Press release

Duterte’s death squad signals open season for killing Filipinos

“As if this sham drug war and Duterte’s counterinsurgency program is not enough, this government is continuously coming up with more sinister schemes to kill more Filipinos. The process of identifying targets will inevitably be arbitrary and will result in the deaths of activists and critics already red-tagged by this government and of the poor in its anti-drug campaign. This is an insidious ploy that will add to the number of murders that this regime has already ruthlessly committed – all denied of their right to due process,” said Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay on President Duterte’s statement creating a death squad to target the New People’s Army (NPA) and “idlers” in a recent speech at Camp Rajah Sikatuna in Carmen, Bohol.

Philippines is a dangerous place for women and women human rights defenders (WHRDs)

“The Philippines is a dangerous place for women and women human rights defenders. The situation has aggravated because the Duterte government is hell-bent on protecting the foremost violators of women’s rights – the military and the police. We have a government that coddles rapists and murderers, headed by a leader who spouts demeaning statements against women and actively orders his mercenaries to act with the same disrespect and lack of regard for women’s rights,” said Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay during the commemoration of the International Women Human Rights Defenders Day on November 29, 2018.

Justice for Elisa Badayos and Eleuterio Moises! Stop the attacks against rights defenders!

It has been a year since the killing human rights defenders Elisa Badayos and Eleuterio Moises. On November 28, 2017, two unidentified gunmen linked to a local politician’s private army shot and killed Badayos and Moises while they were on a fact-finding mission in Brgy. San Ramon, Bayawan City, Negros Oriental. Elisa, or “Nene” among friends, was the coordinator of Karapatan Negros Oriental while Eleuterio was a farmer and active member of Mantapi Ebwan Farmer’s Association.  

Two weeks in Mindanao: Two farmers shot, four teachers abducted, five students tortured and a family assaulted

“Two dead, four missing, a family assaulted and five minors tortured by government forces in Mindanao – all in a span of two weeks! This is the real face of martial law, the reality that the Duterte regime is desperately trying to whitewash. The government, however, is still eyeing the extension of military rule in Mindanao, insistent on cracking down against marginalized sectors raising legitimate demands. The perpetrators are guaranteed protection, while the Filipino people are left to suffer unbridled repression and plunder,” said Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay, citing the recent cases of killings and frustrated killings, abduction, and torture in Mindanao. 

Karapatan on Memorandum No. 32: “Ito ang galawang diktador at terorista”

“Ito ang galawang diktador at terorista. In addition to the already worsening attacks on people’s rights in the country, Pres. Rodrigo Duterte through his Executive Secretary released Memorandum Order No. 32, adds another weapon in the current administration’s arsenal of directives that will certainly up the level of State terrorism against the people, especially in Samar, Negros Oriental and Occidental and in Bicol,” Karapatan secretary general said on the issuance of Memorandum Order No. 32 which reinforces guidelines under state of national emergency on account of alleged lawless violence in the aforementioned regions. 

9 years after Maguindanao massacre, impunity and injustice persist

Today, November 23, marks the 9th anniversary of what is considered to be the worst case of election-related violence and journalist killings in the country. The Maguindanao massacre left 58 civilians dead -- 32 of them journalists, also making it the single deadliest attack against journalists. 21 victims were female, some found with traces of semen and positive for sexual abuse. Of the 58, 15 were motorists who were just driving by and were unfortunate enough to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Three mass graves were dug for the intended cover-up. About 188 suspects were accused including the primary suspect, Andal Ampatuan Jr., who is said to have planned the attack. The Ampatuans were known allies of then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. Many of the perpetrators were private armies of the Ampatuans working in cahoots with government security forces. The creation and utilization of private armies as force multipliers in the government's anti-people campaigns was inked by Gloria Arroyo in 2006 through Executive Order 546.

Karapatan Urgent Alert: Rights defenders tailed by riding-in-tandem identified to be members of the military in Negros

Karapatan Urgent Alert - November 17, 2018: Men onboard a single Honda motorcycle and those on the silver Hilux pick-up have been following our convoy since noon from Bacolod City to Sipalay (a 3-4 hour land trip), where Karapatan, NUPL, Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP), National Federation of Sugar Workers (NFSW) and many other people’s organizations were to attend the wake and funeral of Atty. Benjamin Ramos at the Sipalay Gym in Negros Occidental.

End martial law in Mindanao now! -Karapatan

The martial law proclamation in Mindanao is set to lapse on December 31 this year. The military and several lawmakers have already floated the idea of further extending martial law to another six months. AFP Chief of Staff Gen. Carlito Galvez Jr. has expressed that he will recommend martial law’s extension to the President. This was followed by a resolution filed by Iligan City representative Frederick Siao on November 14, 2018, urging the extension of military rule in Mindanao for another six months. 

Karapatan to Duterte: Stop gift-wrapping our sovereignty and our territory

“The Duterte government has chosen a soft stand on China, opting for a defeatist and meek attitude towards China’s aggression and hogging of our territories. Duterte remains mute and has failed to assert the international tribunal ruling in The Hague, which recognized parts of the West Philippine Sea as part of the country’s exclusive economic zone. In effect, the government is gift-wrapping our sovereignty and territory in exchange for being the next debt colony of China,” said Karapatan Secretary General Cristina Palabay, as people’s and human rights groups conduct a protest in front of the Chinese consulate in Makati on November 20, 2018 in time for the first state visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping.

On the PNP’s revival of Alsa Masa-like forces

Karapatan opposes the creation and mobilization of all forms of paramilitary groups, auxiliary forces, “force multipliers” and civilian forces akin to Alsa Masa through the Community Mobilization Project by the Philippine National Police and the Armed Forces of the Philippines. 

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