Peasant killings continue due to US-directed counter-insurgency program in PH

“Two more killings add to the increasing number of peasant killings in the country. Amid the masquerade happening in Manila due to the 2017 ASEAN Summit and US President Donald Trump’s visit, marginalized communities continue to be targeted by the guns, policies, and agreements put forward by these powerful, militarist, ruthless, and greedy imperialists. This is the real situation on the ground – a truth that will haunt these heads of States despite their ornamented rhetoric of development, progress, and security,” said Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay.

Fascists and hypocrites converge in the ASEAN 2017 summit – Karapatan

“US President Donald Trump is slated to arrive in the Philippines on November 12, 2017, to be welcomed by the Philippine government with tapestries and events amounting to Php 15.5B, when the only welcome befitting of his visit is protest and condemnation. Once again, the world is set to witness an illusion of luxury and affluence, where heads of States dine and talk about plundering more resources from poor countries, pressing down already-low wages, promoting globalization and economic integration at the expense of local economies, and bombing countries for the ushering of ‘democracy’ – all while Filipinos continue to be mired with poverty as a direct result of US neoliberal policies. The stench of hypocrisy is revolting,” said Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay on Trump’s visit in the country for the 2017 ASEAN Summit.

US War 1

Attacks vs rights defenders intensify, Duterte and his mercenaries responsible - Karapatan

“Contrary to the statement of Malacañang’s mouthpieces, including that of recently appointed Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, Duterte is a human rights violator, peddling fascist policies that continue the killing, illegal arrests and harassment directed against human rights workers. Through state policies such as counterinsurgency program Oplan Kapayapaan and the war on drugs, he sanctions State security forces with the license to kill, ensuring they have the resources, funds, and protection to go forward with their killing spree. By allowing his counterinsurgency program to continuously wreck havoc among the ranks of rights defenders, Duterte should ultimately be held responsible for these ongoing and intensifying attacks,” said Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay on the recent spate of violations against human rights defenders in different parts of the country.

Political prisoners express support for farmers, calls the struggle for genuine land reform a “matter of life and death”

“91 farmers have already been killed under the Duterte regime, targeted because of their active involvement in peasant organizations to push forward the struggle for genuine land reform. Literally, the plight of farmers is a matter of life and death, especially in a feudal setting where agricultural lands are controlled by big landlords and agrobusiness corporations,” political prisoners stated in a statement.


Political prisoners and other detainees sign petition to stop the killings

A signature campaign expressing concern over the widespread drug-related killings was launched by detainees, including political prisoners in Camp Bagong Diwa, Taguig City. The petition, calling to end the spate of killings, was supported by other detainees charged with drug cases. The initiative was started by female political prisoners from the Taguig City Jail – Female Dormitory in Camp Bagong Diwa, Taguig City.


Killing of peasants continue under Duterte regime - Karapatan

“There is not only the massacre of urban poor communities in the cities, but there is also the systematic killing of farmers in the countryside. With Duterte’s counterinsurgency program Oplan Kapayapaan wrecking havoc in rural areas, farmers and local peasant organizations have bore the brunt of incessant attacks perpetrated by State security forces. Labeling peasant communities and their leaders as ‘enemies of the State’, the Duterte regime has copied from the same handbook that his predecessors have used as a guide to repress people’s struggles,” said Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay on the ongoing attacks against peasant communities.

As of September 30, 2017, Karapatan has documented 98 victims of political killings, 91 of them are peasants. Many of those killed belong to local farmers’ organizations which have stood firm in asserting their rights, as well as leading campaigns against the militarization of their communities. Perpetrators of killings include soldiers, police personnel, paramilitary groups and private armies of landlords. (List of peasants killed under Duterte is available upon request through karapatan@karapatan.org)

peasants killed

Jail conditions are inhuman and degrading, standards on treatment of prisoners remain ink on paper – Karapatan

“Prisoners are neither okay nor comfortable. The Bureau of Jail Management and Penology’s (BJMP’s) budget per inmate is a meager PhP50 per day, an amount insufficient in providing quality and decent meals and at times subject of corruption by jail officials. Under the Duterte regime, two political prisoners have already died because of grave conditions behind bars, along with scores of other ordinary inmates. There is nothing to be happy about compounding the degrading and inhuman situation already endured by prisoners,” Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay said on President Rodrigo Duterte’s expression of satisfaction in jail conditions in his visit to Camp Bagong Diwa jails yesterday, October 18. 

Duterte communist tag of progressives “same old, dangerous”

“Pres. Duterte is barking like a mad dog again. This time, following the line of previous administrations in branding progressive organizations as communist fronts, Duterte is replicating the same dangerous environment that makes human rights defenders vulnerable to all kinds of rights violations and fascist attacks imaginable,” said Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay on Wednesday. 

Karapatan said this in reaction to Pres. Duterte’s statements on Tuesday that Piston, Kilusang Mayo Uno and Karapatan are legal fronts of the Communist Party of the Philippines.

On the acquittal of military officer in Jonas Burgos case and the culture of impunity in PH

Karapatan deplores the recent decision of Judge Alfonso Ruiz II of Regional Trial Court Branch 216 in Quezon City, acquitting Maj. Harry Baliaga Jr. from arbitrary detention charges filed on June 2011 by Mrs. Edita Burgos, mother of abducted peasant organizer Jonas Burgos. The court decision is the most recent manifestation of the prevalent climate of impunity in the Philippines, where even a small fry like Baliaga cannot be made accountable for his crimes.   

More than ten years after Jonas Burgos was abducted by State security forces, Jonas is yet to be surfaced by his captors, and justice remains elusive for his family.

On the creation of the PNP-AFP Inter-Agency Committee on Legal Action (IACLA)

The Philippine National Police and the Armed Forces of the Philippines Inter-Agency Committee on Legal Action further legitimizes and systematizes the political persecution, illegal arrest, and detention of vocal critics of the Duterte regime's anti-people policies, dissenters and progressive groups through trumped up charges. Coupled with the AFP and PNP's proposals on draconian amendments to the Human Security Act of 2009 and the institution of a national ID system, these schemes pose greater danger to peoples' civil liberties and political rights. 

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