Press release

Canada arms deal with PH will abet rights violations in the country – Karapatan

“Canada’s $233 million arms sale of military combat helicopters to the Philippine government will enable and worsen the already dire human rights situation under the Duterte administration. We call on the Canadian people and Filipino migrants in Canada to oppose this arms deal and intensify support for human and people’s rights in the Philippines,” said Karapatan Secretary General Cristina Palabay, after the agreement between the Canadian Commercial Corporation (CCC) and Philippine military was announced on February 6, 2018. 
 

Karapatan hits House approval of bill restricting public assembly

The House of Representatives, voting 212-55, approved House Bill No. 6834 on its third and final reading yesterday, February 6, 2018. The said bill is set to replace the Batas Pambansa (BP) 880 or the Public Assembly Act of 1985. 

Under HB 6834, in lieu of securing a permit, rally organizers would need to serve a notice to the mayor, three working days before the protest. The bill will impose graver penalties of 6 months to 6 years imprisonment for rallies without notice, or those held outside the notice’s coverage.

On the SC decision affirming martial law extension in Mindanao

“Just as the Duterte-controlled super majority in Congress colluded to approve the extension of martial law last December 2017, the Supreme Court followed through with a rubber stamp to legitimize martial rule, completing the ingredients for a full-fledged tyranny,” said Karapatan general Cristina Palabay on the SC decision to junk petitions against martial law extension in Mindanao. Today, February 6, 2018, the Supreme Court, voting 10-5, upheld the constitutionality of the martial extension in Mindanao.
 

PNP-CIDG would put the proponents of tanim-bala to shame - Karapatan

"Living up to their infamous reputation of being fascist scriptwriters, the Philippine National Police’s (PNP) Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) has once again proven the repressive, deceitful and detestable anatomy of our police force. Their overused modus operandi of illegally arresting persons without warrant, falsely claiming in flagrante delicto, and then curing said arrest by planting evidence is a tale as old as time,” said Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay, referring to the recent arrest of NDFP peace consultant Rafael Baylosis and his companion Roque Guillermo Jr. on January 31, 2018. She asserted that evidence against the two were planted. No warrant was presented to Baylosis and Guillermo at the time of their arrest.

Rights groups mount dance protest vs Cha-Cha

Karapatan and SELDA held a dance protest against charter change on February 3, 2018 at the Grandstand, Sunken Garden, UP Diliman, Quezon City. The event, dubbed Cha-cha laban sa Cha-cha, was attended by human rights advocates, martial law veterans, members of progressive organizations, and individuals who have expressed their opposition to Duterte’s charter change.

 

 

 

 

 

Release Baylosis and all political prisoners, resume GRP-NDFP peace talks

Karapatan condemns in the strongest terms the arrest of National Democratic of the Philippines (NDFP) peace consultant Rafael Baylosis and his companion Roque Guillermo Jr. on the afternoon of January 31, 2018. Baylosis’ relatives sought Karapatan’s help in locating him, after they received initial reports on his arrest. At 10pm last night, Karapatan dispatched a quick reaction team to the CIDG-NCR office in Camp Crame, Quezon City, where they were able to confirm that Baylosis and Guillermo were arrested and detained. Both are currently detained at the Crime Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) – NCR inside the premises of Camp Crame, Quezon City. Baylosis, a member of the NDFP Reciprocal Working Group on Political and Constitutional Reforms, is already 69 years old, and is also suffering from heart ailments.

Attacks against peasants escalate as January ends

“A rare celestial occurrence called the blood moon will be visible today, as the first month of 2018 closes. Yet, on the ground, frequent violations where the blood of farmers and indigenous peoples are spilt have already tainted the fields red. As January closes, attacks against peasant communities have escalated, with the Duterte regime perpetrating a string of unbridled violations against the country’s poorest,” said Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay.

Killings, violations vs human rights defenders to intensify with martial law extension, counter-insurgency crackdown – Karapatan

“With the extension of martial law in Mindanao, the continuing implementation of counter-insurgency program Oplan Kapayapaan, the crackdown on progressive and human rights organizations advocating for people’s rights, and attacks against press freedom, the Duterte regime is keen on intensifying extrajudicial killings, illegal arrests, threats and harassment against human rights defenders (HRDs) in a brazen and detestable attempt to muzzle legitimate opposition to its anti-people policies,” said Karapatan Secretary General Cristina Palabay, in a consultation led by international rights group International Service for Human Rights (ISHR) in Quezon City, Philippines. 
 

Duterte, martial law are the threats to public safety – Karapatan

“Duterte and his anti-people policies such as martial law are the real threats to public safety. Policemen loitering around in urban poor communities and conveniently using the ‘nanlaban’ excuse to justify the murder of poor people are threats to public safety. Soldiers and paramilitary elements conducting operations in indigenous and peasant communities while mouthing their ‘martial law ngayon’ narrative to escape accountability are the real threats to public safety. This regime, which has been inching the country closer to a full-blown dictatorship with little to no checks and balances, is the real threat to public safety,” said Karapatan secretary general in response to Solicitor General Jose Calida’s statement that martial law in Mindanao is required by public safety. 
 

Bato’s refusal to release police info on drug war, a disgraceful attempt to escape accountability

“PNP Chief Ronaldo ‘Bato’ Dela Rosa’s refusal to release information on police operations regarding the drug war campaign is a disgraceful attempt to escape accountability, not that one can expect integrity from the Philippine National Police anyway. Releasing information on the drug war would indeed endanger cops, in the sense that they will be legally prosecuted and made accountable for their murder spree in urban poor communities,” said Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay. 

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