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Karapatan cries foul on arrest of peace consultant

“With the arrest of peace consultant Ariel Arbitario this morning, the Armed Forces of the Philippines is clearly taking advantage of the verbal orders of Pres. Duterte, despite no formal notice of termination of the formal peacetalks between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) and the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG) still in force,” Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay said on the today’s arrest of NDFP peace consultant Ariel Arbitrario.

Peace consultant Illegal Arrest

Duterte’s backing out from peace talks will bring more suffering to the people

Karapatan strongly urges President Rodrigo R. Duterte to rethink his statement on the termination of peace talks between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP). Both Parties have expressed that the road to a just and lasting peace is not an easy one, but has several bumps and roadblocks. Pres. Duterte should be prepared to encounter these problems in solving the armed conflict. 

Pres. Duterte should see that one big roadblock is the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) being warmongers and peace saboteurs, within and outside the peace process. 

Political killings, enforced disappearances, illegal arrests and detention, threats and harassment of village residents – all these, and more, were perpetrated without let-up by the Armed Forces of the Philippines during the period of the GRP’s so-called unilateral ceasefire. The AFP’s counter-insurgency program Oplan Bayanihan was still in play, with the military’s so-called “peace and development” teams coercing and threatening local government officials and residents as they continued to encamp in peasants’ homes, schools, and barangay halls. This is the reason why the residents, the victims and their families have repeatedly called on the GRP to pull out the AFP troops from their communities and to stop Oplan Bayanihan.  OpBay ironically has been replaced with Oplan Kapayapaan!

In January 2017 alone, at least four peasant activists were killed by state security forces. The following month, on February 3, Lumad leader Renato Anglao, 42, Secretary General of TINDOGA (Tribal Indigenous Oppressed Group Association), was killed by three men on board a motorcycle. TINDOGA, an indigenous people’s organization of the Manobo-Pulangion tribe in Brgy. Botong, Quezon, Bukidnon, has consistently opposed the entry of agri-business plantations in the ancestral land of the lumad. The tribe won back their land and secured its title two years ago. This happened despite moves by the Lorenzo clan to encroach on the land through Rancho Montalvan owned by Maramag Vice Mayor Pablo Lorenzo. Leaders and members of TINDOGA have subsequently been accused of supporting the communist-led New People’s Army.

Violation of Civil and Political Rights under the Rodrigo Duterte Government

August 21, 2016 to January 31, 2017

Based on reports gathered by Karapatan

 

Table 1:

Violation of Civil & Political Rights Under the Rodrigo Duterte Government (August 21, 2016 to January 31, 2017)

 

Violations

No. of Victims

Extrajudicial killing

14

Enforced Disappearance

2

Torture

5

Frustrated Extrajudicial Killing

16

Illegal Arrest without Detention

439

Illegal Arrest and Detention

25

Illegal Search and Seizure

27

Physical Assault and Injury

103

Demolition

114

Violation of Domicile

69

Divestment of Property

45

Threat/Harassment/Intimidation

19,052

Indiscriminate Firing

4,178

Forced/Fake Surrender

1

Forced Labor/Involuntary Servitude

9

Use of Civilians in Police and/or Military Operations as Guides and/or Shield

2

Use of Schools, Medical, Religious and Other Public Places for Military Purpose

9,825

Restriction or Violent Dispersal of Mass Actions, Public Assemblies and Gatherings

1,500

Karapatan criticizes AFP’s role in non-release of political prisoners

“President Duterte’s statement on the non-release of political prisoners confirms the active role of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in sabotaging all efforts to derail the peacetalks between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) peace panels. The warmonger AFP is blocking the release of the unjustly detained political prisoners and it has never ceased to deploy its forces to kill, threaten, and harass civilian communities, even during the so-called unilateral ceasefire of the GRP,” said Karapatan Secretary General Cristina Palabay, on the remarks of Pres. Rodrigo Duterte yesterday in Davao City regarding the termination of the unilateral ceasefire by the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and the New People’s Army (NPA).   

Attacks, rights abuses vs people continue during GRP unilateral ceasefire

“Perhaps officials of the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) peace panel such as Presidential Adviser on the Peace Processes Chief Jesus Dureza and ranking military officials should first look at their own backyard and ascertain their troops’ own sincerity in advancing the peacetalks with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP),” said Karapatan Secretary General Cristina Palabay, a day after the Communist Party of the Philippines and the New People’s Army declared the termination of its unilateral ceasefire with the GRP, citing violations of the Comprehensive Agreement on Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law. 

 

AFP, revival of Philippine Constabulary for war on drugs will result to more rights violations vs Filipino people

“Fully integrating the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) into the already bloody war on drugs will be a chilling amalgamation of the said campaign to the military’s counter-insurgency and anti-people objectives. This will inevitably result to further fascist attacks and human rights violations against the people, including organized communities and movements,” said Cristina Palabay, Karapatan Secretary General, as National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon announced yesterday the AFP’s plan to assign certain AFP units in the Duterte administration’s war on drugs. 

Philippine Constabulary 

 

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