March, 2014

Justice for WIlliam Bugatti!

We are enraged over the extrajudicial killing of William Bugatti, a Tuwali and a devoted human rights worker yesterday March 25, 2014, at around 6-7 in the evening. William is a Regional Council Member of the Cordillera Human Rights Alliance-KARAPATAN, a regional Council Member of the Cordillera Peoples Alliance representing the Ifugao Peasant Movement and the Provincial Coordinator of Bayan Muna partylist.  

We condemn this human rights violation in the strongest possible terms.  

Killings, illegal arrest and detention: BS Aquino’s kind of peace

January 03, 2014—MONTERONA, Marcelo, 41, Farmer, Indug Kautawan, Maco, Compostela Valley
January 12, 2014—PADIÑO, Arman, 33, Farmer, Aniban, Hacienda Dolores, Porac, Pampanga
January 30, 2014—ORBINA, Henry, Worker, Cabadian, Sorsogon
January 31, 2014—AMBONGAN, Datu Rolando, 39, Higaonon tribe, Katribu Partylist member, Buenavista, Agusan del Norte
February 05, 2014—LAURON, Julieto, 41, Farmer, Kasama - Bukidnon, Valencia, Bukidnon
February 06, 2014—RAYTERAN, Rosaldo, Driver, Albay People's Org, Libon, Albay
February 06, 2014—RAYTERAN, Rasty, 18, Youth, Libon, Albay
February 18, 2014—ARCHIVAL, Noel, 53, Lawyer, Dalaguette, Cebu
February 18, 2014—MIÑOZA, Candido, 47, Archival's aide, Dalaguette, Cebu
February 18, 2014—JAYME, Alejandro, 45, Archival's driver, Dalaguette, Cebu
March 03, 2014—LIGIW, Fermin, 29, Binongan-Tinguian tribe, Anakbayan/Kastan (CPA provincial chapter), Baay-Licuan, Abra
March 03, 2014—LIGIW, Eddie, 45, Binongan-Tinguian tribe, Kastan, Baay-Licuan, Abra
March 03, 2014—LIGIW, Licuben, 77, Binongan-Tinguian tribe, Kastan, Baay-Licuan, Abra
March 15, 2014—CAPALLA, Romeo, 65, entrepreneur, PFTC, SELDA, Oton, Iloilo
March 22, 2014—LUBIANO, Julio, 31, Small-scale miner, Caramoan, Camarines Sur
March 22, 2014—LUBIANO, Rene, 28, Small-scale miner, Caramoan, Camarines Sur
March 22, 2014—VIRTUS, Salem, 24, Small-scale miner, Caramoan, Camarines Sur
March 22, 2014—BRONDIA, Jesse, 35, Small-scale miner, Caramoan, Camarines Sur
March 25, 2014—BUGATTI, William, 43, CHRA, CPA, BM provincial coordinator, Kiangan, Ifugao

stk english

Frequently asked questions on the JASIG

Philippine Peace Center
26 March 2014 

Q1: What is the JASIG?

A1:  JASIG stands for “Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees”.  It is an agreement between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GPH, formerly GRP) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines, signed by their respective negotiating panels in February 24, 1995.  

With escalation of political killings, Karapatan demands BS Aquino to step down

"Karapatan strongly demands that Pres. Noynoy Aquino steps down from office for his administration’s accountability for the 169 victims of extra-judicial killings, from July 2010 to December 2013, and for the 19 killed for this year alone, including the killing of our fellow human rights worker William Bugatti of Cordillera Human Rights Alliance (CHRA) in Ifugao and the massacre of four miners in Caramoan, Camarines Sur," said Cristina Palabay, national secretary general of Karapatan. 

Bounty for Tiamzon and Austria, a one-time bigtime organized racket

Mukhang pinagkakakitaan pa ng gobyerno at militar ang iligal na pag-aresto at pagdukot ng mga peace consultants, mga aktibista at ordinaryong sibilyan,” said Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay on the 10-million peso bounty each for the arrest of Benito Tiamzon and Wilma Austria.  

No justice, rights victims say of alleged communist leaders’ arrest--Hustisya

AFP Chief of Staff Gen. Emmanuel Bautista earned the ire of victims of human rights violations after calling the arrest of alleged high-ranking NPA leaders Benito Tiamzon and Wilma Austria as “justice.”


