July, 2010

On Presidential EO forming the Truth Commission:

KARAPATAN reiterates its call to P-Noy: End impunity, prosecute Gloria Arroyo and state security forces involved in human rights violations under her watch! 

Now that President Benigno S. Aquino III has already signed the Executive Order forming the Truth Commission, we at Karapatan, ask him:  Will PNoy’s government lead the prosecution of Mrs.Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and the military and police personnel involved in human rights violations from 2001- end June 2010?

The Palace has said that the Truth Commission will “investigate reports of graft and corruption of such scale and magnitude that shock and offend the moral and ethical sensibilities of the people.”  The President’s spokesperson, Mr. Edwin Lacierda said  “[The commission’s] job is to investigate and seek the truth in the grave allegations of graft and corruption during the past nine years that allegedly involved government officials and their conspirators in the private sector.”

It is good and proper that these anomalies must be investigated and we hope that prosecution and punishment of those found guilty will also be done.

But we maintain that human rights violations cases must be viewed also as cases “of such scale and magnitude that shock and offend the moral and ethical sensibilities of the people” and thus, must also be prioritized by government so that impunity that attend the commission of these crimes must be put to an end.  The victims are still crying for justice up to now.

Rights group slams separation of newborn from detained mother;

Rights group slams separation of newborn from detained mother; calls for immediate release of mother and child from detention and the release of all political prisoners

The human rights alliance Karapatan strongly calls for the immediate release of the 43 illegally detained health workers, collectively known as Morong 43, starting with the release of Carina "Judilyn" Oliveros who gave birth to a baby boy on July 22, 2010 at the Philippine General Hospital.

"Oliveros should be immediately released with her baby and we strongly protest the planned separation of mother from child," Karapatan chairperson Marie Hilao-Enriquez said. Bureau of Jail Management and Penology officers at Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig City are planning to take back to the Camp on Monday, August 3, the mother, Judilyn Oliveros, who belongs to the illegally detained health workers or the Morong 43, without the baby because they said that babies are prohibited from being reared inside the detention cell.

“We completely agree that conditions in the detention are not good for the baby AS WELL AS FOR THE NURSING MOTHER; and that is why we STRONGLY CALL for the IMMEDIATE RELEASE OF JUDILYN OLIVEROS AND HER BABY!, “ Enriquez said.  “The continuous detention of the health workers or the Morong 43, is in itself already very tenuous, I don’t know how the courts can legally defend such a violation!  And then this dispensation will further aggravate the situation by cruelly separating the baby from his source of nourishment, love and comfort, practically violating the baby’s basic rights,” she added.

Roman Catholic priest survives assassination attempt in Casiguran, Aurora, Philippines

At around 2:00 in the morning of 26 June 2010, Fr. Jose Francisco “Joefran” Talaban was sleeping alone in his room inside the wooden house adjacent to the church that served as parish convent.  Four convent boys were sleeping in the room behind that of Fr. Talaban’s and near the kitchen.  Unknown to them, a brown van without license plate stopped about twenty meters from the church compound.  Armed men alighted from the van, lobbed a grenade and peppered the compound with bullets.  Fr.

KARAPATAN Monitor April - June 2010

Election-related violence and the continuing spate of extra-judicial killing, as Oplan Bantay Laya (OBL) fails to meet its target of putting an end to the communist revolutionary movement, characterize the human rights situation in the Second Quarter of 2010.

Human rights watchdog KARAPATAN to P-Noy: Prosecute GMA!

As they prepare to echo calls for justice in the mass actions on Pres. Noynoy Aquino’s State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Monday, members of the human rights alliance, Karapatan, reiterated calls for the prosecution of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and all perpetrators of human rights violations.

Farmer leader killed, grandson wounded inside home in Laur, Nueva Ecija, Central Luzon, Philippines

Pascual Guevarra, fondly called by friends and colleagues as “Tatay Pascual,” was preparing the evening meal in the kitchen located at the back of the house when a man in his mid to late 30s, fair skinned, 5’5” in height, medium built, wearing a light blue shirt, denim pants and a hat quickly walked towards him and pulled a handgun tucked in his waist.  Tatay Pascual raised his head from putting firewood under the hearth to see a gun aimed at his direction.

KARAPATAN to PNoy: “Stop the killings Now! Scrap the OBL and don’t embark on another counter-insurgency program”

“It is still the same military in denial mode speaking on the current spate of extrajudicial killings going on in the country,”  Marie Hilao-Enriquez, chairperson of the human rights group Karapatan, said, of AFP spokesman Brigadier General Jose Mabanta’s blanket denial of the AFP’s involvement in the said cases. 

