July 15, 2024

The six activists from North Luzon posted P100,000 bail each on Feb. 20 for their temporary freedom in carrying out advocacy work, as they continue to call for the dropping of rebellion charges against them.
The Bangued Regional Trial Court in Abra granted the motion for bail on Feb. 16 of Sarah Abellon, Windel Bolinget, Lulu Gimenez, Florence Kang, Niño Oconer, and Steve Tauli.
The six activists were part of the “Abra 7” who are north Luzon activists implicated in the October 2022 ambush in Malibcong, Abra perpetrated by the New People’s Army rebels that killed two soldiers. 
Also, implicated in the rebellion charges and was earlier arrested in Baguio City based on a warrant released by the Bangued RTC was Jennifer Awingan-Taggaoa who have posted bail after staying in Abra jail for a week.
The Cordillera Peoples Alliance said the advocacy work of the activists in standing for the rights of the indigenous peoples has been the cause of the continuous systematic targeting and political persecution of the government.
The CPA welcomed the granting of the activists’ motion for bail but continue to condemn the government’s treatment of those who speak out their minds. 
“While there was a strong expression for solidarity, it was a struggle to come up with a P100,000 for the temporary liberty of each, given the worsening economic crisis,” the CPA stated.
 “As long as activist organizations and civil society organizations are treated as ‘enemies of the State’ in terms of policies and programs, this pattern and incidence of trumped-up charges and other human rights violations will continue,” the CPA added.
The group urged the people to help in pushing back the attempt to silence dissenters who are speaking their minds with legitimate concerns regarding the plight of the common people, which is supposedly accorded in the country as a democracy. – Ofelia C. Empian