Press release

Duterte’s ML “every bit fascist, every bit brutal” - Karapatan

“With the martial law declaration in Mindanao, Duterte and his state forces have become every bit as fascist, every bit as brutal, and every bit as fraudulent and deceptive, concocting new and more atrocious ways to commit rights violations in indigenous and peasant communities,” said Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay, citing recent cases of abductions, killings, and harassment in different regions in Mindanao.

Duterte regime coddles criminals, parades them as surrenderees

During a dialogue between the Commission on Human Rights and Lumad leaders from various communities in Mindanao, Karapatan raised the issue of members of paramilitary groups, who are at-large for crimes of murder and destructive arson being protected by the government, and even paraded as NPA surrenderees. “This is but a cheap trick to make the government look good and triumphant in its counterinsurgency campaign, even at the price of deceiving the public and deliberately withholding justice from the victims, their families, and their respective communities,” said Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay. 

Recent arrest of Lumad teacher, part of Duterte regime’s continuing attacks vs indigenous communities

Duterte has relentlessly put the Lumad under attack - their communities bombed and militarized, their schools threatened, and their teachers subjected to trumped-up charges, among other forms of rights violations. The recent arrest of a volunteer teacher in South Cotabato is indicative of a continuing systematic attack on indigenous communities, directed and funded by counterinsurgency program Oplan Kapayapaan and worsened by the martial law implementation in Mindanao,” said Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay.


Duterte incites horrifying war crimes – Karapatan

“Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has distinguished himself as a frothing-in-the-mouth fascist, who incites the worst violations of international humanitarian law, aside from his exhortations to his State forces to disregard basic human and people’s rights. His recent comments and pronouncements are but the latest of the series of these madman’s display of tyranny, lunacy and machismo,” thus said Karapatan Secretary General Cristina Palabay. 

Military rampage in Cagayan Valley results in rights violations

“In Cagayan Valley and in many other parts of the country, the military is taking its offensive against peasant and indigenous communities a notch higher.  Military rule readily creates an environment for repression of people’s rights, as illustrated in reported violations in Cagayan Valley. It is the soldiers’ unwanted presence and activities that endanger residents and cause fear and insecurity in communities,” said Karapatan Secretary General Cristina Palabay.

Release Ferdinand Castillo and all political prisoners

“A year ago, the arrest of National Democratic Front peace consultant Ferdinand Castillo already revealed tell-tale signs of Duterte’s rejection of efforts for the continuation of the peace talks. Duterte’s cozying up to militarists in his Cabinet mark this stark change. Fast forward to today, 145 activists, progressives and civilians, out of the 486 political prisoners, have been put in jail by the regime for their work and advocacy, and Duterte has been unmasked as a tyrant,” said Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay.

Drug war death toll since December, proof of Duterte regime’s continuing murder spree

“Straight from the horse’s mouth, the Philippine National Police admitted that since the resumed involvement of police forces in drug war operations, the death toll has again started to rise. Though the PNP did try to backpedal with another pronouncement stating that since the relaunch of Oplan Tokhang, the campaign has been ‘bloodless’, the inconsistency in both statements are typical follies of a discredited institution which desperately tries to salvage its unredeemable reputation from the muck,” said Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay on the recent statement of PNP Deputy Spokesperson Supt. Vimilee Madrid on February 9, 2018.

Karapatan condemns attack on alternative media outfit, background check on journalists

Kodao Productions, an alternative news outlet, reported an attack on its website on Friday, February 2, 2018. Since its establishment in 2000, Kodao has covered issues related to indigenous peoples, peasant communities, and human rights violations in rural areas and urban centers. Kodao has extensively covered the peace process between the government and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines.


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.
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