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Migrante declares solidarity with slain Human Rights advocate in the Philippines

Migrante Australia of NSW issued a statement of defense of Human Rights advocates in the Philippines and called out to mete justice for the killing of Zara Alvarez in the Philippines.

Migrante also released a statement signed by the following human rights activists: Sr. Patricia Fox, NDS; Rev. Andy Tiver, UCA; Rev. Berlin Guerero, UCA; Fr. Claude Mostowik, MSC; Mr. Bernie Mallary and Fr. Domingo Barawid, MI.

The statement reads thus: ” It is with sadness and anger that we, the members of PCPR Australia, condemn the brutal killing of human rights worker, Zara Alvarez, last August 17. Zara was shot down in broad daylight, another example where her killers knew the continuing state of impunity, where state violence is policy. Zara was a victim of continuing harassment. She had been falsely imprisoned, been red-tagged and had her face on tarpaulins hung in public places, accusing her of being a terrorist. She had been included in a government list of so-called terrorists in 2018 and was to be a witness in a case of Amparo, seeking relief from Military harassment.

At the time of her death, Zara was a convenor of the Negros chapter of Church People-Workers Solidarity Group. Despite the threats, Zara continued her prophetic witness as a church person, speaking with and for the oppressed farmers, agricultural workers, workers and all those exploited classes. She consoled victims’ families of those killed extrajudicially, and sought justice with them. She fought for the release of those unjustly imprisoned with trumped up charges because of their stands for social justice. Zara Stood with those opposing the Anti-Terrorism Act, knowing it would only further entrench injustice in a growingly fascist regime. Zara was known internationally often helping facilitate the visits of those coming from abroad, opening their eyes to the increasing injustices particularly in Negros.
We send our sincere condolences especially to her daughter, other family members and friends. We will not rest until the death of Zara and other victims of extra-judicial killings see justice. The state may think that by killing these martyrs the struggle for justice and peace, particularly for the poor and oppressed will be silenced. But their deaths inspire all peace-loving Christians to double our efforts to work even harder to bring about the kingdom of God here on earth. Inspired by the life and death of Zara
we vow not to be silent, no matter the cost.
– We demand justice for Zara and other victims of extra judicial killings
– We ask for a stop the red-tagging and to junk the Anti-Terror Act
– We call on Australia to support the resolution of the UN Human Rights Council to form an Independent Commission of Inquiry into the human rights situation in the Philippines, to be voted on this September
– We call on the Australian government to stop all aid to the Philippine Government while it continues to ignore human rights
“Let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream” (Amos 5:24)
Sincerely Yours,
Sr. Patricia Fox, NDS
Rev. Andy Tiver, UCA
Rev. Berlin Guerero, UCA
Fr. Claude Mostowik, MSC
Mr. Bernie Mallary
Fr. Domingo Barawid, MI