September, 2013

People’s lives sacrificed in Zambo crisis

Karapatan scored “self-confessed” peace advocate Chito Gascon’s pronouncement saying Zamboanga crisis was due to a ‘miscommunication and misunderstanding between the government and Misuari’s group’.  

“If BS Aquino’s alter-egos in the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) has only this to say, they better shut their mouths up. Or, best they just fold-up and go. The OPAPP is not actually working for peace. It is there to justify and deodorize BS Aquino’s war against the people.” 

Karapatan calls Oplan Bayanihan fund as "blood money"

"Oplan Bayanihan fund is blood money," Cristina Palabay, secretary general of Karapatan said in time of the Congress' budget hearing for the Armed Forces of the Philippines, particularly citing the funds allocated for Pres. Aquino's counter-insurgency program Oplan Bayanihan. "We reiterate our call to the members of Congress to give zero budget to the AFP," Palabay added. 

Karapatan reminds Aquino: Same social ills that caused the ouster of two presidents perpetrated by your regime

Government bureaucrats and their legions in and out of the bureaucracy live on people’s hard labor to load their bank accounts, build business empires, acquire expensive houses here and abroad, buy the most expensive luxury items to indulgence themselves, and to wine, dine, and dance. 
Landlords, transnational mining companies, agri-business plantations rob peasants and indigenous peoples of their lands. Capitalists rake in profits by keeping workers’ wages at bare minimum. Private corporations, in cahoots with the government, forcibly evict urban poor dwellers and demolish their houses. The youth are kept out of school because of high education costs, and the sick die without proper medical treatment or even die without seeing a doctor.

Break free from pork: political prisoners add voice to people's rage against pork, score corruption in gov’t

"From within prison walls, political prisoners are not unaware of the people’s rage against bureaucratic corruption," said Ramon Patriarca, detained peace consultant of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines.  
In a statement sent to Samahan ng Ex-Detainees Laban sa Detensyon at Aresto (SELDA) Patriarca cited President Aquino's pork, and " how billions more of the Malampaya and other presidential pork are pocketed through ghost projects. Of how billions upon billions of annual budget under Malacanang are ‘spent’-bereft of any transparency and the demands of accountability-under the cloak of presidential discretion and presumption of regularity." 

Karapatan to Atty. Alex Padilla: Don’t stand in the way of peace

“We all grew up with an old saying that goes: if there’s a will, there’s a way. The old and tested adage, in case Atty. Alex Padilla missed this, can very well aid him in his role as GPH peace panel head,” said Marie Hilao-Enriquez, chairperson of Karapatan and an independent observer to the GPH-NDFP peace negotiation. 

Karapatan warns Moro people against escalation of human rights violations as GPH's response to the Zamboanga stand off

The human rights watchdog Karapatan warned the Moro peoples against Philippine Government's human rights violations in the light of the Zamboanga siege. "In times like this, the Noynoy Aquino government is desperate to pacify any form of unrest. It wants to crush its so-called enemies through its dirty tactics such as human rights violations and violations of the international humanitarian law," Marie Hilao-Enriquez, chairperson of Karapatan said.  

Break free from pork: political prisoners suggest alternative use of pork

Political prisoners today launched “Break free from pork”, a nationwide protest against the pork barrel system, to join hands with the rest of the Filipino people calling for the abolition of the pork barrel system. 

From Metro Manila, Bicol, Bohol, Cebu, Misamis Oriental, and Bukidnon,  political prisoners’ action ranged from noise barrage, fasting, wearing of armbands with “no to pork barrel” slogan, distribution of leaflets on the pork barrel issue among inmates.  

Rights groups call on Aquino gov’t to honor previously signed agreements & resume peace talks with the NDFP

Peace is dead. 

In a picket at the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP), rights groups and family members of the peace consultants of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) depicted the situation with a replica of white doves locked in 13 plastic jars. The 13 doves, the protesters said, also symbolize the jailed 13 NDFP peace consultants. 

Karapatan condemns series of arbitrary arrest, illegal detention of civilians; calls it a repeat of mistaken identity case

What was supposed to be a vacation turned out to be a nightmare for three local tourists Aileen Cruz, Rey Busania, and Ofelia Inong when they were arrested without any warrant on September 10  by joint operatives of Regional Special Weapons And Tactics (SWAT),  the Philippine National Police led by Senior Supt. Ulysses J. Abellera, and the Armed Forces of the Philippines. 

Cruz, Busania and Inong were brought and detained at Mt. Province Provincial Police in Bontoc.  The three were only brought to the fiscal’s office on September 11. Cruz and Busania were initially cleared of any cases. Inong was shown a warrant of arrest against her under the name of “Lolita Loguibis”, an alleged finance and logistics officer of the NPA. The PNP claimed that Inong is “Loguibis”.

