December, 2018

Karapatan on the December 27 killings and arrests in Negros

Karapatan human rights workers are still confirming several details on the killings and arrests yesterday, December 27, in Negros Oriental, perpetrated by the 302nd Infantry Brigade,94th Infantry Battalion and the Philippine National Police.

Initial reports from several sources state that at least six persons were killed, including Jesus “Dondon” Isugan, son of peasant organizers Delia and Dominador Isugan; habal-habal drivers Reneboy Fat and Jaime Revilla, who are also community organizers; and Demetrio Fat, cousin of a peasant organizer. The six were reportedly killed as the PNP and AFP served search warrants in their homes, alleging their possession of firearms.

Labelling, attacking critics won’t cover-up Duterte regime’s crimes

“President Duterte and his cabal of psychopath soldiers and police, along with his court jesters Salvador Panelo and Martin Andanar, are once again going on a spree of frothing-in-the-mouth red-tagging against those who criticize and oppose his murderous regime, again endangering groups and different sectors, particularly vocal critics of his murderous governance and rights defenders,” said Karapatan Secretary General Cristina Palabay, condemning Duterte’s statements and new bout of red-tagging.

On International Human Rights Day 2018: Stop the Attacks! Defend People’s Rights! Resist Dictatorship!

“The Duterte regime is a government that willfully violates people’s rights; it is not a government for the people. It has merely strengthened a system that only affords due process, justice, and privileges to the elite, leaving the rest of us as targets of rights abuses and spiraling poverty. As we mark International Human Rights Day, a day commemorating the 70th year of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, with protest, we likewise register our continuing resolve to defend people’s rights and resist tyranny and dictatorship,” said Karapatan Secretary General Cristina Palabay on December 10, 2018 in Liwasang Bonifacio and Mendiola. 

Rights group enjoins Filipinos to march against martial law extension, repression, dictatorship this December 10

“We are nearing December 10, commemorated as the International Human Rights Day, but we are confronted yet still by numerous and gross rights violations in succession, as well as repressive policies continuously being shoved down our throats,” said Karapatan Secretary General Cristina Palabay in a press conference by various rights groups at a restaurant in Quezon City. Palabay cited the recent case of illegal arrest of peace consultant Rey Casambre and his wife, Patricia Cora Casambre last December 7, 2018, and Duterte’s pending martial law extension for another year.

Free the Casambres! Free all political prisoners!

Another peace consultant of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) was illegally arrested on the evening of December 7, 2018. Peace consultant Rey Casambre, 67, was arrested along with his wife, Patricia Cora Casambre, 72, while on their way home in Cavite. Both were brought to the Philippine National Police (PNP) headquarters at Camp Crame, Quezon City.  Rey Casambre is the 7th NDFP peace consultant arrested under the Duterte regime. 


"The whispers of another martial law extension have turned into a real nightmare today. President Duterte has officially requested Congress to extend Martial Law in Mindanao yet again, while the vultures eager to receive his blessings come election season are ever more ready to decide on the basis of political favor rather than the people’s welfare. With another extension, the people of Mindanao are being dragged into greater peril,” said Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay.

Karapatan hits AFP Chief Galvez’s appointment as presidential adviser on peace process

“Duterte is nailing the door to peace shut with appointing retiring AFP Chief Carlito Galvez Jr. as the next Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process. What will a high-ranking military officer contribute to the advancement of the peace process when the same institution has been largely behind the derailment and collapse of the negotiations? Clearly, Galvez will turn OPAPP into the Office of the Presidential Adviser on Preventing Peace. War is business, and the military is adept at profiting from violating people’s rights,” said Karapatan Secretary General Cristina Palabay on Malacanang’s announcement of the appointment of AFP Chief Galvez as OPAPP head.

