Submitted on Fri, 09/21/2012 - 16:25
Karapatan today said that “It is a shame how Pres. Noynoy Aquino criticized Marcos and martial law when the same things he enumerated in his speech are the same things that are happening under his government, sans the formal declaration of martial law.”
Cristina Palabay, secretary general of Karapatan said, “it is ridiculous to hear Noynoy Aquino disapprove of the checkpoints during martial law when the same proliferate today, especially in the rural areas; the rounding up and arrests of people who criticized the Marcos government when there are 385 political prisoners to date, 170 of them were arrested and detained under his two year old rule.”
Karapatan said that aside from political prisoners, extrajudicial killings, torture, paramilitary groups, forced evacuation that were highly identified with martial law still exist. “It is the height of hypocrisy and deception for Noynoy to rebuke the Marcos dictatorship for “salvaging” when there are more than a hundred victims of extrajudicial killings under his government. The same Armed Forces of the Philippines and paramilitary groups are the perpetrators. Certainly, there is dissonance between today’s realities and Noynoy’s statement saying, he didn’t want the people to go through the same sufferings his father experienced.” said Palabay.
Submitted on Fri, 09/21/2012 - 08:25
40 years after the imposition of martial Law
It may not be as visible as it was 40 years ago but, human rights violations that are indelible marks of Ferdinand Marcos’ Martial Law, continue to this day: illegal arrests and detention, torture, disappearance, extrajudicial killings, bombings and hamletting of communities, forced evacuation, use and proliferation of paramilitary groups, among others.
Making things worse is that people in the government, specially the President, hide behind their previous involvement in the anti-dictatorship struggle; banking on their being victims of martial law to escape accountability and responsibility on the current state of human rights in the country.
Thus, the likes of The Butcher, Gen. Jovito Palparan Jr. roam freely. Torturers like Maj. Gen. Jorge Segovia and Col. Aurelio Baladad are being promoted, despite cases filed against them, similar to Col. Rolando Abadilla, Rodolfo Aguinaldo, and Billy Bibit who were rewarded handsomely by Marcos.
Submitted on Thu, 09/20/2012 - 15:50
Karapatan today received report of another case of torture and extrajudicial killing of an indigenous leader, Genesis Ambason Saguitan, 23, secretary general of TAGDUMAHAN Lumad organization in the municipality of San Luis, Agusan del Sur. Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay calls the latest incident as “an affirmation of the continuing vestiges of martial law under the Aquino government.”
Saguitan’s relatives found his body mutilated by the perpetrators, identified as members of the Citizen Armed Force Geographical Unit (CAFGU) attached to the 26th IB Detachment in Sitio Tambo, Brgy. Binikalan, San Luis Agusan del Sur. His body was on the road side, some 130 meters away from the detachment of the 26th IB in Sitio Tambo.
According to the report sent to Karapatan, Almira, Saguitan’s wife who is eight months pregnant with their first child, “wept while cleaning his husband’s body” when she saw the two gunshot wounds in his right chest and another two gunshot wounds in the hip area, near his spine. His face and chest were covered with bruises. Ambason’s teeth are all gone. His head was deformed, and his face unrecognizable because of the bruises due to heavy beating.
Submitted on Tue, 09/18/2012 - 12:46
Karapatan, with all its member organizations and chapters, and victims of human rights violations pay our highest tribute to Atty. Romeo T. Capulong - human rights lawyer par excellence, champion of the Filipino people's struggle for justice and democracy, people's lawyer.
Capulong, along with Lorenzo Tanada, Benigno Aquino Jr., et al, was arrested upon the declaration of martial law. He was forced to flee the country in 1979, amid the rampant arrests, detention, torture and summary killings, as he was later granted political asylum in the US in 1980. In the U.S., he founded and chaired the Filipino Lawyers Committee on human rights, which imparted the much-needed solidarity of lawyers and human rights organizations in the U.S. to the Philippines. After the fall of the Marcos dictatorship, he went back to the Philippines and established the Public Interest Law Center (PILC), an institution which supported human rights victims from then on.
Submitted on Mon, 09/17/2012 - 16:31
Karapatan today criticized Commission on Human Rights Chairperson Etta Rosales after she rebuked students and youth groups preparing for protest actions leading to September 21, in commemoration of the 40th year of the imposition of martial law.
In an interview over ABS-CBN week-end news last night, Rosales was quoted saying “Stop comparing martial law of yesterday to what they are doing now because if they do that they are merely muddling the issue. Mag-aral sila, naintindihan ba nila ang sinasabi nila.” Rosales added that the students should instead go the libraries instead of joining the protests.
“Rosales' statement simply illustrates the historical amnesia, opportunism, and bankruptcy of those in the Aquino administration. They claim to "remember Martial Law," yet they forget one of the quintessential lessons during those dark years - that when the people and the youth are faced with anti-youth and anti-people programs, rights abuses, and plunder of our lands and resources, we fight back,” said Cristina Palabay, secretary general of Karapatan.
Submitted on Sun, 09/16/2012 - 12:00
“Many of the victims of human rights violations under the Marcos dictatorship have left us without seeing justice rendered, 40 long years after the imposition of martial law. Even the barest gesture of justice, the Marcos Victims Compensation bill, remains at the backburner. The governments that followed after the dictatorship, from Cory Aquino to her son Noynoy, showed tolerance and gave concessions to the Marcoses. They all should be held accountable for perpetuating the crimes of the Marcoses.”