Rights group calls for release of NDFP consultant Eduardo Serrano, 12 other peace consultants

Karapatan today held a picket in front of the Quezon City Regional Trial Court to press for the immediate release of political prisoner Eduardo Serrano, a consultant of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) to the peace negotiations with the GPH.  Serrano’s counsel, led by the Public Interest Law Center (PILC), presented a witness on the kidnapping case against Serrano.

Free Eduardo Serrano!

Release Canadian student Kim Chatillon-Meunier from BI detention center

Release Kim!

The Bureau of Immigration (BI) last night arrested Kim Chatillon-Meunier, a 24-year old Canadian student, as she passed through immigration at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport for her 7:10pm flight to Hongkong.  She is now detained at the BI detention center at Camp Bagong Diwa, Bicutan, Taguig.

Karapatan and Desaparecidos hold picket at the DOJ; calls for prosecution of the brains of Jonas' disappearance.

"Niloloko niyo kami! Pwedeng kasuhan ang kamay ng krimen pero ang utak ay hindi?" remarked Lorena P. Santos, daughter of a desaparecido and secretary general of Families of Desaparecidos for Justice (Desaparecidos) at the picket held today at the Department of Justice (DOJ). 

Santos referred to the September 3, 2013 resolution by the DOJ to drop military officials, led by Brig. Gen. Eduardo Año, from the list of respondents to the criminal charges of arbitrary detention, murder and obstruction of justice on the enforced disappearance of Jonas Burgos. 

SELDA members troop to Malacanang, assail Noynoy Aquino’s inaction on RA 10368

Members of the Samahan ng Ex-detainees laban sa Detensyon at Aresto (SELDA) together with the surviving victims of human rights violations during martial law and their relatives trooped to Chino Roces (formerly Mendiola) Bridge to express their grievances and assailed the continued inaction of the Aquino administration in implementing the Human Rights Victims Recognition and Reparation Act of 2013 otherwise known as RA 10368. 

SELDA mob Sept1013 SELDA ML victims die-in

Minda peace group appeals for sparing of civilians in Zamboanga standoff

...calls on Philippine government to rectify handling of peace pact with MNLF

The Initiatives for Peace in Mindanao (INPEACE) today said the ongoing armed standoff in Zamboanga City following the Moro National Liberation Front’s declaration of independence one month ago “should be handled very carefully by the Philippine government.”


Karapatan vehemently denounces the moves of the United States government, through Pres. Barack Obama, to conduct airstrikes and heighten its aggression against Syria. On a humanitarian pretext, after the August 21 chemical attack in suburban Damascus killing more than 1,400 people, including 426 children, the US has positioned six of US and its allies' warships in the Mediterranean coastal lines of Syria. The so-called destroyers are equipped with 200 Tomahawk cruise missiles which are “ready to fire”.  

P466M reward for ‘communists’ a waste of people’s money

“Local government secretary Mar Roxas should be held accountable for the organized racket of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the Department of National Defense (DND) through the P466million bounty for individuals whom they accuse as communists,” said Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay. 

Rights group hits DOJ resolution on Jonas Burgos criminal raps

Karapatan today assailed the Department of Justice on its resolution to drop from the list of respondents Brig. Gen. Eduardo Año, Lt. Col. Melquiades Feliciano, Lt. Gen. Romeo Tolentino, Gen. Hermogenes Esperon, Lt. Gen. Alexander Yano and Dir. Gen. Avelino Razon Jr. on the criminal charges of arbitrary detention, murder and obstruction of justice filed by Dr. Edita Burgos on the abduction and disappearance of her son Jonas.

Surveillance of UCCP Pastor in Laguna, Philippines

Two unidentified men on a motorcycle went to the house of UCCP member Deborah P. Olarte, in Brgy. Masikap, Mabitac, Laguna on August 20, 2013 between 10:00  to 11:00 a.m. Olarte’s residence was  three houses away from the UCCP chapel where Pastor June Ver F. Mangao is assigned. Olarte is a younger sister of UCCP Bishop Eliezer M. Pascua.

The men did not introduce themselves but one of them said that he is a resident of Barangay Paagahan.

Victim of mistaken identity Rolly Panesa fights back through a criminal case of torture against abductors, torturers

"Hindi pwedeng tanggapin ko lang kung anong nangyari sa akin. Kailangang lumaban ako para makuha ang hustisya para sa akin at para sa ibang nakulong at natorture nang walang kasalanan katulad ko, (I will not just accept what has happened to me. I am fighting back to get justice for me and for others who were tortured and jailed innocent like me)," security guard Rolly Panesa said, as he filed criminal cases at the Department of Justice against several soldiers and police involved in his torture, arbitrary arrest and detention . 

DND’s Oplan Bayanihan budget is budget to kill

Amid the people’s call to abolish the presidential and congressional pork, Karapatan and several people’s organizations today held a picket at the House of Representatives, in time for the hearing of the proposed budget for the Department of National Defense (DND) for 2014. The protest underscored the “DND’s more than 82.1 billion-peso proposed budget meant to oil the Aquino government’s killing machine, the Armed Forces of the Philippines, the primary implementer of Oplan Bayanihan.”