Press release

Commemorating Luisita massacre: No justice for peasants aspiring, struggling for genuine agrarian reform

As we commemorate the 13th year after the Hacienda Luisita massacre today, we express our solidarity with the struggle of the Filipino peasants against decades-old feudal exploitation and State fascism. 

On November 16, 2004, seven farmworkers were killed by State forces of the Macapagal-Arroyo regime and paid mercenaries of the Cojuangco-Aquino landlord clan, when the brutal and violent dispersal of the farmworkers demanding just and living wages occurred. For big landlords, compradors and governments, lives of peasants and the poor are cheap, that they can easily be discarded, as long as they have delivered profits for the rich while for years, they were denied of land and resources that they harness. And when they fight back to uphold their rights, they are considered necessary collateral damage to “keep the peace.” 

On the trumped up charges vs Bayan leaders, Karapatan paralegal vis protests during 2017 ASEAN Summit

The trumped up charges against Karapatan paralegal Neil Legaspi and Bayan leaders Renato Reyes and Teddy Casino all came from the hyper-imagination of the Task Force ASEAN and the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) of the Philippine National Police (PNP). Karapatan paralegals saw first-hand how TF ASEAN, thru CIDG operatives, engaged in a scriptwriting workshop at the Manila Police District on November 12, 2017, inventing facts and statements of the arresting police officers until the wee hours of the morning the next day and doggedly insisting on filing all the absurd cases, when we were assisting Legaspi.

Neil Legaspi 

US strengthening its theatre of war in Asia while Duterte willingly accedes PH sovereignty to imperialist exploits - Karapatan

DuterTrump possible meeting on human rights, one big sick joke

“US Pres Donald Trump and Philippine Pres. Rodrigo Duterte talking about human rights is one big sick joke. These representatives of State terrorism have a distorted notion of people’s rights, and the people have nothing to expect from their upcoming empty talk on human rights, if they do talk about it,” said Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay, criticizing both Trump and Duterte’s record of violations. 

Karapatan sounds the alarm on abduction and illegal arrest of former priest, four others in Cebu, Mindoro and Eastern Samar

"Three individuals remain missing since their arrest in Cebu on November 9, while another peasant leader remains in the custody of the police in Marabut, Eastern Samar. The offensive of State security forces against members and leaders of progressive organizations have no doubt intensified, as Duterte unleashes his fascist and militarist policies. Duterte sings when his imperialist masters ask him to sing, to the tune of curtailing people's rights. Duterte himself does not care for people's rights - a trait he shares with Trump and other leaders of imperialist countries,” said Karapatan deputy secretary general Jigs Clamor. 

Day 1 of Trump’s visit: Karapatan staff arrested, 20 others injured during protests

"Who do we expect to guard a human rights violator, fascist,  and bigot like US Pres. Donald Trump?  None other than his fellow fascists, personified by our own police force. In true militarist and fascist fashion that their masters –Trump and Phil. Pres. Rodrigo Duterte – would no doubt be proud of, the police arrested Karapatan’s staff who was then driving the van and injured at least 20 protesters, including Anakbayan Chairperson Vencer Crisostomo. With the brazen disregard of Trump and Duterte of human rights, their minions seem to be shedding all pretense as well,” said Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay. 

ASEAN rights body not addressing killings and attacks vs rights defenders in PH

“Since its establishment in 2009, the ASEAN Inter-governmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) has addressed a grand total of zero pressing concerns on human and people’s rights in the Philippines such as the killings and attacks against human rights defenders and indigenous peoples, killings in relation to the drug war, bombings and forcible evacuation of communities, especially with the martial law declaration in Mindanao,” said Cristina Palabay, Secretary General of Philippine-based human rights organization Karapatan, in the sidelines of a parallel gathering of non-governmental organizations to the 2017 Summit of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN). 

Peasant killings continue due to US-directed counter-insurgency program in PH

“Two more killings add to the increasing number of peasant killings in the country. Amid the masquerade happening in Manila due to the 2017 ASEAN Summit and US President Donald Trump’s visit, marginalized communities continue to be targeted by the guns, policies, and agreements put forward by these powerful, militarist, ruthless, and greedy imperialists. This is the real situation on the ground – a truth that will haunt these heads of States despite their ornamented rhetoric of development, progress, and security,” said Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay.

Fascists and hypocrites converge in the ASEAN 2017 summit – Karapatan

“US President Donald Trump is slated to arrive in the Philippines on November 12, 2017, to be welcomed by the Philippine government with tapestries and events amounting to Php 15.5B, when the only welcome befitting of his visit is protest and condemnation. Once again, the world is set to witness an illusion of luxury and affluence, where heads of States dine and talk about plundering more resources from poor countries, pressing down already-low wages, promoting globalization and economic integration at the expense of local economies, and bombing countries for the ushering of ‘democracy’ – all while Filipinos continue to be mired with poverty as a direct result of US neoliberal policies. The stench of hypocrisy is revolting,” said Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay on Trump’s visit in the country for the 2017 ASEAN Summit.

US War 1

Attacks vs rights defenders intensify, Duterte and his mercenaries responsible - Karapatan

“Contrary to the statement of Malacañang’s mouthpieces, including that of recently appointed Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, Duterte is a human rights violator, peddling fascist policies that continue the killing, illegal arrests and harassment directed against human rights workers. Through state policies such as counterinsurgency program Oplan Kapayapaan and the war on drugs, he sanctions State security forces with the license to kill, ensuring they have the resources, funds, and protection to go forward with their killing spree. By allowing his counterinsurgency program to continuously wreck havoc among the ranks of rights defenders, Duterte should ultimately be held responsible for these ongoing and intensifying attacks,” said Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay on the recent spate of violations against human rights defenders in different parts of the country.
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