April, 2015

Suspension of Mary Jane’s execution, a product of people’s action

“The reprieve for Mary Jane Veloso is a show of the power of the collective action of the Filipino people and the international community. Indeed, a people united will never be defeated,” said Cristina Palabay, secretary general of Karapatan.


“BS Aquino has no moral authority to claim this victory as his. We maintain that the inept leadership of BS Aquino has put Mary Jane’s life on the line. The time to account has come, Mr. President,” Palabay continued. Karapatan said that “the tireless efforts of Filipino migrant workers and their families, the brilliant public interest lawyering of human rights lawyers, and the unwavering persistence of the broad public, both within and outside the country, became one strong force behind this temporary victory.”

Palabay scored BS Aquino as “A few hours before Mary Jane Veloso’s execution, BS Aquino’s arrival speech from the ASEAN leaders’ meeting in Malaysia dealt extensively on the ASEAN resolutions on the disputed islands in the South China Sea; and dished out three sentences on Mary Jane. A true-blue stooge of the US government, it is a shame that BS Aquino’s primary agenda in the ASEAN leaders’ meeting was that of his master US’ interest in the South China Sea more than that of saving the life of Mary Jane Veloso.”

“The government did not do enough as it would want us to believe. It did not do enough to save the life of Mary Jane; it did not do anything to prevent the many Mary Janes from leaving the country. By doing nothing about the poverty situation in the country, by allowing foreign corporations to plunder the country’s remaining resources, and perpetuating corruption in the bureaucracy, BS Aquino is responsible for the diaspora of thousands of Filipinos who would rather risk their lives in other countries than stay at home and die of hunger,” Palabay said.

While harping on the heroism of overseas Filipino workers, Palabay said, the government is only interested in the remittances of the overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) that sustain the country’s economy. “The government only sees the OFWs as its milking cows, a source of bureaucratic corruption, but neglectful of the hardships the OFWs and their families go through each day of their lives.” 

STOP the Execution of Mary Jane Veloso!

-int’l rights groups, individuals from various countries 
International human rights and women’s rights groups today threw their support for the call of Philippine human rights groups to stop the execution of Filipina human trafficking victim Mary Jane Veloso in Indonesia. #SaveMaryJane 
“We, human rights advocates, women human rights defenders and concerned people of different nations, add our voices to the urgent appeal of the Filipino people and the rest of the world calling on Indonesian President Jokowi Widodo to stop the execution of Mary Jane Veloso,” they said in an urgent appeal circulated by human rights groups Karapatan and Tanggol Bayi sent to Indonesian President Jokowi Widodo.

The signatories of the said statement are Puspa Dewy, Komnas Perempuan (Indonesia); Russell Fraser, Chairperson, Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers (United Kingdom); Michael Goold, Vice Chairperson, Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers (United Kingdom); Lydia Alpizar, Executive Director, Association of Women in Development (Global); Daniela Fonkatz, Women Human Rights Defenders Programme, AWID (Global); Danilo Reyes, Deputy Director, Asian Human Rights Commission (Asia); Budi Tjahjono, Asia-Pacific Advocacy Officer, Franciscans International (Global); Yoshio Nakamura, Asia Wide Campaign (Japan); Azadeh N. Shahshahani, President, National Lawyers Guild (USA); and Dr. Paul Bloom PhD and Dr. Tim McGloin PhD, Co-coordinators, Ecumenical Advocacy Network on the Philippines (USA) 

Aquino liable for non-compliance with UNHRC views on Marcellana-Gumanoy murder

“On the 12th year of the killing of our beloved fellow human rights worker Eden Marcellana and Eddie Gumanoy, a staunch defender of peasants’ right to land, Karapatan Alliance for the Advancement of People's Rights holds the US-Aquino government accountable for the continuing injustice suffered by the Marcellana and Gumanoy families,” said Cristina Palabay, secretary general of Karapatan.  

Lumad leader faces another trumped-up criminal charge

Mindanao indigenous leader Jomorito Goaynon faces another trumped-up criminal case for the murder of his cousin Dorlito Goaynon dela Mance on March 28, 2015.  
Goaynon, Chairperson of Kalumbay, a regional organization of Lumad in Northern Mindanao, was named in a complaint filed by Jenita dela Mance, Dorlito’s wife, at the Malaybalay City police station. Also named respondents in the murder charge were seven of Jomorito’s siblings. The complainant claimed the Goaynon brothers were members of the Rexan Perez Command-New People’s Army. 

One of two kidnapping cases against Tiamzons dismissed

One of the two kidnapping charges against peace consultants Benito Tiamzon and Wilma Austria Tiamzon was dismissed yesterday by the Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 81. Sgt. John Jacob, complainant-witness in one of the cases, failed to appear in court at yesterday’s pre-trial hearing, which resulted to the dismissal of one of the charges.

Call for the immediate release of 13 civilians, including a peace consultant of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines

On March 4, 2015, combined elements of the Philippine National Police-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) and Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) simultaneously raided three houses in Quezon City and Caloocan City in the guise of implementing “Oplan Paglalansag”, a campaign of the PNP to go after illegally held firearms. The raid ended up with the arrest of 13 civilians, including a duly-accredited peace consultant of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines.

Witness testimony reaffirms Palparan role in the abduction, torture of two missing UP students

"Witness Raymond Manalo remained consistent and unshakable despite Palparan lawyers' attempt to discredit him," Cristina Palabay, Karapatan secretary general said after the hearing of the trial of People of the Philippines vs. Ret. Maj. Gen. Jovito S. Palparan Jr."This is because Raymond speaks of the truth," Palabay added.

Karapatan hits BS Aquino gov’t neglect of Veloso,OFWs on death row

Philippine human rights group Karapatan denounced the BS Aquino regime’s gross criminal negligence of overseas Filipino workers on death row, especially in the case of Mary Jane Veloso. 
Ssve Mary Jane Veloso