March, 2018

Karapatan hits PH immigration blacklisting of Canadian human rights activist

Karapatan decries the decision of the Philippine Bureau of Immigration (BI) placing Canadian citizen and human rights activist Emile Kinley-Gauthier’s name on the blacklist of the Bureau of Immigration.

Kinley-Gauthier was a participant in the International Conference on Human Rights in the Philippines on 18-21 July 2013. The conference was organized by the International Coalition on Human Rights in the Philippines (ICHRP), Karapatan and the Ecumenical Voice for Human Rights and Peace (EcuVoice).

UN bodies, int’l rights organizations decry Duterte government’s fake terrorist list

Aside from the statements of the United Nations High Commissioner on Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein and two UN special rapporteurs on the inclusion of the names of UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Victoria Tauli-Corpuz and of human rights defenders in the Department of Justice petition proscribing the Communist Party of the Philippines and the New People’s Army as terrorist organizations, statements of support and solidarity poured in from several other UN bodies and international human rights organizations decrying the Duterte administration’s fake terrorist list.


Erik Solheim, head of UN Environment said “These charges must be dropped immediately, and support provided for the legitimate activities of these individuals who have UN mandates, and the civil society organizations with which they work…It is deeply concerning that authorities have routinely responded to the expressions of environmental and human rights defenders by criminalizing and delegitimizing their voices.” His full statement can be accessed through:

Karapatan submits report on criminalization of IP rights defenders to UN Special Rapporteur on IPs

Karapatan today submitted an input on the attacks against indigenous rights defenders, in response to the call of the office of United Nations Special Rapporteur Victoria Tauli Corpuz for her upcoming thematic report to the UN Human Rights Council on criminalization of indigenous peoples’ rights defenders.

Duterte's Choice: The Tyrant Emerged

2017 Karapatan Year-End Report on the Human Rights Situation in the Philippines 


"The year 2017 unfolded Duterte’s true nature, a greedy and cruel war-mongering president who uses his power to perpetrate a killing rampage against the people – his war on drugs, his own brand of war-on-terror, and his military’s all-out-war. His imposition and extension of martial law in Mindanao and his continuing implementation of government’s counterinsurgency program, presently Oplan Kapayapaan, have exposed Duterte as a fascist instrument beholden to the whims of his imperialist master, the United States. Duterte has further consolidated his US-loyal security cluster and the neoliberal fanatics in his cabinet, resulting in intensifying attacks against people’s civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights. His government has taken the form of a paper tiger – desperately fronting a fierce strongman façade yet ultimately revealing a cowering and subservient running dog to its profit-hungry and fascist masters."

Submission to Victoria Tauli Corpuz, United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples | March 16, 2018

Submission to Victoria Tauli Corpuz,
United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights
March 16, 2018

KARAPATAN Alliance for the Advancement of People’s Rights – Philippines[i] submits this report in response to the call of the Office of the Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples for inputs to her thematic report on the issue of criminalisation and attacks faced by indigenous peoples asserting and defending their rights. In this submission, KARAPATAN critically examines the Philippine government’s compliance to international human rights instruments, in relation to indigenous human rights defenders, and presents our views and recommendations on the practice of State actors, under the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte, of filing criminal charges against these defenders. 

In the nearly two years of his presidency, Duterte has employed the resources of the State to attack, criminalize and target individuals and entire communities. Amid the alternatives given at the start of his term, Duterte has chosen to make State terrorism his irreversible and grim response to the public clamor for systemic and substantial change. Early on his first year in office, the President has relied on militarist solutions to the country’s problems. To date, his war on drugs has reportedly caused some 20,000 individual victims of extrajudicial killings[ii], precipitated by Duterte’s own orders and pronouncements[iii]. The government’s counterinsurgency program called Oplan Kapayapaan has resulted in grave human rights violations, including 126 victims of extrajudicial killings of mostly peasants and indigenous people, illegal arrests and detention, nearly half a million victims of bombings and forced evacuation, threats, intimidation and harassment of those critical of the President, including indigenous peoples and their defenders.[iv] 

Latest Duterte Spin to Get Away with Murder: Play the victim and withdraw ICC ratification

“Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s most recent decision to withdraw the State’s ratification of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) is indicative of his rabid refusal to be subjected to any and all forms of investigation or scrutiny. The Duterte regime is defensively peddling the narrative that all casualties in the drug war occurred during legitimate police operations. Despite this lie, this murderous regime is aware that there are relatives, witnesses, and individuals who can expose and demolish its half-baked stories. Thus, Duterte is choosing to cheat his way out of a mechanism that can potentially prove his culpability,” said Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay.

