May, 2012

Filipino activists hold picket at UN over rights abuses

Hullabaloo on Corona conviction diverts attention from outstanding rights impunity

Dr. Matthews George Chunakara (Director of the Commission of the Churches on International Affairs of the World Council of Churches), Fr. Jonash Joyohoy (of the Ramento Project for Rights Defenders and representative of the National Council of Churches of the Philippines in the UPR Watch delegation), Atty. Edre Olalia (Secretary General of the National Union of Peoples' Lawyers), and Ernan Baldomero, Municipality of Lezo, Aklan councilor and son of 1st EJK victim under the Aquino government) moderated by Christina Papazoglou, Public Witness and Global Advocacy, World Council of Churches) 

GENEVA - Filipino activists, Geneva-based migrants, and representatives from international NGOs conducted a picket-protest in front of the United Nations headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland to express their criticism of the Philippine government report immediately after the Universal Periodic Review on the Philippines at the UN Human Rights Council last Tuesday, tagging the report as ‘selective,’ with the PH government drowning their dismal compliance to international human rights instruments with their so-called achievements.” 

GPH hounded by persistent concerns on EJK, disappearances and torture at UN rights review

GENEVA-- As the Chief Justice of the Philippines was being handed down a verdict in the impeachment trial, the Philippine government was also undergoing a similar process of accountability, this time before the United Nations.

End Extrajudicial Killings in the Philippines!, End Impunity!, Free all Political Prisoners! - the Filipino people speak out. 

Around 69 countries quizzed the Philippine government on its human rights record, Tuesday May 29 in Geneva, Switzerland. The Philippines participated in the second cycle of the Universal Periodic Review of the United Nations Human Rights Council. One after the other, at least 22 countries expressed concerns on the continuing spate of extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances and torture in particular, and impunity in general, according to the Philippine UPR Watch. Several countries also called on the Philippine government to dismantle all paramilitary groups and militias.

ZERO JUSTICE, Oplan Bayanihan engenders impunity and rights abuses

“For one, impunity exists under the Noynoy Aquino administration because big-time human rights violators such as Maj. General Jovito Palparan are not being held accountable for their crimes. And two, because Aquino promotes the same brand of counter-insurgency policy that engenders extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances, arbitrary arrests and detention, forcible displacement and other forms of rights abuses,” said Cristina Palabay, spokesperson of Karapatan and End Impunity Alliance. Palabay is part of the delegation of the Philippine UPR Watch, a network of rights activists who are in Geneva in time for the Philippine government’s Universal Periodic Review by the UN Human Rights Council.

No easy way out for PH govt during UN rights review, showcasing cannot conceal impunity

GENEVA- It may not be smooth sailing for the Philippine government when it faces the United Nations Human Rights Council to defend the country’s rights record on May 29.

Based on information obtained by the Philippine UPR Watch, many of the questions that would be asked by the foreign missions will center on the prevalence of extrajudicial killings and the inability of the Philippine government to bring the perpetrators to justice. Members of the UNHRC are also expected to ask for a quantitative assessment of the human rights programs of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.  Economic rights issues such as land reform and human trafficking  are also expected to be raised.

Rights victims recount ordeal before Philippine review by UN

GENEVA-- They could not hold back tears as they recounted their experiences before a crowd of international human rights organizations and representatives of foreign missions.

Ernan Baldomero, a municipal councilor in Aklan and son of Fernando Baldomero, the first victim of extrajudicial killing under the Aquino regime in 2010, recounted his last days with his father. He spoke of how his father was repeatedly tagged by the military as a communist rebel before he was gunned down by two men riding on a motorcycle. He broke down as he recounted how the military had even insisted that his father was killed by the New People’s Army in an alleged “purge”. He laments to this day that justice has not been fully served.

UN foreign missions receptive of accounts of HR victims and defenders

GENEVA - The delegation of the human rights civil society group Philippine UPR Watch has received a receptive audience among various foreign missions on their visit to the United Nations Human Rights Council 13th session of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) inSwitzerland.

The lobbying effort of the Philippine UPR Watch composed of 15 human rights and peace groups as well as church and mass organizations from the Philippines and abroad has been received positively by a diverse list of foreign dignitaries who have commonly expressed their keen interest to know more about the real state of human rights in the Philippines.

