January, 2014

Karapatan hits military encampment in Compostela school

"The recent military encampment in a school in Compostela province in Mindanao shows that the guidelines of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Department of Education (DepEd) are being used to justify rights violations against children and communities,” Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay said, in the light of reports from human rights workers in the region that soldiers were occupying a school in Mangyon Village, municipality of Compostela, province of Compostela Valley disrupting the classes of 230 children. 

Quezon City govt, BS Aquino accountable for violent demolition at Sitio San Roque, North Triangle

"We are holding the QC local government and the Philippine National Police accountable for the human rights violations committed against the residents of San Roque during the illegal demolition at the North Triangle, Quezon City," said Cristina Palabay, secretary general of Karapatan. 

Military occupies community-based school in Compostela town, Compostela Valley province, Philippines

UA Case :
  • Attacks on or Use of Schools for Military Purposes;
  • Endangerment of Civilians;
  • Threat, harassment and intimidation;
  • Violation of Domicile

  • 230 pupils and 5 teachers of Salugpungan Ta Tanu Igkanugon Community Learning Center (STTICLC), a community-based school of Matigsalog indigenous people accredited by the Department of Education
  • 51 households near the STTICLC

Place of Incident :

Reaction to PNP's action towards 10 police torturers in Binan, Laguna

"It is not enough to relieve the ten policemen who tortured the detainees at the secret detention center in Binan, Laguna. They should immediately be prosecuted and put in jail, together with their superiors who abetted the said acts. However, we are skeptical that the policemen and their superiors will immediately be brought to justice, because no perpetrator of such crime has been put in jail for such dastardly acts. Justice, for instance, has been deprived of victims of torture such as the 43 health workers and security guard Rolly Panesa, who filed counter-charges using the Anti-Torture Law. Their torturers and their superiors were even promoted to higher posts.”

Cristina Palabay
Secretary General

CA decision strengthens anti-torture charges against military/police torturers of security guard Panesa

"The recent resolution of the Court of Appeals denying the motion for the re-arrest of security guard Rolly Panesa strengthens the anti-torture case he filed against his arresting officers and interrogators," said Cristina Palabay, secretary general of Karapatan. 

Torture roulette at PNP, proof that torture continues under Aquino govt

"Torture continues as a policy and a practice of the Aquino government. It is done against its political opponents and even among common offenders," Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay said as the group condemned the torture of 15 detainees in Biñan, Laguna perpetrated by 10 members of Philippine National Police-Laguna Provincial Intelligence Branch District Office.

AFP, DepEd engage in doubletalk in guidelines on military activities in schools to justify AFP attacks vs children - Karapatan

The BS Aquino administration once again demonstrates its propensity for double talk with the recent guidelines released by the Department of Education and the Armed Forces of the Philippines on military activities in schools to justify the continuing military attacks and human rights violations against children issued on December 13 and July 15, 2013 – just as how it tries to hoodwink the Filipino people into believing its lies on the president’s popularity ratings through its unbelievable surveys. 

Anti-mining advocate shot dead in Maco, Compostela Valley province, Philippines

UA Case:    Extrajudicial killing

Victim/s:    MARCELO C. MONTERONA, Jr.

  • Male, 41, married with three children  ages 16, 14 and 12
  • Self-employed mechanic and driver
  • Resident of Maco town, Compostela Valley province
  • Council member, Indug Kautawan, Maco chapter of Barug Katawhan (People Rise Up! a group of typhoon “Pablo” survivors in Maco)
  • Member, Kabalikat Civicom – Maragusan Chapter

Place of Incident:    Near the victim’s house in Elizalde village, Maco, Compostela Valley

Date of Incident:    3 January 2014

Alleged Perpetrator(s):    Two unidentified men believed to be members of the 71st Infantry Battalion Philippine Army on board a motorcycle.

Account of the Incident:

On January 3, 2014, Marcelo Monterona was fixing his multicab vehicle. At around 11 a.m., he went to Km. 11 on-board his motorcycle to borrow a sparkplug ring from his friend Edgardo Sedillo, a bakery owner. Sedillo’s bakery is about 600 meters from Monterona’s residence. While waiting for Sedillo, Monterona noticed seven army soldiers in uniform at a neighbourhood store across the street. Right after Monterona got the sparkplug ring, he returned to his house to continue fixing the multicab.

At around 12:00 noon, Monterona tested the multicab on the road in front of his house. He was some 13 meters from his house when two unidentified men, aboard an XRM motorcycle, stopped near the driver’s seat of the multicab. Witnesses said the gunman went straight to the driver’s seat and shot Monterona with a .45 caliber pistol, hitting him on the left side of his mouth. He tried to crawl out of the vehicle through the passenger’s side. But the gunman got on the vehicle through the driver’s side door and shot Monterona several times more before speeding away.