On the eve of 20th anniversary of CARHRIHL: Victims of torture, illegal arrests file complaints vs GRP

“Torture victims and the kin of recently arrested peace consultant Rafael Baylosis and Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) organizer Maoj Maga filed a complaint against the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) for violations under the the Comprehensive Agreement on the Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL). Tomorrow, March 16, will be the 20th year of CARHRIHL, yet the GRP and its state forces are still committing gross human rights violations, as exemplified by these cases,” said Karapatan deputy secretary general Roneo Clamor, accompanying torture victims Janry Mensis and “Jerry”, and Eleanor de Guzman, daughter of Rafael Baylosis and wife of Maoj Maga.  

On the DOJ dismissal of drug charges against Kerwin Espinosa, Peter Lim, and 20 others

Karapatan called the Department of Justice’s resolution to drop drug trafficking charges against self-confessed drug lord Kerwin Espinosa a “travesty” and “an indication of the department’s lack of credibility, integrity and basic common sense.” 

Espinosa, in a series of Senate hearings and while under oath, admitted to earning PhP50 million yearly in illegal drug trade and maintaining an illegal drug business. In a 14-page resolution, State prosecutors also dismissed drug charges against businessman Peter Lim and 20 others for “uncorroborated statements” and “lack of evidence”.

Duterte’s fake terror list includes names of dead persons, desaparecidos

Karapatan, after close scrutiny of the proscription petition, revealed that there are 8 names of individuals already deceased and 2 desaparecidos that were included in the petition. Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay said that “this is indicative of how ludicrous and dubious Duterte’s fake terror list is. The level of callousness from the Duterte regime is unprecedented!”

Statement of Elisa Tita Lubi, Karapatan National Executive Committee Member, on her inclusion in Duterte's "terror list"

Back Off, Human Rights Attackers
Hands Off Human Rights Defenders

I have recently learned that my name has been dragged into the Duterte government’s petition to proscribe the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and its armed wing, the New People’s Army (NPA), as terrorist organizations.

(Photo: Tita Lubi (2nd from the right, standing next to former DSWD Sec. Judy Taguiwalo) visiting the Kampuhan ng mga Lumad at UP Diliman)

Karapatan submits cases of HRDs tagged under Duterte’s terror list to UN Special Rapporteurs

On March 13, 2018, Karapatan submitted a new batch of complaints to United Nations Special Rapporteur (UNSR) on the Situation of Human Rights Defenders Michel Forst and UN SR on the Rights to Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and of Association Annalisa Ciampi on the inclusion of human rights defenders (HRDs) and activists in at least 600 names listed in the Justice Department’s petition to proscribe the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and the New People’s Army (NPA) as terrorist organizations. The petition was filed by Peter Ong, Senior Assistant State Prosecutor, at a regional court in Manila on February 21, 2018.

Urgent Appeal for Activists, Human Rights Defenders and Political Dissenters in the Philippines Tagged in Duterte's Terror List

Dear friends and colleagues,

In the context of the intensifying human and people’s rights violations committed with impunity in the Philippines, we urgently seek your support in yet another wave of attack against critics of the anti-people policies and acts of the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte.

Karapatan on Malacañang’s response to recent UN official’s statement

Foreign affairs secretary Alan Peter Cayetano’s statement justifying the Philippine government’s absurd, arbitrary, and vengeful inclusion of the name of UN Special Rapporteur on Indigenous Peoples Victoria Tauli Corpuz in the Philippine Justice Department proscription list smacks of distorted reasoning. 

National ID and subpoena powers for PNP, CIDG, add’l tools for witch-hunt, all-out repression

"The Duterte regime is definitely on a roll! Not with solving the country’s socioeconomic problems, but in ensuring those who advocate for long-term solutions to our dire political and economic state are monitored, criminalized and penalized. Duterte and his minions have busied themselves with legislation, petitions, and measures to legitimize the witch-hunt and repression of groups and individuals, cementing their role as the architects of a looming dictatorship,” said Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay, citing the national ID system and the recently signed law giving subpoena powers to the Philippine National Police (PNP) and its Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG), as among the recent repressive measures put forward by the Duterte government.