Malacanang’s ‘significant decrease in EJKs’ will be put to test in the UNHRC-UPR

“It remains to be seen whether Malacanang’s spin that there is a ‘significant decrease in the cases of extrajudicial killings’ will work before the international community when the government delegation faces the  2nd cycle of the Universal Periodic Review on May 29,” said Marie Hilao-Enriquez, chairperson of Karapatan. Hilao-Enriquez heads the delegation of the Phillippine UPR Watch which, is currently in Geneva, Switzerland in time for the GPH’s 2nd UPR. 

Rights activists in UN disputes Pnoy’s claims before Int'l community

Thursday, 24 May 2012, 07:30:05 CEST GENEVA - Philippine human rights activists have arrived in Geneva, Switzerland in time for the second cycle of the United Nations’ Human Rights Council Universal Periodic Review (UPR). The Philippines is scheduled to be reviewed on May 29. The UPR will review the national report of the Philippine government and measure it against it pledges and commitments during the 1st cycle of the UPR and when it applied for membership in the UN Human Rights Council.

Karapatan submits complaints on forced evacuation and continued EJK to UNHRC

A few days before the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GPH) undergoes the 2nd cycle of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) at the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC), Karapatan said that it will bring to the attention of the United Nations Human Rights Council the recent cases of forced evacuation and the continuing cases of extrajudicial killings (EJK) in the Philippines, under the Noynoy Aquino government.

Groups score PH rights report to UN: All rhetoric, no real gains

Presscon on UPR 

On May 29 this year, the Philippine government’s human rights record will come under scrutiny by member states of the United Nations Human Rights Council. While the Philippine government paints a picture of an improved human rights situation in the country, Philippine human rights groups are saying otherwise.

AFP’s zero rights violations a big fat LIE

STK picket @DND 

Militant groups expose worsening human rights situation in Quezon, announces formation of task force against militarization

Different sectoral groups from Southern Tagalog led by KARAPATAN-ST and KASAMA-TK today held a press conference to expose the worsening human rights situation in the southern part of Quezon, which they said was caused by intensifying militarization of the rural communities in the said area.

Peasants forced to evacuate as military bombings strike anew in Agusan del Sur

Initial reports from Karapatan-Southern Mindanao region said that more than 80 families from Sitio 33, Bgy. New Visayas in Trento, Agusan del Sur forcibly evacuated on May 7 due to bombings and intense military operations by soldiers from the 25th Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army.
The evacuees are now temporarily housed in New Visayas barangay hall and in the Pulang Lupa multi-purpose center, while some 20 families were prevented by the military from leaving the community.

Women’s rights group hail moms on Mother’s day, deplore increasing attacks vs women’s rights defenders

Tanggol Bayi, an association of women human rights defenders in the Philippines, today hailed Filipina mothers, especially in recent “her-story,” in defending the rights and democratic interests of women and the poor and marginalized in the country.

No improvement of GPH human rights record under Noynoy

Human rights group Karapatan today belied the statement of Dept. of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Secretary Albert del Rosario who said that the “significant decline of extrajudicial killings in the country,” is the result of the actions taken by the Philippine government “to improve the human rights situation in the country.”

Karapatan to AFP: You may fool the US govt but not the Filipino people

Karapatan chairperson Marie Hilao-Enriquez today chided the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) saying that, “in its bid to get additional military support from the US government, the AFP shamelessly resorts to spinning yarn by claiming that ‘human rights violators in the AFP have been punished.”

KARAPATAN Monitor January - March 2012

Karapatan Monitor Q1 2012The second year of Pres. Noynoy Aquino’s counter-insurgency program Oplan Bayanihan marks an escalation of military operations and consequent human rights violations. One year short of its target to end insurgency in 2013, combat military operations intensify, alongside and complemented by continued surveillance, intelligence gathering and civil-military operations. 

Torture, criminal raps vs GMA, PNP, AFP officials filed

Jane Balleta 

Rights group warns vs whitewash on violent demolition in Silverio:BERNABE, PNP ACCOUNTABLE FOR DEATH, PHYSICAL INJURIES, ARRESTS

At least 18 bystanders were picked up and arrested, some 22 persons were wounded including 10 who suffered gunshot wounds, and one person killed. These are some of the cases that were initially documented during the April 27 fact-finding mission at the Silverio Compound in Paranaque City.  The fact-finding mission was conducted jointly by Karapatan and its National Capital Region chapter, National Union of People’s Lawyers, Health Action for Human Rights, and various church institutions and organizations after the violent demolition which occurred in the area last April 23.