The Assert Socio-Economic Initiatives Network (ASCENT) slams the continuous human rights violations committed by the Duterte regime.
ASCENT, together with its members, calls for justice for the unjust arrest of Datu Jomorito Guaynon and Ireneo Udarbe, and the brutal killing of Randy Felix Malayao.
Goaynon and Udarbe were recently arrested based on trumped-up charges and planted evidence.
Goaynon, as chairperson of Kalumbay Regional Lumad Organization, led his fellow Higaonon and other Lumad tribes of Northern Mindanao to fight and defend their ancestral lands and their human rights. We have seen him in the Lakbayan ng Pambansang Minorya upholding their call for peace and self-determination. He has been explicit on the atrocities of the military under the martial law in Mindanao. It is due to his boldness and beliefs that he turned out to be a prey of Duterte’s martial rule.
Udarbe is the Chairperson of the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas – Northern Mindanao Region (KMP-NMR) chapter. Both he and Goaynon were arrested in July 2018 during a project consultation together with other development workers, human rights defenders, and church workers known as Gen San 13.
But barely a day has passed since the two were surfaced by the police when National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) peace consultant Randy Malayao was shot and killed on-the-spot inside a bus around 2:30 am at Aritao, Nueva Vizcaya. Malayao represented the NDFP in peace talks and formal negotiations within the country and abroad. He was imprisoned during the Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo regime and endured abduction and torture and was incarcerated for four years. He is acclaimed to be in the forefront of fighting for genuine peace and promoting the rights and freedom of the Filipino people.
ASCENT demands that the Duterte government bring forth justice for the illegal arrest of Goaynon and Udarbe and the death of Malayao. We also call on the government to put an end to the continuous harassments, attacks, targeting and killing activists and development workers.
ASCENT stands with the families, friends, and colleagues of Goaynon, Udarbe, and Malayao to firmly decry the merciless human rights violations perpetrated by state security forces. For ASCENT, these three are valuable inspirations to development workers in the Philippines.