July, 2015

BS Aquino’s SONA predictably skirts peace, human rights issues

“While the state forces tried to protect their indefensible president at yesterday’s SONA, BS Aquino thanked his minions but obviously failed to recognize the fallen 44 SAF, his very own men, in the botched Mamasapano operation in January. It is predictably BS Aquino’s way of glossing over human rights and peace issues that beset his regime during the last five years,” said Karapatan Secretary General Cristina Palabay. 

SONA 2015 Urgent Plea from Women of NZ, Australia to Aquino: Free Miradel Torres & Baby Karl, Free All Political Prisoners

In an open letter, twenty-five (25) rights defenders including 17 women’s rights advocates from various groups along with leaders of solidarity organisations in Australia and New Zealand sent urgent plea for Philippine government to release unjustly detained women activists especially Miradel Torres, a young mother separated from her 8-month old son.  (Full text below)

Karapatan to BS Aquino: Hindi ka namin malilimutan

SONA 2015


The 2,000 soldiers, 4,000 police, K-9 units aside from the concrete barriers are expected to block the protesters on Monday, BS Aquino’s last State of the Nation Address (SONA).  “The state forces will try to defend the indefensible president whose crimes against the Filipino people are worth a thousand lifetimes in jail. The SONA overkill security preparations are indications of a regime that is scared witless of the people’s defiance and actions,” said Karapatan Secretary General Cristina Palabay.


Artists call on BS Aquino to release political prisoners through artworks

Portraiture as Political Solidarity

Three days before Pres. Benigno S. Aquino’s last State of the Nation Address, artists together with Karapatan, the End Impunity Alliance, and relatives of political prisoners opens an art exhibit entitled “PORTRAYAL: Faces For Freedom,” an exhibition of more than 50 paintings, digital art, and sketches of political prisoners in the Philippines. 

Karapatan condemns military and police brutality vs. Lumad evacuees

“A congresswoman who acted in concert with the Armed Forces of the Philippines prompted the brutal action of the police against the Lumad evacuees at the UCCP compound in Davao City,” said Cristina Palabay, secretary general of Karapatan. 
Photo by Paulo C Rizal/davaotoday.com 

SONA 2015 Political prisoners speak out: Tuwad, hindi tuwid na daan

“Isang malaking kasinungalingan ang tuwid na daan…ang malinaw na katotohanan sa pagtatapos ng termino nito (Aquino), bulusok itong tumahak sa tuwad na daan na batbat ng pagpapahirap, pangdarambong, brutalidad at sukdulang pagpapakatuta, (The “righteous path” is one big lie… At the end of his term, it is clear that Aquino’s flipped road is marked with oppression, plunder, brutality and puppetry),” said the political prisoners at the New Bilibid Prisons in a statement released through Karapatan. 

Rights groups tackle situation of evacuees with UN SR on Internally Displaced Persons

Rights groups led by Karapatan yesterday met with the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Internally Displaced Persons in Quezon City to discuss the forced evacuation of peasants and indigenous people in the country, particularly in Mindanao where the combat operations of some 55 army battalions of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) have taken a heavy toll on the civilian population. 

Political prisoners kick-off SONA counterpoint activities

Political prisoners kicked-off their SONA counterpoint activities yesterday at 12:00 noon through the simultaneous singing of “Bayan Ko” (My Country) in the various jails nationwide. As in previous activities conducted by political prisoners, other inmates joined to highlight the call to release all political prisoners and to improve jail conditions. Relatives and friends, and members of people’s organizations also held similar activities outside the jails. 

Int’l People’s Tribunal finds US-PH gov’t guilty of rights violations vs. Filipino people

A few days before BS Aquino’s last State of the Nation Address (SONA), the International People’s Tribunal held in Washington, DC, found the Aquino regime guilty of violations of the Filipino people’s Civil and Political Rights, Economic and Socio-Cultural Rights; and Right to Self-Determination. The same guilty verdict was handed down to the US government, which is “equally liable with Defendant Aquino for these gross human rights violations.”

Intl People’s tribunal tackles political prisoners’ plight

The political prisoners situation—the inhuman jail condition and the trumped-up political charges lodged against them—will be among the cases the International Tribunal on the Philippines (IPT) will  tackle when it convenes on July 16-18 in Washington, DC. 

AFP files trumped-up criminal case vs. Karapatan-SMR Sec.Gen, leaders of people’s orgs

AFP files trumped-up criminal case vs. 
Karapatan-Southern Mindanao Sec Gen and 
leaders of people’s organizations  
On several occasions, Karapatan–Southern Mindanao Secretary General Honey May Suazo has experienced threats, harassment, or intimidation, and surveillance in the course of her work as a human rights worker in the region. 

Haciendero commander-in-chief and butcher army chief, a deadly combination

"We are enraged but not surprised that a butcher-like Gen. Eduardo Año should serve as army chief of a ruthless haciendero president in their bid to ‘crush communist insurgency by the end of 2016," Karapatan Secretary General Cristina Palabay said. "For a government that survives through the use of armed violence and disdains human rights, it is expected that BS Aquino will appoint the most brutal of his soldiers," Palabay said. 

