Human Rights Coalition Condemns Red-Tagging of Peasant Advocate in Dasmariñas, Cavite

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Press Statement
April 17, 2024

This past week, peasant organization KASAMA – TK announced that its Deputy General Secretary, Jeverlyn Seguin, is wanted by Task Force Ugnay under the 2nd Infantry Division of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP). Since March, members of the armed unit have visited residents in Dasmariñas, Cavite, showing photos of Jeverlyn and claiming that she is a member of the New People’s Army (NPA).

“The International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines (ICHRP) strongly condemns the red-tagging and intimidation of Jeverlyn by members of the Philippine military,” said Peter Murphy, ICHRP Chairperson. “The harassment and terror-tagging of legal-democratic activists has become a standard tactic of the Marcos Jr. regime, as well as past regimes, in its all-out war of suppression against dissent in the Philippines.”

Katipunan ng mga Samahang Magbubukid sa TK (KASAMA – TK), or Union of Peasants’ Associations in Southern Tagalog, is a peasant group that organizes and mobilizes farmers in their struggle for land, rights, and basic services. Before her red-tagging, Jeverlyn had been participating in the launch of a campaign to document the effects of the El Niño weather system on farmers in the area.

The threat to Ms. Seguin is related to the recent Facebook post released by the Office of the President regarding the data of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC), that red-tags the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas and its members as a front of the “Communist Terrorist Group”.

“The red-tagging of peasant advocates like Ms. Seguin goes hand-in-hand with the ongoing violations of International Humanitarian Law (IHL) by the AFP against peasants across the country,” Murphy continued. “Arbitrary red-tagging of activists blurs the line between the ongoing civil war between two belligerent sides—the AFP and the NPA—and the legal-democratic movement of non-combatants.”

“In the course of its US-designed ‘counter-insurgency’ war, the AFP indiscriminately targets civilian peasants through bombings, strafing, enforced disappearance, killing, and more,” said Murphy. “ICHRP condemns all forms of violations of IHL and attacks against peasant activists by the AFP. We reiterate our call to the Marcos Jr. administration to end the policy of red-tagging, and to re-commence formal peace talks with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines to resolve the armed conflict by addressing the socioeconomic roots of the conflict, rather than pursue indiscriminate military action that kills, inures and displaces civilians.”

Further comment: Peter Murphy, ICHRP Chairperson. WhatsApp: +61 418312301. Email: [email protected].