May, 2017

Karapatan calls for continuation of GRP-NDFP peace talks, lifting of martial law declaration

"This delay would mean the prolonged finalization of the agreement on socio-economic reforms, and will possibly put to halt the further advancement of substantial progress already achieved. The GRP’s decision to opt out of participating in the fifth round of formal talks on the basis of the lack of a conducive environment is ironic, considering the disabling environment of continuing rights abuses in communities made worse by the martial law declaration on May 23, 2017,” said Karapatan secretary general  Cristina Palabay on the announced cancellation of the 5th round of talks between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines and National Demicratic Fromt of the Philippines in The Netherlands.

Attacks against persons and communities have intensified as Mindanao was placed under martial law, alongside the AFP’s continuing implementation of counterinsurgency programs.

 

Photo taken on May 29, 2017, during a rally outside the Department of National Defense (DND). Delegates from Mindanao, along with Bayan, Karapatan, Suara Bangsamoro, and other progressive organizations called attention to the worsening rights abuses in Mindanao in light of the martial law declaration and ongoing implementation of counterinsurgency program Oplan Kapayapaan. (c) Christian Yamzon​

Marcos' Martial Law: Recollections of a Promdi

About midnight of May 23, a friend woke me up with worrying news: President Rodrigo Duterte has just declared martial law in Mindanao. I got up to ponder why the threat of martial law is becoming very real again. After an exchange of information with friends, I went back to sleep with the resolve that first thing in the morning, I would surf the internet to find out what and why it happened, and to ascertain reliable reports on what is happening in Marawi, Mindanao.

Rights violations intensify in Mindanao, after martial law declaration

A few days after the declaration of martial law in Mindanao, a Moro resident of Brgy. Salat, President Roxas, North Cotabato was killed due to military aerial bombings, and at least two farmers were illegally arrested in Maragusan, Compostela Valley, in the course of the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ continuing implementation of counter-insurgency operations and in line with Pres. Duterte’s Proclamation 216.

Talks also a venue for redress for HR victims - Karapatan

Karapatan secretary general and independent observer to the Joint Monitoring Committee on the Comprehensive Agreement on the Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL), Cristina Palabay, sent a letter to Secretary Silvestro Bello III, Chairperson of the GRP peace panel, to inquire about the actions undertaken by the government on documented cases of human rights violations submitted to them last January 20 and April 1, 2017.

Karapatan secretary general and independent observer to the JMC submits letter to GRP peace panel

Dear friends, we sent the attached letter to the GRP Negotiating Panel a few minutes ago. We deem it important that the issues concerning the release of political prisoners and the violations of the CARHRIHL which will be made worse by the martial law declaration in Mindanao be addressed, but the GRP's recent announcement that it will not proceed to participate in the 5th round of the formal peacetalks puts all of these issues in jeopardy. #PeaceTalksItuloy

Karapatan on AFP, PNP guidelines on martial law implementation: Words of hypocrites and human rights violators

“Martial law does not equate to peace, nor does it equate to security. No matter how good it is on paper, it is always different on the ground. We cannot be assured by the guidelines released by the Department of National Defense (DND) and Philippine National Police (PNP) on the implementation of martial law simply because they themselves are the violators of people’s civil and political rights. At the end of the day, such guarantees come off as hypocritical when contrasted with the human rights records of the military and police,” said Karapatan Secretary General Cristina Palabay, on DND and PNP guidelines in relation to Pres. Rodrigo Duterte’s signing of Proclamation 216, placing the entire of Mindanao under martial law.  

