The International Federation of Human Rights has described the ongoing crackdown on human rights defenders in the Phillipines:
The Observatory has been informed by Karapatan Alliance Philippines about the extrajudicial killing of nine human rights defenders and the arbitrary detention of four others in four provinces in Calabarzon region.
On March 7, 2021, the Philippines National Police (PNP) and the Philippine Army (PA) carried out raids into the houses and offices of several human rights defenders in Calabarzon region, southern Philippines as part of a joint operation against alleged members of “communist and terrorist groups”.
During the raids, the PNP and the PA killed Emmanuel “Manny” Asuncion, labour leader and Secretary-General of BAYAN-Cavite, in Dasmariñas, Cavite Province; fisherfolk leaders Ana Marie “Chai ”Lemita-Evangelista and Ariel Evangelista, in Nasugbu, Batangas Province; Melvin Dasigao, Mark Lee “Makmak” Coros Bacasno, Abner Esto, and Edward Esto, all members of the urban poor group Sikkad K3 in Montalban, Rizal Province; and indigenous rights defenders Dumagats Puroy and Randy de la Cruz in Tanay, Rizal Province.
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