June, 2015

Appeal for Action: Pull-out military troops from peasants, 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. 

Release all political prisoners, Karapatan dares Malacanang

“We have heard this line before,” Karapatan Secretary General Cristina Palabay said in reaction to Malacanang’s declaration of openness to talk peace with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP). “If and when Malacanang releases peace consultants of the NDFP and withdraw all trumped-up criminal charges against them, then maybe we can believe it’s more than just a press release,” Palabay said. 

Political prisoner Isidro de Lima interrogated in jail; family harassed

Karapatan strongly criticized the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group-National Capital Region (CIDG-NCR) of the Philippine National Police (PNP) for violating the rights of political prisoner Isidro de Lima by subjecting him to interrogation and bribery. 

Pull out troops in Mindanao!

69th IB-Army massacred peasant, IP leaders; 2 still missing



Dear Friends, 

Please join us in our call to immediately surface woman Lumad leader Aida Seisa and husband Henry and justice for the killing of tribal chieftain Datu Ruben Laydan Enlog, Jr., Randy Lavarcon Carnasa, and Oligario Quimbo by elements of the “Palparan battalion” 69th Infantry Battalion- Philippine Army (IBPA). Seisa’s house was strafed on June 14 in Paquibato, Davao City. 

Chronology of Events 

On June 10-12, 2015, Aida Seisa, spokesperson of Paquibato District Peasant Alliance (PADIPA), led a fact-finding mission to check on reports of aerial bombings and a series of human rights violations, including military encampments of the notorious 69th (IBPA) in several communities in Sitio Quimotod, Barangay Fatima, Paquibato District. A resident of Paquibato District, Seisa is familiar with the situation of the communities, thus, she gave the participants security guidelines  safety in the conduct of the mission. 

Karapatan on CHR resolution on Morong 43: intentional delay

“The long-overdue Commission on Human Rights resolution on the complaint filed by the 43 health workers known as the Morong 43 only reinforced the perpetuation of injustice and impunity,” Karapatan said on the resolution released by the CHR on April 21, 2015. 

Arrested NDFP peace consultant Silva refutes AFP claims

NDFP consultant Adelberto Silva, who was arrested on June 1, 2015, asserted he is a peace consultant of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) belying earlier claims of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.   

Adelberto Silva (in blue) 

General Baladad, Año’s 69th IB-PA responsible for Paquibato massacre of Lumad, peasant leaders

Karapatan today staged an indignation rally at the gate of the Armed Forces of the Philippines General Headquarters at Camp Aguinaldo on the Paqquibato massacre, killing three civilians and wounding a 12-year old child. 

US-based org says promotion of generals with rights violation leads to impunity

June 3, 2015

The Ecumenical Advocacy Network on the Philippines (EANP) has just published the report, "The Path to Promotion in the Armed Forces Philippines: Vilification Campaigns, Human Rights Abuses, and Impunity".

Karapatan raps BS Aquino govt for Independence Day arrests, dispersal

“The illegal arrest and detention of at least 18 activists and the violent dispersal of peaceful protests during the June 12 Independence Day activities illustrate the gross violations of the right to free speech and assembly under the BS Aquino administration,” said Cristina Palabay, Karapatan secretary general. 

Appeal for Action: Two farmers illegally arrested for murder, illegal possession of explosives

Dear friends,

Please join us in our call to immediately release illegally-arrested Norberto Burrico and Evelyn Flauta who were nabbed by joint forces of Special Action Force (SAF) and Criminal Investigation and Detection Group of the Philippines National Police (CIDG-PNP) in Brgy. Niogan, Lemery, Batangas.

At around 6:00 a.m. last April 23, 2015, combined forces of the SAF and CIDG of the PNP illegally arrested farmers Evelyn Flauta and Norberto Burrico, common-law couple, in their home at Brgy. Niogan, Lemery, Batangas. 

Urgent Appeal to keep Lumad children in school

An appeal to condemn and stop military attacks on Lumad schools in Mindanao
by the Save Our Schools (SOS) Network
Greetings of Peace and Solidarity!
We are alarmed that 2,896 Lumad children will be denied of their right to education when the Aquino government closes down Lumad community schools in Davao del Norte.

