Press release

UN bodies, int’l rights organizations decry Duterte government’s fake terrorist list

Aside from the statements of the United Nations High Commissioner on Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein and two UN special rapporteurs on the inclusion of the names of UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Victoria Tauli-Corpuz and of human rights defenders in the Department of Justice petition proscribing the Communist Party of the Philippines and the New People’s Army as terrorist organizations, statements of support and solidarity poured in from several other UN bodies and international human rights organizations decrying the Duterte administration’s fake terrorist list.


Erik Solheim, head of UN Environment said “These charges must be dropped immediately, and support provided for the legitimate activities of these individuals who have UN mandates, and the civil society organizations with which they work…It is deeply concerning that authorities have routinely responded to the expressions of environmental and human rights defenders by criminalizing and delegitimizing their voices.” His full statement can be accessed through:

Karapatan submits report on criminalization of IP rights defenders to UN Special Rapporteur on IPs

Karapatan today submitted an input on the attacks against indigenous rights defenders, in response to the call of the office of United Nations Special Rapporteur Victoria Tauli Corpuz for her upcoming thematic report to the UN Human Rights Council on criminalization of indigenous peoples’ rights defenders.

Latest Duterte Spin to Get Away with Murder: Play the victim and withdraw ICC ratification

“Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s most recent decision to withdraw the State’s ratification of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) is indicative of his rabid refusal to be subjected to any and all forms of investigation or scrutiny. The Duterte regime is defensively peddling the narrative that all casualties in the drug war occurred during legitimate police operations. Despite this lie, this murderous regime is aware that there are relatives, witnesses, and individuals who can expose and demolish its half-baked stories. Thus, Duterte is choosing to cheat his way out of a mechanism that can potentially prove his culpability,” said Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay.

On the eve of 20th anniversary of CARHRIHL: Victims of torture, illegal arrests file complaints vs GRP

“Torture victims and the kin of recently arrested peace consultant Rafael Baylosis and Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) organizer Maoj Maga filed a complaint against the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) for violations under the the Comprehensive Agreement on the Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL). Tomorrow, March 16, will be the 20th year of CARHRIHL, yet the GRP and its state forces are still committing gross human rights violations, as exemplified by these cases,” said Karapatan deputy secretary general Roneo Clamor, accompanying torture victims Janry Mensis and “Jerry”, and Eleanor de Guzman, daughter of Rafael Baylosis and wife of Maoj Maga.  

On the DOJ dismissal of drug charges against Kerwin Espinosa, Peter Lim, and 20 others

Karapatan called the Department of Justice’s resolution to drop drug trafficking charges against self-confessed drug lord Kerwin Espinosa a “travesty” and “an indication of the department’s lack of credibility, integrity and basic common sense.” 

Espinosa, in a series of Senate hearings and while under oath, admitted to earning PhP50 million yearly in illegal drug trade and maintaining an illegal drug business. In a 14-page resolution, State prosecutors also dismissed drug charges against businessman Peter Lim and 20 others for “uncorroborated statements” and “lack of evidence”.

Duterte’s fake terror list includes names of dead persons, desaparecidos

Karapatan, after close scrutiny of the proscription petition, revealed that there are 8 names of individuals already deceased and 2 desaparecidos that were included in the petition. Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay said that “this is indicative of how ludicrous and dubious Duterte’s fake terror list is. The level of callousness from the Duterte regime is unprecedented!”

Statement of Elisa Tita Lubi, Karapatan National Executive Committee Member, on her inclusion in Duterte's "terror list"

Back Off, Human Rights Attackers
Hands Off Human Rights Defenders

I have recently learned that my name has been dragged into the Duterte government’s petition to proscribe the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and its armed wing, the New People’s Army (NPA), as terrorist organizations.

(Photo: Tita Lubi (2nd from the right, standing next to former DSWD Sec. Judy Taguiwalo) visiting the Kampuhan ng mga Lumad at UP Diliman)

Karapatan submits cases of HRDs tagged under Duterte’s terror list to UN Special Rapporteurs

On March 13, 2018, Karapatan submitted a new batch of complaints to United Nations Special Rapporteur (UNSR) on the Situation of Human Rights Defenders Michel Forst and UN SR on the Rights to Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and of Association Annalisa Ciampi on the inclusion of human rights defenders (HRDs) and activists in at least 600 names listed in the Justice Department’s petition to proscribe the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and the New People’s Army (NPA) as terrorist organizations. The petition was filed by Peter Ong, Senior Assistant State Prosecutor, at a regional court in Manila on February 21, 2018.

Karapatan on Malacañang’s response to recent UN official’s statement

Foreign affairs secretary Alan Peter Cayetano’s statement justifying the Philippine government’s absurd, arbitrary, and vengeful inclusion of the name of UN Special Rapporteur on Indigenous Peoples Victoria Tauli Corpuz in the Philippine Justice Department proscription list smacks of distorted reasoning. 

National ID and subpoena powers for PNP, CIDG, add’l tools for witch-hunt, all-out repression

"The Duterte regime is definitely on a roll! Not with solving the country’s socioeconomic problems, but in ensuring those who advocate for long-term solutions to our dire political and economic state are monitored, criminalized and penalized. Duterte and his minions have busied themselves with legislation, petitions, and measures to legitimize the witch-hunt and repression of groups and individuals, cementing their role as the architects of a looming dictatorship,” said Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay, citing the national ID system and the recently signed law giving subpoena powers to the Philippine National Police (PNP) and its Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG), as among the recent repressive measures put forward by the Duterte government.
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