them are Genalyn Avelino, Amanda Echanis, Ma. Lindy Perocho, Imelda Sultan, Azucena Garubat, and others.
The peasant women group likewise submitted a documentation of human rights violations against peasant women leaders and organizers from December 2020 to May 2021 under the Duterte government. These were also the cases recommended for investigation under the HR 1812.
- Threat, Harassment, Intimidation and red-tagging of peasant woman leader Jacqueline Ratin, National Vice- Chairperson of Amihan and Chairperson of Amihan-Cagayan
- Threat, Harassment, Intimidation, red-tagging and forced surrender of peasant woman Julie Marcos of Amihan Cagayan
- Threat, Harassment, Intimidation, red-tagging and forced surrender of peasant woman Emelia Ventula
- Threat, Harassment, Intimidation and series of Red-tagging of peasant women organizer and leader Nenita Apricio
- Threat, Harassment, Intimidation and red-tagging of peasant woman leader Leonisa Taray, Chairperson of SABAKAN – Amihan Bohol
- Illegal Arrest and detention, filing of trumped-up charges to peasant woman leader Genalyn Avelino, National Council member of Amihan
- Extra-judicial Killing of Lucresia Tasic, Anakpawis campaigner and barangay official
- Illegal Arrest and detention, filing of trumped-up charges to peasant woman organizer Amanda Echanis, Amihan – Cagayan organizer
- Extra-judicials killings of fisherfolk couple Chai Lemita-Evangelista and Ariel Evangelista
- Threat, Harassment, and Intimidation fisherfolk woman leader Jewelyn T. Fernandez
- Threat, Harassment, Intimidation and attempted murder of fisherfolk woman leader Jeralyn T. Cerezo
“These women leaders led various campaigns for genuine land reform and free land distribution, production subsidy for farmers and fisher folk, immediate aid amid the pandemic and for the victims of calamities. They have led campaigns against land grabbing and displacement and the Duterte government’s neoliberal policies on agriculture including Rice and agricultural liberalization,” Soriano said.
“Wala silang ibang hangad kundi ipaglaban ang karapatan at isulong ang interes ng mga magbubukid at kababaihan. Hindi sila ang dapat managot sa kahirapan at pagsasamantalang nararanasan ng kapwa nila mga magbubukid at babae,” Soriano exclaimed.
“We urge the public to join and support the #DefendPeasantWomen campaign to fight and resist continuing rights abuses against peasant women and hold Duterte and his fascist forces accountable,” Soriano said.
Amihan also filed the documented rights abuses against peasant women to the Commission on Human Rights last March 7. ###