April, 2018

Urgent Appeal for Action: Surface NDF consultant Lora T. Manipis and Jeruel Domingo!

Dear friends and colleagues,


Urgent Appeal for Solidarity and Action for Filipino Moro human rights activist tortured and detained in the US

Urgent Appeal for Solidarity and Action for Filipino Moro human rights activist tortured and detained in the US



Dear friends and colleagues,


In the context of the intensifying human and people’s rights violations committed with impunity in the Philippines and in the US, we enjoin your support and solidarity for Jerome Succor Aba, a Filipino citizen and a Moro human rights activist who experienced Guantanamo-style “enhanced interrogation techniques” in the hands of the US government. We demand justice for Aba and we call on the Philippine government to protest the cruel and inhumane treatment of a Filipino citizen by US authorities. 


UA Date                                 :           April 22, 2018

UA Case                                 :           Physical and Psychological Torture

   Arbitrary Arrest and Detention

   Violation of the Rights of Arrested or Detained

   Persons – of Miranda rights, of right to freely

communicate, of right to counsel, incommunicado,

inhumane, cruel or degrading treatment

   Violation of the Rights to Freedom of Association

   Violation of the Rights to Liberty of Movement

Victim                                     :           Jerome Succor Aba, 25

   Chairperson, Suara Bangsamoro

   Co-Chairperson, Sandugo Movement of Moro and

       Indigenous Peoples for Self-Determination

Place of incident                    :           San Francisco International Airport, USA

Dates of incident                   :            April 17-19, 2018

Alleged perpetrator/s           :             Officers of the US Department of Homeland Security and

  US Customs and Border Protection




Karapatan challenges Cayetano to file diplomatic protest vs US gov’t on torture of Moro rights activist

“Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Cayetano harps on national sovereignty whenever international actors criticize the Philippine government on its human rights record. If Cayetano meant an ounce of truth in his pronouncements that the country should fully exercise its rights as a sovereign nation, he should uphold the rights of a Filipino citizen who suffered Guantanamo-style torture, among other violations, under the US government. We challenge him to file a diplomatic protest against the Trump administration for the cruel and inhuman acts of the US Department of Homeland Security and US Customs and Border Protection against Filipino Moro human rights activist Jerome Succor Aba,” said Karapatan Secretary General Cristina Palabay. 

After EU Parliament resolution on PH: Malacañang fails to hide facts and truths on rights situation in the country

Karapatan today chided Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano and Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque for their “miserable failure to hide the atrocities of the Duterte regime before the international community by invoking national sovereignty when it is besieged with solid and incontrovertible facts and truth on the human rights situation in the Philippines.” 

Trump and Duterte, hands off rights defenders! - Karapatan

Speaking at a press conference on April 21, 2018, Moro rights activist Jerome Succor Aba who was detained fro 28 hours and subjected to torture by the US Homeland Security, along with Australian missionary Sr. Patricia Fox who was also detained for nearly 24 hours by the Bureau of Immigration (BI), shared their experiences with regard to repressive immigration laws that are being used to crackdown on rights defenders. Lumad activist Kerlan Fanagel, also part of the panel, also recounted how he was barred by the BI from travelling to India in February 2018.



Rights groups, victims and kin file at least 200 complaints on HR violations vs Duterte regime

On April 20, 2018, various organizations, victims and their relatives assisted by Karapatan filed at least 200 complaints on human rights violations under the Duterte government at the office of the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) Monitoring Committee on the Comprehensive Agreement on the Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL) at Quezon City. 

Karapatan decries illegal detention of Moro rights activist in the US

Karapatan strongly condemns the arbitrary detention of Jerome Succor Aba, a Moro human rights and peace advocate from Mindanao. Aba has been denied entry to the US and is being held at the San Francisco International Airport for almost 24 hours, since yesterday, April 18, 2018, by the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP). Authorities have not released any basis for the denial of entry. The 25-year-old Moro rights defender was invited for a speaking tour in the US by several church institutions, including the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Sisters of Mercy, and the General Board of Global Ministries.
(Photo from Bulatlat.com)

Duterte’s tirades vs Australian nun are signs of a macho-fascist’s bruised ego - Karapatan

Hours after the Presidential Spokesperson said that apologies are in order with regard to the wrongful arrest of Australian missionary Sr. Patricia Fox who has been doing missionary work in the Philippines for 27 years, Duterte has once again started his tirade.
(Photo from Bulatlat.com)

Duterte regime on a red-tagging rampage in Negros – Karapatan

“The criminalization of activists and rights defenders is apparently the standing mandate of all agencies of government, regardless of whoever is appointed – from the Justice Department, the military, the police, and down to the local government. This practice of lumping together the names and pictures of progressives and labeling them as “terrorists” to justify violations against said individuals is becoming more commonplace under the Duterte regime. Truly, there is a repression spectrum with which this regime is employing without any hesitation,” said Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay.  
(Photo courtesy of Karapatan-Negros) 

On the Release of Sr. Patricia Fox from Detention

Press Statement
April 17, 2018
Australian missionary Sr. Patricia Fox was released for further investigation at 3:30pm today, April 17, after almost a day of detention at the Bureau of Immigration office in Manila.

Karapatan slams illegal arrest and detention of Australian missionary Sr. Patricia Fox

Karapatan decries the illegal arrest and detention of Sr. Patricia “Pat” Fox, NDS, a missionary of the international Roman Catholic congregation of women Sisters of Our Lady of Sion, from the Congregacion de Notre Dame de Sion (Congregation of Our Lady of Sion). 

Sr. Pat, 71, is an Australian citizen who holds a missionary visa in the Philippines since the 1990’s and is conducting community service as part of her missionary work in the country. An advocate of genuine agrarian reform and human rights, Sr. Pat has joined activities of the Unyon ng mga Manggagawa sa Agrikultura (UMA) and Pagkakaisa para sa Tunay na Repormang Agraryo (PATRIA), including recent international fact finding and solidarity missions in Mindanao that probed the impact of the Duterte regime’s martial law and counterinsurgency program Oplan Kapayapaan on poor peasants in the island. Sr. Pat is also a consistent and untiring advocate of the rights of agricultural workers, including the farmworkers in Hacienda Luisita, that of indigenous peoples, including the Lumad, and the urban poor. 

Pat Fox

Duterte regime’s double-talk on the peace process betrays sincerity to a just and lasting peace - Karapatan

“The Duterte regime harps on its desire for ‘peace’ while mouthing preconditions that violate previous agreements in the peace process and that will never resolve the root causes of the state of unpeace in the country. It has also relentlessly committed human rights violations on the ground, including the fake terror list which has endangered more than 600 individuals. Its propensity for double-talk is testament to its insincerity in pursuing just and lasting peace,” said Karapatan Deputy Secretary General Roneo Clamor on the recent statement of Presidential Peace Adviser Jesus Dureza on the peace talks between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines.  

Karapatan slams illegal arrest and detention of Australian missionary

Karapatan decries the illegal arrest and detention of Sr. Patricia “Pat” Fox, NDS, a missionary of the international Roman Catholic congregation of women Sisters of Our Lady of Sion, from the Congregacion de Notre Dame de Sion (Congregation of Our Lady of Sion). 

13 years later, Alegre couple still representative of oppression and repression vs farmers

“More than a decade later, farmers are still being targeted for defending the land they till. The trumped-up charges and wrongful conviction of the Alegre couple remain a representation of the oppression and repression that farmers are continuously being subjected to.  No justice has been attained, and the same economic and political conditions that have allowed such injustice continue to prevail in our society today, victimizing thousands throughout the years,” said Karapatan deputy secretary general Roneo Clamor.

CHRP-UK: Letter of Concern to Duterte re Tagging of Noted Human Rights Defenders as 'Terrorists'

14 March 2018

President Rodrigo Duterte

President of the Republic Malacañang Palace,

JP Laurel St., San Miguel, Manila

The Philippines

E-mail: op@president.gov.ph

Letter of concern regarding the tagging of noted human rights defenders as 'terrorists'

Dear President Duterte,

We wish to add our voices to those condemning the recent filing, on 21 February 2018, of a legal petition to have a number of organizations, associations, and leaders declared as terrorists and outlaws pursuant to the National Security Act of 2007.

Arrest of 5 farmers in Cagayan Valley underscores escalating attacks vs farmers - Karapatan

“Last year, Karapatan documented a disturbing trend of attacks against farmers, peasant organizations and communities en masse. We are no longer talking about individual violations, but affronts and abuses that threaten and endanger entire organizations and communities. The Duterte regime has taken its onslaught on people’s rights at an unprecedented scale. Though more pronounced in Mindanao, the same pattern can also be observed in different parts of the country,” said Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay on the mass illegal arrest of farmers.