More cases of illegal arrest, trumped-up charges with martial law extension – Karapatan

“For many lawmakers and justice of the Supreme Court, martial law has become a black or white statement of support for the fascist policies of the Duterte regime. No longer are the situation of the Mindanaoans taken into consideration nor the rights violations happening on the ground. It has become a matter of defining alliances, with the real plight of those affected reduced in the background. It seems that the Duterte government need not follow the conditions set by the Constitution, it only needs to have enough numbers. This looming martial law extension will breed more rights violations, aggravating the already worsening situation in Mindanao,” said Karapatan Deputy Secretary General Roneo Clamor.

Launching of "Justice for Sagay Massacre" campaign an expression of assertion for justice -Karapatan

It has been more than a month since the gruesome massacre that claimed the lives of nine farm workers, eight of whom were members of the National Federation of Sugar Workers (NFSW). The perpetrators, suspected members of a paramilitary group, strafed them with bullets as they were resting in their respective tents in a vacant lot in Hacienda Barbara, Sagay, Negros Occidental on the evening of October 20, 2018. These farmers and farm workers, along with other members of the NFSW, were conducting their bungkalan or land cultivation and occupation campaign necessitated by the current state of landlessness and the monopoly of hacienderos in the region.

Karapatan stages political satire against repression, tyranny and impunity

On December 5, 2018, Karapatan staged a short skit involving President Duterte, House Speaker Gloria Arroyo, Ilocos Norte Governor and convicted criminal Imelda Marcos, and the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos in Mendiola. The political satire revolved around the characters’ conversations on repressive measures and advising Imelda Marcos on how she can escape accountability. 

Arrest soldiers who perpetrated Lake Sebu massacre, end martial law in Mindanao – Karapatan

Karapatan, today, welcomed the resolution of the Commission on Human Rights in Soccsksargen (South Cotabato, Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani and General Santos) holding two military officers liable and accountable for the killing of seven Lumad leaders of the T’boli Manobo S’daf Claimants Organization led by Datu Victor Danyan Sr. Sitio Datal Bong Langon, Brgy. Ned, Lake Sebu, South Cotabato on December 3, 2017.

Karapatan slams red-tagging of Satur, Castro and human rights defenders

“The recent tirades and red-tagging of President Duterte and AFP Chief Carlito Galvez against Ka Satur Ocampo, ACT Teachers Partylist Rep. France Castro, the Lumad schools’ teachers and students, and several people’s organizations only prove their propensity to promote State terrorism. Instead of welcoming efforts to augment the severely inadequate education needs of indigenous children and to ensure their safety and security, Duterte and Galvez engage in baseless allegations and attacks to hide the government’s inability to provide comprehensive, adequate and appropriate education for the Lumad children,” said Karapatan Secretary General Cristina Palabay, in reaction to recent statements by Duterte and Galvez alleging that the aforementioned are “members” of the Communist Party of the Philippines.

A year after the Lake Sebu massacre and killing of Fr. Marcelito Paez: Massacres and killings still an everyday reality

“Today, we remember, both in grief and anger, the massacre of eight Lumad and the killing of Fr. Marcelito “Tito” Paez in Lake Sebu, South Cotabato and Nueva Ecija, respectively. Indeed, we are confronted every day with a string of rights violations, from killings, torture, illegal arrests, and various forms of harassment. The Duterte regime has turned the entire country into a killing field and has set a new threshold for State terror,” said Karapatan Secretary General Cristina Palabay on the 1st anniversary of the Lake Sebu massacre and the killing of Fr. Marcelito Paez. 

Relatives, advocates call for the release of political prisoners, dismissal of trumped-up charges

On December 3, declared as the International Day of Political Prisoners, relatives and advocates led by Karapatan marched to Mendiola called for the release of political prisoners and the dismissal of trumped-up charges against them. As of November 2018, Karapatan’s figures noted that the number of political prisoners has climbed to 540 – 203 of which were arrested under the Duterte regime. Out of the 540, 120 are sickly, 40 are elderly, 56 are women and 7 are peace consultants of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP).