“It has been ten (10) years and Jonas Burgos is still missing. Though cases have been filed, perpetrators have remained unpunished. From the Arroyo regime to the current administration, the disappearance of Jonas remains a continuing proof of the climate of impunity in our country. It will continue to be a stark reminder on the prevalent injustice and lack of accountability of State security forces responsible for rights abuses, and government negligence,” said Karapatan deputy secretary general Jigs Clamor during a protest held outside the Department of National Defense (DND) on April 28, 2017 to mark the 10th anniversary of Jonas Burgos’ disappearance.
“Continuing assaults on people’s rights indicate the urgency for just and lasting peace in the Philippines. There is a need to make the Benigno Aquino III regime accountable for the crimes it has committed against the people, while pursuing the call for the Duterte government to stop dismissing and start addressing issues on rights violations and the roots of the armed conflict in the Philippines,” said Karapatan Deputy Secretary General Jigs Clamor, in a press briefing of human rights defenders set to participate in the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of the Philippines at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva, Switzerland on May 8, 2017.
“After thirty two (32) years, political prisoner Jose Ceriales was finally released on April 19, 2017, after serving sentence for false charges of multiple murder and double frustrated murder. Peasant Ceriales was arrested on May 3, 1985 in Manjuyod, Negros Oriental when he was only 22 years old. Now, he is 54 years old. That is 32 years of injustice which spanned different regimes,” said Clamor on the release of the longest-detained political prisoner in the country.
(Photo: Jose Ceriales finally freed after 32 years in prison. He was only 22 years old when he was arrested; he is now 54 years old)
“The arduous struggle for land distribution of Hacienda Luisita is just and legitimate, as landlords Cojuangcos and Aquinos continue to deny the return of land to its tillers, a condition which constituted the original agreement between the Cojuangcos and the Magsaysay government way back in 1967,” said Jigs Clamor, Karapatan Deputy Secretary General, on the “bungkalan” and land occupation of peasant farmers and farmworkers dubbed as #OccupyLuisita campaign.
“Although the recent military operation in Bohol was supposedly in pursuit of ten (10) elements of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG), the disposition and safety of civilians should be given priority. Because of the incident, at least 700 residents were forced to evacuate to the Dagohoy High School, two (2) kilometers from their community. Some residents reported that they were not informed to evacuate prior to the bombing, while two civilians killed by soldiers were presented as ASG supporters, without any proof,” said Karapatan Deputy Secretary General Jigs Clamor on the recent reported Bohol clash involving government troops and the so-called ASG members.
(Residents of Brgy. Napo Inabanga, Bohol, crossing a river to get to the evacuation center. Some 700 residents evacuated to the Dagohoy High School, 2 kilometers away from their community)
In a letter of allegation submitted to the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial/Summary or Arbitrary Executions Ms. Agnes Callamard yesterday, April 10, 2017, Karapatan submitted documentation on forty-seven (47) victims of extrajudicial killings in the Philippines under the Duterte administration, in line with the continuing counter-insurgency program of the government.
Amid support for the GRP-NDFP peace talks, Canadians press for release of all political prisoners in PHSubmitted on Sat, 04/08/2017 - 12:34
As they expressed their support for the continuation of the peace talks between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines, more than 200 Canadian trade unions, churches, ecumenical organizations, solidarity and human rights organizations, academics, journalists and individuals in Canada also called for the release of all political prisoners in the Philippines.
“The military’s refusal to suspend all military operations and pull-out from communities, despite overwhelming clamor of peasants and national minorities, and the poisonous duet of warmongers Delfin Lorenzana and Eduardo Ano to sabotage the continuing peace talks reveal their disdain for free land distribution and genuine agrarian reform,” said Cristina Palabay, Karapatan Secretary General, after the fourth round of talks between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines in The Netherlands on April 3 to 6, 2017.
“The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has further exposed themselves as lying, desperate fascist dogs. In the military’s malicious attempts to justify its dirty war and rights violations against the people, meanwhile sabotaging efforts for a just and lasting peace, it is resorting to laughable narratives, ridiculous plot twists, and raw dishonesty,” said Karapatan Secretary General Cristina Palabay during a mass action of peasants and Lumad at the Department on National Defense (DND), Quezon City, on April 7, 2017 to call for an end to AFP’s all-out-war and the pull-out of troops in communities.