 

FOR GENERAL PUBLIC INFORMATION: KARAPATAN BUSTCARD in the event of arrests and other violations

KARAPATAN BUSTCARD in the event of arrests and other violations:

(English) 

       

 

(Filipino) 

         

 

Karapatan Paralegal Bust Card

PLEASE SHARE! FOR GENERAL PUBLIC INFORMATION: 

KARAPATAN BUSTCARD in the event of arrests and other violations

Sharing the Initial Advisory of the National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers (NUPL)

A declaration of Martial Law does NOT: 

On Duterte's declaration of Martial Law in Mindanao

Around 10pm on May 23, 2017, President Rodrigo Duterte placed the entire of Mindanao under Martial Law (ML) after a firefight reportedly ensued between the Maute Group - a group that is affiliated with Islamic State (IS) militants - and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in Marawi City. 

Karapatan strongly protests Duterte's Martial Law declaration, emphasizing that it will not address the circumstances of the current situation in Marawi, but will aggravate the insecurity in the area. Martial law is not the answer; it will never result to anything but gross violations of people's rights. 

More lands to reclaim after MARBAI

Karapatan expresses support for peasants’ push for free land distribution, genuine agrarian reform.

Karapatan salutes and stands in solidarity with the farmers known as Madaum Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Inc. or MARBAI, in their successful installation in the 145-hectare land in Tagum City, Davao del Norte that were taken by Lapanday Foods Inc. of the Lorenzo clan, despite legal orders in favor of the farmers.

Church leaders, rights activists call for release of Bishop Morales, NDFP consultant Salinas and all political prisoners

Numerous faith-based institutions and human rights advocates from different countries called for the immediate release of Iglesia Filipino Independiente (IFI) Bishop Carlo Morales, peace consultant Rommel Salinas, and all political prisoners, before the fifth round of formal peace talks between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP).

No to fascist generals in the civilian bureaucracy!

“The most recent appointments of butcher-generals in the Duterte Cabinet furthers the militarization of the civilian bureaucracy and, in addition to pro-US officials and warmongers Delfin Lorenzana and Hermogenes Esperon, will inevitably result to more militarist and fascist policies that disregard the rights and welfare of peasant and indigenous communities,” Karapatan Secretary General Cristina Palabay said, in the protest action led by Karapatan, Kalikasan and the Promotion for Church People’s Response on the recent appointments of Armed Forces of the Philippines chiefs of staff Roy Cimatu and Eduardo Año, as new heads of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and of Interior and Local Government (DILG).

Karapatan Monitor Issue 1 (Jan-Mar2017)

karapatan monitor issue 1 2017

Philippines under review: Rodrigo Duterte must no longer turn a blind eye to the fate of human rights defenders

We are sharing with you a statement issued on May 16, 2017 by Front Line Defenders, which works on the security and protection of human rights defenders at risk around the world, on the recent Universal Periodic Review of the Philippines. 


The human rights record of the Philippines came under scrutiny on 8 May 2017 during the 27th session of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) by the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva, Switzerland. After the initial review of the national report submitted by the Philippines, member states of the UNHRC made their recommendations. In this article Front Line Defenders looks at the critical situation for human rights defenders, HRDs in the Philippines.

During the previous UPR of the Philippines in 2012, only four countries1 had raised concern with regard to the situation of human rights defenders (HRDs) in the Philippines, resulting in five official recommendations. While the Philippines merely acknowledged the recommendation pertaining to cooperation with the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, it accepted two concerning the protection of HRDs from extra-judicial killings and enforced disappearances. During the examination, the government committed itself to taking “firm measures to address the problem of extra- judicial killings and enforced disappearances”. Despite those assurances, extra-judicial killings and targeted attacks on HRDs have continued to take place. The government report under current review made no mention of the risks facing HRDs or the measures taken to prevent their targeting, thus demonstrating how little progress has been made in implementing such recommendations over the past five years, and particularly under the new administration.

Karapatan scores AFP, Duterte gov’t for Masbate EJKs, calls for support for June 12 “Stop the Killings” rally

 

“It was a bloodbath,” thus said Karapatan Secretary General Cristina Palabay, as they recently received reports on the extrajudicial killing of four farmers and two children on April 15 and 20, 2017 in Masbate province in line with military operations under Oplan Kapayapaan of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

On April 15, Masbate farmers Jerry Cuyos, 20, Josel Rosales, 30, and Rodolfo Tagalog Jr., 26, were killed in separate incidents by soldiers from the 2nd Infantry Battalion- Philippine Army, after their encounter with the New People’s Army in Brgy. San Carlos, Milagros town.

