The right to defend rights
Criminalization; Military persecution
Cristina Palabay is the Secretary General of Karapatan, an alliance of individuals, groups, and organizations that work to promote and protect human rights in the Philippines. She is one of the defenders that we met with during the Advocacy Week held by women defenders in Geneva from March 2 to 6.
When Cristina returned to her country, she faced a criminalization process in which she was charged with “perjury” along with members of Karapatan and other Philippine organizations. They were put on trial after they denounced the attacks and military persecution to which they were subjected for their work in defense of human rights.
Even though a judge had dismissed the charges, the judicial prosecution was reactivated with malice on March 2nd against Cristina Palabay, Elisa Tita Lubi, Roneo Clamor, Gabriela Krista Dalena, Edita Burgos, Wilfredo Ruazol and Jose Mari Callueng, of Karapatan; Emma Cupin, of the Philippines Rural Missionaries; and Joan May Salvador and Gertrudes Libang of the ‘Gabriela’ Organization.
It is important to remember that the Republic of the Philippines is now one of the countries in the world where the most serious human rights violations take place. As such, it is one of the most dangerous for those who defend human rights. .
We of IM-Defensoras hereby express our solidarity with Cristina Palabay, Karapatan, and all persons and organizations under attack by the Philippines government. We demand an immediate end to their criminalization and guarantees for the respect of their security and safety, physical and moral integrity, and right to defend rights.