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Free Rafael Baylosis, Marklen Maojo Maga and all political prisoners!

Guillermo Roque, companion of National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) peace consultant Rafael Baylosis, was released on February 21, 2018, after having posted bail. Baylosis and Roque were illegally arrested by elements of the Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (ISAFP), PNP-Manila Police District, PNP Intelligence Group and CIDG operatives on January 31, 2018.

Harassment of int’l factfinding mission members shows intent of Duterte regime to cover-up human rights violations

“Harassment and other attacks against human rights defenders during factfinding missions show the intent of the government to cover-up human rights violations. We condemn the recent harassment of international factfinding mission delegates, who were investigating the massacre of eight Lumad leaders in Brgy. Ned, Lake Sebu, South Cotabato,” said Karapatan Secretary General Cristina Palabay.

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Duterte’s bounty system, fake NPA surrenderees are forms of organized racket

“The government is at it again, using the ineffective bounty system to resolve armed conflict. Duterte recently made another pronouncement, increasing the bounty for New People’s Army members killed - from PhP20,000, to PhP25,000, to PhP100,000. Such a scheme is short-sighted and flawed, only lending itself to the corrupt nature of state security forces,” said Karapatan Secretary General Cristina Palabay.

Duterte’s ML “every bit fascist, every bit brutal” - Karapatan

“With the martial law declaration in Mindanao, Duterte and his state forces have become every bit as fascist, every bit as brutal, and every bit as fraudulent and deceptive, concocting new and more atrocious ways to commit rights violations in indigenous and peasant communities,” said Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay, citing recent cases of abductions, killings, and harassment in different regions in Mindanao.

Duterte regime coddles criminals, parades them as surrenderees

During a dialogue between the Commission on Human Rights and Lumad leaders from various communities in Mindanao, Karapatan raised the issue of members of paramilitary groups, who are at-large for crimes of murder and destructive arson being protected by the government, and even paraded as NPA surrenderees. “This is but a cheap trick to make the government look good and triumphant in its counterinsurgency campaign, even at the price of deceiving the public and deliberately withholding justice from the victims, their families, and their respective communities,” said Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay. 

#ConvictPalparan, Justice for all victims of rights violations – Karapatan

“We look forward to the day that this “butcher-criminal” – unremorseful and proud of his record of violations and abuses – will finally be convicted in court,” said Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay. 

Today, February 15, 2018, retired Maj. Gen. Jovito Palparan is set to take the witness stand for charges of kidnapping and serious illegal detention of UP students Karen Empeño and Sherlyn Cadapan.

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Recent arrest of Lumad teacher, part of Duterte regime’s continuing attacks vs indigenous communities

Duterte has relentlessly put the Lumad under attack - their communities bombed and militarized, their schools threatened, and their teachers subjected to trumped-up charges, among other forms of rights violations. The recent arrest of a volunteer teacher in South Cotabato is indicative of a continuing systematic attack on indigenous communities, directed and funded by counterinsurgency program Oplan Kapayapaan and worsened by the martial law implementation in Mindanao,” said Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay.

 

Duterte incites horrifying war crimes – Karapatan

“Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has distinguished himself as a frothing-in-the-mouth fascist, who incites the worst violations of international humanitarian law, aside from his exhortations to his State forces to disregard basic human and people’s rights. His recent comments and pronouncements are but the latest of the series of these madman’s display of tyranny, lunacy and machismo,” thus said Karapatan Secretary General Cristina Palabay. 

Military rampage in Cagayan Valley results in rights violations

“In Cagayan Valley and in many other parts of the country, the military is taking its offensive against peasant and indigenous communities a notch higher.  Military rule readily creates an environment for repression of people’s rights, as illustrated in reported violations in Cagayan Valley. It is the soldiers’ unwanted presence and activities that endanger residents and cause fear and insecurity in communities,” said Karapatan Secretary General Cristina Palabay.

Release Ferdinand Castillo and all political prisoners

“A year ago, the arrest of National Democratic Front peace consultant Ferdinand Castillo already revealed tell-tale signs of Duterte’s rejection of efforts for the continuation of the peace talks. Duterte’s cozying up to militarists in his Cabinet mark this stark change. Fast forward to today, 145 activists, progressives and civilians, out of the 486 political prisoners, have been put in jail by the regime for their work and advocacy, and Duterte has been unmasked as a tyrant,” said Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay.

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