Statement of CHR Spokesperson, Atty. Jacqueline C. de Guia, on the President’s remark to shoot groups occupying lands

Statement of CHR Spokesperson, Atty. Jacqueline C. de Guia, on the President’s remark to shoot groups occupying lands

It is reprehensible that the President made another remark that seem to condone and encourage state forces to illegally arrest and kill those who are asserting their land rights. Given that 9 sugar farmers were recently killed, such statement by the Commander-in-Chief himself only serves to reinforce the current environment of impunity that farmers as well as other vulnerable sectors are subjected with. We urge the government to address the grievance of the farmers.

As a sector that is vulnerable to natural disaster and calamities, as well as economic crisis, what they need is the government’s protection, not intimidation nor harassment. Government officials must exemplify in their words and deeds the fundamental respect for human rights for this is their sworn duty to the people especially the disadvantaged ones. At the same time, we remind the government, as well as groups and individuals alike, to address issues and assert rights within the legal regime as respect to the rule of law and democratic processes. ###