On the 20th year of landmark peace and human rights agreement between GRP, NDFP, rights violations continue unabated

Karapatan, along with Kadamay and Balikwas Kadamay, filed 15 complaints on human rights violations under the Duterte government at the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) Monitoring Committee on the Comprehensive Agreement on the Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL) on August 7, 2018.
Among the cases filed are the violent dispersal of striking NutriAsia workers on July 30, 2018, including the illegal arrest and trumped-up charges filed against 19 workers and supporters; the illegal arrest of Nerita de Castro, member of Gabriela-Butuan; the forced surrender of 18 farmers and members of the Compostela Farmers Association (CFA); the displacement of 70 Lumad-Mamanwa families in Kitcharao, Agusan del Norte on June 17, 2018; and the massacre in Brgy. Bato, Camarines Sur, Bicol where three farmers were killed.
The CARHRIHL, a landmark agreement that recognized the need for human rights principles in the context of armed conflict, was signed on the 16th of March 1998. 

“The CARHRIHL, despite it being a landmark agreement signed 20 years ago, still remains lacking in implementation, as State forces continue their rampage in indigenous, peasant, and urban poor communities. It is an agreement with the potential to serve as a model peace agreement. However, it remains ink on paper as past and present regimes never took their obligations to uphold and protect human rights seriously,” said Karapatan Secretary General Cristina Palabay. 

The rights group insisted that “for the CARHRIHL to truly become a forceful instrument in protecting human rights and ending impunity, the GRP should immediately stop its anti-people policies and hold its forces to account.”

“However, given the present situation, things are turning bleak as the Duterte regime continues its assault on the Filipino people, deliberately trampling over people’s rights in the conduct of its counterinsurgency campaign and drug war,” Palabay concluded.