7 December 2018
We are shocked by the incomprehensibly brazen human rights violations that marked the arrests of Rey Casambre and his wife, Cora, as they were heading home last night, December 6, 2018 from a wake.
Casambre is a longtime peace advocate and head of the Philippine Peace Center, an institution committed to peace advocacy. As such, he had significantly contributed to the peace process by way of his incisive analysis of issues surrounding the peace negotiations. He is often a resource person for different media outlets and is a publicly known participant in the peace talks between the GRP and the NDFP.
Delivered in a language easily understood by ordinary people, his contributions to the peace process, has had no other impact but to rally the participation of the primary stakeholders – labor, peasant leaders, activists and human rights defenders, in the discourse.
Thus, we cannot help but believe that he is being persecuted precisely for his involvement in the peace process, by a government that seems no longer interested in peace but only wishes to wage a brutal war against the people.
We find the charges being attributed to Rey and Cora outrageous. Both are senior citizens and are known peace advocates. The so-called charges of murder, frustrated murder and illegal possession of firearms are not at all true and defy common sense. We demand their immediate release and a stop to the persecution of peace consultants and activists.
It is a bleak time for peace as a reign of terror is engulfing the whole country, with attacks on human rights taking a toll on human rights defenders, community leaders and peace advocates. The intent is to silence dissent, and thereby eventually deprive the people of their capacity to resist government polices that are detrimental to their interests, and the interest of our nation as a whole. #
Bishop Reuel N.O. Marigza, Pilgrims for Peace
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