National

Detention of peace consultant at Camp Karingal reveals degrading prison conditions

Fides Lim, wife of detained National Democratic Front (NDF) peace consultant continues to decry the illegal arrest and detention of her 69-year-old husband Vicente Ladlad at Camp Karingal, simultaneously disclosing the poor prison conditions that her husband and other detainees are made to endure. Ladlad was arrested on November 8, 2018, along with couple Alberto Villamor, 64, and Virginia Villamor, 67. The three were charged with trumped-up non-bailable cases of illegal possession of firearms and explosives. 
 

Tanggol Bayi: ‘Palit-puri’ and other such schemes prove uniformed men the foremost violator of women’s rights

Tanggol Bayi, an association of women human rights defenders (WHRDs) in the Philippines, strongly condemns the succession of violence against women by State forces amid the implementation of the Duterte government’s anti-people policies, foremost the war on drugs and counterinsurgency program Oplan Kapayapaan.

The drug war did not only spin a series of brutal killings perpetrated by police forces who hide behind their twisted narratives. This campaign by the Duterte regime also gave rise to cases of gross violence against women and children committed with impunity. Several non-government organizations revealed a heinous scheme called sex-for-freedom scheme or “palit-puri” rampant among police operations, but have exponentially worsened amid the drug war. This involves police operatives using the drug war to rape women, by way of bargaining unwanted sexual intercourse with suspected women drug suspects or women relatives of persons they accuse of peddling drugs in exchange for freedom. 

Arrest the thief and murderer Imelda Marcos! Release all political prisoners!

When peasant Bernabe Ocasla, 66, was brought to a hospital in November 2016, he had already been detained for nine years for fabricated charges. He had a cardiac arrest while incarcerated at the Manila City Jail, and yet even in the hospital, his jail guards kept him handcuffed to his bed and didn’t allow the nurses and his relatives to change his yellow shirt for “fear” that he might escape. Ocasla died on November 30, 2016, after he suffered another cardiac arrest and had been in a coma.  

Human rights worker and peasant Gerardo dela Pena was 74 when he was wrongly convicted in a Bicol court. He was arrested by the 49th Infantry Battalion in Brgy. Matango, Vinzons, Camarines Norte on March 21, 2013 and charged with false cases of murder along with five other John Does. He was detained at the provincial jail for more than a year and was immediately brought to the New Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa City on July 2014 after his conviction. He said he was given only one chance to speak in court and was convicted shortly after his case was heard. He is enduring hypertension and cataract while in detention. 

Karapatan on the recent Sandiganbayan ruling on Imelda Marcos

We welcome the recent Sandiganbayan ruling finding Imelda Marcos guilty under the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act as among the victories by the Filipino people in obtaining justice and accountability against the Marcos dictatorship. We however lament that it had to take 22 long years since the ouster of Marcos to attain such a ruling under the Philippine justice system. We are also ambivalent on the implementation of such a ruling based on two issues: 1) the current regime’s coddling and political rehabilitation of the Marcoses and 2) the machinations of the Marcoses to evade accountability. 

On the arrest of peace consultant Vicente Ladlad and his companions

Peace consultant Vicente Ladlad was arrested last night, November 7, 2018 with elderly couple Alberto and Virginia Villamor in Brgy. San Bartolome, Novaliches, Quezon City. Lawyers from the Public Interest Law Center (PILC), Ladlad’s wife Fides Lim, doctor from the Health Action for Human Rights and Karapatan are on our way to verify their whereabouts and to gain access to him and his companions. 

Justice for Atty. Benjamin Ramos! - Karapatan

Karapatan strongly denounces the killing of Atty. Benjamin Ramos, a people’s lawyer who inflinchingly stood alongside the poor and oppressed in Negros and a feisty human rights defender who dedicated his life to selfless service for the downtrodden. While we grieve with the family of Atty. Ben, his friends and colleagues, and the communities he served, we are enraged with this dastardly and unspeakable act of cowards who hide behind the cloak of anonymity through their usual modus operandi, the riding-in-tandem groups. 

October ends with a new set of rights violations in Compostela Valley

“The people of Compostela Valley in Mindanao is consistently being met with State repression as the Duterte regime continues to terrorize the communities and residents who are defending their rights. Peasant activists are considered threats by a government who wants to preserve itself amid widespread clamor for justice and systemic change,” said Karapatan secretary Cristina Palabay, mentioning the recent cases of political killing and disappearance in the said province. 
 

Duterte’s statement, charges vs 2 NFSW leaders absolve real perpetrators in Sagay 9 massacre - Karapatan

President Duterte’s order to arrest or kill farmers who occupy land is reflective of the government’s long-existing practice of maintaining the feudal exploitation of peasants to maintain the interests of landlords and hacienderos in the Philippines. It shows how the government is complicit in the killings and rights violations against the peasants perpetrated by landlords and their private armies acting in cahoots with the military and police. Instead of implementing genuine agrarian reform to pave the way for land distribution to peasants, the government chooses to kill and arrest those who act to air their grievances and uphold their right to the land they have tilled and made productive for years.

Karapatan condemns kidnapping, serious illegal detention charges vs NUPL lawyer

Karapatan strongly condemns the kidnapping and serious illegal detention charges reportedly filed by Vic Pedaso, the biological father of “Lester”, a 14-year old witness-survivor of the Sagay massacre, against Atty. Katherine Panguban, National Union of Peoples Lawyers (NUPL) Women and Children's Committee Head.

We stand with Sr. Patricia Fox - Karapatan

As Australian missionary Sr. Patricia Fox is compelled to leave today under protest, Karapatan denounces the nearly seven-month ordeal of Fox as one that illustrates the Duterte regime’s contempt for those who promote genuine peace and social justice in the Philippines. 

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