Unite for a Just Peace, Free Rey Casambre
Rey was born to and raised by a family of educators on June 20, 1951.
He taught Physics and Math at the University of the Philippines in Baguio City in 1971 until martial law was declared. He married a fellow Math instructor, Patricia Corazon Mercado. They have an only daughter, Xandra.
Rey has been the Executive Director of the Philippine Peace Center (PPC), since he and the late UN Ad Litem Judge Attorney Romeo T. Capulong co-founded it in July 1992. Committed to the attainment of a just peace, the PPC has provided technical and staff services for the peace negotiations between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP).
Aiming to raise public awareness, the PPC publishes policy papers, information bulletins and updates on the peace question and the peace process. Rey’s own contributions, that underscore the value of peace founded on the realization of people’s rights, include “Toward an Agreement on Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law” (1998); “Peace Negotiations in the Philippines” published in “Searching for Peace in Asia Pacific” by the European Center for Conflict Prevention (2004), and “The Forces of Change Shall Prevail” (2003). His latest contribution, written while in jail, is the “Peace Yearender 2018”.
Rey is an active peace mobilizer. He is co-convenor of the broad peace advocates’ alliance Pilgrims for Peace and the even broader network of peace civil society groups Citizens’ Alliance for a Just Peace (CAJP). He also co-convened the Philippine Ecumenical Peace Platform (PEPP), a nationwide ecumenical formation of Philippine church leaders working for the attainment of peace in the country. He has gained recognition as an authority on the peace negotiations and has been invited to speak in various fora in the country and abroad.
He has delivered speeches in UP Diliman, UP Cebu, University of Santo Tomas, San Beda College and other audiences. He has attended and given input to peace-building events in universities and institutes such as at the East West Center Summer Institute Inaugural Workshop on Asia-Pacific Transitional Justice and Peace-building in Mahidol University (Bangkok, Thailand, 2008), UN Ceasefire Mediation Seminar at the Norweigan Defense International Center (Oslo, Norway), and the Berghof Peace Research Foundation “Meetings on Negotiation” (Berlin, Germany). He has also been regularly interviewed by local and foreign mainstream and alternative media outfits.
Free Rey Casambre
Statement of AGHAM (Advocates of Science and Technology for the People)
8 December 2018
AGHAM condemns the treacherous arrest and continuing unjust incarceration of our fellow S&T and peace advocates Rey Claro Casambre and his wife, Patricia Cora Casambre.
The elderly couple were on their way home in the wee hours of December 7th from a tribute paying homage to their friend and fellow scientist for the people Rolando Pena at the UP National Institute of Geological Sciences when they were forced off their vehicle by 11 heavily armed men on 5 separate vehicles.
They were slapped with malicious trumped-up charges of illegal possession of firearms and explosives, with Rey later outrageously charged with murder, and remain in the custody of the PNP-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) in Camp Crame.
Rey and Cora were both scholars of the then National Science Development Board (NSDB) – now known as the DOST – at the University of the Philippines with Cora taking up Mathematics in 1966 and Rey, Physics in 1971. They were also co-teachers at UP Baguio where Cora was teaching Mathematics after previously teaching in UP Tarlac, and Rey was teaching Physics after his time with the Philippine Atomic Energy Commission in Diliman. Not content with studying and teaching Physics and Math, the Casambre couple were fervent students of the fermenting social realities at the time, and were eager to help enunciate the role of science and technology (S&T) amid a backdrop of a backward and pre-industrial economy.
Both were in the first National Conference on the State of S&T in the Philippines held around 1971 in UP Baguio. Rey would be later present in the forum-launching of Luis Jalandoni’s State of S&T in the Philippines in 1997.
At the time of their arrest, Rey and Cora were both tireless workers of the Philippine Peace Center (PPC), where Rey serves as Executive Director. Since the signing of The Hague Joint Declaration in September 1992, which served as the framework agreement on peace negotiations between the Philippine government (GRP) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP), Rey has been active in the peace process, and can be seen in different fora and media platforms pushing for the successful continuation and completion of the GRP-NDFP peace talks. In the past year, he has been active in pushing for the signing of agreements under the Comprehensive Agreement on Social and Economic Reforms – what could have been a landmark document that would have spelled significant reforms such as agrarian reform and rural development, and the development of Philippine national industries that would vastly benefit the S&T sector in the country.
That is why we find it outrageous that the two steadfast peace advocates are slapped with outlandish charges of illegal possession and murder. Only peace spoilers eager to peddle their fantastic narrative would find logic in the couple having in their possession a caliber 45 pistol with magazine and live ammunition and a fragmentation grenade. It is even more outlandish to believe that Rey is involved in murder more than 1,000 kilometers away in Davao Oriental.
AGHAM joins the calls of fellow peace advocates for the immediate release of Rey and Cora Casambre. We call on the dismissal of their ludicrous trumped-up charges, and urge the Duterte administration to pursue the path of peace instead of harassing, red-tagging, vilifying, and persecuting peace advocates and scientists for the people.#
Solidarity Message to Rey Casambre from Norway From the Norwegian Ecumenical Peace Platform
Read at the launching of the Free Rey Casambre campaign
On behalf of the Norwegian Ecumenical Peace Platform I would like to send our warmest regards and support during your time in imprisonment. Your contributions to the peace process have been immense and we hope you will soon be released to continue the work for a just and sustainable peace in the Philippines.
If your arrest goes beyond the role you have played as a consultant to the NDFP, but also target you as a peace advocate and the peace movement in general, this is an even more serious action taken by the Duterte administration. The peace movement in the Philippines must not be deterred by these wrongful actions.
