In Defense of Human Rights and Social Justice
By Julieta de Lima, Interim Chairperson,NDFP Negotiating Panel
and Jose Maria Sison, NDFP Chief Political Consultant
August 19, 2020
We wish to express our most heartfelt condolences to the child of Zara Alvarez and her entire family as well as her fellow church workers and social activists in Negros. We share your grief and your determination to turn this into revolutionary courage and to seek justice for her murder.
We honor Zara for her selfless and fearless service to the poor and oppressed, especially for defending human rights and advocating social justice. In most of her life, she dedicated herself to social activism in support of the oppressed and exploited people.
She was a resolute and diligent member of a series of organizations: Anakbayan Negros, Bayan Negros, and the North Negros Alliance of Human Rights Advocates. She served as research and advocacy officer for the Negros Island Health Integrated Program (NIHIP) and she became campaign and education director, as well as paralegal for Karapatan Negros Island.
Her social activism earned the ire of those in power and their armed minions. She was unjustly imprisoned for two years in 2012-14 and the false charge against her was dismissed by the court. She was never cowed by her imprisonment.
She was subjected to greater risks and threats under the bloodthirsty Duterte regime. She was red-tagged and became the target of continuous death threats. She had the high distinction of being among the 600 persons listed by the regime in the case to proscribe the Communist Party of the Philippines and the New People’s Army.
Her murder is the ultimate act of injustice to her by the tyrannical Duterte regime. But her ultimate sacrifice, her martyrdom, raises her to the highest level of honor among all mortals and makes her immortal in the hearts and minds of the people.
Her exemplary work for the people will continue to inspire them to struggle for their own rights, welfare, a better life and a brighter future. She will continue to live through the increasing numbers of people who are inspired by her example from one generation to another.
We condemn the evil regime of Duterte for the murder of Zara. Her murder is part of the current frenzied campaign of red-tagging, death threats and murders in both urban and rural areas in order to intimidate the people through state terrorism and make then submit to a full-blown fascist dictatorship.
The best way for the people to respond to the merciless murder of Zara is to turn our grief into revolutionary courage, demand justice for her murder and avail of all possible means of resistance and intensify the struggle for social justice.
We must not allow the monsters headed by Duterte impose their rule of terror and greed on us and aggravate further the conditions of oppression and exploitation in the unjust ruling system. We have had more than enough of the despicable crimes of treason, tyranny, mass murder, plunder and prevarication committed by the Duterte regime.
Even as Duterte wants to perpetuate his power with escalating brutality, the broad masses of the people and the broad united front of patriotic and democratic forces are intensifying their efforts to oust his evil regime and reassert the rights of the people to full national independence, democracy, social justice, all round development and just peace.
Long live the memory of Zara Alvarez!
Carry on her work and struggle for the people!
Defend human rights and struggle for social justice!
Strive for the ouster of the Duterte regime!
Long live the struggle for full national independence and democracy!
Long live the people of Negros and the entire Filipino people!