August, 2013

Oplan Bayanihan is ‘panaglabsing ken didigra’ (violation and destruction) to Cordillera people

The Cordillera Human Rights Alliance strongly condemns the air strike and strafing that took place yesterday, August 30, 2013, in Sagada, Mountain Province.  This is the second incident in the Cordillera region within the year.  The first took place in Malibcong, Abra last May 31which caused psychological and emotional stress on the community people especially on the two children who almost got hurt.

Charge and jail AFP Chief of Staff, military officials for illegal arrest and torture of security guard Panesa

Karapatan said the Armed Forces of the Philippines should be made accountable for the rights violations against security guard Rolly Panesa, with the recent Court of Appeals decision granting his petition for writ of habeas corpus and ordering his release from jail after 10 months and 24 days in detention.

Rights group hits special treatment for Napoles, Razon

"Aquino's penchant for giving special treatment to high profile and notorious rights violators and thieves is once again illustrated in the case of Janet Napoles and former Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Gen. Avelino Razon. The double standard is obvious and sickening, as compared to the inhuman treatment of political prisoners and common offenders," said Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay. 

Desaparecidos calls the Anti-Disappearance law a mere token, hits Aquino for continuing disappearances

On the International Day of the Disappeared

SURFACE all Desaparecidos  

"Until when will we keep looking for the disappeared?" Lorena "Aya" Santos, a daughter of a desaparecido and secretary general of Families of the Desaparecidos for Justice, asked. "For years, we keep commemorating the International Day of the Disappeared to remember all the desaparecidos in the world and to call to stop enforced disappearances. Regimes had passed, but enforced disappearance still exist while our missing loved ones have yet to be found," Santos said. 


NEW ZEALAND--August 30 is International Day of the Disappeared. Tomorrow, Ninoy Aquino Day will again be observed on August 21, commemorating the life and death of Senator Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino Jr. On this occasion, the Philippines solidarity network together with faith-based justice and peace advocates in New Zealand reiterate appeal for Pres. Benigno Simeon Aquino III to end human rights abuses.

Rights groups score Aquino gov’t on disappearance of anti-mining activist

"As the world commemorates the International Day of the Disappeared on August 30, another person is victimized. We strongly condemn the enforced disappearance of anti-mining activist Bryan Epa and we hold the Aquino administration accountable for this heinous act,” said Lorena ‘Aya’ Santos, secretary general of Families of Desaparecidos for Justice.

Morong 43 are health workers; arrest and torture are illegal

“Nothing justifies torture and illegal arrest,” said Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay on the military’s claim that Ramon de la Cruz, one of the illegally detained and tortured members of the “Morong 43”, was killed in an encounter with the New People’s Army in Bulacan on August 9.

Tricycle drivers, vendors thank political detainees for relief packs

“Yung mga political detainees pa ang unang naka-alala sa aming mga nabaha, samantala yung mga dapat nakakulong na nagpapahirap sa taumbayan ay nagsasaya at walang pakialam sa kalagayan namin (The political detainees were the first to respond to needs of the flood victims, while those who are ought to be in jail are mindless of our situation),” remarked Fernando Piccoro, leader of tricycle drivers plying the streets of Sampaloc when they receive food packs from political detainees at Camp Bagong Diwa.

Anomalous “wanted with rewards” scheme of the AFP

Last August 13 and August 14 national newspaper featured a photo of Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff Gen. Emmanuel Bautista handing over stacks of cash worth P5.6 million to a hooded “informant”, purportedly as the latter’s reward for helping in the “capture” of suspected top New People’s Army (NPA) leader in the Southern Tagalog Region, Benjamin Mendoza. The grant of the reward for the supposed “capture” of Benjamin Mendoza was only part of the over P19.25 million granted as rewards to “informants” for the “capture” of seven supposed NPA leaders and three supposed Abu Sayyaf members. The grant of the rewards was made in a ceremony held by the AFP leadership last August 12.

Karapatan demands release of political activists based on recent court decisions

"The recent court decisions on the charges filed against activists prove our claim that they were illegally arrested and detained because of fabricated cases. Other similar cases should likewise be dismissed and those languishing in jail for the same reason should be immediately released," Cristina Palabay, Karapatan secretary general said.


US troops in PH violates sovereignty, perpetuates impunity

“The permanent presence of US troops in the country, the unlimited access to Philippine facilities, including storage of arms, and the use of drones, are direct attacks against Philippine sovereignty and the people’s rights,” said Cristina Palabay, Karapatan secretary general, on the talks between the US and Philippine governments which start today on the increase of rotational presence of American forces in the country.

AFP P19.25M reward to “informers” a rip-off at the expense of people’s rights

“The Armed Forces of the Philippines has no right to brag about the capture of ‘terrorist personalities and communist leaders’ through their so-called informants. It’s a shame that it spent P19.25 million of the nation’s money for capturing and torturing people like security guard Rolly Panesa  and presenting him as “Benjamin Mendoza”,  a high-ranking official of the Communist Party of the Philippines, for the prize of P5.6 million. It’s simply a rip-off, an organized racket,” commented  Karapatan’s secretary general Cristina Palabay. Panesa has been in jail for 10 months now.

Natl ID system and SIM card registration twin proposals to curtail rights

“The twin proposals from the Senate and the House of Representatives – the introduction of a national identification system and the registration of phone SIM cards – are bound to lead to the curtailment of the right to privacy, freedom of expression and other violations of civil and political rights.”

Thus said Cristina Palabay, Karapatan secretary general, amid proposals from legislators from both houses of Congress for such measures.

US support to Aquino govt will worsen rights violations in the Philippines

Karapatan today slammed the US and Aquino administrations’ design to intensify US intervention and increase support for Aquino’s counter-insurgency program Oplan Bayanihan that will aggravate human rights violations in the Philippines. 

Cristina Palabay, secretary general of Karapatan, said the recent appointment of Philip Goldberg as US ambassador to the Philippines alongside reports of Washington’s increase of US military financing for the Philippines fromUS$30 to US$50 million signals the US’ renewed support for Oplan Bayanihan.