Feb 23, 2021 @ 16:22
Pro-Pinoy: Abogado defends Dutch activist being deported by BI
A red-tagged lawyer from the human rights group Karapatan defended Dutch man Otto de Vries after the Bureau of Immigration wants him deported for being a union rights advocate and joining protest actions in Manila.
De Vries, a Dutch pastoral worker and trade union rights advocate, is facing blacklisting from the government as authorities stressed that foreigners cannot take on any political actions when in the Philippines.
“For most Philippine activists, Otto de Vries has been a common sight in various activities that tackle human rights, labor issues and other concerns regarding Philippine society. His presence has always been welcome because we very well know of his track record of standing in solidarity with the poor and oppressed of our country,” lawyer Maria Sol Taule said in a statement.
He has been given an Order to Leave following information from the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency that he has been involving himself in political affairs here.
The group compared de Vries to Sr. Patricia Fox, who President Rodrigo Duterte earlier lambasted in his public speeches also for caring for Filipinos and their rights.
“Otto is more Filipino than many in the Philippine government, living and breathing the same air as Filipinos, worked and experienced the same dire situation of the Filipino poor, the workers, thereby motivated to share with them their plight for just wages, better living conditions, among others,” Taule added.
“The Philippine government has gone berserk in its red-tagging, threats and harassment against almost everybody, from celebrities to foreigners, to activists and ordinary persons. Only a state that fears critical thinking and democratic exercise of rights would do such desperate acts. Hands off Otto De Vries, hands off human rights defenders!,” she also said.