Rights group condemns 2nd activist killing and ambush of another media person; slams P-Noy's continued silence on EJKs

The human rights alliance Karapatan condemns the killing of Pascual Guevarra, a 78-year old peasant leader in Laur, Nueva Ecija who was shot and killed in his house on Friday, July 9, 2010.

Guevarra is the second activist killed under President Noynoy Aquino’s presidency; we are holding the President responsible for the escalating attacks against activists and media persons.

Also in the evening of the same day, Miguel Belen, a broadcaster in Camarines Sur was ambushed by armed men and remains in critical condition in a hospital in Iriga City.  It is deplorable that attacks against media persons and activists are persisting.

President Aquino's silence on the political killings is giving the military the license to continue targetting unarmed progressive individuals with brazenness and impunity. Up to now, the President has not issued a categorical statement to stop the killings. The wang wang merited a statement in his inaugural speech, and immediately, down the line, the police and military started looking for wangwangs, apprehending violators of the President’s desire even in towns far from Manila.  It is therefore, important that the Commander-in-Chief issues a categorical statement that he wants the killings and other human rights violations stopped. A simple statement will send a signal that he is bent on realizing what he say. 

Rights group condemns 2nd activist killing and ambush of another media person; slams P-Noy's continued silence on EJKs

 

The human rights alliance Karapatan condemns the killing of Pascual Guevarra, a 78-year old peasant leader in Laur, Nueva Ecija who was shot and killed in his house on Friday, July 9, 2010.

Guevarra is the second activist killed under President Noynoy Aquino’s presidency; we are holding the President responsible for the escalating attacks against activists and media persons.

 

 

 

Peasant activist shot dead in Siaton, Negros Oriental, Philippines

At around 1PM of 27 June 2010, the victim, along with his wife and mother, took a ride aboard a passenger “Canter” jeep on their way home from Poblacion, Siaton.

President Aquino must think twice in appointing Rosales as CHR chief -- Karapatan

The human rights watchdog Karapatan expressed dismay over the impending appointment of former Akbayan representative Loretta Ann Rosales as chairperson of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR). 

“Our experience bears out that Ms. Rosales has shown bias against human rights violations victims and advocates such as Karapatan,” Marie Hilao-Enriquez said, Karapatan chairperson.   

Bayan Muna Partylist provincial chairperson & elected Municipal Official shot to death in Aklan, Panay, Philippines

At around 6:30 AM, Fernando Baldomero was in front of his rented house in Brgy. Estancia, Kalibo boarding his motorcycle with his 12-year old son on their way to school, when two medium-built men onboard a black motorcycle stopped in front of them.  The passenger, who was wearing a black jacket and had his face covered by helmet and a pair of sunglasses, disembarked and started shooting the victim at close range with a handgun in front of the victim’s terrified son.  The driver was wearing a white shirt and a pair of denim pants and had no covering over his face.

Karapatan condemns first political killing under P-Noy

The human rights alliance Karapatan strongly condemns the killing of Bayan Muna-Aklan provincial chairperson Fernando Baldomero who was shot this morning while on his way to bring his child to school. 

Baldomero, who is also a municipal councilor of Lezo, Aklan and at the same time provincial coordinator of the Makabayan Coalition, is the first victim of extrajudicial killing since President Noynoy Aquino was sworn into office. An attempt was made on Baldomero’s life early this year when his house in Bgy. Sta. Cruz Bigaa, Lezo, Aklan was lobbed with a grenade by two men riding in a motorcycle.

According to initial reports, Baldomero was in front of his house, while trying to start his motorcycle to bring his child to school he was shot by two unidentified men.  The attackers were armed with a 9mm pistol and long fire-arms.

Karapatan chairperson Marie Hilao-Enriquez said that the incident follows the announcement of the new three-year counter-insurgency plan by the newly installed Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Ricardo David.   “Neither Gen. David nor President Noynoy have called to stop the killings and to end the culture of impunity that still prevails,” Enriquez said.

“The lack of declaration from President Noynoy to stop the killings and impunity, coupled by Gen. David’s pronouncement of another deadline to end insurgency, and this new wave of political killings, signals that former president Gloria Arroyo’s counter-insurgency program, Oplan Bantay Laya, is still enforced under Mr. Aquino’s term and has not let up on targeting progressive individuals”, Enriquez said. She also noted that in June, seven individuals were killed, including an Ampatuan massacre witness, and last week, a former lawyer of the Mangudadatus was ambushed. 

 

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