URGENT ALERT: Women’s rights activist, former PH lawmaker barred from travelling to US

On July 9, 2015, at about 11:15a.m., while former Rep. Liza Maza and Dr. Efleda Bautista of People’s Surge were on their way to Gate 5 of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 1 to board Korean Air 622 bound for the scheduled 12:20pm flight to the US, Maza was informed by the airline ground staff that she cannot board the plane and that her checked-in luggage will be off-loaded. 

US gov’t barred former Rep. Maza to travel to US

“The curtailment of the right to travel and liberty of movement of former house representative Liza Maza shows how the US government transgresses on the basic rights and freedoms of individuals and groups, even those outside its territory,” said Karapatan Secretary General Cristina Palabay in a press conference with Maza. 

Karapatan to Deles: Release of political prisoners is GPH's obligation

“The release of political prisoners is an obligation of the BS Aquino government to the peace talks and not a precondition of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines," Karapatan Secretary General, Cristina Palabay said. "All these years, the statements of the Presidential adviser for the peace process Teresita 'Ging' Deles have been an impediment, rather than an impetus, to the long-stalled peace talks,” Palabay said. 

Stop harassment and trumped up charges vs Karapatan workers, rights defenders

Karapatan today assailed the recent spate of harassment and trumped up charges against Karapatan human rights workers Honey Mae Suazo, Secretary General of the organization’s chapter in Southern Mindanao; Rev. Allen Bill Veloso, Chairperson of Karapatan-SoCSKSarGen; and Pastor Sadrach Sabella, Secretary General of Karapatan-SoCSKSarGen. 

Aquino promotes present-day Palparans before last SONA

“Akin to former Pres. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s acclamation of “The Butcher” Gen. Jovito Palparan during her State of the Nation Address in 2006, BS Aquino’s promotion of Lt. Gen. Hernando Iriberri as AFP Chief of Staff and assigning either Maj. Gen. Ricardo Visaya or Eduardo Año as Phil. Army chief are blatant affirmation of the regime’s policy of war against the discontented Filipino people. These three generals are the present-day Palparans and they have blood on their hands,” said Cristina Palabay, Karapatan secretary general.

Iriberri as AFP chief, same yellow minion

"It's the same dog, only with a different tag," Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay said on the appointment of Lt. Gen. Hernando Iriberri as new armed forces chief of staff. "In fact, all candidates for the position are certified implementers of the internal peace and security plan Oplan Bayanihan, which resulted in the killing, disappearance and displacement of innocent civilians," Palabay said. 

10th ID's killing of Pitao and medic Limpag violates IHL

"The Armed Forces of the Philippines has nothing to be proud of killing Leoncio “Ka Parago” Pitao, commander of the New People’s Army who was sick and weak; and Vanessa “Ka Kyle” Limpag, a medical staff of the NPA.  It’s not a feather in the AFP’s cap. If at all, it’s another “medalla de horror” in its long list of violations of human rights and international humanitarian law," Karapatan Secretary General Cristina Palabay told Gen. Eduardo Ano, head of 10th Infantry Division and Gen. Aurelio Baladad, head of the Eastern Mindanao Command. 

Rights and church groups, Int’l organizations decry harassment of govt workers

"Hands off progressive government employees and church workers!" Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay called on the BS Aquino government echoing the sentiments of Church faith-based and human rights  organizations here and abroad. “The BS Aquino government could better spend its remaining months in power doing something productive and beneficial for the poor majority of our people instead of harassing activists and its own workers in the bureaucracy.”

2014 Karapatan Year-end Report on the Human Rights Situation in the Philippines

2014 Karapatan Human Rights Report

On December 10, as the world commemorated International Human Rights Day, the Filipino people, represented by progressive people’s organizations, put on trial the US-backed Aquino regime for crimes against the Filipino people.  

For more than four years, the US-backed Aquino regime has only resorted to dishing out catchy slogans to mask its attacks on the Filipino people—an endless and unproductive loop of lies.

Oplan Bayanihan, which is instrumental in the bombing of communities, illegal arrests, detention, and killings of activists, hides behind ‘peace and development, and respect for human rights’ slogans. 

The police brutality used against legitimate protest actions and during demolition of urban poor shanties masquerades as ‘maintenance of peace and order’. 

No justice for first EJK victim under Aquino

“BS Aquino’s only effort on the case of Fernando Baldomero, the first victim of extrajudicial killing under his reign, was to lie before the public during his first State of the Nation Address that Baldomero’s case is already resolved. With his last SONA coming up, BS Aquino could not brag about human rights as hundreds more were killed after Baldomero,” said Cristina Palabay, Karapatan secretary general said on the fifth year of Fernando Baldomero’s killing.

Karapatan, kin of political prisoners thank showbiz personalities for support

Karapatan and relatives of political prisoners lauded the efforts of The Actors Guild of the Philippines and the Film Artists Group led by human rights advocate and artist Maria Isabel Lopez and beauty queen Evangeline Pascual in mounting the successful benefit exhibit of showbiz personalities for the campaign and welfare fund of political prisoners in the Philippines.