November, 2017

Members of factfinding mission in Negros shot; 2 dead, one wounded

Three members of the factfinding mission team were shot by unnamed men at around 2:40 this afternoon at Brgy. San Ramon, Bayawan, Negros Oriental. Elisa Badayos, coordinator Karapatan Negros Oriental and Eleuterio Moises, a barangay tanod and member of local peasant organization Mantapi Ebwan Farmers Association, were pronounced dead-on-arrival after having been brought to a hospital in Bayawan. Carmen Matarlo, a 23-year-old member of Kabataan Partylist-Cebu was also reportedly wounded.

Duterte’s foul remarks against UN expert are words of a fascist madman – Karapatan

“Duterte’s repeated public statements insulting and threatening physical violence on United Nations special rapporteur on extrajudicial killing Agnes Callamard are not only deplorable and undiplomatic pronouncements of a head of state, but are dangerous acts undermining international human rights mechanisms that are in place to provide redress to victims of rights violations and peoples suffering from State violence. To defend these statements as ‘unorthodox rhetoric’ is simply a lame excuse to promote further rights violations and impunity,” said Karapatan Secretary General Cristina Palabay, after Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque commented on the recent statements of the UN High Commissioner for Human Right defending Callamard.
 

Political killings, abduction, and forcible evacuation mark days after Duterte’s threats to crackdown on progressive groups

“Duterte’s verbal threats have had chilling implications on the ground. With a bloodthirsty and trigger-happy military and police to do his bidding, the Duterte regime has, without hesitation, used all ploys within its power to terrorize individuals and entire communities. The recipe for repression detailed by past fascist regimes has been compounded by more innovations, courtesy of Duterte, his imperialist masters, and their loyal Cabinet security cluster. From the drug war, the US-driven counterinsurgency program Oplan Kapayapaan, and martial law in Mindanao, the formation of the Inter-Agency Committee on Legal Action (IACLA) and his termination of the peace negotiations with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines have been added to the mix. This has resulted to the spate of killings and arrests in just a matter of days,” said Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay. 

Anti-terror law legitimizes repression, violation of civil and political rights – Karapatan

“The Anti-Terror Law (or the Human Security Act) or Republic Act 9372 is a dangerous law, so ambiguous and vague, that it can only be seen as a tool to criminalize any and all political dissenters arbitrarily. Now, the fascists in government are at it again – rabidly tagging genuine opposition as terrorists in a delirious frenzy. The Duterte regime is citing the anti-terror law as a legal instrument to foist upon activists and civil society groups, intent to conceal the reality that it is the State that has long been terrorizing the Filipino people,” said Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay after presidential spokesperson Harry Roque’s pronouncement that organizations suspected as ‘legal fronts’ of the CPP-NPA will be charged under the HSA. 
 

On Proclamation 360 and Duterte’s termination of the peace negotiations

Duterte’s termination of the peace negotiations further exposes his fascist mold and his insincerity to pursue just and lasting peace in the Philippines. His stubborn refusal to abide by the Comprehensive Agreement on the Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL), through his non-release of political prisoners and intensifying repressive measures against the people, manifests itself as once again, he ranted and raved like a madman instead of discussing these major significant issues in the aborted fifth round of formal peace talks.   

Resist proud fascists like Duterte - Karapatan

“Duterte has been shedding his last semblance of pretense for peace, with his latest pronouncements supposedly terminating the peace negotiations with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines. We have a President who proudly admits he is a fascist - an unnecessary pronouncement since his human rights record already revealed much, especially as illegal arrests of activists intensify and as he hints on the comeback of the Philippine National Police as the declared foremost implementer of the war on drugs,” said Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay, on the recent statements of Duterte regarding the peacetalks, crackdown of progressive groups and the drug war. 

Rights groups renew call for justice for Ampatuan massacre victims, dismantle all private armies and paramilitary under Duterte

On the 8th year after the Ampatuan massacre, rights groups expressed continuous support to the kin of Ampatuan massacre victims, as they reiterated calls to dismantle all private armies and paramilitary groups under the Duterte regime. 

