“Karapatan supports the occupy movement of the urban poor in Bulacan who, since March 8, 2017, has started occupation of 5,208 idle housing units in five separate sites in Pandi and San Jose del Monte, Bulacan,” said Karapatan Secretary General Cristina Palabay on the “Occupy Bulacan” campaign led by the Kalipunan ng Damayang Mahihirap (KADAMAY).
Karapatan deplores the harassment against Atty. Vj Topacio, one of the legal counsels of detained political activist Ferdinand Castillo, as a brazen act of intimidation by the Armed Forces of the Philippines against human rights lawyers.
“The United States government’s rhetoric on human rights puts them at a pedestal for hypocrites. Its overt and covert attacks on oppressed peoples of the world and in the Philippines, mostly exposed through its military funding and poison-laced aid for governments and State fascist machines such as the military and the police, betray their direct role and complicity in abetting violations on people’s rights,” said Cristina Palabay, Karapatan Secretary General, on the recently released 2016 US State Department Report on Human Rights Practices which includes views on the human rights situation in the Philippines.
The dehumanizing greyhound operations and raid by the Armed Forces of the Philippines, Philippine National Police and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency at the Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center is the latest of known rights violations against detainees at a detention facility known as the Alcatraz in Cebu. The lining up of detainees, all stripped naked, violates the Anti-Torture Law and all international instruments on torture, cruel or inhuman treatment. The reported involvement of the AFP and PNP in the said operations made it worse.
Targeted political killings, the slate of illegal arrests of leaders and members of progressive organizations, intensified military operations in communities, a justice system that favors the rich and powerful, the continuing oppression of peasants and workers and the domination of US interests in the country remain as palpable realities, thirty one years after Edsa 1. Has this country really achieved change when repressive state policies continue? Have we really seen change when farmers remain landless, rights continue to be violated, and the Filipino people’s interest remain subjugated to imperialist powers?" asked Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay on the 31st commemoration of the EDSA people power.
Political persecution through the filing of legal cases is nothing new, especially in a society where the scales of justice tilt against the poor who dare challenge existing norms and who struggle to change the system. Even before the jailing of one's political rivals became a practice among political factions, the most brutal forms of repression were unleashed among progressives and revolutionaries.
“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.