July, 2019

Karapatan to Esperon: Quit scapegoating

It has come to our attention that National Security Adviser Hemogenes Esperon Jr. has singled out Karapatan as a “legal front” of the Communist Party of the Philippines. This is not the first time that a government official has done so, following the President’s own statement last July 25, 2019 that Karapatan “deserves to be hit.” We have repeatedly expressed the seriousness and the dangers of red-tagging, particularly for human rights workers on the ground. Under this government, 11 human rights workers under Karapatan have already been killed. We are not some legal front, but an alliance of human rights organizations and advocates that have relentlessly continued to expose the crimes and violations of state forces across all administrations.

Anti-fake news bill gives Duterte more power to suppress media, violate free expression — Karapatan

Karapatan opposed a measure which seeks to criminalize the publication and proliferation of false content or “fake news” on the internet, deeming the bill “dangerous” and “hypocritical.” The human rights group warned that allowing the government to define “fake news” would only give the Duterte administration more power to clamp down on media and critical content online.

CA’s denial of NUPL’s amparo and habeas data petitions further endangers lawyers in PH

“The Court of Appeals’ denial of the petitions for writs of amparo and habeas data of the National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers aggravates the already dangerous situation of lawyers in the Philippines. Along with the court’s denial of a similar petition by human rights and development workers, the CA’s most recent decision speaks of the ineffectivity of domestic mechanisms for the protection of human rights defenders and communities,” Karapatan Secretary General Cristina Palabay said.
 

Karapatan urges SC to grant petition for review on CA’s dismissal of rights groups’ amparo case

Karapatan, Rural Missionaries of the Philippines (RMP), and Gabriela today filed their petition for review at the Supreme Court, after the 14th Division of the Court of Appeals dismissed their petition for the writs of amparo and habeas data.

Protestant bishops, ecumenical group air support for embattled human rights defenders

In their respective statements, the Council of Bishops of the United Church of Christ of the Philippines, led by its General Secretary Bishop Melzar Labuntog and composed of 27 bishops, and the Ecumenical Voice for Human Rights and Peace in the Philippines (Ecuvoice) led by Rt. Rev. Rex B. Reyes, Jr., D.D. expressed support for human rights defenders of Karapatan, the National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers, Rural Missionaries of the Philippines and Gabriela. The said organizations have filed petitions for the writs of amparo and habeas data to seek legal protection from killings, threats, harassment and other forms of intimidation. 

Karapatan hits spate of killings in Negros, as 4 victims reported dead in one day

Human rights group Karapatan strongly condemns the spate of killings in Negros, now claiming four victims in one day. The killings were done using the same modus operandi – shot by riding-in-tandem and masked gunmen.

Karapatan: No justice, more death and deception as Bato leads senate inquiry on drug war

Rights group Karapatan slammed former Philippine National Police (PNP) chief and now Senator Roland "Bato" dela Rosa's recent election as chair of the Senate Public Order and Dangerous Drugs Committee in the 18th Congress, saying his chairpersonship would only result in a deceptive and partial investigation on the anti-narcotics campaign, as well as contribute to the climate of impunity and heightening human rights violations.

On Esperon’s recommendation to extend martial law in Mindanao

National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr. recently recommended another 1-year extension of martial law in Mindanao.

Red-tagging a prelude to the killings of activists and defenders -Karapatan

Karapatan denounces the coldblooded murder of another human rights lawyer in Negros. According to initial reports, Atty. Anthony Trinidad, 53, and his wife, Novie Marie, were on their vehicle yesterday afternoon when two motorcycle-riding assailants fired on them in Guihulngan City, Negros Oriental. They were later rushed to the Guihulngan District Hospital, where Atty. Trinidad was pronounced dead, while his wife remained confined due to serious injuries.

Karapatan on Duterte’s SONA: Same old anti-people policies, new and harsher priorities

President Rodrigo Duterte delivered his 4th State of the Nation Address (SONA) on July 22, 2019. Parallel protest actions, attended by tens of thousands, were held within and outside the country. 

“For three more years, we will be confronted with the same ineffective and anti-people kill-kill-kill solution and policy framework of the Duterte government. Duterte peddles the same policies and initiatives that will result to further deaths, illegal arrests, torture and other forms of gross violations on the people’s civil and political rights. It is the same tactic of fear mongering and warmongering to justify repression and militarism,” said Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay. She also assailed the militarist bills that the President has mentioned as priorities, including his marching orders to pass the death penalty measures, his drug war and counterinsurgency program, the mandatory ROTC bill, among others.

Duterte’s 4th SONA: Three Years of State Terrorism, Deteriorating Human Rights Situation, and Gross Impunity

“The Duterte government is deliberately fueling fears and paranoia, spewing dangerous and oftentimes unfounded claims on criminality and terrorism. The three years of this government is anchored on bloated statistics and disinformation meant to justify widespread repression and unnecessary brutality directed towards the poor, the oppressed, and the critical. There is no transparency amid the wholesale abuse of power, corruption, and human rights violations.

Rights group slams wrongful conviction of two political prisoners

“We condemn the wrongful conviction of political prisoners Lilia Bucatcat, 72, and Billy Morada. Accused with trumped-up charges by the government, they have been languishing in prisons in different parts of the country for crimes they did not commit. Both are peasant organizers in the Eastern Visayas region. It is infuriating that the Duterte government wrongfully convicts activists and human rights advocates while the government forces behind human rights violations are parading free,” said Karapatan Secretary General Crisitina Palabay, referring to the recent acquittal of military generals involved in the illegal arrest of the “Morong 43” health workers back in 2010.

