February, 2017

Fourteen civilians killed in February 2017 due to military operations, all-out war

“The recent killings of two farmers in Maayon, Capiz, two more farmers in San Andres, Quezon, and another two in Paquibato, Davao City put the number of reported victims of political killings to fourteen (14) in a span of a month, in the onslaught of the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ all-out-war and its new counter-insurgency program, Oplan Kapayapaan,” said Karapatan Secretary General Cristina Palabay, citing the killings of Ariel Gelbero and Roel Satingasin in Davao City, Ian Borres and Rolendo Borres in Capiz, and Gilbert Bancat and Angel Carabot in Quezon. 

After 31 years, people still clamor for fundamental change

Targeted political killings, the slate of illegal arrests of leaders and members of progressive organizations, intensified military operations in communities, a justice system that favors the rich and powerful, the continuing oppression of peasants and workers and the domination of US interests in the country remain as palpable realities, thirty one years after Edsa 1. Has this country really achieved change when repressive state policies continue? Have we really seen change when farmers remain landless, rights continue to be violated, and the Filipino people’s interest remain subjugated to imperialist powers?" asked Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay on the 31st commemoration of the EDSA people power.

EDSA 31 

 

On political prisoners, De Lima arrest and the need for fundamental change

Political persecution through the filing of legal cases is nothing new, especially in a society where the scales of justice tilt against the poor who dare challenge existing norms and who struggle to change the system. Even before the jailing of one's political rivals became a practice among political factions, the most brutal forms of repression were unleashed among progressives and revolutionaries. 

Karapatan reiterates call for dismissal of trumped up charges vs peace consultants, respect JASIG

“They should not have been charged with fabricated cases, nor arrested and detained, in the first place,” thus said Karapatan Deputy Secretary General Jigs Clamor, during the hearing at the Manila Regional Trial Court Branch 32 on the trumped up charges against NDFP peace consultants Benito and Wilma Tiamzon, Adelberto Silva, Vicente Ladlad, Randall Echanis, and Rafael Baylosis. 

British parliamentarians, int’l rights activists support call for peace and people’s rights in PH

Members of Parliament in the United Kingdom (UK) and activists from Hongkong, Canada and Germany expressed their support for the continuation of the Philippine government peacetalks with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP), as well as their concern on the continuing violations on people’s rights in the Philippines, in the light of reported political killings of farmers and indigenous peoples.  

Berdugo general Año, purveyor of fascist attacks vs the Filipino people

“The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has produced numerous butchers, who left pools of blood in their trails, to protect the interests of the elite and rich in the country through counter-insurgency programs. With Lt. General Eduardo Año, a monster with a chilling record of rights abuses, at the helm of the military, the implementation of Oplan Kapayapaan and the military’s all-out war declaration, fascist attacks against the people have intensified,’ said Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay during today’s protest action at the Gate 3 of the Ateneo de Manila University in Katipunan Avenue, Quezon City. 

Año at ADMU

Nine political killings in three weeks, amid AFP’s all-out-war and counter-insurgency program Oplan Kapayapaan

Dear friends,

Recent political developments, notably President Rodrigo Duterte’s termination of the unilateral ceasefire of the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP), his cancellation of the GRP-NDFP peacetalks and the military’s subsequent all-out-war declaration, have intensified the repression and attacks against the civilian populace and members and leaders of progressive organizations. In the same patterns of previous military operational plans (Oplan), State security forces target civilians and activists in an attempt to sow fear and terror among struggling communities. This pattern of State violence has remained unabated during the first six months of the Duterte administration, when it continued BS Aquino’s Oplan Bayanihan to its current counter-insurgency program Oplan Kapayapaan.  

Republic of the Philippines Joint Submission to the UN Universal Periodic Review 27th Session of the UPR Working Group

Republic of the Philippines Joint Submission to the UN Universal Periodic Review 27th Session of the UPR Working Group 

Submitted on 22 September 2016
Submission by CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation, NGO in General Consultative Status with ECOSOC
and Karapatan – Alliance for the Advancement of People’s Rights
 
"1.5 CIVICUS and Karapatan are deeply concerned by the extrajudicial killing, intimidation and harassment of human right defenders, journalists and media workers.

