August, 2017

PNP official in Kian’s case, notorious for planting evidences - Karapatan

‘In a last-ditch effort to save face and justify the killing of Kian Delos Santos, Northern Police District (NPD) Chief Supt. Roberto Fajardo had to search through his old box of lies. Fajardo’s expertise in fabricating testimonies and planting evidences has been tried and tested. When he was the PNP-CIDG-NCR Director, he was involved in the illegal arrest and detention of Benito and Wilma Tiamzon, and the planting of evidences to warrant the filing of trumped-up charges of illegal possession of firearms and explosives against them,’ said Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay.

Mga Kakaibang Batang Bakwit sa Marawi

Mga Kakaibang Batang Bakwit sa Marawi

Ni Riena Mercene,* Karapatan volunteer


Sa biglang tingin, walang kakaiba sa mga batang nasa Pantar, sa isang Madrasah na ginawang evacuation center nang nagsimula ang gulo sa Marawi.  Naglalaro sila, nagtatawanan, ngumingiti, at nakikipag-usap sa mga bisita.

Masaya nilang hinahabol ang isa’t isa at hinihila ang mga laruang kotseng binuo ng kanilang mga ama; mga kunwa-kunwariang kotse na ginawa gamit ang retasong kahoy, o bote ng pulbo o pabango.



Duterte responsible for deaths under drug war, intl orgs should halt funding for PNP and AFP

"Duterte cannot feign ignorance nor concern in the series of events that led to the killing of 17-year-old Kian delos Santos, and other victims of his drug war. He has the obligation to put these police-murderers behind bars, but he should also account for his own responsibility in the said crime. It is easy to stack up all his pronouncements and orders which emboldened the police," said Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay on the killing of Delos Santos, which, after autopsy reports, showed he was lying on the ground and defenseless when he was shot.

No respite in attacks against human rights defenders

"Following verbal assault and open threats against human rights defenders by the President himself, several human rights defenders and other leaders belonging to people’s organizations have been targeted by State security forces. This is but a desperate attempt to silence them and derail their work. Such attacks are not new, but they have escalated following State policies that only embolden the police and the military to commit violations with impunity," said Karapatan secretary general on the recent spate of harassment against human rights defenders.

AFP operations cause unpeace in Lumad communities


"It is not the pathetic whining of AFP public affairs chief Col. Edgardo Arevalo and the AFP that needs to be heard. The military's excuses and rhetoric are desperate attempts to illicit sympathy. Rather, it is the voices of the Lumad who have been most affected by military operations. It is their testimonies that will give credence to the AFP’s abuses," said Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay in response to Arevalo’s statement last Saturday, August 19, 2017.




Año’s delusional self-congratulations to AFP, a psychopath’s stunt

“Año is a psychopath who revels in the blood of his victims. He has been responsible for violations in Mindanao – massacres, killings, illegal arrests and harassment of indigenous and peasant communities –violations which remain without justice. He is a delirious, demented maniac who butchers activists and civilians, protected by State machinery and impunity. If anyone would want to know how to get away with murder, then AFP Chief Año, one of the US lapdogs in the Duterte Cabinet, is the perfect person to ask,” said Jay Apiag, secretary general of Karapatan – Southern Mindanao Region (SMR).


(Photo courtesy of Kodao Productions)

On the recent EJKs in line with the Duterte regime's war on drugs

The cold-blooded killing of Kian Loyd Delos Santos, 17 year old and a Grade 11 student, by police officers in Brgy. 160 in Caloocan City is yet another proof that shows how those in power - with guns and the capacity to distort the truth with planted evidence and a staged crime scene - completely disregard the right to life of the poor, in the course of and fully emboldened by Pres. Duterte's war on drugs.


(Photo taken during the wake of Delos Santos, courtesy of Rise Up for Life and Rights)

The military has no place in IP communities, schools - Karapatan

On August 12, 2017, leaders of Lumad groups received information that elements of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) will intrude inside the University of the Philippines, International Center where Lumad evacuees from Mindanao are currently staying. Military agents and other government agencies are planning to go to UP to talk to the children and have them return to Mindanao.



(Photo from Save our Schools Network)


On the recent threats of Duterte to human rights activists

President Rodrigo Duterte's repeated threats and orders to shoot and kill human rights activists vocal on human rights violations of his State security forces, especially those opposing his bloody war on drugs, is exacerbating the already dire situation in the country. His fascist campaigns against poor Filipinos - the war on drugs, his counter-insurgency war, and martial law in Mindanao - have already resulted in the killing, displacement and threats to lives, among others. News reports on the killing of 32 drug suspects in a day in Bulacan and 18 individuals in a day in Manila indicate a long apparent brazenness and bloodlust of corrupt police forces against the poor. How can this be acceptable?

Ano, AFP are racketeer-butchers - Karapatan

"These racketeer-butchers are at it again. It does not suffice that they mercilessly kill and violate the rights of individuals and communities, they just have to device ways to make money out of it too! AFP Chief Eduardo Ano’s announcement of a PhP100,000 bounty on the heads of New People’s Army members is set to start a witch hunt that will have less to do with being an NPA, and more to do with finding civilians that they can parade as members of the NPA. Itigil nyo yang pangraraket nyo!" said Karapatan Secretary General Cristina Palabay on the recent AFP pronouncement last August 10, 2017. The AFP also said that the bounty includes the arrest of Islamic militants. 


