IBON under attack, personnel threaten with arrest

IBON Foundation received information that a warrant of arrest will be served on someone supposedly within our office building. This is alarming and we believe that it is part of the Duterte government’s worsening crackdown on activists upholding human rights and so critical of its retrogressive policies and authoritarian governance.

A certain Col. Joaquin Alba of the National Capital Region Police Office called IBON around 4 PM this afternoon to notify us of their intent to serve a warrant of arrest on someone who, we said, is not of the building nor holds office there. Col. Alba however insisted and said that they will still go to conduct an ocular inspection. We subsequently received information that a police team had left CIDG to arrest someone from IBON.

These come on the heels of a week of consecutive military and police operations against various activists and activist groups in Manila and Negros. This included using spurious search warrants to raid homes and offices, planting guns and grenades, and arresting activists on bogus charges. Some 60 activists have been illegally arrested and detained in the past week.

IBON is among many activist organizations and cause-oriented groups that have been maliciously red-tagged by the Duterte government and especially its security forces to justify being harassed, attacked and shut down. This is being done systematically and on a wide scale by the government’s so-called task force to end local communist armed conflict and, among others, under Operation Plan Kalasag.

IBON Foundation Executive Director Sonny Africa / HIYAW.net

IBON categorically denies allegations that it is a supporter of terrorism, publishes materials to recruit rebel children, and other absurd accusations. The Duterte administration is attacking IBON because our research, education and advocacy work exposes Philippine economic realities that the government wants to conceal.