"Two more lives were taken in defense of their land," Marie Hilao-Enriquez, Karapatan chairperson said following the killing of couple Roger and Lucila Vargas on September 19, 2015 in San Jose Del Monte, Bulacan. The Vargas couple was in the middle of a land dispute with the influential Singsons of Ilocos Sur who claims ownership of the couple’s 2.5 hectares of land. The Singson family is also after at least 11 hectares of land in San Isidro Village, San Jose del Monte, Bulacan, occupied and tilled by many other farmers.
Karapatan at the Berlin human rights confab
In a conference organized by German human rights advocates and church workers in Berlin, Karapatan Secretary General Cristina Palabay called on the international community to support the call for justice for the 282 victims of extrajudicial killings in the Philippines, including the 49 Lumad killed under the Aquino administration.
AMP coordinator Johannes Icking, German Parliamentarian Angelika Glockner and Karapatan Secretary General Cristina Palabay
"The attempts of the Armed Forces of the Philippines to deny their links to the Magahat-Bagani paramilitary groups involved in the massacre of three Lumad leaders and to discredit the communities they victimized backfired when they presented before the media the so-called datu of Mindanao who turned out to be known leaders of paramilitary groups,” said Marie Hilao-Eriquez, Karapatan chairperson.
From martial law to BS Aquino
“There may be no formal declaration of martial law under the Aquino regime, but the repression and terror it perpetrates are the same as they were during martial law, especially in the countryside. The proliferation and use of paramilitary groups as surrogates of the military are the same today as they were during martial law,” said Karapatan Chairperson Marie Hilao-Enriquez.
Progressive lawmakers, human rights advocates and relatives of deceased legislator and labor leader Rep. Crispin “Ka Bel” Beltran today filed a petition for the writs of amparo and habeas data at the Supreme Court in Manila, to decry threats to their “life, liberty and security” with the existence of a “hitlist” containing names and pictures of seventy (70) activists in Mindanao and national leaders of progressive organizations.
Witnesses and relatives of slain Lumad leaders and tribal school executive director in Lianga, Surigao del Sur who went to the Department of Justice today for a meeting with Secretary Leila De Lima were disappointed to find found out that De Lima was in Malacanang to respond to an urgent call from the President. The meeting between the Secretary and the Lumad was set more than a week ago. Lumad delegation refused to meet with a DOJ Undersecretary who faced them.
To better access the interactive page, click here. Or copy paste this link: https://www.thinglink.com/scene/700581668351639552
"Kabisado na namin,” said Cristina Palabay Karapatan secretary general on the BS Aquino regime and the AFP’s standard reply when confronted with issues of killings and other human rights violations they have committed against the people.
Karapatan enumerated seven ways the government and the AFP escape accountability (even if no one believes them anymore):
"There's no reputation to 'besmirch'. The AFP’s reputation has long been stained with blood of the Filipino people,“ Karapatan Secretary General Cristina Palabay said in reaction to the Armed Forces of the Philippines' statement that groups like Karapatan are ‘besmirching’ its reputation even in the international community.
"We want international bodies to know what is happening in Mindanao—that the Lumad, in defense of their land, are being killed and forced to leave their communities," Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay said.
Karapatan brought to the attention of the United Nations Human Rights Council the killing of Lumad leaders Dionel Campos and Datu Juvello Sinzo, and ALCADEV school director Emerito Samarca. Karapatan asked for an investigation on the killings and the evacuation of almost 3,000 Lumad in Surigao del Sur through letters* sent to Dr. Chaloka Beyani, SR on the Promotion of the Human Rights of Internally Displaced Persons; Christof Heyns, Special Rapporteur (SR) on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions; Michel Forst, SR on Situation of Human Rights Defenders; and Victoria Lucia Tauli-Corpuz, SR on Rights of the Indigenous People's. "We are asking the UN HRC to investigate and recommend actions to the Philippine Government on these issues," Palabay added.
Human rights advocates and supporters of Eduardo Serrano such as former political prisoner Andrea Rosal today called for the immediate release of Serrano for “sheer lack of evidence against a man who was abducted, tortured, and imprisoned for nearly 12 years.” Serrano, peace consultant of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines is undergoing trial for trumped-up multiple murder and frustrated charges at the Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 98.
All victims of false criminal charges. NDFP peace consultant Eduardo Serrano with Andrea Rosal, newly released from prison.
“The victims, their kin and the witnesses have spoken: the Armed Forces of the Philippines and its paramilitary forces are responsible for the grave crimes and atrocities against them, their tribes, and their communities. There is a distinct pattern in the 262 documented victims of extrajudicial killing and the 292 victims of frustrated killings, especially in the cases of the killing of the Lumad in Mindanao: they were defending the people’s right to land, ancestral domain, social services, among others, and they are persecuted and killed.
Karapatan today called for the release of 536 more Andrea Rosals who are in jail because of false criminal charges. “The case of Andrea Rosal proves that political prisoners are illegally detained and should be immediately released because the charges filed against them are fabricated, backed up by “professional” witnesses hired and coddled by the State, and justified only through the use of “planted” evidence,” said Cristina Palabay, secretary general of Karapatan.
(Updated) ALCADEV Exec.Director, 2 Lumads killed by AFP units and paramilitary group; community members forced to evacuatesubmitted on Mon, 09/07/2015 - 14:07
(Updated UA_September 7, 2015)
On September 1, at around 4 a.m., members of the AFP’s paramilitary group Magahat/Bagani Force/Marcos Bocales group opened fire at Dionel Campos and his cousin Juvello Sinzo (earlier reported as Aurello/Bello Sinzo) and a staff member of ALCADEV Belen Itallo in the presence of the community members in Km.16, Bgy. Diatagon, Lianga, Surigao del Sur. Campos and Sinzo died instantly, while Itallo survived. The back of Campos’s head was blown off, as some witnesses believed armed men used M203 rifle to shoot him. Sinzo’s arms were also broken due to gunshot wounds.
In the same morning, Emerito Samarca’s remains was found in one of the classrooms in school compound of ALCADEV (Alternative Learning Center for Agricultural and Livelihood Development). Samarca is Executive Director of ALCADEV. His throat was slit open, with the cut that ranged from ear to ear. He was also shot two times on the chest.
The killings happened while the same paramilitary group burnt down the community’s cooperative store.
UA Date: August 18, 2015
UA Case: Massacre/Extrajudicial Killing, Frustrated Killing, Use of Civilian in Police and/or Military Operations as Guides and/or Shield, Use of Schools, Medical, Religious and other Public Places for Military Purpose, Endangerment of Civilians