Monterona fell out of the vehicle and was rushed to a hospital in Tagum City by his wife and son. Sedillo, who was grazed by a stray bullet in the stomach, was also brought to the hospital.

Karapatan slams the exploitation and abuse of domestic workers in Hong Kong

Karapatan stands in solidarity with thousands of migrant workers in Hong Kong who marched for justice for domestic worker Erwiana Sulistyaningsih of Indonesia on 19 January 2013. We support their call for Erwiana Sulistyaningsih‘s employers and recruitment agencies to face justice and for reform in laws which prevent domestic workers from reporting abusive employers and agencies.

Camp Crame political prisoners on fasting to protest conviction of inmate Eduardo Sarmiento

Political prisoners in Camp Crame announced yesterday their participation on the nationwide fasting of political prisoners against the conviction of peace consultant Eduardo Sarmiento.

"Makaisang panig siyang hinusgahan na may sala ni Judge Myra Bayot-Quiambao ng Muntinlupa RTC kahit may nalabag na sistema sa maayos na pangangalaga ng ebidensya (isang piraso na fragmentation grenade) at kwestyunable pa ang pagtestigo ng mga pulis na nag-aresto sa kanya," ([Sarmiento] was one-sidedly convicted guilty by Judge Myra Bayot-Quiambao of Muntinlupa RTC despite violations on the evidence’s (a single fragmentation granade) chain of custody and questionable testimonies of the arresting officers.) the Camp Crame political prisoners said in a statement.

Eduardo Sarmiento’s Declaration of Fasting

Pagpapahayag ng Pag-aayuno (fasting) ni Eduardo Sarmiento

Free Eduardo Sarmiento 

Ako ay magsasagawa ng pag-aayuno komo protesta sa di makatarungang paghahatol sa akin ng reclusion perpetua base sa mga gawa gawa lang na mga bintang. Makaisang panig na isinagawa ni Judge Myra Bayot-Quiambao ng Muntinlupa RTC Branch 203 ang paghuhusga noong Disyembre 11 ng nakaraang taon.

Counsels to contest detained NDFP consultant's conviction

Free Ed Sarmiento 

Today, recently convicted peace consultant Eduardo Sarmiento  and his lawyers are set to argue on their Second Urgent Motion for Inhibition and Motion for Reconsideration at the Muntinlupa Regional Trial Court Branch 203. 

Serious Doubts about the Present Aquino Regime’s Respect for Ceasefires and Peace Agreements

Right after the world’s mightiest typhoon in recorded history, Yolanda (or Haiyan, by its international name), hit the country in November 8, the revolutionary movement declared and set into practice a unilateral ceasefire in the hardest hit areas of Eastern Visayas, Central Visayas and Panay regions, and in the islands of Negros, Masbate, Mindoro and Palawan, the revolutionary movement declared and strictly implemented a unilateral ceasefire up to November 24, and then extended this for another month up to December 24.

Karapatan scores OPAPP, conviction of NDFP consultant impedes peace talks

Karapatan Alliance for the Advancement of People's Rights and other people’s organizations stormed the office of Secretary Teresita "Ging" Deles of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) in protest of the continuing detention and conviction of National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) peace consultant Eduardo Sarmiento. 

Free Ed Sarmiento 


Dear friends and colleagues,

Greetings of peace!

On 11 December 2013, Eduardo Sarmiento, a consultant of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) in the peace process with the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GPH), was sentenced to 20 to 40 years imprisonment by Judge Myra Bayot Quiambao of the Muntinlupa Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 203, on the basis of trumped up criminal charge of illegal possession of firearms and explosives. Lawyers of Sarmiento are challenging the conviction, through a motion for reconsideration filed before the local court, and have also sought, for the second time, for the judge to inhibit herself from the case. These pleas are expected to be heard on Friday, 17 January 2014.

His arrest and detention is based on allegations of fabricated charges of arson, multiple murder and multiple frustrated murder filed against him in the courts of Samar and of illegal possession of firearms and explosives in Muntinlupa. All the charges in Samar have been dismissed due to lack of evidence.

Karapatan expresses solidarity with Cambodian workers

KARAPATAN Alliance for the Advancement of People’s Rights – Philippines strongly condemns the violence inflicted by the Cambodian armed forces against protesting workers in Cambodia. Years of exploitation of the workers through sub-standard working conditions and untenable minimum wages have pushed the Cambodian workers to exercise their legitimate right to strike and peacefully express their demands through the protests. Karapatan likewise condemns the prodding and support of foreign governments, such as the South Korean government, and corporations for the exercise and use of lethal force by the Cambodian government against its citizens. The brute force being used by the Cambodian government to quell the legitimate actions by workers violates the rights of the workers as enshrined in international human rights conventions.