Stop the red-tagging and harassment vs. Cagayan Valley peasant leader Isabelo Adviento

The Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) called on the Commission on Human Rights and the House Committee on Human Rights to probe the repeated red-tagging and harassment against Cagayan Valley peasant leader Isabelo ‘Buting’ Adviento. Adviento, 54 years old, a peasant-activist leader from Baggao, Cagayan has been repeatedly red-tagged in various social media posts online and in tarpaulins displayed in several towns across the provinces.

Adviento is the coordinator of DANGGAYAN-Cagayan Valley, the regional chapter of Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas, and the subsequent 4th nominee of Anakpawis Partylist. He is also a staff of the Katinulong Dagiti Umili iti Amianan nga Luzon or the Regional Development Center of Northern Luzon.

On midnight of December 2, 2020, combined forces of the PNP-CIDG and 77th IBPA raided several houses in Barangay Carrupian, Baggao in Cagayan, reportedly without warrant. Among those raided were the houses of Adviento and peasant organizer Amanda Echanis. Fabricated evidences were planted against them.

Adviento was not at home at the time of the raid. His family members were reportedly ordered to go out of the house during the duration of the search. His wife said that when she tried to go inside their house to get hot water, she saw unfamiliar plastic bags in their living room. Adviento believes it contains the evidence used against at him to fabricate trumped-up charges.

Adviento has been active in promoting human rights in the region and handles farmers’ concerns regarding land rights in their community and has been busy helping fellow farmers who have been affected by the massive flooding caused by typhoon Ulysses.

Adviento, a long-time peasant leader, is a repeated victim of red-tagging, harassment, and surveillance by armed state forces. His invaluable work and advocacy for the interest of peasants have made him a target of state-sponsored attacks and vilification. Tanggol Magsasaka has documented the series of online and offline harassment against Adviento committed by state forces.

“We blame the NTF-ELCAC, the PNP and AFP for the unending political persecution of activists and human rights defenders. For several years now, Adviento was subjected to non-stop intimidation by state forces. The harassment against him and other Cagayan Valley-based activists and peasant leaders intensified under the Duterte administration,” according to KMP leader Danilo Ramos.

The farmers’ group will lead the Hands Off Isabelo Adviento campaign to defend the Adviento and other Cagayan Valley-based activists experiencing intense red-tagging and harassment from state forces. The campaign will be a combination of online and offline activities that will propagate the issues and struggles of farmers and toiling masses in Cagayan Valley. The campaign, to be participated in by peasant groups and advocates will also assert that the cases against Adviento are all fabricated. ###

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