All-out war vs the people must stop NOW

“The military’s all-out war against the people and the new counter-insurgency program Oplan Kapayapaan must stop. These have resulted to the escalation of fascist attacks against the people,” Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay said at a media forum organized by the Pinoy Media Center in Quezon City. 

AFP, PNP in arrest rampage after cancellation of talks

“President Duterte’s ‘cancellation’ of the formal peacetalks of the Government of the Republic of the Philippines with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) has further emboldened State security forces to arrest and detain activists, development workers, peace consultants and civilians on trumped up criminal charges, in line with the counter-insurgency program Oplan Kapayapaan. Instead of releasing political prisoners, the Duterte administration seems to be in a rampage to increase the number of individuals suffering from this kind of injustice,” said Karapatan Secretary General Cristina Palabay, in a rally at Camp Crame, Quezon City today, February 14.

Int’l peace, human rights advocates to Duterte: Stop rights abuses, continue GRP-NDFP peacetalks

Peace and human rights advocates from Japan, Australia, Italy, Ireland, and the United Kingdom have expressed alarm and concern on the recent political killings and arrests in the Philippines, as well as on the declarations of Pres. Rodrigo Duterte on the “cancellation” of the formal peacetalks with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines. 

Press release on Intl HR and peace advocates for peace

UK Solidarity 20170211UK Solidarity 20170211

*Please also see attached files for other solidarity statements around the world. 

Stop fascist attacks against the people, continue GRP-NDFP peace talks

“Warmongers like Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and the AFP are lying through their teeth when they assure the public that there will be no human rights violations despite the military’s declaration of an all-out war against the New People’s Army (NPA). Military abuses against communities and activists continue with the implementation of Oplan Kapayapaan, the new counter-insurgency program of the Duterte administration,” said Karapatan Secretary General Cristina Palabay.

Continuation of formal GRP-NDFP peacetalks, more compelling in light of HTI tragedy

Karapatan cries foul on arrest of peace consultant

“With the arrest of peace consultant Ariel Arbitario this morning, the Armed Forces of the Philippines is clearly taking advantage of the verbal orders of Pres. Duterte, despite no formal notice of termination of the formal peacetalks between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) and the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG) still in force,” Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay said on the today’s arrest of NDFP peace consultant Ariel Arbitrario.

Peace consultant Illegal Arrest

Duterte’s backing out from peace talks will bring more suffering to the people

Karapatan strongly urges President Rodrigo R. Duterte to rethink his statement on the termination of peace talks between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP). Both Parties have expressed that the road to a just and lasting peace is not an easy one, but has several bumps and roadblocks. Pres. Duterte should be prepared to encounter these problems in solving the armed conflict. 

Pres. Duterte should see that one big roadblock is the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) being warmongers and peace saboteurs, within and outside the peace process. 

Political killings, enforced disappearances, illegal arrests and detention, threats and harassment of village residents – all these, and more, were perpetrated without let-up by the Armed Forces of the Philippines during the period of the GRP’s so-called unilateral ceasefire. The AFP’s counter-insurgency program Oplan Bayanihan was still in play, with the military’s so-called “peace and development” teams coercing and threatening local government officials and residents as they continued to encamp in peasants’ homes, schools, and barangay halls. This is the reason why the residents, the victims and their families have repeatedly called on the GRP to pull out the AFP troops from their communities and to stop Oplan Bayanihan.  OpBay ironically has been replaced with Oplan Kapayapaan!

