April, 2013

Full Report Zambasulta-Sabah Evacuation Documentation Report

While past fact-finding missions on the plight of Filipinos in Sabah have put forward recommendations alleviating their lives and welfare, especially the undocumented, the Malaysian government continued to conduct rows of arrests, crackdowns and deportations. Maltreatment and other human rights violations in relation to these crackdowns have not only been reported in the media but were  documented and submitted to higher authorities for immediate and strategic actions.

Rights group slams appointment of Palparan cohort, Hacienda Luisita massacre co-conspirator

Human rights group Karapatan today deplored the recent assignment of Brig. Gen. Ricardo Visaya as “acting commander” of the 4th Infantry Division of the Philippine Army based in Cagayan de Oro City. 

Statement of the End Impunity Alliance – April 25, 2013

Delivered by FR. REX RB. REYES, End Impunity Alliance convenor; General Secretary, National Council of Churches in the Philippines 
Los desaparecidos, those who disappeared.
Abducted at night, the worst fate to be feared.
To have spoken one word too many, or one word too loud,
The very next day, to vanish in the crowd.
Thousands, taken, one by one
Fathers, and brothers, and wives, and daughters.
Through mother’s pain and families’ grief
Hope clings to one belief,
One day, they wish, he will be found, he will be found.
-  Esperanza Pacheco Cortez 


In the news:  “Another one was killed.  Another one had disappeared.”  Human rights violations (HRVs) keep on happening without let up.  In the nine (9) years of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s reign, more than a thousand are victims of extrajudicial killing and 206 forcibly disappeared, 1,099 tortured, 2,059 were illegally arrested. On the other hand, in a span of two (2) years of President Noynoy Aquino’s presidency, Karapatan documented 137 victims of extrajudicial killing, 14 of enforced disappearance, 72 of torture, 269 of illegal arrest. 

Six years and still no Jonas, three years of Aquino and still no justice

6yrs of finding Jonas

Nearing the 6th year of the disappearance of activist Jonas Burgos, his family, friends, and various organizations such as Karapatan and Families of Desaparecidos for Justice held a mass for Jonas at the Quiapo Church this morning. The mass was celebrated by His Eminence Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle, D.D., Archbishop of the Diocese of Manila.  Dubbed as “Mass for Truth and Justice,” the activity was sponsored by the Free Jonas Burgos Movement, End Impunity Alliance and the Promotion for Church People’s Response. 

Where is Jonas? 

Whatever happened to the Board to process claims of martial law victims?

Rights group SELDA (Samahan ng Ex-Detainees Laban sa Detensyon at Aresto) questioned the Aquino government’s failure to form the Human Rights Victims Claims Board which will process the application for reparation and recognition of martial law victims.
“It has been two months since Pres. Aquino signed the bill into law. What is taking the government so long to take the initial step to implement the law? Are the martial law victims in for a very long wait again?” SELDA national coordinator Roneo Clamor asked.

All in a day: Groups, kin of victims demand justice for Palparan victims

On April 22, families, friends and rights groups sought for the prosecution and jailing of former general, Jovito Palparan Jr., also known as “The Butcher” who had been involved in numerous cases of human rights violations in areas he was assigned in. 

Palparan should be made accountable for gruesome killing of activists Marcellana and Gumanoy

“It has been ten long years since the killing of human rights defender Eden Marcellana and peasant leader Eddie Gumanoy in 2003 but the families of both Marcellana and Gumanoy, and the rest of the Filipino people still await for justice to be served. The Aquino administration may not be directly accountable for the killing of Eden Marcellana and Eddie Gumanoy, but the Aquino government is responsible for the continuing impunity in the country that keeps the military killers out of jail," said Cristina Palabay, secretary general of Karapatan. 

Aquino govt, AFP sabotage people's relief and rehab efforts among Pablo victims

Karapatan, through its secretary general Cristina Palabay, today called on Malacanang to take concrete steps against the elements of the 67th IB in Davao Oriental for the continuous harassment of the delegates of a national fact-finding and humanitarian mission who are now in Sitio Cabuyao, Bgy. Binondo, Baganga, Davao Oriental.

AFP witness vs. detained Rolly Panesa should be charged with perjury

AFP today presented before the Court of Appeals its witness, Luis Rayos, to supposedly prove that security guard Rolly Panesa is the high ranking CPP-NPA official “Benjamin Mendoza.” Rayos is 40 years old and claims to be a rebel returnee who is constantly monitored by the military. 

Aquino govt, AFP hit for killing children and illegal arrests of civilians

KARAPATAN strongly condemned the recent spate of human rights violations in Compostela Valley that happened in a span of days, with the killing of an eight-year old boy in the municipality of Mabini and the injuries on two other kids brought about by indiscriminate firing of soldiers, and the illegal arrest of two civilians in the municipality of Laak. 
in front Camp Aguinaldo

Aquino should remove ISAFP chief from post

After CA decision and new evidence on military involvement in Burgos disappearance

"We challenge Pres. Aquino to remove ISAFP Chief Brig. Gen. Eduardo Año from his post and hold him accountable for the enforced disappearance of Jonas and other human rights violations," Cristina Palabay, secretary general of Karapatan said. 
jonas after abduction 

The Burgos family yesterday submitted new evidence to the Supreme Court including the picture of Jonas allegedly under military detention. Two weeks ago, the Court of Appeals ruled on the writ of Amparo on the case of Jonas. "All of these point to one incontrovertible truth: that the enforced disappearance of Jonas and other desaparecidos are perpetrated by the AFP," Palabay said.