“We share the plight of the families of the Ampatuan massacre victims for justice, and demand for speedy trial and ultimately, conviction of those involved in one of the worst attacks against journalists and civilians in recent history,” said Evangeline Hernandez, chairperson of Hustisya. 

End Impunity 

Eleven human rights workers arrested, after Duterte’s threat to crack down on progressive groups

“Since Duterte’s threat last Saturday, November 18, to crackdown on progressive organizations, eleven (11) human rights (HR) workers – 9 from Batangas and 2 from Western Mindanao region – have been illegally arrested and detained. Mass arrest of members of an organization is fast becoming a trend in the PNP and AFP’s conduct of illegal arrests; It has become as brazen and as arbitrary. The authorities again claim that those arrested were members of the New People’s Army (NPA), a lie relegated as among the oldest trick in the PNP and AFP’s “how to get away with illegal arrest and human rights violations” rulebook. Whatever the State maneuver, there is no denying the systematic attack against HR workers under the Duterte regime,” said Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay. 

Eleven human rights workers arrested after Duterte’s threat to crack down on progressive groups

“Since Duterte’s threat last Saturday, November 18, to crackdown on progressive organizations, eleven (11) human rights (HR) workers – 9 from Batangas and 2 from Western Mindanao region – have been illegally arrested and detained. Mass arrest of members of an organization is fast becoming a trend in the PNP and AFP’s conduct of illegal arrests; It has become as brazen and as arbitrary. The authorities again claim that those arrested were members of the New People’s Army (NPA), a lie relegated as among the oldest trick in the PNP and AFP’s “how to get away with illegal arrest and human rights violations” rulebook. Whatever the State maneuver, there is no denying the systematic attack against HR workers under the Duterte regime,” said Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay. 

Karapatan slams wrongful conviction of volunteer health worker on trumped up charges

“For the government, what has been a more rampant practice of inconveniencing persons and violating people’s rights – perhaps more rampant than the tanim-bala experience of travellers in Philippine airports – is the tanim-baril/bomba modus operandi of the police and military against activists and development workers to justify their illegal arrest and detention,” said Roneo Clamor, Deputy Secretary General of Karapatan, as they received reports of the wrongful conviction of volunteer health worker and political prisoner Miguela Piniero. 

Miguela

Karapatan hits Duterte’s looming crackdown of progressive groups, trumped up charges vs activists

“In the mind of fascists like Duterte, any and all forms of just and legitimate opposition to his anti-people policies are all spun like the wildest conspiracy theories. His threat to crack down on Bayan and other progressive groups, with the twisted logic that they are an anathema to development and are conspiring with the Communist Party of the Philippines, is a tired and unoriginal repetition of the same plot weaved by known fascists like Marcos. Using the same pretext and adapting tricks from the same playbook of fascists, such moves will possibly be appropriated to justify nationwide martial law and intensified repression against the Filipino people,” stated Karapatan Secretary General Cristina Palabay in reaction to Duterte’s statement last Saturday, November 18. 

Commemorating Luisita massacre: No justice for peasants aspiring, struggling for genuine agrarian reform

As we commemorate the 13th year after the Hacienda Luisita massacre today, we express our solidarity with the struggle of the Filipino peasants against decades-old feudal exploitation and State fascism. 

On November 16, 2004, seven farmworkers were killed by State forces of the Macapagal-Arroyo regime and paid mercenaries of the Cojuangco-Aquino landlord clan, when the brutal and violent dispersal of the farmworkers demanding just and living wages occurred. For big landlords, compradors and governments, lives of peasants and the poor are cheap, that they can easily be discarded, as long as they have delivered profits for the rich while for years, they were denied of land and resources that they harness. And when they fight back to uphold their rights, they are considered necessary collateral damage to “keep the peace.” 

Setting the record straight on the Commission on Human Rights

The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) is a constitutionally mandated independent office tasked to investigate violations of the people’s civil and political rights by state parties and actors. It was borne out of fourteen years of the Filipino people’s struggle against the Marcos fascist dictatorship and enshrined in the 1987 Philippine Constitution as a means for effecting “full respect for human rights” and as a mechanism for checks and balance within government on the matter of human rights.