Unjust system to blame for overcrowding in jails

Karapatan concurred with the report of the United Nations Sub Committee on the Prevention of Torture (UN SPT) on the “chronic problem of overcrowding in places of detention” in the Philippines. The UN SPT came out with the statement after its visit in Philippines on May 25 to June 3, 2015. Karapatan cited the “grossly unjust system that puts many innocent people in jail” as the reason why such problem exists. 

Union leaders, social workers file harassment complaints vs AFP, PNP agents

Union leaders and members of the Confederation of Unity of Recognition and Advancement for Government Employees (COURAGE) and social workers from the Salinlahi Alliance for Children’s Concerns and Children’s Rehabilitation Center (CRC) today filed complaints at the Commission on Human Rights on the harassment and surveillance they experienced from military and police agents in Metro Manila. 

State forces tail, harass members of people's organizations

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. 

Manobo activist victim of enforced disappearance:John Calaba missing, last seen at Consunji Inc.compound

Dear friends,
Please join us in our call to immediately surface Manobo activist John Calaba who was last seen inside the premises of David M. Consunji Inc. (DMCI) compound. 
Calaba, 28,  is the Public Information Officer of KIDUMA, an organization opposed to the logging and mining projects of DMCI, which displaced peasants and Manobo tribes away from their farms and ancestral land.
In the morning of April 30, 2015, Calaba, was sitting in front of his house at Brgy. Salangsang, Lebak, Sultan Kudarat when members of the Consunji company guards namely, Christopher dela Cruz, Loloy Aquino and Jayjay Cruz approached him. The men invited Calaba to the outpost of Consunji guards at Brgy. Sabanal for a meal. Calaba went with them to the Consunji company compound. Prior to the incident, the guards have been persistent in befriending Calaba.

Karapatan supports Tanduay workers’ strike, hits violent dispersal of picket

Karapatan condemns the attacks against the striking workers of Tanduay Distillers, Inc. in Cabuyao Laguna, citing “connivance between the owner, Lucio Tan, and the military and police to violently break a legitimate protest and ignore the rightful demands of the workers. Lucio Tan and his puppets in the military and police violated both the economic and civil and political rights of the workers.” At least 40 workers were already injured in the series of violent dispersals since the strike started.


DMCI-AFP collusion responsible for disappearance of Lumad leader Calaba--Desaparecidos

“The disappearance of John Calaba, a Dulangan Manobo, in the compound of the David M. Consunji, Inc. (DMCI) in Brgy. Sabanal, Kalamansig, Sultan Kudarat is a product of the collusion between the powerful business group and the Armed Forces of the Philippines. The DMCI company guards are part of, and trained by, the Armed Forces of the Philippines as Special Civilian Armed Auxilliary (SCAA),” said Lorena Santos, secretary general of Families of Desaparecidos for Justice (Desaparecidos). 

Closure of Lumad schools part of Oplan Bayanihan

Karapatan hits Department of Education and Secretary Armin Luistro for being “a conduit of the military’s implementation of the government’s counterinsurgency Oplan Bayanihan.” 

SOS @DepEd

 “The way Sec. Luistro holds on the Department of Education’s Memorandum 221 of 2013 and his inaction on the plight of the Lumad children at risk with the military’s encampment in Lumad schools shows how he and his department is used by the military to justify their presence in the learning centers,” said Karapatan Secretary General Cristina Palabay. 

ALRC, KARAPATAN to UNHRC: Spate of killings in PH remains

On the eve of the submission of the joint statement of the Asian Legal Resource Center (ALRC) and Karapatan to the United Nations Human Rights Council on the spate of extrajudicial killings in the Philippines, the Calago couple was killed and burned by elements of the 11th Infantry Battalion, Philippine Army in Guihulngan, Negros Oriental.  

Trumped-up criminal charge lodged vs another NDFP consultant

Karapatan scored the BS Aquino government for the recent arrest of Adelberto Silva, a peace consultant of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines in the negotiation with the Philippine government, as “another serious violation of the signed agreements between the two parties.”