Family undergoes torture, threatened to be massacred in Bukidnon

“The use of cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment remains a prevailing practice among the military and the police. Last month, Karapatan received reports of a family who has undergone torture in the process of being illegally arrested. The persistence of these cases lend itself to the conclusion that there was never any change in the military’s brutish ways,” said Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay.

Surface missing NDFP consultants, resume peace talks! – Karapatan

This week, the National Democratic Front Far Southern Mindanao sounded the alarm on the disappearance of peace consultant Lora Manipis and husband Jeruel Domingo, on the suspicion that they were abducted by military agents; their whereabouts have yet to be ascertained as of this writing. The couple had not made contact since February 24, 2018 and was last seen in Kidapawan City, North Cotabato. In its statement, the NDFP raised the possibility that the two were killed, or are suffering from intense torture.


CIEL Statement of Solidarity with UN Special Rapporteur Vicky Tauli-Corpuz

Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL) is deeply concerned with the reports that UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Vicky Tauli-Corpuz, along with other human rights defenders, has been accused of being a terrorist by the Philippine government. This appears to be a blatant attempt to silence and criminalize Vicky Tauli-Corpuz and others for their work to protect and defend the rights of indigenous peoples. Around the world, environmental and human rights defenders are being increasingly targeted by governments and companies seeking to silence them and undermine their important work. This retaliatory step by the government of the Philippines threatens the security and safety of these people. CIEL condemns the use of threats to silence indigenous leaders and environmental human rights defenders who work to protect and promote the human rights of the most vulnerable. CIEL stands with Vicky Tauli-Corpuz’s fellow UN Special Rapporteurs and the many organizations and people who have already condemned this action by the government.

Karapatan condemns threats harassment vs fact-finding mission in Mindanao

As the three-day International Fact Finding and Solidarity Mission in three regions in Mindanao is concluded today, Karapatan scored the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police for the numerous cases of threats and harassment faced by participants to the said mission. 

"Either these are proof of the State forces' paranoia overdrive or it is clear evidence that the Duterte administration has much to hide and cover up in its continuing implementation of martial law and counterinsurgency program Oplan Kapayapaan in Mindanao," said Karapatan Secretary General Cristina Palabay. 

AMAN: Stament of Concern on the Increasing Harassment and Intimidation of Indigenous People's Leaders and Human Rights Defenders


The Alliance of Indigenous Peoples of the Archipelago (AMAN), representing more then 2000 indigenous   communities   throughout   Indonesia,   condemns   the   recent   action   taken   by   the Philippines Government to criminalize leaders of the Philippines Indigenous Peoples movement as well as indigenous leaders working in the international arena.   

Latest,  a petition  filed  in court  by the Philippine  State  Prosecutor  of the Department  of Justice (DOJ), seek to have a number of indigenous peoples’ leaders and human rights defenders declared as terrorist and outlaws pursuant to the National Security Act of 2007. 

Central Committee of Aliansi Gerakan Reforma Agraria (AGRA) Condemn the Terror Tagging of Hundreds of Filipino People


On February 21st, a petition was filed by State Attorney General Peter Ong with a trial trial in Manila and only announced last week that lists 461 names and 188 other names the government wants to declare a "terrorist." The list of terror targets peasant leaders, trade unions, youth, women, local activists and civil society at large who continue to fight for the sovereignty, social justice, democracy and rights of the Filipino people. 

Aliansi Gerakan Reforma Agraria (AGRA) considers that the list of terror is a major threat to the safety and security of the broad Filipinos, considering Duterte's bloody of extra- judicial killing (EJKs) in which thousands have been killed since he served as President. With various security policies enforced, Duterte effectively legitimizes the military and police to arrest, detain, kidnap or even killed the people who registered in their "Terrorist" list without legal process. 

On the possible resumption of the GRP-NDFP peacetalks

Karapatan welcomes the possible continuation of the peace talks between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines. The peace process is an important venue for discussions and actions on the root causes of the armed conflict in the country, including long-standing issues concerning civil, political, economic and social rights of the Filipino people, which are among the substantive agenda in the peace talks.