Press release

Karapatan slams arrest of urban poor activist in Duterte’s fake terror list

Karapatan condemns the arrest of Ruby Lacadman yesterday, March 29, 2018 at her residence in Brgy. Cacutud, Mabalacat City, Pampanga. Lacadman, a member of Kadamay, an alliance of urban poor communities, was apprehended by elements of the police and military by virture of a warrant of arrest for murder for “Ruby Palabrica y Quitason” issued on October 12, 2017. She was brought to the Mabalacat police station. As of this writing, Lacadman is set to be transferred to Cadiz, City, Negros Occidental where she will be reportedly presented to the court on Monday. Lacadman is among the activists presumably included in the Justice Department’s proscription petition which contained a list of more than 600 names. 

Ruby Lacadman 

*Photo of Ruby Lacadman by Bagong Alyansang Makabayan - Gitnang Luson 

On Malacañang’s allegations that human rights groups are in cahoots with drug lords

We’d never know what they’re having in Malacañang, that they never seem to run out of fantastic tales and labels.

They call human rights activists with so many names - NPA rebels, rowdy anti-development strikers, terrorists, destabilizers and now minions of drug lords - all meant to justify the extrajudicial killings, torture and illegal arrest of human rights activists and political dissenters. 

Rights groups in Hong Kong, Belgium stage protests vs Duterte’s fake terror list

In a show of solidarity with Filipino activists against the Duterte government’s attacks and political persecution of human rights defenders, human rights and people’s organizations in Hong Kong and Belgium staged symbolic actions to condemn Duterte’s fake terror list. “These acts of solidarity remind us that Filipinos and even foreigners in different parts of the world will stand together during these repressive and challenging times. It reminds us that the cause of people’s rights and protection for those who courageously advocate for it is of global importance,” said Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay.

 

(Photo: Various groups and individuals gather in Brussels, Belgium to protest the PH government's fake "terror list" and call for an end to the criminalization of activists and rights defenders)

 

 

(Photo: Human rights groups gather at the PH General Consulate in Hong Kong to protest the PH government's fake "terror list" , calls for an end to the criminalization of activists and rights defenders) 

Duterte regime uses its all-purpose paramilitary pawns in fake terror list – Karapatan

In the proscription petition filed by the Department of Justice (DOJ) on February 21, 2018, names of at least eight (8) known paramilitary members have been included. Among those in the list are Aldy Salusad, Dumanggol Salusad, Reyboy Salusad, Benjamin Salusad, Julieto Tapanan, Ronal Cabantao, Abing Gawilan, and Joas Licawan. Many are members of the New Indigenous People’s Army for Reform (NIPAR) and the Citizen Armed Force Geographical Unit (CAFGU).
 
 

Karapatan slams Tokhang-style killing in Bicol

Karapatan strongly condemned the tokhang-style killing of Alfredo Merilos and companion Liz Ocampo by combined elements of the 9th Infantry Battalion-Philippine Army (IBPA) and the Philippine National Police- Camarines Sur on March 15, 2018 in a subdivision in Cararayan, Naga City, Camarines Sur. 

UN bodies, int’l rights organizations decry Duterte government’s fake terrorist list

Aside from the statements of the United Nations High Commissioner on Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein and two UN special rapporteurs on the inclusion of the names of UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Victoria Tauli-Corpuz and of human rights defenders in the Department of Justice petition proscribing the Communist Party of the Philippines and the New People’s Army as terrorist organizations, statements of support and solidarity poured in from several other UN bodies and international human rights organizations decrying the Duterte administration’s fake terrorist list.

 

Erik Solheim, head of UN Environment said “These charges must be dropped immediately, and support provided for the legitimate activities of these individuals who have UN mandates, and the civil society organizations with which they work…It is deeply concerning that authorities have routinely responded to the expressions of environmental and human rights defenders by criminalizing and delegitimizing their voices.” His full statement can be accessed through: https://www.unenvironment.org/news-and-stories/statement/statement-response-allegations-terrorism-against-un-special-rapporteurs

Karapatan submits report on criminalization of IP rights defenders to UN Special Rapporteur on IPs

Karapatan today submitted an input on the attacks against indigenous rights defenders, in response to the call of the office of United Nations Special Rapporteur Victoria Tauli Corpuz for her upcoming thematic report to the UN Human Rights Council on criminalization of indigenous peoples’ rights defenders.
 

Latest Duterte Spin to Get Away with Murder: Play the victim and withdraw ICC ratification

“Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s most recent decision to withdraw the State’s ratification of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) is indicative of his rabid refusal to be subjected to any and all forms of investigation or scrutiny. The Duterte regime is defensively peddling the narrative that all casualties in the drug war occurred during legitimate police operations. Despite this lie, this murderous regime is aware that there are relatives, witnesses, and individuals who can expose and demolish its half-baked stories. Thus, Duterte is choosing to cheat his way out of a mechanism that can potentially prove his culpability,” said Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay.

On the eve of 20th anniversary of CARHRIHL: Victims of torture, illegal arrests file complaints vs GRP

“Torture victims and the kin of recently arrested peace consultant Rafael Baylosis and Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) organizer Maoj Maga filed a complaint against the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) for violations under the the Comprehensive Agreement on the Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL). Tomorrow, March 16, will be the 20th year of CARHRIHL, yet the GRP and its state forces are still committing gross human rights violations, as exemplified by these cases,” said Karapatan deputy secretary general Roneo Clamor, accompanying torture victims Janry Mensis and “Jerry”, and Eleanor de Guzman, daughter of Rafael Baylosis and wife of Maoj Maga.  
 

On the DOJ dismissal of drug charges against Kerwin Espinosa, Peter Lim, and 20 others

Karapatan called the Department of Justice’s resolution to drop drug trafficking charges against self-confessed drug lord Kerwin Espinosa a “travesty” and “an indication of the department’s lack of credibility, integrity and basic common sense.” 

Espinosa, in a series of Senate hearings and while under oath, admitted to earning PhP50 million yearly in illegal drug trade and maintaining an illegal drug business. In a 14-page resolution, State prosecutors also dismissed drug charges against businessman Peter Lim and 20 others for “uncorroborated statements” and “lack of evidence”.
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