Kabataan Partylist asks CHR, NBI to probe online smear vs youth, student groups

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After submitting complaints and evidences last August and December 2019, Kabataan Partylist files again to NBI a complaint with new set of compiled evidence of smear campaign and disinformation drives against youth leaders and groups committed by several individuals, organizations, and worse, even government institutions.

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We call on NBI Cybercrime Division to immediately look into these cases of cyber-attacks and to take immediate actions on our complaints as every day, maligned youth leaders and members of Kabataan Partylist and other maligned organizations receive death threats, red-tagging and lewd comments on social media which are mostly coming from PNP, AFP, and government officials’ social media accounts and other private individuals.

These cyber-attacks are of course alarming as–aside from violating the youth’s rights to liberty, personal security, organization, freedom from discrimination, and freedom of expression, among others–these also tarnish the reputation of our representation—the sole youth representative in the Philippine Congress—and consequently, the House of Representatives in which we are a member of since 2007. In addition, just yesterday, Kabataan representative Sarah Elago was selected as one of the ‘One Young World Politicians of the Year,” together with other chosen four among outstanding politicians between the ages of 18 – 35, who use their positions to have a positive impact on young people in their communities and countries and that their work reflects the benefit of including young people in politics; the panel of judges were led by former New Zealand prime minister Helen Clark, and together with former Prime Minister of the Netherlands Jan Peter Balkenende; Senator Sherry Rehman, the first female leader of the Opposition in Pakistan; Tara Houska, tribal attorney and former advisor on Native American Affairs for Bernie Sanders; Thuli Madonsela, former Public Protector and one of the writers of the South African constitution; Yuriko Koike, current and first female Governor of Tokyo.

“Ikatlong beses na dumulog ang mga kabataan sa NBI. Nananawagan kami na maagap na itong aksyunan kasama ng mga nauna pang inihapag na complaints dahil sa banta sa buhay at kaligtasan ng mga estudyante at kabataan na nagsasalita, nag-oorganisa at nagsusulong ng makabuluhang pagbabago sa iba’t ibang adbokasiya ayon sa karapatang pantao at Saligang Batas,” Hon. Sarah Jane Elago said.

“What’s gravely concerning is that these fake statements and false allegations inciting harm and hate on activists and dissenters are coming from police, military and government agencies using public funds,” Elago added.

Even UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet, during the UN Human Rights Council’s 44th session on June 2020, said the Duterte administration’s policies had created a cycle of “impunity” and is responsible for “systematic” violence leading to thousands of extrajudicial killings since Duterte launched the nationwide campaign after being elected in 2016.

The UN’s report found key patterns of violations particularly in the context of campaign against illegal drugs, national security and civic space, the situation of indigenous peoples, farmers and internally displaced people, and the incitement to hatred and violence. Through these key human rights issues, the report reveals that there is widespread human rights violations and persistent impunity in the Philippines.

“Imbes na paninira at pananakot, pakinggan at aksyunan natin ang mga isyu at hamon na kinakaharap ng mga kabataan at sambayanang Pilipino sa gitna ng krisis: mula sa kalusugan, trabaho, kabuhayan hanggang sa balik-eskwela at kalayaan sa pananalita at pamamahayag,” Cong. Elago ended.

The youth leaders will submit the same documents at the Commission on Human Rights. ###

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