“The military’s all-out war against the people and the new counter-insurgency program Oplan Kapayapaan must stop. These have resulted to the escalation of fascist attacks against the people,” Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay said at a media forum organized by the Pinoy Media Center in Quezon City.
“With the arrest of peace consultant Ariel Arbitario this morning, the Armed Forces of the Philippines is clearly taking advantage of the verbal orders of Pres. Duterte, despite no formal notice of termination of the formal peacetalks between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) and the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG) still in force,” Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay said on the today’s arrest of NDFP peace consultant Ariel Arbitrario.
Karapatan Secretary General Cristina Palabay today pressed for the release of all political prisoners, in the light of the recent death of political prisoner Bernabe Ocasla, a 66-year old peasant organizer from Western Samar, due to cardiac arrest last November 28, 2016.
Thirty-six (36) political prisoners in Camp Bagong Diwa, Taguig City today wore black armbands to express their grief and indignation over the death of political prisoner Bernabe Ocasla on November 28 at the Jose Reyes Memorial Hospital in Manila.
At 5:30pm yesterday, 66-year old Ocasla, a peasant organizer, suffered his third and fatal cardiac arrest since Friday, November 25, when he was first brought to the hospital. He died instantly, after three days in coma.
Karapatan today expressed its support for Rise Up!, a campaign initiated by faith-based groups, institutions and people’s organizations against the drug menace and for the protection of human and people’s rights against drug-related extrajudicial killings, as it holds a public forum and launch today at the Iglesia Filipino Independiente (IFI).
Pres. Rodrigo Duterte’s presumption of regularity in the operations of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG), which resulted to killing of Albuera Mayor Ronaldo Espinosa and Raul Yap, signals the outcome of any independent, much less official, probe on the incident. Such statements will be taken as a go-signal for the exoneration of the CIDG and the masterminds of the killing. Such statements fuel impunity, granting credence and legitimacy to every police action in line with the war against drugs.
We condemn the nine Supreme Court justices for their abominable decision allowing a hero’s burial for the dictator Marcos. We also denounce the regimes after EDSA 1, from that of Corazon Aquino to Benigno Aquino III, which failed to hold the Marcoses and their cronies accountable for rights abuses, corruption, and anti-people policies. These US-backed governments enabled the political rehabilitation of the Marcoses.
Nineteen political prisoners, not 71, released in relation to peace talks
Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay clarified that there have been only nineteen (19) political prisoners released in line with the GRP-NDFP peacetalks, and not 71 as stated by Peace adviser Jesus Dureza, in an article of Cebu Daily Inquirer on October 31, 2016. "Majority of those released are consultants to the peace process. NDFP consultant Jaime Soledad was acquitted from the fabricated charges against him, and political prisoners discharged from prison from July-October 2016 were released because of the merits of their counsels' defense and the campaign for their releases," Palabay explained.
While Karapatan welcomed recent reports on the upcoming release of at least 50 political prisoners, Palabay reasserted that all the 400 political prisoners should be released at the soonest possible time. "We shouldn't wait for Christmas to do what is compassionate and just, especially for the elderly, sick, women and minors, and those languishing in jails for more than ten years," she stated.
The proposal to present alleged intimate videos of Sen. Leila de Lima in Congress serves no legitimate purpose in the investigation, is in bad taste and an insult to the general public and the truly honorable members of the Lower House. It will be an attempt at a pornographic show that will not establish accountability in the illegal drug trade and related issues such as drug-related killings.