Now is the time for mobilization and to stand stronger together. I hope that PEPP can take a leading role in the Citizens Alliance for a Just Peace and to push for the resumption of the formal negotiations and your justified release.
Dear Friends, Family, Colleagues, and Co-Peace Advocates:
Greetings of peace in this new year! We are gathering together peace advocates, science colleagues, human rights workers, social activists, and friends and family of Mr. Rey Claro Casambre, who is currently detained under obviously and blatantly false allegations that can only be seen as an effort to thwart his peace advocacy and social activism.
You are invited to join us in the Free Rey Claro Casambre committee, by attending our launch gathering: Unite for a Just Peace Free Rey Claro Casambre! 1:30pm, January 19, 2019 College of Science Administration Building Lobby National Science Complex, P. Velasquez St, University of the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City
As a well-known peace advocate with a science background, Mr. Rey Claro Casambre, Executive Director of the Philippine Peace Center, has been an invited speaker and facilitator at peace advocacy activities around the Philippines as well as internationally.
An alumnus of the Department of Physics in UP Diliman and instructor at UP Baguio in the 1970s, Rey Casambre has developed a meticulous and reliable discipline for peace advocacy in support of the GRP-NDFP peace talks.
He currently faces spurious, trumped-up charges of murder in a remote area of Davao Oriental. Rey’s full name was included as an alias of one of the alleged suspects, in a belated and malicious effort to vilify him as a common criminal. He was not given the opportunity to controvert the charges, being utterly false, at the time of his name’s inclusion. Trial against other co-accused is presently ongoing in a Davao Oriental court.
Many testify to Rey Casambre’s pluck as a most tenacious peace advocate, who has steadfastly worked to open lines of communication and help resolve impasses in the peace negotiations. Despite the false charges currently levied against him, Rey has continued to illuminate the peace process and encourage peace advocates, calling for them not simply to campaign for his release, but to also push for the resumption of GRP-NDFP peace negotiations that address the roots of the armed conflict in the Philippines.
Campaigns for those illegally detained contribute to the release of jailed individuals. Ultimately, they also help to insist that unjust and spurious charges are withdrawn.
To work for the release of Rey Casambre is to continue the struggle for peace in the Philippines! We look forward to your participation in this important peace campaign to generate public concern on the unjust detention of Rey Casambre.
Thank you for joining us in our call to Free Rey Claro Casambre!
Unite for a Just Peace!
Archbishop Antonio J. Ledesma, DD, SJ, Co-chairperson- PEPP, Archdiocese of Cagayan de Oro, Administrator-Diocese of Tandag
Bishop Reuel N.O. Marigza, UCCP, Convenor-Pilgrims for Peace
Dr. Giovanni Tapang, PhD, Professor-University of the Philippines, AGHAM (Advocates of Science and Technology for the People)
Sister Mary Aida Casambre, RGS, Representative of the Family
Statement of the Ontario Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines
Unite for a Just Peace Free Rey Claro Casambre!
We call for the immediate release from detention of Rey Claro Casambre, a well-known peace advocate in the Philippines.
Rey currently faces spurious charges of murder and attempted murder in a remote area of Davao Oriental, Mindanao. Rey’s full name was included as an alias of one of the alleged suspects, in a belated and malicious effort to vilify him as a common criminal. Not only was he not given the opportunity to controvert these charges, being utterly false, at the time of his name’s inclusion, additional trumped-up charges of illegal possession of firearms and explosives (against both Rey and his wife) were added at the time of arrest.
These blatantly untrue allegations appear to be an effort to thwart Rey’s peace advocacy and social activism. Rey Claro Casambre is the Executive Director of the Philippine Peace Center and has been an invited to speak at and facilitate peace advocacy activities throughout the Philippines as well as internationally. An alumnus of the Department of Physics in the University of the Philippines, Diliman and instructor at UP Baguio in the 70s, Rey has developed a meticulous and reliable discipline for peace advocacy in support of the peace talks between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP).
Many testify to Rey’s pluck as a tenacious peace advocate, who has steadfastly worked to open lines of communication and help resolve impasses in the peace negotiations. Despite the false charges currently levied against him, Rey has continued to illuminate the peace process and encourage peace advocates, calling for them not simply to campaign for his release, but to also push for the resumption of GRP-NDFP peace negotiations that address the roots of the armed conflict in the Philippines.
We call for the immediate release of Rey Claro Casambre.
Unjust and spurious charges against him must be withdrawn.
To work for the release of Rey Claro Casambre is to continue the struggle for peace in the Philippines!
Free Rey Claro Casambre!
Unite for a Just Peace
UP College of Science Administration Building Lobby
19 January 2019
16 January 2019
Retired UP/DLSU math Professor Au Trance and I visited Rey at Camp Crame this afternoon.
His wife Cora and Rey’s sister RGS Sister Aida Casambre were already in the visitors’ area. Their only child Xandra came in as we were registering at the front desk and she served as our guide to the visitors’ area.
Rey has been incarcerated since December 7, 2018 when they were arrested while on their way home. They were charged with illegal possession of firearms and grenade which the judge said was preposterous since those items (and a laptop) could not fit in the dashboard compartment of the Vios he was driving. So, Cora was released but Rey remained because of another trumped-up charge, a case of murder in a remote barangay in Davao del Norte.
Unite for a Just Peace: FREE REY CASAMBRE!College of ScienceUP Diliman, Quezon CityJanuary 19, 2019
由 Kodao Productions 发布于 2019年1月18日周五