“Of the 46 victims of political killings under Duterte, majority are from the peasants – leaders and members of local peasant organizations who have been targeted by State security forces and/or private armies of the landed elite for asserting their rights,” said Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay on the continuing political killings. The Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) today led a nationwide mass action against the spate of extrajudicial killings of peasants.
"The Armed Forces of the Philippines has once again proven, all by itself, that it is a fake news factory, with the intent to sabotage the GRP-NDFP peace talks, to use unfortunate incidents with twisted facts and/or inflict sufferings on the people," said Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay on the statements of the AFP on the burning of Concepcion National High School in Valencia City, Bukidnon last March 26, 2017.
"The Marine Battalion Landing Team 2 (MBLT 2), in cahoots with the private guards of David M. Consunji, Inc. (DMCI), a mining and logging company, have been wreaking havoc in communities in Sultan Kudarat. The MBLT 2 and DMCI tandem is a match made in hell, responsible for heinous crimes against the people, including the disappearance of two indigenous people in November 2016 and the recent evacuation of residents in Kalamansig, Sultan Kudarat," said Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay.
“We condemn in strongest possible terms the recent killing of four more farmers, adding to the 42 political killings under the Duterte administration. To say that there are no extra-judicial killings in the country, whether perpetrated through counter-insurgency programs or through the war on drugs, is covering up State accountability when its official policies sanctioned the sufferings of the poor majority of Filipino people,” said Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay on the killing of four farmers in Compostela Valley, as well as recent statements by the Philippine National Police that there are no extrajudicial killings in the Philippines.
“Despite laws that prohibit the use of torture and other cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment, such methods are still being employed by State security forces. Under the Anti-Torture Act of 2009, or RA 9745, there has only been one recorded conviction. This is regardless of the 248 torture incidents recorded by Karapatan under the BS Aquino regime, and 18 incidents under Duterte. This is only possible when the military and the police operate with impunity, sanctioned by the State to commit violations against the people,’ said Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay on the continuing use of torture, most recently involving a peasant organizer in Nueva Ecija.
“For the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to continue lying through its teeth, it is a confirmation that they lack credibility and integrity, and that they are desperate for any opportunity to mask their abhorrent public image. Resorting to fake news is at the height of desperation. Since time immemorial, the AFP has been a foremost purveyor of fake news to save its own skin and to justify rights abuses,” said Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay on the reports by the AFP of alleged hostage-taking, looting and threats of members of the New People’s Army (NPA) in Antipas, North Cotabato. The AFP’s claims were later disputed by Mayor Egidio Cadungon of Antipas, North Cotabato.
Karapatan expressed support for the filing of criminal charges against perpetrators of extrajudicial killings under the Duterte administration, including the recently filed cases by kin of victims of political killings in Maayon, Capiz and that of relatives of victims of drug-related killings in Caloocan City.
“President Duterte, you say and grieved that you have lost soldiers, but you are losing constituents as well – the majority of the poor people you have sworn to protect when you took oath as President. The peasants, the indigenous people, the urban poor and the many others in the countryside, are they not what constitute the majority of the Filipino people? Shouldn’t you also grieve for their loss and mourn with their families?” said Karapatan Secretary General Cristina Palabay, on the continuing attacks against the people, more recently in Malibcong, Abra and Kitcharao, Agusan del Norte.
“In the course of Duterte’s counter-insurgency programs supported by the US government and the military’s all-out-war, forty two (42) peasants, indigenous peoples, Moro, and workers have already been killed, thousands have already been displaced while many more have been the subject of threats, harassment and intimidation. President Duterte should rethink the direction he has taken because where he is headed is a bloody trail of continuing human rights violations – the same direction that Duterte’s predecessors took,” said Palabay.
Continuous operations of the Armed Forces of the Philippines have caused the recent forcible evacuation of communities.
“Directives to bomb and ‘flatten the hills,’ especially coming from the President, have severe repercussions on the ground. If it was done to please a crowd of military and police dogs or to build up his image, it has nonetheless resulted to the endangerment of civilians, for the nth time. As we see the full extent of the counter-insurgency program, which is further enabled and directed by Duterte’s pronouncements, there is no denying the fascist character of this State,” said Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay on the recent series of aerial bombardment by the Armed Forces of the Philippines in various communities in Compostela Valley and Maguindanao.