Surveillance equipment from UK may be used by PH gov’t to spy on activists, rights defenders

Karapatan today scored the recently reported sale of $200,000 British surveillance equipment to the Philippine government, in the light of the listing of more than 600 persons, human rights defenders and critics of the Duterte government in the proscription petition filed by the Department of Justice (DOJ) at a regional court in Manila on February 21, 2018 seeking to declare the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) as terrorist organizations.

Duterte regime’s proscription petition targets critics, rights defenders - Karapatan

Karapatan condemns the listing of more than 600 persons, human rights defenders and critics of the Duterte government in the proscription petition filed by the Department of Justice (DOJ), through Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Peter Ong, at a regional court in Manila on February 21, 2018. The petition not only seeks to declare the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) as terrorist organizations but also named individuals as their supposed leaders or members, including those who are dead, missing and members of paramilitary units accused of killing Lumads in Mindanao.

Karapatan and Tanggol Bayi Statement on the Commemoration of the International Women’s Day

Today, March 8, 2018, as the world commemorates International Women’s Day, Karapatan and Tanggol Bayi joins Filipino women in marching and standing up against State repression and all forms of human rights violations and gender-based violence.




Daughter of illegally arrested NDFP peace consultant meets with CHR chairperson

On March 7, 2018, Eleanor de Guzman, daughter of NDFP peace consultant Rafael Baylosis and wife of Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) organizer Marklen Maoj Maga initiated a dialogue with Commission on Human Rights (CHR) Chairperson Jose Luis Martin Gascon. De Guzman raised the issue of the respective arrests of Baylosis and Maga, who are both detained on trumped up charges, on January 31 and February 22 respectively. She was accompanied by Karapatan Deputy Secretary General Roneo Clamor.

CHR Filing1 Baylosis

baylosis chr filing 


Women activists decry attacks against rights defenders, call for release of all political prisoners

On the eve of International Women’s Day on March 7, 2018, organizations led by Karapatan and Tanggol Bayi staged a protest rally at Camp Crame, Quezon City to call for the release of all political prisoners and an end to attacks against activists and human rights defenders (HRDs). 

Pahayag ng Kababaihang Bilanggong Pulitikal sa Paggunita ng Pandaigdigang Araw ng Kababaihan

Kaming mga kababaihang bilanggong pulitikal sa Camp Bagong Diwa sa Taguig City Jail ay nakikiisa sa paggunita sa pandaigdigang araw ng kababaihan.

EJK of environmental activist in Ifugao part of a systematic, ongoing campaign vs rights defenders

“The killing of Ricardo Mayumi is part of the military’s systematic efforts to attack and malign activists and human rights defenders (HRDs)involved in campaigns for people’s rights and welfare. The government’s paranoia is further heightened as it fails to deliver basic social services, is involved in massive corruption cases, or are implementing anti-people policies. Instead of resolving these issues, they go the opposite way and respond with repression and rights violations,” said Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay.


Amid grave HR abuses, AFP remains in a state of denial - Karapatan

“Despite the distortions and deflections of the AFP, the fact remains: there are torture victims who have told their story of inhuman and degrading treatment at the hands of the military. The trauma that they have experienced -- the marks on their necks due to strangulation and burn marks -- are still visible on their bodies. The military is both callous and idiotic for even implying that the victims have burned themselves for the sake of propaganda. They have clearly identified the perpetrators in their testimonies,” said Karapatan deputy secretary general Roneo Clamor on the military’s recent statement accusing Karapatan of fabricating allegations of torture.


Torture victims file complaint vs soldiers at CHR

Karapatan today accompanied Janry Mensis, 22, and “Jerry” (not his real name), 17, both farmers in Compostela Valley and part-time small scale miners in Tagum City, Davao del Norte who lodged complaints at the Commission on Human Rights (CHR). The two were abducted, illegally detained, and brutally tortured by elements of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) from November 28 to December 6, 2017. They are also victims of frustrated killing.

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free all political prisoners