“No way,” said Ernan Baldomero, vice-chairperson of Hustisya (Victims United for Justice), “we want plunderers, corrupt politicians and human rights violators punished, not the people who are part of the peace negotiations with the government.”


Arrest of Tiamzon and Austria, a blow to peace negotiations

“A kick in the bucket of peace,” said Karapatan on the illegal arrest of Benito Tiamzon and Wilma Austria, consultants of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) to the peace negotiations with the Government of the Philippines.  

EcuVoice: Spare the children, Uphold basic human rights in the dirty war

“The growing number of children victims of extra judicial killings in the Philippines is alarming. We appeal to the Special Representative of the UN Secretary General to investigate these cases of extra judicial killing of children and we urge the Philippine government to respect the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and to comply with its obligation under international human rights law,” stated Atty. Ephraim Cortez, assistant secretary general for legal  services of the National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers (NUPL), in his oral intervention during the general debates of the 25th United Nations Human Rights Council sessions in Geneva, Switzerland on March 14, 2014.

Extrajudicial killings on the rise Karapatan to BS Aquino: shape up or ship out

The National Council of Karapatan, in a recently concluded meeting, called on BS Aquino to “shape up or ship out” as the human rights alliance condemned the rising incidents of extrajudicial killings, now with 11 people killed in the first 10 weeks of 2014.

Former political prisoner assassinated in Oton town, Iloilo province

At around 6:30 p.m. on March 15, 2014, Romeo Capalla was at the Oton public market when unidentified gunmen shot him at close range. He succumbed to two gunshot wounds in the head, and was pronounced dead on arrival at the Western Visayas Medical Center. He was at the public market to pick up his mother-in-law from her store.

Capalla, 65, was a member of the Board of Directors of the Panay Fair Trade Center (PFTC) and its former manager. The PFTC, a member organization of the International Federation of Alternative Trade, exports certified-organic muscovado sugar and banana chips.

In August 2005, Capalla was arrested on false charges of arson. The said incident was allegedly committed by the New People’s Army in Guimbal, Iloilo. Capalla’s co-acused in the said case was Fernando Baldomero, then town councilor of Oton and was the first victim of extrajudicial killing under the Aquino government. Both Capalla and Baldomero were released after the charges against them were dismissed. Baldomero was killed five years later on July 5, 2010, five days after Aquino took his oath of office.

Call for justice for the victims of killing in Central Luzon

Dear friends,

Please join us in our call for justice for the farmers who were victims of killing and other human rights violations. The farmers are in haciendas owned by big landlords or in haciendas targeted for land conversion for real estate and other commercial purposes.

Arbitrary killing, frustrated killing, and harassment of farmers in Hacienda Dolores, Porac, Pampanga

Karapatan to BS Aquino: STOP THE KILLINGS!

Karapatan, through its secretary general Cristina Palabay, today called on all civil libertarians and human rights defenders in the country and in the international community to demand from the BS Aquino government to take concrete steps to stop the spate of killings, as another activist was slain on March 15 in Oton, Iloilo. 

Romeo Capalla-EJK

Romeo Capalla, 65, chairperson of the Board of Directors and former manager of the Panay Fair Trade Center (PFTC), was shot by unidentified gunmen at the Oton Public Market around 6:30 p.m. He sustained two gunshot wounds in the head and was declared dead on arrival at the Western Visayas Medical Center. 

Capalla is the 11th victim of extrajudicial killing in the last two and a half months, starting in January 2014. Karapatan has documented 169 victims of extrajudicial killing starting July 2010, from when BS Aquino assumed presidency, to December 2013. 

“As early as February, Karapatan already sounded the alarm as the cases of killings started to rise. There were killings once a week, on the average. We see a comeback of Gloria Arroyo’s Oplan Bantay Laya. The BS Aquino government is speeding up the implementation of Oplan Bayanihan to meet its internal deadline and offset its failure in the last three years,” Palabay added.   

3 small-scale miners found dead in a shallow grave in Abra; farmer still missing in Isabela

Oplan Bayanihan intensifies

"With the rising trend of extrajudicial killings and other human rights violations, our bases to demand for Aquino to step down is getting stronger," said Cristina Palabay, secretary general of Karapatan. In the first nine weeks of 2014, the group Karapatan already documented 10 victims of the extrajudicial killing, and a case of enforced disappearance.  

