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OSG order to rearrest NDFP consultants undermines GRP-NDFP peace process

Last August 4, 2017, Solicitor General Jose Calida appealed to courts all over the country to cancel the bail previously granted to NDFP consultants and similarly encouraged orders for the rearrest of consultants. The conditional release was granted for purposes of their participation in the peace talks.

Ailing, elderly political prisoner should be immediately released - Karapatan

On the morning of September 10, 2016, Marcos Aggalao was arrested by combined elements of the police and the military in Gawaan, Balbalan, Kalinga. During the time of his arrest, the 74-year-old is already  suffering from pneumonia, dementia and hypertension. He was later brought to the Kalinga Police Provincial office before being committed at the Bureau of Jail and Management Penology (BJMP) in Tabuk, Kalinga. Eight (8) trumped-up charges were filed against Aggalao.

 (Photo: Recent picture of Marcos Aggalao at BJMP-Tabuk from the Cordillera  Human Rights Alliance - Karapatan)

More rights violations vs Marawi evacuees documented

In a national interfaith and humanitarian mission (NIHM) launched by Kalinaw Mindanao last July 26-29, 2017, Karapatan, along with several other delegations from various peoples organizations, were able to document human rights violations in relation to the martial law declaration in Mindanao. Apart from the trend where State forces are rounding up evacuees to manufacture enemies used to justify martial rule, grave abuses such as extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances were also noted by the mission team, said Karapatan general Cristina Palabay.

 

Karapatan welcomes UN experts’ statement on “spiralling rights violations” in PH

Press Release | August 2, 2017

On July 31, 2017, three independent experts from the United Nations Human Rights Council released a joint statement* calling for government action on increasing rights violations in the Philippines. “Karapatan welcomes the statement of the UN experts and supports the urgent call for the investigation and immediate resolution to the myriad cases of human rights violations in the country,” said Karapatan Secretary General Cristina Palabay.  

Duterte's AFP and PNP manufacture enemies to justify martial law in Mindanao

Karapatan joined Kalinaw Mindanao, Gabriela, and other national and local organizations, in the 2nd National Interfaith Humanitarian Mission among Marawi evacuees last July 27-29, 2017. Aside from conducting psychosocial intervention programs, medical missions, and relief distribution, the team also documented human rights violations under the context of martial law’s implementation. "In the said mission, information gathered indicate a worrisome trend wherein State forces start rounding up evacuees in evacuation centers to wrongfully present them as ISIS members," said Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay.

Arafat Lala, a 38-year-old mechanic, evacuated to Saguiaran Poblacion evacuation center with his family on May 24, 2017. According to an affidavit issued by his wife, Noraidah, he was arrested on July 23, 2017 by elements of the Crime Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) of the Philippine National Police (PNP) based on mere suspicion that Arafat is a terrorist. Noraidah, however, denied such allegations, claiming her husband is not an ISIS member and was even chosen as among the leaders in the evacuation center to help systematize distribution of relief goods. Local DSWD officials and fellow evacuees in Saguiaran can attest to his identity and work in the evacuation center. In fact, hours before he was arrested, Arafat and several volunteers just came back from bringing in boxes of relief assistance from Iligan City.

As of this writing, Arafat is believed to be in the custody of CIDG Region X in Cagayan de Oro.

(IDs of Arafat Lala shown to Karapatan by his wife, Noraida Lala) 

Karapatan condemns killing, arrest, harassment and forcible evacuation of peasants in Bicol, Negros, Quirino and Ilocos

Press Statement | July 28, 2017 

“Even without the formal declaration of martial law in Luzon and the Visayas, the military is on a rampage in killing, harassing, illegally arresting and  driving people out from their communities, through counter-insurgency program Oplan Kapayapaan. In essence, de facto martial law exists because  State security forces have remained unrelenting in their attacks against poor Filipinos, from the past regimes to the Duterte administration,” said  Cristina Palabay, Karapatan Secretary General, upon receiving reports from the organization’s chapters in Bicol, Negros, Cagayan Valley and Ilocos on  incidents of human rights violations.

KARAPATAN STATEMENT ON DUTERTE’S 2nd SONA

President Rodrigo Duterte is fast becoming a disappointment. He has started to increasingly bow down to the dictates of pro-US lackeys, turning his back from the progressive initiatives he has started. The GRP-NDFP peace negotiations is now in limbo, as he forces a bilateral ceasefire deal while undermining discussions on socioeconomic and political reforms, and is blatantly violating agreements on human rights and international humanitarian law. He has reneged on his promise to release all political prisoners through a general amnesty. Moreover, he has willingly surrendered people’s rights in lieu of military rule. He is increasingly pandering to the interests not of the Filipino people but to US imperialists and their loyal lapdogs in the top echelons of the military - Esperon, Lorenzana and Ano - who have the most to gain in an open fascist rule.  

Statement of Political Prisoners from SICA-1, Camp Bagong Diwa

More than a year has passed since Mr. Duterte's ascension to the Presidency. That is sufficient time for the Duterte government to set itself apart from previous administrations, but by and large, it has failed to do so. He has reneged on his promises to the people - promises that could have defined the kind of change and leadership he can offer. Such promises include the release of all political prisoners through a general and unconditional amnesty, engaging the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) in peace negotiations to genuinely address the root causes of armed conflict, the free distribution of land to farmers, ending the widespread practice of contractualization in labor, fighting corruption and prosecuting big-time plunderers, among others.

Karapatan strongly condemns recent harassment on its secretary general

Press Release | July 21, 2017

On the evening of July 20, 2017, Karapatan secretary general Cristina ‘Tinay’ Palabay received an anonymous call from a male who then proceeded to threaten Palabay, warning her that "times are different because of martial law." He warned Karapatan’s Palabay to stop her work as a human rights defender, threatening her that she is on their ‘list’. The call lasted for some 10-15 minutes. Karapatan, along with different organizations, had earlier staged a protest action in front of Camp Aguinaldo and Camp Crame to demand the immediate lifting of martial law, the withdrawal of counterinsurgency program Oplan Kapayapaan, and an end to the drug war campaign.

Screenshot of message 

On recent statements of GRP officials on the GRP-NDFP peace talks

In true fascist fashion, Pres. Rodrigo Duterte and National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon have once again shown, with greater fervor, that the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) is disinterested in a just and lasting peace. 

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