International

Duterte’s “strongman” image, a facade of cowardice

“Strongmen” like Rodrigo Duterte exercise power through State terror and violence with impunity, couched in populist language that misleads the public and trains the guns of his armed forces and police on his perceived enemies - the people. His “strength” comes from dehumanizing the urban poor and workers by calling them “drug addicts” and “lazy criminals,” by tagging activists and political dissenters as “terrorists,” and by branding any and all criticism to his anti-people policies as forms of “destabilization.”

Karapatan hits PH immigration blacklisting of Canadian human rights activist

Karapatan decries the decision of the Philippine Bureau of Immigration (BI) placing Canadian citizen and human rights activist Emile Kinley-Gauthier’s name on the blacklist of the Bureau of Immigration.

Kinley-Gauthier was a participant in the International Conference on Human Rights in the Philippines on 18-21 July 2013. The conference was organized by the International Coalition on Human Rights in the Philippines (ICHRP), Karapatan and the Ecumenical Voice for Human Rights and Peace (EcuVoice).

UN bodies, int’l rights organizations decry Duterte government’s fake terrorist list

Aside from the statements of the United Nations High Commissioner on Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein and two UN special rapporteurs on the inclusion of the names of UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Victoria Tauli-Corpuz and of human rights defenders in the Department of Justice petition proscribing the Communist Party of the Philippines and the New People’s Army as terrorist organizations, statements of support and solidarity poured in from several other UN bodies and international human rights organizations decrying the Duterte administration’s fake terrorist list.

 

Erik Solheim, head of UN Environment said “These charges must be dropped immediately, and support provided for the legitimate activities of these individuals who have UN mandates, and the civil society organizations with which they work…It is deeply concerning that authorities have routinely responded to the expressions of environmental and human rights defenders by criminalizing and delegitimizing their voices.” His full statement can be accessed through: https://www.unenvironment.org/news-and-stories/statement/statement-response-allegations-terrorism-against-un-special-rapporteurs

Karapatan to Duterte: Remove US troops from PH now, scrap EDCA, VFA

In a protest action at the US embassy today, Karapatan called on President Rodrigo Duterte to stop the joint Balikatan exercises between the US and Filipino military and remove all US troops in the Philippines.

"We call on Pres. Rodrigo Duterte to walk the talk and decisively terminate one-sided military agreements with the United States government, such as the Visiting Forces Agreement and the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA). If this administration is serious in asserting Philippine sovereignty against the US, it should start by booting out US troops and doing away with treaties and deals that trample on the nation’s sovereignty,” said Karapatan Secretary General Cristina Palabay said. 

PH Grade in HR Review: Failure

The Philippine government received a failing grade in the recently-concluded UN Universal Periodic Review of Human Rights in the Philippines held in Geneva, Switzerland. 
“Despite attempts by the Philippine delegation to justify the Duterte administration’s war on drugs and to present a positive picture of its achievements on the political, economic, social and cultural rights of the people, most of the attending states still raised serious concerns on a host of human rights issues that remain unaddressed,” said Atty. Ephraim Cortez, co-head of the Philippine UPR Watch delegation to the Geneva event. 
  

US hypocrite, abettor of human rights abuses

“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. 

British parliamentarians, int’l rights activists support call for peace and people’s rights in PH

Members of Parliament in the United Kingdom (UK) and activists from Hongkong, Canada and Germany expressed their support for the continuation of the Philippine government peacetalks with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP), as well as their concern on the continuing violations on people’s rights in the Philippines, in the light of reported political killings of farmers and indigenous peoples.  

Int’l peace, human rights advocates to Duterte: Stop rights abuses, continue GRP-NDFP peacetalks

Peace and human rights advocates from Japan, Australia, Italy, Ireland, and the United Kingdom have expressed alarm and concern on the recent political killings and arrests in the Philippines, as well as on the declarations of Pres. Rodrigo Duterte on the “cancellation” of the formal peacetalks with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines. 

Karapatan to GRP Peace Panel: Pull out troops in communities, respect and implement CARHRIHL

Rome, Italy - On the second day of the third round of formal peacetalks between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP), human rights group Karapatan, through its Secretary General Cristina Palabay, submitted collated reports on violations of human rights and international humanitarian law by State security forces and agents of the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) during the period of the GRP unilateral ceasefire from August 21, 2016 to December 31, 2016.

 

HRV Table 

SC decision on EDCA reaffirms need to assert sovereignty

The Supreme Court final decision declaring the constitutionality of the US-PH Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement reaffirms the need for the Filipino people to continue asserting Philippine sovereignty and an independent and nationalist foreign policy," Cristina Palabay, Karapatan secretary general, said in reaction to the recent SC decision on EDCA.

The main provisions of EDCA on agreed locations for US personnel rotational basing and for US facilities and war materiel will strengthen US influence and control in the Philippines," Palabay said. 

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