Karapatan decries Sandiganbayan decision on Morong 43 case

Karapatan today lambasted the recent reported ruling of the 7th Division of the Sandiganbayan, which dismissed charges filed by the health workers collectively known as the Morong 43 on violations of their rights under Republic Act 7438. 

“The decision of the 7th Division of the Sandiganbayan on the Morong 43 case is one of the most stark indications that despite strong evidence and testimonies of human rights violations by State actors, impunity rules the land,” said Karapatan Deputy Secretary General Roneo Clamor, who also testified in the said proceedings as husband of Dr. Merry Mia Clamor, one of the tortured and illegally arrested and detained members of the Morong 43. 

Karapatan backs NUPL amid CA’s denial of temporary protection order request

In a resolution dated July 11, the Court of Appeals (CA) has denied the National Union of People’s Lawyers’ (NUPL) request for a temporary protection order (TPO) “which is an ancillary remedy to the privilege of the writ of amparo.” If granted, the protection order would have prohibited state forces from threatening and harassing the members of the lawyers’ group, but the court’s Special 15th Division rejected the application.
 
“Karapatan expresses its

EJK victims’ kin, rights advocates call for an end to killings, challenge PH gov’t to cooperate with UN report process

Condemning the killings under President Rodrigo Duterte’s regime, relatives of the victims of extrajudicial killings, along with several human rights groups on Wednesday, July 17, 2019 trooped to the Department of National Defense (DND) in Camp Aguinaldo and to the Philippine National Police (PNP) Headquarters in Camp Crame, Quezon City.

Karapatan hits DepEd for the shutdown of 55 Lumad schools, questions Esperon’s report

“This government continuously shows us its propensity for condemning people and communities on the basis of “lists” and unverified reports.  This was true for the proscription petition which included hundreds of individuals and aliases who were not vetted by the Department of Justice, and were merely fed by the AFP, PNP, and NICA. The Department of Education’s order for the closure of 55 Lumad schools stems from the same false, unverified and malicious reports,” Cristina Palabay, Karapatan Secretary General said.

Karapatan slams PH govt officials on their adverse reactions to UN HRC resolution

“Philippine government officials, whose cacophony of excuses for non-cooperation on the UN Human Rights Council resolution has pervaded recent news, are like wolves baying for more blood. Instead of welcoming an independent and modest action, they have strewn all possible alibis against the gathering of information on the facts regarding the human rights situation in the country and have justified the policies that enable further attacks on people’s rights. These responses prove that the Duterte administration has much to hide and that an independent international probe is much needed,” said Karapatan Secretary General Cristina Palabay.

UN HRC Adoption of Reso on PH a Sign of Defiance vs Govt's Fake News, Disinformation and Threats

Karapatan, alongside people’s organizations, members of civil society, and human rights victims and their families, lauds and thanks the 18 States that defied the fake news, disinformation, and threats as they voted for the adoption of the Iceland-led resolution on the Philippines. Maraming salamat po. 

Karapatan: UNHRC’s passage of Iceland reso on PH is a concrete, welcome step towards justice and accountability

Press Release

July 11, 2019

On July 11, 2019, the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) voted to pass the resolution tabled by Iceland, which asked member-states to take concrete steps on the promotion and protection of human rights in the Philippines during the council’s 41st session.

Karapatan condemns killing of human rights advocates, calls for support on Iceland’s reso on the Philippines

“As another two human rights defenders were gunned down in Negros Oriental and Bukidnon, Karapatan renews its call on member-states of the United Nations Human Rights Council to support Iceland’s resolution on the present rights situation in the Philippines,” Christina Palabay, Karapatan Secretary-General said.

Kin of political prisoners, advocates call for release of more than 500 political prisoners in PH

Relatives of political prisoner, human rights advocates, and various groups held a protest action on July 10, 2019, declared as the Global Day of Action to Release all Political Prisoners. The event was part of a campaign launched by Kapatid, the association of families and friends of political prisoners, Karapatan, and the International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines (ICHRP).

Karapatan calls on UN HRC member-states to support Iceland’s resolution on the rights situation in PH

On June 4, 2019, Iceland tabled a proposed resolution to the UN Human Rights Council, asking member-states to take concrete steps on the promotion and protection of human rights in the Philippines during the council’s 41st session.

Filipino Rights Workers Urge International Community to Stand by the Victims Amidst the Charivari, Calumny and Callousness

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND - The resolution tabled by Iceland and supported by many States at the current 41st session of the United Nations Human Rights Council to comprehensively and methodically address the horrendous extrajudicial killings and the plethora of rights violations in the Philippines is a highly significant international initiative.

 

Karapatan backs journalist Margarita Valle in filing criminal, administrative raps vs. police, military

On July 4, 2019, veteran journalist and Davao Today columnist Margarita Valle filed criminal charges of kidnapping and serious illegal detention, arbitrary detention, violations under the Anti-Torture Act and violation of Miranda Rights against officers of the police and the military who illegally arrested and detained her for more than 10 hours.

As cops kill 3-year-old girl in drug bust, Karapatan renews call to end Duterte’s drug war

“Despite the public outrage on Duterte’s war against illegal drugs that has killed thousands of individuals in police operations and vigilante-style killings, this regime seems relentless in pushing for an ineffective, militarist policy. The death of a 3-year-old girl is the tragic reflection of the irreparable damage and loss to Filipino families," said Christina Palabay, Karapatan Secretary-General.
 

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