Fabricated charges against human rights defenders in the Philippines dismissed
Defend Job Philippines celebrated a significant victory late February, when charges that had been filed against several grassroots leaders were dismissed by the Provincial Prosecutor in Daet, Camarines Norte.
In spite of this achievement, however, the campaign in defense of Roy Velez, Amelita Bravante and other human rights defenders is far from over.
In a related development, the prosecutor found probable cause relating to charges against Randy Vegas, Raul Camposano, Nancy Ortega and Ramon Argente, all leaders of social movements working in support of low income people in Metro Manila. Furthermore, the petition for transfer of venue by detained trade union leader and peace consultant Renante Gamara has still not been decided by the Supreme Court of the Philippines. Mr. Gamara has been detained at Camp Crame Custodial Center since April 2012. In light of these ongoing challenges against these and other activists, Defend Job has issued a call for support for their efforts to stop the criminalization of human rights defenders in the Philippines.
On July 19th, 2013, ESCR-Net launched a petition in response to recent moves to target several human rights activists and leaders of popular organizations with baseless criminal charges, in alleged attempts to silence their activities to protect and defend human rights in the Philippines.