Karapatan to Duterte: Remove US troops from PH now, scrap EDCA, VFA

In a protest action at the US embassy today, Karapatan called on President Rodrigo Duterte to stop the joint Balikatan exercises between the US and Filipino military and remove all US troops in the Philippines.

"We call on Pres. Rodrigo Duterte to walk the talk and decisively terminate one-sided military agreements with the United States government, such as the Visiting Forces Agreement and the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA). If this administration is serious in asserting Philippine sovereignty against the US, it should start by booting out US troops and doing away with treaties and deals that trample on the nation’s sovereignty,” said Karapatan Secretary General Cristina Palabay said. 

Free Palestinian political prisoners!

In a mass action at the US Embassy in Manila, Karapatan Secretary General Cristina Palabay scored the US government on its role as “the most ardent supporter of the Zionist Israeli government and the number one human rights violator of the Palestinian peoples,” as at least 1,300 Palestinian political prisoners continue with their coordinated hunger strike which started last April 17, 2017. 

Dubbed the “Strike for Dignity,” the Palestinian PPs’ actions symbolizes their call for freedom, for proper medical care in prison, and for an end to the prohibitions and cuts to family visits, medical neglect, isolation and administrative detention. Approximately 7,000 Palestinian political prisoners behind Israeli bars today. According to the International League of Peoples’ Struggles (ILPS), nearly 600 of them are held in administrative detention, imprisoned without charge or trial, while others face military courts with a conviction rate of over 99%. Hundreds of Palestinian children, as young as 12 years old, are held in Israeli prisons. Palestinian political leaders, including PFLP General Secretary Ahmad Sa’adat, Fateh leader Marwan Barghouthi, and Samira Halaiqa and 11 more members of the Palestinian Legislative Council, are held behind bars.

AFP bombings, operations force civilian residents in Davao City, Maguindanao to flee

At least eighty-six (86) families and 5,000 residents in Brgy. Dominga, Calinan district, Davao City and Brgy. Kitango and Datu Saudi Ampatuan in Shariff Aguak, Maguindanao province respectively were forced to evacuate to due aerial bombings and military operations in the said communities last week. 

Karapatan Secretary General Cristina Palabay attributed the said violations against civilians to “the continuing nuisance efforts of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Department of National Defense to derail the peace talks between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines through unabated and blatant violations on the Comprehensive Agreement on the Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL) and counter-insurgency program Oplan Kapayapaan.”

Since May 6, 2017, combat operations by the 3rd Infantry Battalion-Philippine Army in Brgy. Dominga, Calinan district, Davao City have resulted to initially reported cases of extrajudicial killing, torture of a farmer, and threats and harassment of residents. 

Solidarity Message of Filipino Political Prisoners in Camp Bagong Diwa, Philippines to the Palestinian Political Prisoners

Solidarity Message of Filipino Political Prisoners in Camp Bagong Diwa, Taguig City, Philippines to the Palestinian Political Prisoners on Hunger Strike

On behalf of all political prisoners in the Philippines, we salute and pay tribute to the more than 1,500 Palestinian political prisoners, who are on the 30th day of their hunger strike against repressive policies and oppression by the Israeli and US government. We are one with you in your aspirations for freedom and dignity, aspirations long denied to the people of Palestine.

Your struggle is very similar to ours. Like you, we are victims of the worst conditions in jails and the slow pace of justice in the Philippines. We are also victims of injustice – we were illegally arrested because of our political beliefs, we are charged with trumped up cases, jailed or wrongly convicted to keep us behind bars for many years.
Your struggle for basic human rights such as the right to regular visits of relatives, to timely and appropriate medical attention and services, to continue studies and education while in prison, against solitary confinement and illegal detention, are our struggle too. These are rights denied of us, even while international laws exist to protect our rights as detained persons.

