Press release

Justice for Rebelyn Pitao

Karapatan strongly condemns the abhorrent and despicable abduction and summary execution of Rebelyn M. Pitao, the 20 year-old daughter of Leoncio Pitao a.k.a. New People's Army (NPA) Commander Parago.

“She being the daughter of a member of an armed party to the conflict does not warrant the atrocity done to her. The manner and pattern of Rebelyn’s killing bore the standard signs of the extrajudicial killings committed by the military. Only those state security forces could commit such treacherous crime,” Karapatan Secretary General Marie Hilao-Enriquez said. “This is a cowardly act; the perpetrators could not get her father in the mountains, so they abducted the daughter instead.”

At around 6:30 in the evening of March 4, 2009, Rebelyn was abducted in Davao City.  The following day, March 5, her body was found thrown in a river in Carmen, Davao del Norte.  Based on the initial findings of the autopsy conducted by the Scene of the Crime Operatives (SOCO) Dr.Tomas Dimaandal, Jr., Rebelyn’s eyes were badly bruised and bleeding that may be due to a blow from a hard object. She had a 3-centimeter ligature mark in the neck. She sustained 5 stab wounds (possible weapon ice pick):  2 above the left breast, one of which hit the lungs; two wounds under the left breast, one of which pierced through the liver and another one in the diaphragm which also hit the liver.

Karapatan reports on state of Philippine human rights, emphasizes Arroyo accountability

In the observance of 60th Year of the UDHR

Karapatan reports on state of Philippine human rights, emphasizes Arroyo accountability

 

The biggest human rights network in the Philippines today released its annual report on the human rights situation under the watch of the Arroyo administration.

Karapatan presented to the public its 2008 Human Rights Report in a media briefing at Max's Quezon Avenue in Quezon City on the commemoration of the 10th Year of the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders and the eve of the observance of the 60th Year of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR).

The report principally features cases of violation of human rights, as recorded by the Alliance, from January to October 2008. It also includes a review of escalating attacks against human rights defenders since 2001 and the current experience with the Supreme Court-issued remedy of the writ of amparo.

International Women Human Rights Defenders Day commemoration. Karapatan kicks-off campaign on human rights defenders

Philippine human rights umbrella Karapatan kicked off the campaign on human rights defenders with a Benefit Dinner held at the Quezon City Sports Club during the commemoration of the International Women Human Rights Defenders Day on November 29, 2008.

UN ruling on human rights violations on the Eden-Eddie slay case out, could boost impeachment vs. Arroyo

Photo 1 at the press conference (L-R) Eden Marcellana's 12-year-old daughter Dana, Eden's sister Helen Mercado, Karapatan Sec Gen Marie Hilao-Enriquez and legal counsel Edre Olalia who is also President of the International Association of People's Lawyers.The verdict is out.  More than two years after the families of slain human rights defenders Eden Marcellana and Eddie Gumanoy filed a complaint against the Arroyo government, a United Nations body ruled that the latter is guilty of violating primarily the right to life of said human rights defenders and was negligent in providing remedy.


The UN Human Rights Committee, the UN treaty body monitoring the States parties' compliance to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), states that it "is of the view that the facts as found by the Committee reveal violations by the Philippines of article 2, paragraph 3 (the right of violated persons to effective remedies and the State ensuring that such remedies are provided and enforced); article 6, paragraph 1 (the right to life of every person); and article 9, paragraph 1 (the right to liberty and security of persons) of the Covenant."

UN Human Rights Committee finds RP government guilty of rights violations on the Eden Marcellana and Eddie Gumanoy case

The UN Human Rights Committee, the UN treaty body monitoring the States parties' compliance to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), has found the Philippine government guilty of violating primarily the right to life of human rights defenders Eden Marcellana and Eddie Gumanoy. The Committee's Views were put out on October 30, 2008 in its 94th session held in the UN in Geneva.

Desperate Arroyo administration resume persecution of human rights defenders through renewed legal offensives

The human rights alliance Karapatan is outraged by the recent legal offensive of the Macapagal-Arroyo administration against the legal democratic organizations particularly in Southern Tagalog, including two of its officials namely Karapatan-Southern Tagalog Secretary General Doris Cuario and Karapatan-Batangas Coordinator Dina Capetillo among those falsely accused.

Human bones found in site where farmer was burned by soldiers

Anthropologists today (October 14, 2008) found pieces of burnt human bones in the vicinity of the former detachment of the 24th IBPA (Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army) in Brgy. Bliss, Limay, Bataan.

The bones where found at the site where witness-survivor Raymond Manalo said he saw farmer Manuel Merino being burned by soldiers sometime in June 2007.

Escaped Desaparecido guides fact-finding team to former army camp

 

CHR Chairperson Leila de Lima inspects the excavation site with Karapatan Secretary General Marie Hilao-Enriquez on October 13, 2008 at the former 24th IBPA detachment in Brgy. Bliss Limay, Bataan

CHR Chairperson Leila de Lima inspects the excavation site with Karapatan Secretary General Marie Hilao-Enriquez on October 13, 2008 at the former 24th IBPA detachment in Brgy. Bliss Limay, Bataan.

 

A week after the Supreme Court upheld a Court of Appeals (CA) decision granting the
privilege of the writ of amparo to the two survivor-witnesses Manalo brothers, one of them
leads a fact-finding mission team to the former 24th Infantry Battalion detachment where he
witnessed several extrajudicial killings committed by the military.

No less than GMA and Yano must ensure AFP's compliance to the CA order to release Sherlyn Cadapan, Karen Empeño & Manuel Merino

CA order to release Karen, Sherlyn and ManuelThe Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) should make haste to comply with the Court of Appeals (CA) order.  They MUST immediately release UP students Sherlyn Cadapan, Karen Empeño and farmer Manuel Merino, who were abducted and kept missing more than two years ago.

When the CA accepted the testimony of witness Raymond Manalo, it has affirmed all our allegations that indeed IT IS the military that have caused the enforced disappearance of the three and that the camps are being used as safe houses and torture places.

Rights victims of Marcos and victims of Arroyo vow “Never Again to Martial Law! Assert and defend our rights!”

On the eve of the 36th anniversary of the declaration of martial law, victims of the Marcos dictatorship and victims of human rights violations under Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo remind the nation that we must say never again to martial law!  There is a new dictator and kleptocrat in Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and her cohorts under an undeclared martial law.  And like the hated dictator Marcos, she must be made to answer for her transgressions on the rights of the Filipino people.

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