In January 2017 alone, at least four peasant activists were killed by state security forces. The following month, on February 3, Lumad leader Renato Anglao, 42, Secretary General of TINDOGA (Tribal Indigenous Oppressed Group Association), was killed by three men on board a motorcycle. TINDOGA, an indigenous people’s organization of the Manobo-Pulangion tribe in Brgy. Botong, Quezon, Bukidnon, has consistently opposed the entry of agri-business plantations in the ancestral land of the lumad. The tribe won back their land and secured its title two years ago. This happened despite moves by the Lorenzo clan to encroach on the land through Rancho Montalvan owned by Maramag Vice Mayor Pablo Lorenzo. Leaders and members of TINDOGA have subsequently been accused of supporting the communist-led New People’s Army.

Violation of Civil and Political Rights under the Rodrigo Duterte Government

August 21, 2016 to January 31, 2017

Based on reports gathered by Karapatan

 

Table 1:

Violation of Civil & Political Rights Under the Rodrigo Duterte Government (August 21, 2016 to January 31, 2017)

 

Violations

No. of Victims

Extrajudicial killing

14

Enforced Disappearance

2

Torture

5

Frustrated Extrajudicial Killing

16

Illegal Arrest without Detention

439

Illegal Arrest and Detention

25

Illegal Search and Seizure

27

Physical Assault and Injury

103

Demolition

114

Violation of Domicile

69

Divestment of Property

45

Threat/Harassment/Intimidation

19,052

Indiscriminate Firing

4,178

Forced/Fake Surrender

1

Forced Labor/Involuntary Servitude

9

Use of Civilians in Police and/or Military Operations as Guides and/or Shield

2

Use of Schools, Medical, Religious and Other Public Places for Military Purpose

9,825

Restriction or Violent Dispersal of Mass Actions, Public Assemblies and Gatherings

1,500

Karapatan criticizes AFP’s role in non-release of political prisoners

“President Duterte’s statement on the non-release of political prisoners confirms the active role of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in sabotaging all efforts to derail the peacetalks between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) peace panels. The warmonger AFP is blocking the release of the unjustly detained political prisoners and it has never ceased to deploy its forces to kill, threaten, and harass civilian communities, even during the so-called unilateral ceasefire of the GRP,” said Karapatan Secretary General Cristina Palabay, on the remarks of Pres. Rodrigo Duterte yesterday in Davao City regarding the termination of the unilateral ceasefire by the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and the New People’s Army (NPA).   

Attacks, rights abuses vs people continue during GRP unilateral ceasefire

“Perhaps officials of the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) peace panel such as Presidential Adviser on the Peace Processes Chief Jesus Dureza and ranking military officials should first look at their own backyard and ascertain their troops’ own sincerity in advancing the peacetalks with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP),” said Karapatan Secretary General Cristina Palabay, a day after the Communist Party of the Philippines and the New People’s Army declared the termination of its unilateral ceasefire with the GRP, citing violations of the Comprehensive Agreement on Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law. 

 

AFP, revival of Philippine Constabulary for war on drugs will result to more rights violations vs Filipino people

“Fully integrating the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) into the already bloody war on drugs will be a chilling amalgamation of the said campaign to the military’s counter-insurgency and anti-people objectives. This will inevitably result to further fascist attacks and human rights violations against the people, including organized communities and movements,” said Cristina Palabay, Karapatan Secretary General, as National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon announced yesterday the AFP’s plan to assign certain AFP units in the Duterte administration’s war on drugs. 

Philippine Constabulary 

Karapatan opposes death penalty bill in Congress

“Karapatan strongly denounces attempts to re-impose the death penalty in our deeply flawed criminal justice system. The death penalty is essentially a legislative fiat to the current spate of extrajudicial killings in the country, which will mostly affect the poor who have far less or no access to resources to defend themselves before courts. In the context of a bankrupt and corrupt justice system that favors the moneyed and powerful people, the death penalty will only increase the prevalence of impunity and fascist attacks against the poor,” said Cristina Palabay, Karapatan Secretary General, as the House of Representatives holds its plenary debates today on House Bill 4727 or the bill imposing the death penalty. 

 

 

Zambasulta-Sabah Evacuation Docu Report

Zambasulta Documentation Report  

View the report here.

 
 

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