Peasant leader abducted, remains missing in Isabela province, Philippines

Case:    Enforced disappearance

Romulo Dela CruzVictim/s:    ROMULO DELA CRUZ, 42 years old

  • Farmer and resident of Barangay Matusalem, municipality of Roxas, Isabela
  • Member of Agbiag Matusalem Association-Roxas Isabela (AMA-RI), an association of residents of Matusalem village, Roxas town. AMA-RI is a member organization of Danggayan Dagiti Mannalon iti (Dagami), an alliance of peasant organizations in Cagayan Valley

Place of Incident:    Nueva Era village, San Manuel municipality, Isabela province

Date of Incident:    February 28, 2014

Alleged Perpetrator(s):    Unidentified men who claimed to be agents of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI)

Account of the Incident:

On February 28, 2014, Romulo Dela Cruz attended the wedding of his son, Romy, in a mass wedding ceremony in Roxas town, At around 11:30 a.m., Dela Cruz boarded his motorcycle and made his way back to his village in Barangay Matusalem, Roxas, together with with Julie Danga, one of the wedding sponsors. The newlyweds, aboard another motorcycle, were behind them.

Call for justice for the victims of killing and arbitrary arrest in the Bicol region, Philippines

Dear friends,

Please join us in our call for justice for the victims of killing and arbitrary arrest in the Bicol region.

Assassination of rights defender and his son in Albay province

At around 8:00 p.m. of February 26, 2014, Rosaldo Rayteran was driving home to Matara village after plying his jeepney route from Polangui town. With him was his 18-year-old son, Rasty.

GPH’s bid to the UN Human Rights Council shameless

Nakakakilabot ang kapal ng mukha ng gobyernong ito,” is how Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay described the BS Aquino government’s bid for a seat to the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) for 2016-2018 as announced by Foreign Affairs Undersecretary for Policy Evan Garcia.

BS Aquino govt continues to ignore extrajudicial killings

Karapatan today called on Department of Justice Secretary Leila de Lima to put meaning to the word JUSTICE in her department and prosecute and punish all the perpetrators of human rights violations. "The BS Aquino government continues to turn a blind eye to the incidents of extrajudicial killings, now with seven victims in the first six weeks of 2014.”

7 killings in 6 weeks 

“The trend is alarming and the DOJ is not doing anything about it. We are seeing a repeat of the Oplan Bantay Laya days of Gloria Arroyo," Cristina Palabay, Karapatan secretary general, said.

Ecumenical group to report killings, govt neglect of typhoon victims in PH to UN

Pastor Jerome Baris, National Coordinator,  justice, peace and human rights program of the United Church of Christ in the Philippines
Atty. Ephraim Cortez, deputy secretary general of the National Union of People’s Lawyers 

The Ecumenical Voice for Human Rights and Peace in the Philippines (EcuVoice), a network of human rights and faith-based organizations, will be participating in the 25th sessions of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland from March 9-20, 2014 to raise the pressing human rights concerns in the Philippines, including the unabated extrajudicial killing of political activists and the Aquino administration’s incompetence in addressing the needs of typhoon Yolanda victims. 

Go after the killers of typhoon Pablo victim Cristina Jose

“While the show is still on and the Aquino government is still ‘in the mood’ to look into cases of extrajudicial killings following the US government’s report on human rights violations, Karapatan dares Malacañang to look into the cases of killings of victims of typhoon Pablo, Cristina Jose and Pedro Tinga and punish their perpetrators,” said Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay. 

Position Paper Submitted to the Committee on National Cultural Minorities House of Representatives

By Cristina Palabay
Secretary General, Karapatan
March 3, 2014

Magandang araw po. 

On behalf of Karapatan, I thank the members of the House of Representatives Committee on National and Cultural Minorities for this hearing on human rights violations against indigenous communities. 

Karapatan condemns the vigilante-style harassment and red tagging of activists, rights workers in Ifugao

"This is reminiscent of the situation under the Cory Aquino regime, when military-backed vigilante groups are doing the dirty work of counter-insurgency," Cristina Palabay, Karapatan secretary general said in reaction to reports of posters found in Ifugao province signed by a certain "Ifugao People's Council" labelling leaders of people’s organizations and partylists, including human rights worker Jude Baggo, secretary general of Cordillera Human Rights Alliance, as members of the New People's Army (NPA).

Human rights abuses in PH abetted by US

Karapatan said the US State Department report on the human rights abuses in the Philippines is “hypocritical”, saying the US is also responsible for the said abuses through military aid, deployment of troops and a counterinsurgency program that is the blueprint of Aquino’s Oplan Bayanihan.