Press release

Karapatan denounces state terrorism fomented by Philippine state security forces in the run-up to the May elections

Karapatan Deputy Secretary General Roneo Clamor demands for the release of his wife, Dr. Mary Mia, and 42 other health workers.Human rights alliance Karapatan strongly denounces the terrorism being foisted on groups critical of the Arroyo regime’s policies and human rights violations in the run-up to the May elections. Karapatan condemns the recent illegal arrest of more than 40 health workers and doctors, including the wife of Karapatan Deputy Secretary General Roneo Clamor, Dr. Mary Mia, who were conducting First Responders Training in Morong, Rizal early Saturday, February 6.

At 6:15 Saturday morning, at least 300 heavily armed elements of the combined forces of the 202nd Infantry Brigade of the Philippine Army (202IBPA) and the Rizal Provincial Philippine National Police (PNP) forced their way into the farmhouse of Dr. Melecia Velmonte in Morong, Rizal where the training was being held.

Rights group reports on the state of human rights in the Philippines

OBL bloodiest, most brutal campaign vs. Filipino people -- Karapatan
 

At a media briefing, the national human rights alliance, KARAPATAN, presented its annual report on the human rights situation as well as the almost-decade’s old Arroyo administration’s human rights record.

The 2009 Report on the Human Rights Situation in the Philippines was presented in observance of the December 10 International Human Rights Day, and in the midst of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's implementation of Martial Law in Maguindanao province, which the rights groups strongly opposes.

The Report features the cases of violation of human rights documented by Karapatan, from January to October of 2009. It also features a comprehensive analysis of the regime's counter-insurgency plan, Oplan Bantay Laya (OBL), which victimized legal, progressive and unarmed individuals for the span of 5 years.

In its 52-page report, Karapatan said that the OBL is "by far the bloodiest and most brutal counter-insurgency campaign unleashed on the Filipino people by any president" for it "lumps together" the armed revolutionary movement, legal and democratic organizations, media and political opposition” as targets to quell the growing dissent against Arroyo's political and economic policies.

Karapatan also emphasized that the OBL "fosters a reign of terror and climate of impunity that encourage even her warlord minions to massacre scores of men and women in a gruesome carnage in Ampatuan, Maguindanao."

Karapatan condemns military for the killing of human rights advocate Fr. Lucero

Karapatan Alliance for the Advancement of Peoples' Rights today condemned the military for the killing of of human rights advocate and Catholic priest Fr. Cecilio Lucero and for other human rights violations in the province, at the public presentation of the report of the national fact-finding mission (NFFM).

The fact-finding mission which was conducted on October 7 to 10, 2009, was initiated by Karapatan and with Katungod-Sinirangang Bisayas-Northen Samar and the Promotion of Church People's Response (PCPR) to look into the Lucero’s killing.

KARAPATAN reiterates call for greater vigilance to protect the people’s rights; condemns continuing human rights violations

The human rights alliance Karapatan today raised the alarm on the continuing assault to the people’s rights and reiterates its call to the public for greater vigilance on the alarming continuing killings, abductions, militarization of both urban and rural communities, harassments and surveillance of civilians and other human rights violations reminiscent of the martial law period.

Jun Cruz Reyes at pressconIn a press conference today, Karapatan Chairperson Marie Hilao-Enriquez joined the UP organizations in denouncing the series of surveillance operations committed on artist, writer and UP professor Jun Cruz Reyes, by men believed to be military intelligence agents.

Reyes, a writer and professor at the University of the Philippines reported that on September 13, 2009, a man approached him at an eatery and photographed him without his permission. He also divulged that on the same day and on September 10, men who looked like soldiers went to and observed his house in Bulacan. Reyes also disclosed that on November 15, 2007, men in army fatigues with their faces covered attempted to bribe his neighbor to point out his whereabouts.  He also said that in August of 2007, two men who looked like soldiers attempted to enter his house but the dogs’ barking gave their presence away so the men ran when they saw that neighbours saw what they tried to do.  After this incident, his dog was poisoned. Reyes also revealed that in 2006, he was warned by his friend that he was in the Philippine Army's so-called "order of battle" list, a list believed to be targets for "liquidation." 

