The Churchpeople Workers Solidarity said this as it condemned the ruthless and brutal killing and illegal arrest of unionists, peasant leaders, activists, and human rights defenders in Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, and Quezon on Sunday, March 7.
The group said at least nine were killed and six others were arrested in a coordinated raid in offices and houses of progressive groups.
“CWS would like to reiterate that those killed and arrested were activists who fought for land, just wages, human rights, the environment, civic space, democracy, and women’s emancipation,” CWS chairperson Bishop Gerardo Alminaza said in a statement on March 8.
“We join our voice with other cause-oriented groups who believe that defending the rights of workers, peasants, women, and marginalized groups is not a crime,” added the San Carlos prelate.
Sangguniang Laiko ng Pilipinas (LAIKO) President Rouquel Ponte also denounced the killing of activists and urged others to do the same.
“We call on our people to continue to stand for due process and the rights of all for a fair and just trial,” he said.
“We call on peace-loving Filipinos to make strong statements of condemnation against these brutal and organized atrocities,” added Ponte.
The LAIKO also appealed to the Legislative and Judicial branches of government to take action against such actions.
“We call on our lawmakers and magistrates to do justice and show to the world that we are still ruled by laws and not by men,” said Ponte.