February, 2014

Pres. Noynoy Aquino's appointment of Gen. Lina Sarmiento is as lame as his understanding of the law

"Pres. Noynoy Aquino's lame defense of the appointment of Gen. Lina Sarmiento as head of the martial law claims board is as lame as his understanding of the very essence of the law that he is supposed to implement. It is very clear in the letter of the law that the board members should possess known probity, competence, integrity, deep and thorough understanding & knowledge of human rights and involvement in efforts vs Martial Law human rights violations. Nowhere in his statement defending Sarmiento reflect such adherence to the law.”

SELDA files certiorari at SC; demands nullification of Gen. Sarmiento's appointment

Continuing protest vs Aquino's HR Victims Claims Board  
On the occasion of the 28th anniversary of the EDSA People Power I, Martial Law victims led by former Bayan Muna Rep. Satur Ocampo filed a petition today asking the Supreme Court to nullify the appointment of PNP Gen. Lina Castillo-Sarmiento as chairperson of the Human Rights Victims Claims Board, the formation of which Pres. BS Aquino announced on February 13, 2014. 

Cybercrime law, killing and arrests, corruption: martial law footprints

“BS Aquino is bringing the Filipino people back to the days of martial law with the approval of the Cybercrime Law and the appointment of a member of the defunct Philippine Constabulary to the Claims Board that is tasked to indemnify the victims of the Marcos dictatorship. These, along with the systemic and structural problems in society, retain the martial law footprints in our country,” said Cristina Palabay, Karapatan secretary general, as the 28th year after Edsa 1 is commemorated today.

HRVRRA and Anti-Enforced or Involuntary Disappearance Act Primers and Law

Primers and Law 


Human Rights Victims Reparation and Recognition Act of 2013 (Republic Act 10368) Primer and Law-ENGLISH

Anti-Enforced or Involuntary Disappearance Act of 2012 (Republic Act 10353) Primer and Law-ENGLISH

2013 Batas para sa Bayad-Pinsala at Pagkilala sa mga Biktima ng Paglabag sa Karapatang Pantao (Batas Republika 10368) Praymer at Batas-FILIPINO

2013 Karapatan Year-end Report on the Human Rights Situation in the Philippines

The masquerade is over.  The balloons of promises and hopes have burst.  2013 unmasked the pretentions of a self-proclaimed messiah who vowed to create miracles—eradicate the deeply entrenched cancerous cell of corruption in a hopeless bureaucrat capitalist system; a bounty in economy through magical, impalpable statistics of GNPs; a life without twist and turn of reality. 2013 is marked by significant gains of the people’s movement as the BS Aquino government bares itself before the Filipino people, exposing not only its humbug character but also its fascist nature, its shrouded corruption, its ineptness...

BS Aquino’s ML Claims Board a distortion of history

“The Aquino government chose to commemorate the 28th year of People Power 1 and the fall of the Marcos dictatorship by consigning a general who was part of the Philippine Constabulary-Integrated National Police (PC-INP) to head Human Rights Victims’ Claims Board,” said Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay. 

Libel provision will be used vs protesting public

With SC decision on cybercrime constitutionality 

Karapatan today said that like extrajudicial killing, enforced disappearance, illegal arrest and detention and, other human rights violations, “The libel provision in the cybercrime law will most likely be used against those who criticize BS Aquino’s anti-people policies and programs and those who expose corruption and rights violations.” 

Appointment of woman police general to HR Claims Board scored

Women rights group Tanggol Bayi criticized the recent appointment of Gen. Lina Sarmiento of the Philippine National Police as chair of the Human Rights Victims Claims Board that shall process the recognition and reparation of Martial Law victims.

SELDA: Pagtatalaga ni BS Aquino ng PNP General na mamumuno sa Claims’ Board “Sukdulang insulto at kawalang-puso sa mga biktima!”

Ibinulalas ng SELDA ang pandidiri sa itinalagang retiradong police general na si PNP Director Lina Castillo-Sarmiento bilang tagapangulo ng Human Rights Victims Claims Board, na siyang magpoproseso ng pagkilala at bayad-pinsala sa mga biktima ng Batas Militar.

