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Karapatan 4TH Congress: Delegates take up challenge amid rights violations

The two-day 4th Congress of Karapatan concluded on August 15, with close to 150 human rights defenders from the Karapatan chapters, sectoral organizations and other allied organizations in attendance. 

Ka Satur Ocampo, Makabayan Coalition President, the Congress’ keynote speaker, called on the delegates to “continue to persevere and courageously defend the people’s rights as a way of paying tribute to the people’s heroes and martyrs,” especially those from the ranks of Karapatan and its allied organizations. 

Karapatan calls for immediate release of Tirso Alcantara amid his transfer to civilian detention facility

Karapatan today renewed its call for the immediate release of Tirso Alcantara, a peace consultant of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines, as they received reports that the Gumaca Regional Trial Court ordered, on July 18, 2012, the Chief of the Intelligence Security Group or the Commanding Officer of the Intelligence Security Group of the Philippine Army to comply with the May 9, 2012 Order to “commit accused Tirso Alcantara at the the PNP Custodial Center at Camp Crame.”

“Ïn the first place, Alcantara should be released immediately, instead of being subjected to inhumane conditions in jail, as a consultant in the peace process between the NDFP and the GPH,” said Cristina Palabay, spokesperson of Karapatan.

Aquino’s double-standard justice: GMA is free as political prisoners suffer in jail

 

Tirso "Ka Bart" Alcantara today attended at the Taguig Regional Trial Court the first hearing of three of the 43 various cases lodged against him. Alcantara has been in solitary confinement at the Fort Bonifacio Headquarters, Philippine Army Custodial Center, 191st MPBn., HHSG, PA Fort Bonifacio since he was illegally arrested on January 4, 2011, over  one and a half years ago. Alcantara is one of the 385 political prisoners who are still in jail because of fabricated criminal charges. 

Free Ka Bart 

Alcantara's legal counsels from the Public Interest Law Center (PILC) filed three separate motions: to defer Alcantara's arraignment; to immediately transfer Alcantara from military custody to a civilian detention facility; and, to consolidate the charges of illegal possession of firearms and illegal possession of explosives to rebellion. Alcantara faces two cases of rebellion. The Judge Advocate General's Office (JAGO) was given five days to reply to the said motion as they were absent during the Court proceedings. 

Karapatan seeks disqualification of Abang Lingkod partylist

Karapatan today joined Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) in filing a complaint at the Commission on Elections for the removal and/or cancellation of registration of Abang Lingkod partylist. The complaint was filed by Wilfredo Marbella, Deputy Secretary General of KMP and Marie Hilao-Enriquez, Karapatan chairperson. The complaint included a petition to deny due course and/or cancel certificate of nomination. 

The complaint stated that, “Abang Lingkod is not a party-list group of the marginalized and underrepresented peasant/farmer sector“ because Abang Lingkod’s objectives “do not contain anything that relates to peasant/farmer sector and,  none of its incorporator and trustees are peasants/farmers.” On the contrary, “its nominees and leaders possess interest in conflict and adverse to the interests of peasants/farmers.” 

Marie Hilao Enriquez said that Karapatan is specially concerned with Abang Lingkod’s standard bearer, Joseph Stephen Paduano aka Carapali Lualhati, the national commander of the Revolutionary Proletarian Army-Alex Boncayao Brigade (RPA-ABB).  RPA-ABB has been involved with numerous cases of human rights violations, specifically in Negros Occidental and Oriental. It is widely known that RPA-ABB now functions as a paramilitary group.

Aquino’s warped sense of justice: GMA freed, torturer promoted, impunity ignored

“And so this is justice under Aquino --  torturers are given plum positions in the military, and the rich, powerful and notorious human rights violators like Palparan and Arroyo are mockingly free as preying vultures. No wonder, Noynoy deliberately omitted anything on human rights and peace in his SONA, a tacit and dangerous signal for state security forces to continue to prowl, with terror and violence against the people.”

Thus said Karapatan spokesperson Cristina Palabay, after news came out on the court resolution granting bail for former Pres. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and the designation of Morong 43 torturer Col. Aurelio Baladad as acting commanding officer of the 9th Infantry Division of the Phil. Army, shortly after Aquino’s State of the Nation Address (SONA). In his SONA, Aquino heralded the state of “justice” under his administration.