Statement of Senator Hontiveros on violent crackdown of activists in Southern Tagalog

Southern Tagalog lost 9 of its community organizers because of this administration’s high level of disrespect towards basic human rights. Labor and community organizers are not combatants. This cowardly crackdown deserves only the strongest condemnation.

There is no denying that this scale of violence, injustice, and impunity is being perpetrated by this administration. The President’s recent televised threats of red tagging and outright murder are unbridled human rights violations that must be held to account.  

I am calling for a thorough investigation by the Commission on Human Rights.

We will also consider filing a bill penalizing red tagging as a separate and distinct crime because those fighting to protect our basic rights should not be silenced.

The 1987 Constitution itself guarantees all Filipinos freedom of speech and expression and freedom of assembly. Hindi pwedeng ipawalang-bisa ng pamahalaan ang mga karapatan na ito kahit kailan.

We share our deepest condolences and sympathy with the families of the victims of this event, and pay tribute to their courage and commitment. We also hope for the release of all those unjustly detained. ###