Duterte Must Be Held Accountable for Human Rights Obligations; ATM joins iDEFEND'S Human Rights Day
Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM)|December 12, 2021
We, from Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM), raise our voices in solidarity with human rights defenders as we commemorate International Human Rights Day and hold accountable the Duterte administration on its obligations to uphold the human rights of all citizens.
We join the People’s Caravan organized by In Defense of Human Rights and Dignity Movement (iDEFEND) to drum up our opposition to the various human rights violations committed against environmental activists and human rights defenders.
The Right to a Safe and Healthy Environment is a right recognized by the United Nations and enshrined in our 1987 Constitution. It is a right that guarantees that people are able to live in accordance with nature and in a safe ecology. This is the right that environment rights defenders push for as indigenous people, farmers, and local residents oppose destructive mining in the communities. Along with social justice, which is at the heart of human rights, the right to a safe environment ensures that everyone enjoys a sustainable way of life.
Unfortunately, because of the distorted perspective of government, the right to a safe and healthy environment, among other human rights, is not upheld or fulfilled. Instead, these rights are continuously violated.
According to a report by Global Witness, the Philippines is the deadliest country for environmental defenders in Asia. Indigenous peoples and environmental rights defenders suffer killings and harassment in the midst of their struggle for the fulfillment of their rights. During the pandemic, many were red-tagged, falsely accused, and harassed.
As we commemorate Human Rights Day, we continue to condemn these violations and atrocities. We remain committed in our struggles for a safe environment, the protection of our human rights, and against destructive mining. Until communities enjoy fully their human rights and live in a safe ecology, we will not waiver in our convictions. We will continue to raise our voices regarding any form of violation or harassment committed against ordinary Filipinos, much more environment rights defenders.