Human rights defenders bill should be enacted, amid violations vs activists

Karapatan submitted its position paper on House Bill 1617, or the Human Rights Defenders’ Protection Bill, to the Committee on Human Rights, House of Representatives today, August 15, 2017. The human rights organization expressed its full support for the bill, authored by Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate, and its pertinent provisions aimed at protecting human rights defenders (HRDs) who already have ‘a foot in the grave’. Said provisions include access to documents of government units and personnel, paramilitary units and personnel, military affiliate and assets, and a measure wherein HRDs can file a motion to dismiss fabricated criminal complaints filed to discourage their work.

Duterte regime’s 2018 budget is war chest vs Filipino people

In time for the budget hearings of the Department of National Defense at the Committee on Appropriations at the House of Representatives, Karapatan joined the Save Our Schools (SOS) network and various people’s organizations in a protest action against the proposed 2018 budget, particularly items in furtherance of fascist and anti-people policies of the Duterte administration.

Assassination plot against NDFP chief political consultant, an affront to efforts for just peace

Press Release | August 10, 2017

On August 8, 2017, the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) released a statement, through its National Executive Committee, exposing an assassination attempt against NDFP chief political consultant Jose Maria Sison, with verbal approvals from Pres. Rodrigo Duterte and AFP Chief Gen. Eduardo Ano, and a subsequent military ploy to overthrow the Duterte regime through a coup d’etat. This so-called two stage plot is allegedly instigated by the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). The said report is said to be from sources inside the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), but needs further verification.

OSG order to rearrest NDFP consultants undermines GRP-NDFP peace process

Last August 4, 2017, Solicitor General Jose Calida appealed to courts all over the country to cancel the bail previously granted to NDFP consultants and similarly encouraged orders for the rearrest of consultants. The conditional release was granted for purposes of their participation in the peace talks.

Ailing, elderly political prisoner should be immediately released - Karapatan

On the morning of September 10, 2016, Marcos Aggalao was arrested by combined elements of the police and the military in Gawaan, Balbalan, Kalinga. During the time of his arrest, the 74-year-old is already  suffering from pneumonia, dementia and hypertension. He was later brought to the Kalinga Police Provincial office before being committed at the Bureau of Jail and Management Penology (BJMP) in Tabuk, Kalinga. Eight (8) trumped-up charges were filed against Aggalao.

 (Photo: Recent picture of Marcos Aggalao at BJMP-Tabuk from the Cordillera  Human Rights Alliance - Karapatan)

More rights violations vs Marawi evacuees documented

In a national interfaith and humanitarian mission (NIHM) launched by Kalinaw Mindanao last July 26-29, 2017, Karapatan, along with several other delegations from various peoples organizations, were able to document human rights violations in relation to the martial law declaration in Mindanao. Apart from the trend where State forces are rounding up evacuees to manufacture enemies used to justify martial rule, grave abuses such as extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances were also noted by the mission team, said Karapatan general Cristina Palabay.


Karapatan welcomes UN experts’ statement on “spiralling rights violations” in PH

Press Release | August 2, 2017

On July 31, 2017, three independent experts from the United Nations Human Rights Council released a joint statement* calling for government action on increasing rights violations in the Philippines. “Karapatan welcomes the statement of the UN experts and supports the urgent call for the investigation and immediate resolution to the myriad cases of human rights violations in the country,” said Karapatan Secretary General Cristina Palabay.  

Duterte's AFP and PNP manufacture enemies to justify martial law in Mindanao

Karapatan joined Kalinaw Mindanao, Gabriela, and other national and local organizations, in the 2nd National Interfaith Humanitarian Mission among Marawi evacuees last July 27-29, 2017. Aside from conducting psychosocial intervention programs, medical missions, and relief distribution, the team also documented human rights violations under the context of martial law’s implementation. "In the said mission, information gathered indicate a worrisome trend wherein State forces start rounding up evacuees in evacuation centers to wrongfully present them as ISIS members," said Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay.

Arafat Lala, a 38-year-old mechanic, evacuated to Saguiaran Poblacion evacuation center with his family on May 24, 2017. According to an affidavit issued by his wife, Noraidah, he was arrested on July 23, 2017 by elements of the Crime Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) of the Philippine National Police (PNP) based on mere suspicion that Arafat is a terrorist. Noraidah, however, denied such allegations, claiming her husband is not an ISIS member and was even chosen as among the leaders in the evacuation center to help systematize distribution of relief goods. Local DSWD officials and fellow evacuees in Saguiaran can attest to his identity and work in the evacuation center. In fact, hours before he was arrested, Arafat and several volunteers just came back from bringing in boxes of relief assistance from Iligan City.

As of this writing, Arafat is believed to be in the custody of CIDG Region X in Cagayan de Oro.

(IDs of Arafat Lala shown to Karapatan by his wife, Noraida Lala)