As many other organisations, Protection International addressed a letter this morning to the President of the Philippines to express its deep concern and indignation regarding the increasing criminalisation of human rights defenders in the Philippines and particularly the recent petition filed in court isting indigenous peoples’ leaders and human rights defenders as terrorist and outlaws, pursuant to the National Security Act of 2007.

We strongly call on the Philippine government to:

1. Remove the names of indigenous peoples’ leaders and human rights defenders from the list of alleged terrorists;

2. Ensure the physical safety of indigenous peoples’ leaders and human rights defenders; and

3. Abide by State obligations to protect human rights and fundamental freedoms.

For individuals who wish to endorse this letter you can sign on to our letter here! http://bit.ly/2Fw56lm

Filed on February 21, 2018, the petition named at least 567 individuals, among them nearly 50 human rights defenders, including the following:

VICTORIA TAULI CORPUZ, current United Nations Special Rapporteur on the
Rights of Indigenous Peoples, former Chairperson of the UN Permanent
Forum on Indigenous Peoples and former Secretary General of the
Cordillera Peoples Alliance (CPA);

ELISA TITA LUBI, current Karapatan National Executive Committee member,
former interim Regional Coordinator of the Asia Pacific Forum on Women,
Law and Development (APWLD) and founding Vice Chairperson of Gabriela
Women’s Party;

BEVERLY LONGID, current global coordinator of the International
Indigenous Peoples Movement for Self-Determination and Liberation
(IPMSDL), former CPA Chair and current Advisory Council member;

JOAN CARLING, current Member and Co-Convenor of the Indigenous Peoples
Major Group for the Sustainable Development Goals, former Secretary
General of the Asian Indigenous Peoples’ Pact (AIPP), and former
member of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues;

ATTY. JOSE MOLINTAS, former Asia representative to the UN Expert
Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (EMRIP), former CPA Chair
and current Advisory Council member;

JOANNA CARIÑO, member of the CPA Advisory Council and Co-Chair of the
SANDUGO Movement of Moro and Indigenous Peoples for Self Determination;

WINDEL BOLINGET, current Chairperson of the CPA and National Co-convenor
of KATRIBU National Alliance of Indigenous Peoples in the Philippines;

JEANETTE RIBAYA-CAWIDING, former Chairperson of CPA-Tongtongan ti Umili
and current Regional Coordinator of the Alliance of Concerned Teachers
– Cordillera;

SHERWIN DE VERA, Regional Coordinator of DEFEND Ilocos, member of the
Save The Abra River Movement (STARM) and former Secretary General of the
Ilocos Human Rights Alliance-Karapatan

DATU ISIDRO INDAO, _Matigsalog-Manobo_ village chief, council member of
the PASAKA Lumad Confederation in Southern Mindanao and an active member
of the Parent-Teacher Community Association of the Lumad school run by
the Mindanao Interfaith Services Foundation, Inc.;

DATU MANDAYHON HAN-AYAN, _Talaandig _village chief in Malaybalay, Bukid
and member of the PIGYAYONGAAN Lumad organization;

DATU MANDAYHON, a _Talaandig_ village chief and member of the
PIGYAYONGAAN Lumad organization;

SERGIO LUMONDAY, a _Manobo_ and the Tinananon Kulamanon Lumadnong
Panaghiusa secretary general;

ZARA ALVAREZ, Research and Advocacy Officer of the Negros Island Health
Integrated Program (NIHIP) and former Campaign and Education Director of
Karapatan-Negros chapter

ROMULO BITO-ON, Regional Coordinator of Makabayan-Negros and member of
the Samahan ng Ex-detainees Laban sa Detensyon at Aresto (SELDA)

ROGINA NAVARRO QUILOP, Administrative Officer of the Center for
People’s Resources and Services (CPRS)-Negros

ISIDRO CASTILLO, former Chairperson of the National Federation of Sugar
Workers (NFSW)

ARNOLD EVANGELISTA and ERLINDO BAES, officers of the Batangas Human
Rights Alliance-Karapatan