Karapatan welcomes the March 11 Joint Statement of the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) on the continuation of the formal peace talks on April and June 2017and the reaffirmation of all bilateral agreements and statements in the peace negotiations, including the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL) and the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG).
“Karapatan supports the occupy movement of the urban poor in Bulacan who, since March 8, 2017, has started occupation of 5,208 idle housing units in five separate sites in Pandi and San Jose del Monte, Bulacan,” said Karapatan Secretary General Cristina Palabay on the “Occupy Bulacan” campaign led by the Kalipunan ng Damayang Mahihirap (KADAMAY).
Karapatan deplores the harassment against Atty. Vj Topacio, one of the legal counsels of detained political activist Ferdinand Castillo, as a brazen act of intimidation by the Armed Forces of the Philippines against human rights lawyers.
“Karapatan strongly condemns the railroading of the death penalty bill which is on its third and final reading today. The bill, pushed through the House majority’s threats of removal from posts and a subsequent voting mechanism which disallows accountability of congressmen, will add to the repressive State policies that will mostly affect the poor and marginalized, in a justice system that acquits the wealthy and convicts the poor,” said Cristina Palabay, Karapatan Secretary General, on the issue of the approval of the death penalty bill at the House of Representatives today, March 7.
“The United States government’s rhetoric on human rights puts them at a pedestal for hypocrites. Its overt and covert attacks on oppressed peoples of the world and in the Philippines, mostly exposed through its military funding and poison-laced aid for governments and State fascist machines such as the military and the police, betray their direct role and complicity in abetting violations on people’s rights,” said Cristina Palabay, Karapatan Secretary General, on the recently released 2016 US State Department Report on Human Rights Practices which includes views on the human rights situation in the Philippines.