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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).

Duterte fueling State terrorism through devious government policies

“From martial law in Mindanao to a state of emergency in the Visayas and Bicol, to making legal the creation of death squads and perpetuate Tokhang-style killings, the use of laws and the alleged destabilization plot in Metro Manila to justify its vilification campaign and attacks against the people, the Duterte government is quickly treading the path towards a full-blown fascist dictatorship,” said Karapatan Secretary General Cristina Palabay during a press conference in Quezon City to kick-off the week-long commemoration of International Human Rights Day on December 10. 

On the recent Sandiganbayan decision on the case of Imelda Marcos

At first glance, the recent Sandiganbayan decision granting bail and providing remedies for Imelda Marcos, despite their guilty verdict on the graft charges against her, may seem like an act that respects the right to due process. But placed in a context where due process is a concept repeatedly tampled by the Duterte regime, the remedies granted to Imelda Marcos by the Sandiganbayan reek of outrageous privilege or entitlement and plain double standard given to persons who have bled the country’s coffers dry. 

On the National Humanitarian Mission in Talaingod, Davao del Norte

Karapatan demands the immediate release of members of the National Humanitarian Mission and the Lumad students and teachers who were fleeing from military operations in Talaingod, Davao del Norte from custody at the Talaingod Police Station.