Karapatan welcomes the lifting of JASIG suspension, calls for the release of detained NDFP consultants

On the resumption of peace talks
Karapatan welcomes the lifting of JASIG suspension, calls for the release of detained NDFP consultants

The human rights alliance Karapatan welcomes the lifting of the suspension of the Joint Agreement on Security and Immunity Guarantee (JASIG), which shall take effect on July 17, to pave the way for the resumption of the peace negotiations between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP).

Rights group reiterates calls on government to stop policy of torture, render justice to victims

At the CA hearing today for Fil-Am torture survivor, Melissa Roxas’ petition for the writ of amparo

Rights group reiterates calls on government to stop policy of torture, render justice to victims 

Karapatan commends adbucted torture survivor Fil-Am activist Melissa Roxas for speaking to the public for the first time yesterday, Sunday (Manila time). Roxas tearfully recounted her experience in the hands of her abductors, in a press conference in Los Angeles which was streamed via the internet to the rest of the world.

The human rights alliance and relatives of victims of human rights violations shall again troop to the Court of Appeals for the hearing of Roxas’ petition for the writ of amparo.  “We hope that the Court of Appeals will look kindly on Melissa Roxas’ petition and grant the prayers asked for in this case so that the remedies of the writ of amparo can be rendered to her,” thus, said by the mothers of Desaparecidos who attended the hearing to show support to Roxas.

Torture survivor weds his sweetheart; vows to continue fighting for justice

On June 20, members of the organizations of victims and relatives of victims of human rights violations, Desaparecidos and Hustisya! as well as the human rights alliance, KARAPATAN, turned out in a jubilant mood to show their support to the wedding of torture survivor Raymond Manalo, and his sweetheart, Kristel Alminiana, in a simple ceremony at the St. Andrew’s Theological Seminary in Quezon City.

KARAPATAN condemns continuing assault on activists and progressive organizations

Rights group raises alarm over rising violations cases in the run –up to the 2010 elections

Karapatan condemns continuing assault on activists and progressive organizations


The human rights alliance Karapatan today denounced the continuing state-perpetrated attacks on activists and progressive organizations.  Particularly, the Alliance condemns the June 11 raid of an electoral consultation and conference in Cagayan Valley, participated in by 19 representatives of people's organizations, as well as local coordinators of progressive partylist organizations Bayan Muna, Anakpawis, Gabriela Women's Party and Kabataan. 

At around midnight of June 11, not less than 30 men, some of whom were masked and wearing camouflage pants, combat boots, and armed with M16 rifles and .45 caliber pistols, forced their way into the sleeping quarters of the participants at MasCoop Resort, Bgy. Masisit, Sanchez Mira, Cagayan province.

The perpetrators threatened to kill the victims and took all of their personal belongings including laptops, personal documents and money.  The manner, accuracy and swiftness of the raid show a similar pattern of military attacks in many of the earlier cases of abductions and raids committed in other areas and in other cases.

Abduction of Fil-Am activist, 2 others is a HRV that cannot be erased by discrediting Karapatan and other human rights defenders

The human rights alliance Karapatan today issued a statement condemning the malicious statements made by the Presidential Human Rights Committee on Wednesday.

Karapatan Secretary General Marie Hilao-Enriquez said bad-mouthing Karapatan will not erase the fact that there was a reported incident of an abduction of a Fil-Am activist and two other community health workers.

The PHRC alleged that Karapatan and Bayan had made up the abduction of three community health workers Melissa Roxas, Juanito Carabeo and Edward Handoc.

The PHRC even went to the extent of saying, “There are no reports of this case in the local government office or with local police authorities of the Municipality of La Paz, Tarlac, where the abduction allegedly took place, filed by anyone…”

Karapatan Secretary General Marie Hilao-Enriquez said, “Check your facts or eat your words!  Their statements only show that they are so incompetent, they are wasting the people’s money!”

To ignore Alston is to deny existence of dead bodies, blood in government’s hands

 The human rights umbrella Karapatan today said that by ignoring the Alston report, the Arroyo government is denying the existence of dead bodies and the blood in the hands of its security forces.

Marie Hilao-Enriquez, Karapatan Secretary General said that the statements made by Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez to the latest report of UN special rapporteur Philip Alston, only goes to show that the Arroyo government will not change its policy of targeting civilians in its perverted campaign against insurgency.

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