June, 2014

BS Aquino ignores views of Int’l community on impunity in the Phils

“As military generals, those who murder and torture, get promoted and plunderers of the nation’s coffers receive special treatment in jail, the Aquino government is on full blast promoting impunity. Impunity is fostered by counterinsurgency program Oplan Bayanihan, the symbol of killings, torture and other human rights violations.”

DOJ drops high ranking AFP, PNP officials and fake witnesses from torture complaint

Security guard Rolly Panesa today filed a petition for partial review in response to the Department of Justice’s resolution absolving high ranking officials of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police from any accountability and responsibility in the crime they were charged with. Panesa’s petition for partial review was filed on the ground of grave abuse of discretion of the investigating prosecutor. 

Karapatan outraged by another arrest of a pregnant woman in Quezon Province

"We see a repeat of Andrea Rosal in this case, thus we demand the immediate release of Maria Miradel Torres, three months pregnant, arrested without warrant by the joint elements of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) and Southern Luzon Command in Brgy. Ilayang Iyam, Lucena City, Quezon Province,” said Karapatan Chairperson Marie Hilao-Enriquez. 

Court grants military in Cadapan-Empeño case another trial date despite lack of witnesses, series of postponements

Karapatan lambasts the defense in the Cadapan-Empeño case for consistently delaying the proceedings since the case was filed in 2011. Today's hearing was supposed to be the last presentation of the defense’s witnesses, but RTC branch 14 Judge Teodora Gonzales of Malolos Bulacan allowed another date for the defense to present their witnesses for the“last time". Judge Gonzales fined the defense several times and warned that the case will be deemed submitted for resolution if the defense fails to present their witnesses. 

Detained NDFP peace consultants complain vs. repressive measures in jail

Loida Magpatoc, one of the 15 detained peace consultants of the National Democratic Front, ignored the punishment meted out against her by the Disciplinary Board of the Taguig City Jail-Female Dorm, Camp Bagong Diwa.  Magpatoc was punished because of the complaints she raised on the condition of prisoners at the female dorm, deemed by the Board as violation of the BJMP manual. 

Appeal for Action: Pull-out military troops from peasants and indigenous communities in Mindanao






Dear friends,

Please join us in our call for the immediate pull-out of AFP troops from the communities of peasants and indigenous peoples in Mindanao.  There are at least three groups of evacuees from the provinces of Saranggani, Bukidnon and Davao del Norte. The evacuees, numbering to at least a thousand, are mostly indigenous peoples who left their homes starting May up to the present due to heavy military presence and intense combat operations in their respective communities.


International lawyers hit harassment & persecution of Ph rights lawyers

At conclusion of UN rights body session
Geneva, Switzerland – Italian human rights lawyer Micol Savia, Permanent UN Representative of the International Association of Democratic Lawyers (IADL) to the United Nations in Geneva decried the continuing intimidation and harassment of human rights lawyers in the Philippines, particularly those working on politically sensitive cases, by security forces of the Philippine government, in an oral intervention during the General Debates recently at the 26th sessions of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UN HRC).
Atty Micol Savia 

Rosal’s family files contempt charges against BJMP lawyer, doctor and warden

Karapatan supports the move of the Rosal family in filing contempt charges against Jail Senior Inspector Dr. Jaime A. Claveria Jr., Jail Senior Inspector Atty. Crisyrel P. Awe, Jail Senior Inspector Ellen B. Barriosof the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP).

Torture survivors ask Ombudsman to finally resolve case vs. Palparan, other military HR violators

For the third time, torture victims Raymond Manalo and Oscar Leuterio asked the Ombudsman to resolve the case of kidnapping, arbitrary detention, torture, physical injuries, threat and involuntary servitude and violation of RA 7438 (Rights of Persons Arrested, Detained or under Custodial Investigation) against their military torturers. 

Typhoon Yolanda survivor, rights groups call on UN to probe Aquino govt’s slow, inefficient response

20 June 2014, Geneva, Switzerland – Through an oral intervention delivered before member states of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva last Thursday, typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda survivor Rev. Irma Balaba of the National Council of Churches of the Philippines strongly urged the Council to conduct investigations into the “slow, inefficient and inadequate response of the Philippine government to the plight of the millions of typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda victims.” 

WCC Sr. Stella Matutina 

BS Aquino acquiesces to impunity as Oplan Bayanihan nears deadline

"With BS Aquino’s 743 more days in office,  and his Oplan Bayanihan ends with his term, we ask: how many more will be killed? Bodies of Aquino's victims are piling up. Yet, Aquino has not owned up to his accountability," Karapatan Chairperson Marie Hilao-Enriquez said. “In all his years in power, Aquino has treaded the path of war and blocked all roads to peace.” 

Hilao-Enriquez said the arrest and detention of Em Mijares on Independence Day showed the public one of the Aquino government’s practices to gag his critics. Others get killed. 

