May, 2013

Election result gives push to Aquino govt’s anti-people policies and programs

“The recent electoral exercise only produced more of the same well-entrenched political clans, rights violators, and peddlers of the country’s resources to foreign big business,” said Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay, characterizing the results of the 2013 elections. 

Civil society strongly condemns the recent Mayor Hashimoto’s remark on the “Comfort Women”

1. Toru HASHIMOTO, the mayor of Osaka and a co-leader of the Japan Restoration Association, a political party with over 50 lawmakers in Parliament, remarked on May 13 that the “comfort women” for the Japanese Army during World War II was “necessary” in maintaining discipline in the army and providing relief for soldiers. “When soldiers are risking their lives by running through storms of bullets, and you want to give these emotionally charged mass of fighters a rest somewhere, everyone understands that a comfort women system was necessary,” he said to reporters. He also claimed that there was no proof that the Japanese authorities had forced women into servitude.

We, the undersigned international and Asian NGOs, as well as NGOs from other region strongly condemn these outrageous comments as an attempt to defend egregious violations of women’s human rights in the name of necessity. 

DND-DILG hit list legitimizes rights violation vs 60-year old peasant organizer

Karapatan deplored the enforced disappearance, illegal arrest and detention of Estelita T. Tacalan, a 60-year old peasant organizer and rural health worker in Misamis Oriental, as a “recent case of rights violation legitimized by the Joint Order No. 14-2012 of the Department of the Interior and Local Government and the Department of National Defense.” 

The DND-DILG Joint Order No. 14-2012 reportedly contains an updated list of alleged wanted Communist leaders and allocates PhP 466,088,000.00 as reward money for their capture.

AFP holds on to recycled witnesses and lies as hearing on Panesa case wraps up

The hearing for the petition of the writ of habeas corpus in relation to the arrest and detention of security guard Rolly Panesa wrapped up on May 9 at the Court of Appeals as two more witnesses of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) were presented by the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) in behalf of the Judge Advocate General’s Office (JAGO).  
“While an innocent person continues to languish in jail, the AFP insisted to the end that the person they arrested, tortured and detained is “Benjamin Mendoza.” The AFP brought military assets who are “professional witnesses,” whose convoluted lies crafted by the military are so obvious,” said Cristina Palabay, secretary general of Karapatan.
Palabay said Irwin Rosales, one of the witnesses presented by the AFP, is a rebel returnee who was also used by the military in building up false charges against Tirso “Bart” Alcantara, a consultant of the National Democratic Front. 

GPH is after military solution, not peace negotiation

“With eight months left to Oplan Bayanihan’s self-imposed deadline to supposedly render the CPP-NPA-NDF insignificant, the Aquino government is again turning the table against the NDFP negotiating panel, in a bid for a graceful exit from the peace talks and to justify intensified attacks, not only against the CPP-NPA-NDF, but more so against the ordinary tao whom the government considers as supporters of the revolutionary movement.”