The Dishonourable Human Rights Record of Benigno S. Aquino III

This book describes that cruelty and impunity of BS Aquino’s state forces, and no matter his and their deceit and misleading narrative, the truth of the killings, enforced disappearances and other human rights violations cannot be hidden from the Filipino people and the world.

Karapatan slams recent attacks against human rights defenders and kin

Karapatan slams recent attacks against human rights defenders and kin, calls for independent UN investigation on rights abuses vs HRDs

 

A former human rights worker of Karapatan and her brother-in-law were illegally arrested, the son of a peasant leader was abducted, and human rights workers investigating rights abuses in Lopez, Quezon were surrounded by soldiers – all these were the most recent attacks against human rights defenders documented by Karapatan last week, from May 3 to 11, 2017.

Karapatan condemns these recent attacks against human rights defenders, as the climate of impunity worsens in the Philippines. While the Duterte administration has been busy promoting butcher generals to Cabinet posts, furthering the militarization of the civilian bureaucracy, human rights defenders and their families are experiencing graver forms of human rights violations,” said Karapatan Secretary General Cristina Palabay.

PH Grade in HR Review: Failure

The Philippine government received a failing grade in the recently-concluded UN Universal Periodic Review of Human Rights in the Philippines held in Geneva, Switzerland. 
“Despite attempts by the Philippine delegation to justify the Duterte administration’s war on drugs and to present a positive picture of its achievements on the political, economic, social and cultural rights of the people, most of the attending states still raised serious concerns on a host of human rights issues that remain unaddressed,” said Atty. Ephraim Cortez, co-head of the Philippine UPR Watch delegation to the Geneva event. 
  

National ID system, amid militarization of gov’t bureaucracy, will lead to wholesale rights violations – Karapatan

Amid the growing number of military generals holding top posts in the government bureaucracy, the proposed bill on the national ID system, which was recently approved by the House Committee on Population, is bound to lead to wholesale violation of people’s rights to freedom of movement and privacy, right against surveillance, and right to unhampered and non-discriminatory provision of social services.  

Such proposed measures will legitimize the already existing violations of the rights of the people. Many activists and political dissenters were subjected to surveillance by the state. Worse, their names were listed in the so-called “order of battle” by the Armed Forces of the Philippine (AFP) and other similar lists as part of the counter-insurgency program of the government. With the continuing spate of illegal arrests and detention of activists, we believe that this policy and practice continues to this day.

Impunity prevails as butcher-generals appointed in key gov’t positions - Karapatan

“The most recent appointments of butcher-generals in the Duterte Cabinet furthers the militarization of the civilian bureaucracy and, in addition to pro-US officials and warmongers Delfin Lorenzana and Hermogenes Esperon, will inevitably result to more militarist and fascist policies that disregard the rights and welfare of peasant and indigenous communities,” Karapatan Secretary General Cristina Palabay said, on the recent appointments of Armed Forces of the Philippines chiefs of staff Roy Cimatu and Eduardo Año, as new heads of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and of Interior and Local Government (DILG).

 

 

Karapatan calls out Bello, GRP peace panel's indifference to Lapanday farmers' longstanding problems

The Lorenzo clan, among the wealthiest landlords in the country who controls around 15,000 acres of land across the Philippines, is refusing to distribute 145 hectares of land in Madaum Village, Tagum City. The said land has been awarded by the government to farm workers in 2015, its distribution to farmer-beneficiaries backed by orders from the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR).

“The Lorenzos, along with State actors colluding to deny land distribution to farmer-beneficiaries, are rights violators. They have not only denied the farmers what is due them, but have killed and endangered the lives of the farmers," said Karapatan Secretary General Cristina Palabay.

 

 

 

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