Manila RTC denied CIDG request to transfer Tiamzon couple out of Crame

"The BS government must first cease and desist from its double-standard treatment of NDFP peace consultants, other political as well as petty common crime prisoners, to inhumane prisons to make way for a red carpet jail for senator criminals and other plunderers, " Karapatan chairperson Marie Hilao-Enriquez said on today's hearing on Benito Tiamzon, Wilma Austria-Tiamzon, Rafael Baylosis, Randall Echaniz and Vicente Ladlad. 
Free Benito and Wilma 

Throwback to Alston Report--Seven Years After: UN Rights Expert Told Impunity Persists in Philippines

06/15/2014, Geneva, Switzerland – Law Prof. Philip Alston, newly appointed UN Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights, and Geneva-based country missions of Ireland, Austria, Canada, Norway and The Netherlands met with Filipino rights advocates participating in the 26th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva on the continuing extrajudicial killings, labeling, filing of trumped-up charges against activists, poverty and loss of livelihood of farm workers and forced evictions of urban poor communities in the Philippines.

Alston with PH EcuVoice delegates 

PH rights violations continue to be pounded at UN body

Vicious Attacks on Ph Indigenous Peoples Defending Their Lands Bared Before International Rights Community

06/14/2014, Geneva, Switzerland - International human rights group Civicus and Philippine-based rights group Karapatan issued an appeal the other day to the 47 member states of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) to urge the Philippine government to stop the attacks against indigenous peoples and environmental activists in Talaingod, Davao del Norte and elsewhere in the country.

Andrea Rosal case: Mother and Child Plight Raised on UN Rights Body Floor

6/13/2014, Geneva, Switzerland – International civil society organization Civicus World Alliance for Citizen Participation (Civicus) and Philippine human rights group Karapatan, through Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay, jointly responded yesterday to the report of the Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women during the interactive dialogues at the 26th Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council. 

UN rights heads to visit PH: PH Human Rights Group Discussed Concerns with UN Special Rapporteurs

6/12/2014, Geneva, Switzerland -- Human rights advocates of the Ecumenical Voice for Peace and Human Rights (EcuVoice), who are participating in the 26th United Nations Human Rights Council sessions, welcomed the information conveyed by two United Nations special rapporteurs on their official visits to the Philippines to conduct independent investigations on the human rights situation in the country.

EcuVoice delegation to Geneva 2014

Genuine independence upholds the democratic rights of the people

The arrest and detention of student activist Emmanuel Mijares of the Ateneo de Naga University for chanting “walang pagbabago, sa ilalim ni Aquino” (nothing has changed under the Aquino administration) underscores the kind of freedom and democracy in the country. After the said incident, members of the Presidential Security Guards punched Mijares and forced into his mouth the streamer he was holding. 

Not everything alright | PH rights group raises HR issues before the UN anew

The Ecumenical Voice for Peace and Human Rights in the Philippines (EcuVoice), a network of human rights defenders and faith-based institutions, will be participating in the 26th sessions of United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland from June 10 to 17, 2014. 

State forces tailed, harassed members of people's organization

Dear friends,
Please join us in our call to stop harassment and surveillance of members and staff of progressive people’s organizations by military agents. The acts are attempts to disrupt the organizations’ activities and terrorize people involved in development and human rights work.  The three incidents below happened in a span of three weeks. 

Another fair trade staff gunned down in Janiuay town, Iloilo province

Case:  Extrajudicial killing


  • Male, 57 years old, widower, farmer
  • Member of the Janiuay-Badiangan Farmers Association (JABAFA) and Katilingban sa Mangunguma sa Dabong (Kamada). Both organizations are affiliates of the Panay Fair Trade Center (PFTC). Kamada is an association of small farmers and a major producer of muscovado sugar sold at the fair trade market through the PFTC.
  • He was also a village councillor of Barangay Aquino-Nobleza West.

Place of Incident:    Barangay (village) Danao, Janiuay town, Iloilo province.

Date of Incident:    May 26, 2014, at 9:15 a.m.

Alleged Perpetrator(s): Suspected to be members of the paramilitary group Revolutionary Proletarian Army-Alex Boncayao Brigade (RPA-ABB) who are under the auspices of the Philippine Army of the Armed Forces of the Philippines

Account of the Incident:

In the morning of May 28, 2014, Dionisio Garete was on his way to deliver sugarcane to the muscovado mill of the Janiuay-Badiangan Farmers Association (Jabafa). Garete was driving his pick-up truck behind a Jabafa cargo truck driven by fellow farmer. The truck was loaded with newly-cut sugarcane.

When their convoy reached a sloping and winding road in Brgy. Danao, Janiuay, Garete’s vehicle was behind some 50 meters from the cargo truck. Eric Nonato, driver of the cargo truck, heard gunshots and the horn of Garete’s pickup blowing. Nonato stopped the truck sensing  Garete was in danger. Aware that the perpetrators may still be on site, Nonato and his companions waited for a few minutes  before rushing to help Garete.

Urgent Appeal for the immediate release of peace consultant Roy Erecre

Dear friends,

Please join us in our call for the immediate release of Roy Erecre, peace consultant of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP), and the resumption of the peace talks between the NDFP and the Philippine government.

Claims Board should recognize 9,539 class suit members – SELDA

9,539, not 6,000.

SELDA (Samahan ng Ex-Detainees Laban sa Detensyon at Aresto) challenged the Benigno Aquino- appointed Human Rights Victims Claims Board to categorically and publicly state that it recognizes the 9,539 martial law victims as those covered by “conclusive presumption” under the RA 10368, the Human Rights Victims Recognition and Reparation Law. The more than 9,000 victims and the 24 direct action plaintiffs were those who filed and won the class action suit filed in a Hawaii court against former Pres. Ferdinand E. Marcos.