Group condemns military harassment of IP leader
KATRIBU Indigenous Peoples’ Partylist condemns the filing of malicious suits of murder and frustrated murder by military troops belonging to the 11th SAC, SAF, and 75th IBPA against its national Vice- President and second nominee Genasque Enriquez. The complaints alleged that Enriquez and more than 36 others similarly charged are members of the New People’s Army (NPA) that encountered said troops in Bunawan, Agusan del Sur last 21 July 2012.
This is harassment and intimidation! It is but a vile attempt of the military to stop Enriquez in his activism on the recognition and protection of indigenous peoples rights. Enriquez and fellow Lumads have been vocal in opposing heightened militarization, corporate mining and commercial plantations in the CARAGA region. Early this year, he has been prominent in exposing human rights violations due to militarization especially in the provinces of Agusan del Norte and Surigao del Norte that have led to the forced evacuation largely of Lumad-Mamanwa communities.
KATRIBU and Enriquez learned only of the case upon reading the article printed in the local newspaper PERIODICO in 16 August 2012.
KATRIBU states that Enriquez had not been involved in the said encounter nor is he a member of the NPA. This is an old tactic of the military! They vilify as terrorists, linking members and leaders of legitimate organizations and progressive partylist to the NPA or any underground revolutionary organization; then include them in malicious suits for every alleged encounter they had with the NPA.
This is also a vain attempt to discredit KATRIBU and scare-off its supporters as they did in elections 2010 in the light of our participation in the 2013-partylist elections.
KATRIBU is likewise concerned with the safety and security of Enriquez and his family. Victims of extra- judicial killings and enforced disappearances have experienced similar vilification and harassment.
We call on State security forces to stop their practices of harassment, vilification and filing of trump-up charges that violate human rights and particularly for the above-mentioned military units to withdraw the complaint against Enriquez. However, we shall hold them accountable should any danger fall on the person of Enriquez and his family arising from these malicious suits.
The case is under investigation with the office Hon. Felix P. Mesa, Assistant Provincial Prosecutor of Agusan del Sur. Enriquez is a Lumad specifically a Manobo from Surigao del Sur.