“Sorry doesn’t cut it. The soldiers of the Western Mindanao Command (WestMinCom) involved in the killing of a 1-year old baby girl, Moro leader Hadji Billamin Hassan and Nuruddin Musaddul Muhlis should be prosecuted and punished. Firing on and killing of civilians in the course of the so-called “crossfire” is a heinous crime under international humanitarian law and they should be accountable,” said Karapatan Secretary General Cristina Palabay, in reaction to the statement of Maj. Gen. Carlito Galvez Jr., WestMinCom commander, on the killing of the two children, in the course of the military operations against so-called Abu Sayyaf in Tabuan Lasa, Basilan on March 8, 2017.
Karapatan slams arrest of 70-year old ex-peasant organizer, calls for release of sickly NDFP consultantSubmitted on Tue, 03/14/2017 - 10:33
“While the Duterte administration still fails to release all political prisoners, including the sick and the elderly, arrests and illegal detention continue,” said Cristina Palabay, secretary general of Karapatan.
Karapatan welcomes the March 11 Joint Statement of the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) on the continuation of the formal peace talks on April and June 2017and the reaffirmation of all bilateral agreements and statements in the peace negotiations, including the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL) and the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG).
After President Rodrigo Duterte terminated the formal peace talks of the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) on February 3 and with the military’s declaration of all-out war on February 5, 2017, attacks on activists, political dissenters, indigenous peoples and ordinary civilians have intensified.
“Karapatan supports the occupy movement of the urban poor in Bulacan who, since March 8, 2017, has started occupation of 5,208 idle housing units in five separate sites in Pandi and San Jose del Monte, Bulacan,” said Karapatan Secretary General Cristina Palabay on the “Occupy Bulacan” campaign led by the Kalipunan ng Damayang Mahihirap (KADAMAY).
As soon as Rodrigo Duterte became the evident winner in the last presidential elections, the public shut off BS Aquino from their minds and turned their attention to Duterte who espoused “change” during his electoral campaign. BS Aquino had been a dead weight on the shoulders of the Filipino people in the past six years. Never mind if up to the last minute, he acted under the illusion that he was the guardian of democracy like no other.
Read full text here: http://www.karapatan.org/2016+Human+Rights+Report
Karapatan deplores the harassment against Atty. Vj Topacio, one of the legal counsels of detained political activist Ferdinand Castillo, as a brazen act of intimidation by the Armed Forces of the Philippines against human rights lawyers.
“Karapatan strongly condemns the railroading of the death penalty bill which is on its third and final reading today. The bill, pushed through the House majority’s threats of removal from posts and a subsequent voting mechanism which disallows accountability of congressmen, will add to the repressive State policies that will mostly affect the poor and marginalized, in a justice system that acquits the wealthy and convicts the poor,” said Cristina Palabay, Karapatan Secretary General, on the issue of the approval of the death penalty bill at the House of Representatives today, March 7.
“The United States government’s rhetoric on human rights puts them at a pedestal for hypocrites. Its overt and covert attacks on oppressed peoples of the world and in the Philippines, mostly exposed through its military funding and poison-laced aid for governments and State fascist machines such as the military and the police, betray their direct role and complicity in abetting violations on people’s rights,” said Cristina Palabay, Karapatan Secretary General, on the recently released 2016 US State Department Report on Human Rights Practices which includes views on the human rights situation in the Philippines.
Yesterday, March3, 12nn, the 75-person quick reaction mission led by Karapatan Southern Tagalog went to Brgy. Calawis, Antipolo, Rizal and Brgy. Puray, Rodriguez, Rizal, to probe reports on the killing of two Dumagat farmers, in the course of military operations of the 2nd Infantry Division of the Philippine Army and their reported encounter with the NPA on March in the area. Gloria "Oya" Rodriguez of Karapatan Rizal and Georgelyn Rafael "Gigi" Millizo of Karapatan Southern Tagalog led the QRM.
“As attacks of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) intensify against rural communities all over the country, their concoction of make-believe stories and alibis to cover up the rights abuses continue,” said Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay.
The dehumanizing greyhound operations and raid by the Armed Forces of the Philippines, Philippine National Police and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency at the Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center is the latest of known rights violations against detainees at a detention facility known as the Alcatraz in Cebu. The lining up of detainees, all stripped naked, violates the Anti-Torture Law and all international instruments on torture, cruel or inhuman treatment. The reported involvement of the AFP and PNP in the said operations made it worse.