Karapatan enraged by weekly killing spree under BS Aquino

"BS Aquino’s military and police death squads are like wild dogs on a killing spree, slaying one victim a week this 2014. The trend is an alarming signal of the rising suppression of legitimate protests against the Aquino administration’s anti-poor policies, especially in the rural communities,” Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay said as Karapatan documented the sixth victim of extra judicial killing for 2014. 

Chairperson, secretary of peasant organization ambushed by unidentified assailants in Valencia town, Bukidnon province

Case: Extrajudicial killing and frustrated extrajudicial killing

- 41, male, married with 4 children
- Chairperson of Kahugpungan sa mga Mag-uuma (Kasama or Association of Farmers)-Vintar Chapter, Valencia City

NERMIE LAPATIS (Frustrated killing, survived with injuries)
- 41, female, married, member of the Higaonon indigenous people’s tribe
- Secretary of Kahugpungan sa mga Mag-uuma (Kasama) – Vintar, Valencia City Chapter

Place of Incident:  Juanilla Village, Poblacion, Valencia City, Bukidnon province
Date of Incident:  05 February 2014

Alleged Perpetrator(s):
Two unidentified men aboard a motorcycle, believed to be members of State security forces

Account of the Incident:
In the morning of February 5, 2014, Julieto Lauron was driving a motorcycle with Nermie Lapatis. They were on their way to the village of Hindangon, Valencia City when two unidentified men on a red motorcycle overtook them, blocked their way and immediately shot Lauron and Lapatis.

Lauron who was hit on his neck, chest and stomach immediately died, while Lapatis was hit in her right knee. The assailants quickly escaped.

Farmers’ group, woman rights defender threatened in Aurora province, Central Luzon, Philippines

Case:    Threat, harassment and intimidation, surveillance


- Community organizer and coordinator of Samahang Magbubukid na Kababaihan (Samaka or Association of Women Farmers), and  Panlalawigang Alyansa ng mga Magbubukid ng Aurora (Pamana or Alliance of Peasants in the Aurora Province)

At least 42 households and residents of Sitio Ilaya, Barangay Zabali, Baler, Aurora

Staff members of Pamana

Places of Incident:    
- Sitio Ilaya, Barangay Zabali, Baler, Aurora
- The Pamana office located in Maria Aurora town, Aurora

Dates of Incident:    January 16 and 17, 2014

Alleged Perpetrator(s):
Two unidentified men believed to be the State intelligence agents; and, at least 15 elements of the 56th Infantry Battalion Philippine Army.

Account of the Incident:

On the evening of January 16, 2014, members of the Philippine Army surrounded the house of peasant organizer Rosemarie Rojas.

According to Rojas’s neighbors, at least 15 members of the 56th Infantry Battalion arrived in their community past 11:00 p.m. The soldiers surrounded Rojas’s house, as some soldiers were lying face-down on the grassy lot across the street, their guns trained at the house. A number of soldiers entered Rojas’s yard, peeked through the windows and through the small gaps on the walls.

Lawyers of military accused in Cadapan-Empeno disappearance fined by Court

Karapatan expressed disgust with the successive postponement of hearings in the trial of the kidnapping and serious illegal detention case filed against Maj. Gen. Jovito Palparan Jr., Col. Felipe Anotado, Staff Sgt. Edgar Osorio and M/Sgt. Rizal Hilario for the disappearance of UP students Sherlyn Cadapan and Karen Empeno. 

NDF Consultant Ramon Patriarca released

Ramon Patriarca, peace consultant of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP), was released from the Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center on February 4 after the Branch 25 of the Regional Trial Court-Danao City dismissed the rebellion charge against him and five other co-accused, who were earlier released on bail.   

Karapatan to file complaint to UN on forced eviction, torture and rights violations vs San Roque residents

Karapatan strongly condemned the use of force and violence in the January 27 demolition at Brgy. San Roque, Quezon City, as the alliance is poised to file complaints at the United Nations Human Rights Council to bring to international attention the rights violations inflicted on the urban poor residents in San Roque. 

Oplan Bayanihan Phase 2 opens 2014 with 3 EJK and 4 frustrated killings

“Having admitted the failure of Oplan Bayanihan Phase 1 as early as July 2013, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) is trying to offset it by attacking civilians and accusing them as members or sympathizers of the Communist rebels. For January alone, three victims of extrajudicial killing and four victims of frustrated killing were documented,” said Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay.