NTF ELCAC STATEMENT ON THE HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDERS BILL
The National Task Force To End Local Communist Armed Conflict condemns, in no uncertain terms, the approval on third reading, of a bill that is dangerous as it is unconstitutional and labeled to mean the very opposite of what it pretends to be—the Human Rights Defenders Bill.
This bill, if passed into a law, will open the floodgates of abuse and torment on our people by terrorists like the CPP NPA NDF and it will make of the Anti Terrorism Law that was recently declared CONSTITUTIONAL by the Supreme Court ineffective and toothless.
For starters, the authors of this bill are urban operatives of the CPP NPA NDF —members of the sarcastically named Makabayan Bloc—who have worn the mask of human rights defenders while at the same time enabling the worst human rights offenses against our people and providing cover to some of the worst offenders of human rights in our country—the NPAs —who have been the authors of grief and suffering of our people for over 5 decades now.
It is no wonder then that they have penned this cynical bill that gives protection to their comrades and that will tie the hands of the government and the constitutionally mandated protectors of our country, the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police, as they go about defending our people from terrorists and will make fronts of the CPP NPA NDF like KARAPATAN, and the NUPL watchdogs of human rights in our country.
This bill offers a porous and overboard definition of 'human rights defender' while conveniently ignoring the United Nations definition: someone who advocates for human rights in a PEACEFUL manner because of course, central to the CPP NPA NDF is the VIOLENT OVERTHROW of government.
It is because of this core of violence that the most horrific violations of human rights have been inflicted against the Filipino people for over 5 decades now.
It is also quite telling that this bill's basic premise is the same basic premise of the CPP NPA NDF: that the State is the no.1 violator of human rights instead of what it truly is: the duty bearer of human rights of its citizens. What a terrible insult then to the integrity and strength of our judicial system.
This bill has made the grand assertion that thousands of human rights workers have been killed by government and yet not once have they proven this to be true. What is true is the thousands upon thousands —maybe even millions— of human rights violations by the terrorist CPP NPA NDF that this pretend-legislators have never once condemned.
These Representatives of Joma Sison, supposed elected officials, have unequivocally stated that the violent extremist NPAs who have murdered thousands of tribal leaders, killed Kieth Absalon in cold blood as he begged for his life, massacred 39 members of the Bagobo Tagabawa tribe in Rano as they peacefully heard mass (more than half of them children) are NOT enemies of the state.
For them, these members of the NPA - including the butchers of Mindanao- Ka Oris and Ka Bok- who have butchered an unbearable number of Filipinos are NOT violators of human rights but are in fact, "revolutionaries" whose cause they share and feel a deep empathy to.
And so it is really hilarious that these pretend-legislators have arrogated unto themselves, through this ludicrous bill, the right to define who are and aren’t’human rights defenders'— a definition so porous in its broadness that even the ISIS, the Abu Sayyaf and of course, the CPP NPA NDF can be defined as 'human rights defenders'.
And once identified as 'human rights defender, they will be exempt from sacrosanct laws of the land and cannot be touched by the Anti Money Laundering Council because looking into financial records of a "human rights defender" will be a crime once this ridiculous bill is passed into law. Under this bill, 'human rights defenders' cannot be identified as "members of the CPP NPA NDF" even if they are indeed members of the CPP NPA NDF and they will be exempt from Terrorism Financing Laws.
How then can government protect the Filipino people from terrorism if we cannot stop terrorism financing or take off masks of terrorists who pretend to be 'human rights defenders'?
This is a bill therefore that eradicates the notions of state, judiciary and due process and bypasses government agencies and the laws of our land.
This bill runs roughshod over our Constitution making it inutile and ineffective and creating a country where terrorism will flourish and where our people will be fair game once again to terrorists who pretend to be human rights defenders.
There is no other recourse, therefore, but for this bill to be junked and for its authors to be publicly censured by the real Representatives of the Filipino people so that Congress may reclaim the dignity and respect these CPP NPA NDF operatives have stolen from them by making a mockery of the House of Representatives and the laws of our land.
Equally important, it is the prayer of the NTF ELCAC that the Filipino people will never again allow the outrage of CPP NPA NDF operatives to sit in Congress so that these human rights violators may never again harm our beloved Philippines.
Magtulungan tayo, mga kababayan.
Para sa Mahal nating Inang Bayan.
Undersecretary Lorraine Marie T. Badoy
Spokesperson for Sectoral Concerns,
NATIONAL TASK FORCE TO END LOCAL COMMUNIST ARMED CONFLICT