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Continuing rights violations, lack of accountability should impel UN Human Rights Council to investigate rights situation in PH

“The killing of broadcast journalist Percival Mabasa, the continuing lack of accountability for the killings in the drug war and counterinsurgency campaigns, and the unabated red-tagging spree of rights defenders, government critics, and even members of the judiciary by state forces and government officials sound the alarm for the pressing imperative for independent investigation on the human rights situation in the Philippines.”

Thus said rights group Karapatan, as representatives of the Philippine government led by Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla deliver statements during the enhanced interactive dialogue at the 51st regular session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) today, October 5.

Abolish NTF-ELCAC, hold Badoy-Partosa accountable for crimes

Human rights group Karapatan renewed its call for the abolition of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC), as the task force commended its former spokesperson Lorraine Badoy-Partosa after she had been widely criticized by lawyers’ groups and individuals over her red-tagging and reported threats of Judge Marlo Magdoza-Malagar. The group also scored former President Rodrigo Duterte and the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) over statements and resolutions calling for the “full activation” of the NTF-ELCAC.

“Clearly, the Marcos Jr. administration, through the NTF-ELCAC and allies such as Duterte and the PDP-Laban, continue to coddle the likes of Badoy-Partosa because notorious red-taggers like her pursue their bankrupt and militarist counterinsurgency framework, which has resulted in numerous extrajudicial killings and other human rights violations,” Karapatan Secretary General Cristina Palabay said.

On the recent appointments at the Commission on Human Rights

With the appointment of a new Chairperson and a commissioner of the Commission on Human Rights, Karapatan calls on the new appointees to uphold the Commission’s mandate and expectations for independence, probity, integrity, and transparency to conduct investigations on human rights violations against poor and disadvantaged sectors and provide prompt, responsive, accessible and excellent public service for the promotion and protection of human rights.

In particular, we expect members of the new commission en banc to address the recommendations by the previous commission during its public inquiry on the attacks and challenges against human rights defenders and its investigations in the drug war. Thousands of complaints of rights violations including extrajudicial killings, torture, enforced disappearances, arbitrary arrests and detention, judicial harassment, threats, and dangers of red-tagging experienced by civilians, human rights defenders and communities remain, and investigations regarding these by the national human rights institution need to be conducted with utmost resolve to hold the perpetrators in government accountable, to ensure that government policies from which the violations emanate be addressed with the full view of making sure that the root causes are looked into and that there’d be non-repetition of the said violations.

Karapatan welcomes recent Manila court decision on proscription case vs CPP-NPA

Human rights alliance Karapatan hailed a Manila court’s ruling on the petition by the Department of Justice to proscribe the CPP-NPA a terrorist organization, saying it is a victory against “State terrorism and intolerance to political dissent.”

Karapatan Secretary General Cristina Palabay said “the 135-page ruling by Manila Regional Trial Court Branch 19 Judge Marlo Magdoza-Malagar essentially affirmed the assertion of hundreds of activists who have been red-tagged and are still languishing in jail, after being arbitrarily arrested on trumped-up charges.”

In its unrelenting campaign to clamp down on dissent, the State has been vilifying political activism as terrorism and linking activists from progressive groups to the CPP-NPA, said Karapatan.


As expected, Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.’s speech before the United Nations General Assembly in New York yesterday, September 21, was nothing but another lame attempt to resurrect his family’s tarnished name in the eyes of the international community.

To stand before the world on the 50th anniversary of his father’s formal declaration of martial rule is not a simple case of selective memory on the part of the president of the Philippine government. It is an act that challenges truth and all known norms of decency. Worse, this act, committed in the name of the Filipino people, disrespects the thousands killed, disappeared, tortured and raped during the 22 years of the first Marcos regime. It is not only contemptuous of the many victims of human rights violations in the current and second Marcos regime. It also aims to deny that the late dictator’s son and namesake is well on his way to committing his own bloody record of injustices and plunder.


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