Thus said Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay, as 68-year old Nicolas Sanchez passed away early this week. Sanchez was a victim of torture, illegal arrest and detention during the infamous sona (zoning of communities) in Brgy. Tatalon, Quezon City in July 23, 1985. The sona was conducted by elements of the Marcos’ Philippine Constabulary, when residents resisted the demolition of their community to give way to the development plan of the Aranetas, in-laws of Marcos’ daughter, Irene. Two persons reportedly died during the incident, while many were arrested, including Sanchez.
Submitted on Fri, 09/14/2012 - 18:59
On the 40th year of the imposition of martial law
An exhibit of Martial Law memorabilia opens at 4:00 pm today at the University of the Philippines’ Main Library-Filipiniana section as part of the commemoration of the 40th year of the imposition of martial law.
“This is to remember martial law, the dictator, the terror. But more importantly, we want to give tribute to the “fire-starters”, those imbued with the courage, creativity and daringness of the Filipino people’s struggle, those who led the way and offered their lives in the fight against tyranny, oppression, and for national freedom and democracy. We want the youth to remember them and to keep the fire burning until justice and freedom is achieved. Tuloy ang laban!” said Cristina Palabay, secretary general of Karapatan.
The exhibit, dubbed as Himagsik at Protesta features a collection of magazines, books, underground publications that date as far back as 1964, such as the first handbook of the Kabataan Makabayan, the militant organization in the 1960’s. Also included in the exhibit are items used by known ML activists and revolutionaries, such as journalist Jose Burgos, former Rep. Satur Ocampo, artists Emman and Pete Lacaba, former political prisoner and Makibaka founder Prof. Judy Taguiwalo, activist Fr. Rudy Romano, national artist Bienvenido Lumbera, Prof. Jose Maria Sison, to name a few.
Submitted on Tue, 09/11/2012 - 14:45
From martial law to Noynoy Aquino: hamletting and forced evacuation remain
Karapatan today held a picket at the Times St. residence of Noynoy Aquino to call the attention of the government on the “military operations especially in the rural areas and on the plight of the evacuees such as those from the Bondoc Peninsula in Quezon Province who left their homes because of these operations.”
Karapatan secretary general, Cristina Palabay said, “there are now eight military battalions in Bondoc Peninsula, something that has never happened before, even during the time of martial law.” Karapatan has documented several cases of threats and harassment against residents in the area, including those who are members of farmers’ organizations.
The protest action coincided with the birthday of the late Ferdinand Marcos, whose reign was marked by tyranny and terror that resulted to countless human rights violations. “With evacuations going on in many parts of the country such as in the Caraga region, in Bukidnon, and in Bondoc Peninsula, we believe that the Marcos era never left us after martial law. The essential elements of Marcos’ hamletting and forced evacuation happened during Cory Aquino’s time and the succeeding presidents after her; and it is still happening now,” Palabay added.
Submitted on Tue, 09/11/2012 - 12:00
“The lawyer of Sgt. Edgardo Osorio, failing to discredit at yesterday’s hearing the testimony of witness Wilfredo Ramos, tried to turn the table around by saying that the witness is testifying only because he is a member of Karapatan. He sounded so much like Palparan, who resorts to blaming the victims of human rights violations to justify the atrocities he committed against them,” said Cristina Palabay, secretary general of Karapatan.
Atty. Jose Cruz called the witness “biased” after Ramos recounted what he saw when the two UP students, Karen Empeno and Sherlyn Cadapan, along with farmer Manuel Merino, were abducted on June 26, 2006 in Bgy. San Miguel , Hagonoy, Bulacan. Ramos and his father were hogtied and threatened in the incident. Ramos, who was only 14 years old at that time of the abduction, identified Osorio as one of those who abducted the students and Merino, when the latter accompanied Gen. Palparan during the preliminary investigation at the Department of Justice.
“The issue is not whether Ramos is a member of Karapatan or not. The fact is, Ramos was able to stand by and was consistent with his earlier testimonies, as well as, what was written in his affidavit while he was being cross-examined by Atty. Cruz. He was firm and calm, despite the harrowing experience he and his family encountered. His testimony bolsters the charges against Osorio, Palparan and the others,” Palabay said.
Submitted on Mon, 09/10/2012 - 12:00
From martial law to Noynoy Aquino: “Berdugos” on the loose
Fugitive general Jovito Palparan was still a no-show in today’s hearing at the Malolos Trial Court for the kidnapping and illegal detention case filed against him in relation to the disappearance of UP students Karen Empeno and Sherlyn Cadapan.
“We knew all along that raising the bounty for Palparan’s head is not enough and, in fact, not the solution in arresting the Butcher. The most necessary requisite is the firm resolve of Pres. Aquino to arrest Palparan, regardless of what the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ views on the matter. But as things are, kulang na lang ipagtanggol niya si Palparan gaya nang pagtatanggol niya kay DILG Undersecretary Puno,” said Cristina Palabay, secretary general of Karapatan.
Palparan has been at-large since December 2011 when the warrant of arrest was issued by the Malolos Trial Court. Meanwhile, court hearings started in January without Palparan.
Palabay said that, “Palparan reminds us of the martial law years, where torturers roamed freely, were tolerated and were even permanent fixtures in the martial law landscape. Palparan calls to mind the likes of Rolando Abadilla and Rodolfo Aguinaldo, the much-hated torturers of activists and oppositionists during martial law. They, together with Palparan, are among the “poster boys” of terror and impunity that span from the martial law years to this day.”