On the trumped up charges vs Bayan leaders, Karapatan paralegal vis protests during 2017 ASEAN Summit

The trumped up charges against Karapatan paralegal Neil Legaspi and Bayan leaders Renato Reyes and Teddy Casino all came from the hyper-imagination of the Task Force ASEAN and the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) of the Philippine National Police (PNP). Karapatan paralegals saw first-hand how TF ASEAN, thru CIDG operatives, engaged in a scriptwriting workshop at the Manila Police District on November 12, 2017, inventing facts and statements of the arresting police officers until the wee hours of the morning the next day and doggedly insisting on filing all the absurd cases, when we were assisting Legaspi.

Neil Legaspi 

US strengthening its theatre of war in Asia while Duterte willingly accedes PH sovereignty to imperialist exploits - Karapatan

DuterTrump possible meeting on human rights, one big sick joke

“US Pres Donald Trump and Philippine Pres. Rodrigo Duterte talking about human rights is one big sick joke. These representatives of State terrorism have a distorted notion of people’s rights, and the people have nothing to expect from their upcoming empty talk on human rights, if they do talk about it,” said Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay, criticizing both Trump and Duterte’s record of violations. 

Karapatan sounds the alarm on abduction and illegal arrest of former priest, four others in Cebu, Mindoro and Eastern Samar

"Three individuals remain missing since their arrest in Cebu on November 9, while another peasant leader remains in the custody of the police in Marabut, Eastern Samar. The offensive of State security forces against members and leaders of progressive organizations have no doubt intensified, as Duterte unleashes his fascist and militarist policies. Duterte sings when his imperialist masters ask him to sing, to the tune of curtailing people's rights. Duterte himself does not care for people's rights - a trait he shares with Trump and other leaders of imperialist countries,” said Karapatan deputy secretary general Jigs Clamor. 

Day 1 of Trump’s visit: Karapatan staff arrested, 20 others injured during protests

"Who do we expect to guard a human rights violator, fascist,  and bigot like US Pres. Donald Trump?  None other than his fellow fascists, personified by our own police force. In true militarist and fascist fashion that their masters –Trump and Phil. Pres. Rodrigo Duterte – would no doubt be proud of, the police arrested Karapatan’s staff who was then driving the van and injured at least 20 protesters, including Anakbayan Chairperson Vencer Crisostomo. With the brazen disregard of Trump and Duterte of human rights, their minions seem to be shedding all pretense as well,” said Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay. 

ASEAN rights body not addressing killings and attacks vs rights defenders in PH

“Since its establishment in 2009, the ASEAN Inter-governmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) has addressed a grand total of zero pressing concerns on human and people’s rights in the Philippines such as the killings and attacks against human rights defenders and indigenous peoples, killings in relation to the drug war, bombings and forcible evacuation of communities, especially with the martial law declaration in Mindanao,” said Cristina Palabay, Secretary General of Philippine-based human rights organization Karapatan, in the sidelines of a parallel gathering of non-governmental organizations to the 2017 Summit of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN). 

Peasant killings continue due to US-directed counter-insurgency program in PH

“Two more killings add to the increasing number of peasant killings in the country. Amid the masquerade happening in Manila due to the 2017 ASEAN Summit and US President Donald Trump’s visit, marginalized communities continue to be targeted by the guns, policies, and agreements put forward by these powerful, militarist, ruthless, and greedy imperialists. This is the real situation on the ground – a truth that will haunt these heads of States despite their ornamented rhetoric of development, progress, and security,” said Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay.

Fascists and hypocrites converge in the ASEAN 2017 summit – Karapatan

“US President Donald Trump is slated to arrive in the Philippines on November 12, 2017, to be welcomed by the Philippine government with tapestries and events amounting to Php 15.5B, when the only welcome befitting of his visit is protest and condemnation. Once again, the world is set to witness an illusion of luxury and affluence, where heads of States dine and talk about plundering more resources from poor countries, pressing down already-low wages, promoting globalization and economic integration at the expense of local economies, and bombing countries for the ushering of ‘democracy’ – all while Filipinos continue to be mired with poverty as a direct result of US neoliberal policies. The stench of hypocrisy is revolting,” said Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay on Trump’s visit in the country for the 2017 ASEAN Summit.

US War 1