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Karapatan welcomes Atty. Leila De Lima’s assignment to DOJ post

The human rights alliance Karapatan welcomes the appointment of Commission on Human Rights Chairperson Leila de Lima to the post of Secretary of the Department of Justice (DOJ) in President-elect Noynoy Aquino’s cabinet.

Karapatan chairperson Marie Hilao-Enriquez lauded CHR Chairperson De Lima for showing heart and sympathy for the victims of human rights violations, and for doing her best to maintain the INDEPENDENCE of the Commission despite being appointed by outgoing President Gloria Arroyo. “We hope that as DOJ Chief, Atty. De Lima will continue asserting the same level of independence as she did while she was in the CHR, refusing to be bullied into subservience and exercising the Commission’s mandate with integrity and courage, ” Hilao-Enriquez said. 

Human rights groups urge President Noynoy Aquino: Stop the Killings! Stop Human Rights Violations! End Impunity!

While reporting of a successful participation to the 14th Session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva as a member of the Ecumenical Voice Philippine NGO delegation, Marie Hilao-Enriquez, Chairperson of Karapatan Alliance for the Advancement of People's Rights, condemned the continuing extrajudicial killings in the Philippines and called upon president-elect Noynoy Aquino to stop the killings and address the persistent issue of human rights violations in the country.

Karapatan slams moves to prevent CHR investigations on the Morong 43

The human rights alliance Karapatan, along with relatives and supporters of the Morong 43, trooped to the Court of Appeals (CA) hearing on the petition to block the investigations being conducted by the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) on the illegal arrest and detention of the 43 health workers.

On April 24, the 7th Division of the CA ordered the CHR to stop its hearings with a 60-day temporary restraining order, in response to a petition filed by Morong Judge Mangrobang, the judge who approved the defective warrant used to illegally arrest the healthworkers, and Atty. Cyrus Jurado, the lawyer claiming to represent five of the 43 health workers.  “This is preposterous and unacceptable; where will the people now turn to in cases of human rights violations if the courts curtail the mandate of a constitutional body such as the CHR?,” bewailed Karapatan Chairperson Marie Hilao-Enriquez.

Rights groups and advocates fast in support of the Morong 43

Today, the human righs alliance, Karapatan, salutes and joins the health workers, collectively known as Morong 43, in their fasting to fight for their and other political prisoners’ freedom and assert their rights to be treated humanely, free from torture, cruel and degrading treatment as provided for in the Convention against Torture of the United Nations, to which the Philippine government is a signatory.

Karapatan also unites with and strongly supports the relatives of the Morong 43 as well as other sectors, in conducting a solidarity fasting, to express sympathy and support to the struggle being waged by the Morong 43 and other political prisoners.  

“The Morong 43 must be commended and supported in doing this fasting as a higher form of struggle in their fight for freedom and assertion of their rights to be treated humanely while in prison.  We, in Karapatan, condemn the military’s attempt to trivialize this struggle as “mere theatrics” just so to downplay this act of protest.  The military is afraid that their brazen disregard of the basic rights of the people will be further exposed in this fasting,” said ex-political detainee and Karapatan chairperson Marie Hilao-Enriquez. 

Rights group slams military’s circus of retaining custody of the Morong 43 political detainees!

The human rights group Karapatan strongly denounces the scripted show that the military of the 2nd Infantry Division of the Philippine Army and the Philippine National Police have concocted and executed in the supposed “transfer” of the Morong 43 political detainees from Camp Capinpin to the PNP Custodial Center in Camp Crame.

It was the most cruel show in the land, with the Philippine Army going through the motions of bringing the detainees in buses (shattering their often-cited reason of not having resources for failing to bring the detainees to the hearing of the CA or the CHR) complete with escorts, parading them at the grounds of the Camp Crame only to be hustled back to Camp Capinpin, and the relatives who were happily looking forward to seeing and holding their loved ones were left holding empty air and in tears!

A closer look into the events of the past two days will show that these government entities – the Philippine Army and the PNP – have mounted a successfully-executed “operation” of thwarting the long-overdue transfer of the political detainees to a regular custodial facility away from the clutches of the military.  

CHR investigation on rights violations committed against Morong 43 must be supported

Where the Court of Appeals feared to tread

The CHR Investigation on human rights violations committed against and the conditions of the arrest and detention of the Morong 43 must be supported!

Rights group slams CA dismissal of habeas corpus petition of 43 health workers.

The human rights alliance Karapatan expressed its disgust at the Court of Appeals’ dismissal of the petition for the writ of habeas corpus filed by the relatives of 43 health workers who were arrested early February.

“It is now very apparent that this Court is becoming an arm of the Oplan Bantay Laya counter-insurgency program by handing down this abominable decision,”  declared Jigs Clamor, deputy seceretary general of the human rights alliance Karapatan and husband of the detained Dr. Merry Mia-Clamor, one of the Morong 43.

Free the 43 health care workers now!

Human rights alliance Karapatan today joins the relatives and different groups and organizations in support of the release of the illegally arrested 43 health workers, at the hearing of the petition for the writ of habeas corpus at the Court of Appeals.

The relatives filed a petition for the writ of habeas corpus at the Supreme Court and the high court’s First Division granted it yesterday, ordering the AFP to present all of the 43 health care workers who were forcibly taken on February 6 in Morong, Rizal, before the appellate court.

“We welcome this response of the SC,” Karapatan Secretary General Lovella de Castro said. “The arrest and detention of the health workers are illegal and they should immediately be freed.”

Relatives of 43 health workers file petition before SC,demand their immediate release

Human rights alliance Karapatan joined the relatives of the 43 abducted and illegally detained health workers in their filing for the petition of the writ of habeas corpus at the Supreme Court today.

The relatives were led by Karapatan Deputy Secretary General Roneo Clamor, whose wife Dr. Merry Mia-Clamor is one of the doctors forcibly taken by the joint military and police forces last Saturday, February 6.

The health workers were held incommunicado for almost three days in Camp Capinpin, Tanay, Rizal, and were denied their right to see their relatives and lawyers. It was only yesterday afternoon when some of the relatives, along with Commission on Human Rights Chairperson Leila de Lima, were allowed inside the camp to talk to the victims.

The petition prayed that all of the 43 health workers be presented before the Court and be immediately released.

Karapatan denounces state terrorism fomented by Philippine state security forces in the run-up to the May elections

Karapatan Deputy Secretary General Roneo Clamor demands for the release of his wife, Dr. Mary Mia, and 42 other health workers.Human rights alliance Karapatan strongly denounces the terrorism being foisted on groups critical of the Arroyo regime’s policies and human rights violations in the run-up to the May elections. Karapatan condemns the recent illegal arrest of more than 40 health workers and doctors, including the wife of Karapatan Deputy Secretary General Roneo Clamor, Dr. Mary Mia, who were conducting First Responders Training in Morong, Rizal early Saturday, February 6.

At 6:15 Saturday morning, at least 300 heavily armed elements of the combined forces of the 202nd Infantry Brigade of the Philippine Army (202IBPA) and the Rizal Provincial Philippine National Police (PNP) forced their way into the farmhouse of Dr. Melecia Velmonte in Morong, Rizal where the training was being held.

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