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PH government’s delusional denial of EJKs, HRVs committed with impunity merits removal from UN rights body - Karapatan

“If the Duterte administration continues to desperately dismiss the existence of extrajudicial killings and other rights violations, despite overwhelming reports from human rights and people’s organizations within the country and concurrence from other governments, its delusional denial is clear proof that it has no qualification nor credibility to be a member of an international human rights body such as the UN Human Rights Council,” said Karapatan Secretary General Cristina Palabay, in reaction to presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella’s statements regarding calls for the removal of the Philippines at the UN HRC. 
 

Drop boxes for drug, security threats reporting are ineffective, arbitrary – Karapatan

“The dropbox system will neither solve criminality or ensure security of citizens, nor will it address the roots of rebellion in the country. Such solutions are unreliable and short-sighted, and will merely promote unnecessary paranoia and rifts between and among members of a community. With this dropbox system in the course of the bloody drug war and counter-insurgency programs, anyone may be affected and can be targeted, regardless of guilt or innocence. The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the police are essentially re-creating a hit list, and they are asking everyone to write it for them,” said Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay on the dropbox system, as among the provisions in the revised Mamamayang Ayaw sa Anomalya, Mamamayang Ayaw sa Iligal na Droga (MASA-MASID) guidelines released by the DILG.
 

Karapatan criticizes US fake concern and hypocrisy on EJKs, rights situation in PH

In a statement during the 36th session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva and its co-signing of the Joint Statement of 39 UNHRC member states, the US government expressed concern regarding the extrajudicial killings and attacks against human rights defenders and indigenous peoples in the Philippines, and on the climate of impunity associated with President Duterte’s drug war.

“Such statements of the US government are plain hypocrisy, as the US continues to fund many programs that have trained and equipped the very same police and military that murder the Filipino people. The US recently extended at least US$2 million assistance for the Duterte government’s drug war, while at least US$180 million was given to the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and its counter-insurgency program. Indeed, there is ‘extrajudicial funding’ for these extrajudicial killings, and using the guise of security sector reform, the United States have concealed its direct participation in such programs. Its fake concern and hypocrisy on the human rights situation in the Philippines is revolting,” said Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay.

Filipino rights activists meet Belgian parliamentarians after PH UPR session at UN

Speaking before the members of the Brussels parliament, human rights organizations under Philippine UPR Watch presented the worsening human rights situation in the Philippines as a result of government’s intensified counter-insurgency operation. The group highlighted the ongoing aerial bombardments of the Philippine army in Batangas Province which reportedly resulted to the killing of a minor and forcible evacuations of hundreds of families.

“As we speak before you, human rights violations continue to occur in the Philippines. In Batangas, a few kilometers away from the nation's capital, hundreds of families were reportedly displaced while a minor died due to the ongoing aerial bombardments of the military,” said National Union of People’s Lawyers secretary general Atty. Ephraim Cortez, who also co-heads the delegation of Philippine UPR Watch that recently attended the 36th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland.

Revoke PH membership at UN rights council - Philippine UPR Watch

Amid the Philippine government's continued denial of the existence of extrajudicial killings and the culture of impunity in the Philippines before United Nations processes, the Philippine UPR Watch, a delegation of victims of rights violations, ecumenical leaders, and human rights defenders who participated in the UN sessions in Geneva, Switzerland, called for the removal of the Philippines as a member of the UN Human Rights Council.

"Throughout the three cycles of the Universal Periodic Review, and most especially during the Duterte regime's participation in the process, the Philippines has exhibited a total mockery of international human rights mechanisms,  with the government's blatant distortion of facts on extrajudicial killings and human rights violations in the country, its record of using the UN as a platform to justify its crimes against the Filipino people, and its doubletalk on compliance to human rights instruments. We call on the UN to revoke the membership of Philippines at the UN HRC, especially as it continues its hardheaded position against any UN investigation on the killings," said Philippine UPR Watch.

Torture during interrogations still prevalent - Karapatan

“Despite the inhumanity of the use of torture, such practices remain prevalent among State security forces who have made illegal arrests and deprivation of rights of persons their expertise. Such militarist practices have been so ingrained in the ineffective framework of exacting forced confessions to impose their version of the story that safeguards and laws against torture remain largely unenforced,” said Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay, stating that the recent statement of UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein on torture is relevant on the cases documented in the Philippines. 

Lower House passes budget for Duterte’s war chest, witch hunt tools against Filipino people

“The House of Representatives’ approval of the proposed 2018 budget shows that it is complicit in the executive branch’s design to strengthen its kill, kill, kill program and build up the Duterte regime’s war chest against the Filipino people. The proposed budget includes PhP313 billion for Duterte’s implementation of counter-insurgency program Oplan Kapayapaan and its bloody war on drugs. Both programs are designed to inflict further State terror and violence on the poor, while public funding for social programs on housing, education, and health services have been cut or are practically rendered non-existent,” said Cristina Palabay, Karapatan Secretary General, as the HoR approved on third and final reading the proposed PhP3.767 trillion national budget for 2018 yesterday, September 26. 
 

Peasant killings and other rights violations intensify in rural areas - Karapatan

“Almost 10 months after the implementation of counterinsurgency programs Oplans Bayanihan and Kapayapaan under the Duterte regime, the Armed Forces of the Philippines and its paramilitaries has intensified attacks in rural areas, targeting peasant organizations and indigenous communities. As of August 31, 2017, Karapatan has documented 88 victims of political killings under the Duterte regime, 81 of them are peasants,” said Karapatan Secretary General Cristina Palabay.

PH Gov’t ‘victory’ in Geneva a farce - Karapatan

Press Release | September 23, 2017

Today, September 23, 2017, the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) released a statement alluding to a so-called ‘victory’ by the PH Government after the United Nations Human Rights Council adopted its human rights report card.

“The PH government delegation to Geneva conveniently glosses over the fact that it did not accept any of the 44 recommendations related to extrajudicial killings, none of the 23 recommendations calling for the government to discontinue efforts to revive death penalty, and none of the 13 recommendations aimed at the protecting and creating an enabling environment for human rights defenders and journalists. This are key recommendations that need urgent attention, and yet are furtively brushed off by the Duterte administration,” said Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay.

Military harassment plagues the North - Karapatan

Press Release | September 23, 2017

 “The military is manifesting its fascist character not only through the filing of trumped-up charges, the bombing of communities and schools, and the killing, arrest, and torture of civilians and leaders of progressive organizations; now it has widened its scope to include the digital space used by activists as a platform for advocacy. The AFP has stayed true to its brand of being the instigator of fake news, complemented by the lies and misinformation by Duterte’s deception mill. It intensifies these attacks by promoting hate-mongering and accusations against organizations to justify violations against them,” said Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay on the intensifying acts of harassment and intimidation against Luzon-based activists and organizations.  

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