October, 2019

Karapatan highlights police impunity as Negros cops awarded amid widespread violations

"A militarist government rewards human rights violators," said Karapatan Vice Chairperson Reylan Vergara, following the news of Negros cops being accorded awards.

Karapatan calls for impartial investigation on October 23 "encounter" in Midsayap, North Cotabato

Human rights group Karapatan raised alarm over the reported killing of seven individuals in a joint military and police operation in Midsayap, North Cotabato last Wednesday, October 23, 2019 against alleged members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF). According to relatives of those killed, the casualties are not BIFF fighters but mere minors who were falsely branded as child soldiers.

After highlighting "health crisis" in the country, doctor-unionist hounded by death threats - Karapatan

Human rights alliance Karapatan vehemently condemns the recent death threats sent to Dr. Gene Nisperos, UP College of Medicine Faculty and President of the All UP Academic Employees Union - Manila Chapter (AUPAEU-Manila), his wife Dr. Julie Caguiat, Executive Director of health group COMMED, and their children.

Rights groups file complaint at CHR vs surveillance, threats

Human rights alliance Karapatan, together with environmental and indigenous peoples’ groups, trooped to the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) on Wednesday, October 23, 2019, to file a complaint on recent cases of state-perpetrated attacks, threats, and acts of reprisals against human rights defenders and their organizations.
“We strongly decry these efforts to harass human rights workers and to undermine our work.

Injustice, killings, government neglect of agriculture mark this year’s Peasant Month – Karapatan

“We commemorate peasant month with a firm  recognition for all the peasant leaders who were killed by the Duterte government for upholding the call for genuine agrarian reform. We honor the lives of peasant organizers and peasant leaders who stood strong amid State fascism and militarization in their communities. Our farmers are among the most neglected and marginalized sector in the country. Their resistance to governments who continue to perpetuate injustice and violations is justified and necessary. We echo their call for justice, food sovereignty and genuine agrarian reform,” said Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay.

Rights group decries attacks, crackdown on teacher-unionists and Lumad volunteer teachers

Human rights alliance Karapatan condemns in the strongest terms the consecutive attacks against members of progressive teachers’ union Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) in what appears to be targeted and organized efforts to crack down, intimidate, even kill its members.

Karapatan: Duterte’s “kill” order to Espenido is a directive to murder more Filipinos

Human rights group Karapatan strongly denounces the recent orders of President Rodrigo Duterte to Police Lt. Col. Jovie Espenido, the former chief of police of Albuera, Leyte and Ozamiz City where two mayors were killed in police operations, to feel “free to kill everybody.”
In a speech last Thursday night, Duterte further said he sent Espenido to Bacolod, which he referred to as a city “badly hit” by illegal drugs.

Karapatan assails latest killing of former journalist and village councilor in Eastern Visayas

"Two more civilians were killed in Eastern Visayas - one a former journalist and another a village councilor by riding-in-tandem gunmen. The use of riding-in-tandem gunmen was a rampant modus operandi under then-President Gloria Arroyo's brand of State terrorism. This is done to mask the perpetrators and  conveniently refute any link that the attacks were State-perpetrated.

Karapatan demands justice for Filipino migrant worker Mary Jean Alberto

Human rights group Karapatan joins the family of Mary Jean Alberto in calling for justice amid her cruel ordeal and death. Mary Jean is a Filipino migrant worker in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates who was reportedly killed by her Moroccan employer last October 2, 2019. Karapatan extends its condolences to the victim’s family.

Karapatan hits Albayalde, PNP amid ‘ninja cops’ issue: ‘Resignation does not absolve you from your crimes’

As Oscar Albayalde relinquished his post as the chief of the Philippine National Police, human rights group Karapatan strongly reminds authorities that his resignation should not be used as an absolution from the alleged crimes he has committed, including his supposed involvement in a ‘drug-recycling’ scheme initiated by the institution’s ‘ninja cops.’ This is notwithstanding the corruption and human rights violations committed by the police under his leadership, particularly under the sham war on drugs.

Karapatan: Duterte’s attacks on activists intensify as cases of illegal arrests and torture pile up

Human rights group Karapatan strongly condemns the Duterte regime’s continuing attacks directed against rights activists as illegal arrests and various human rights violations have intensified in the string of the government’s relentless crackdown.

“Since October started, at least 13 human rights defenders were illegally arrested and charged with trumped-up charges. There is an orchestrated attempt, led by the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC), to criminalize and delegitimize the work of human rights defenders. The NTF, since its inception in December 2018, has incessantly targeted human rights defenders, and have blurred the distinction between armed combatants and civilians. To the eyes of these bloodthirsty beasts and ruthless criminals, human rights defense is a crime. As a State policy, this has severe implications on the ground as human rights workers continue to be subjected to a wide range of human rights violations, particularly killings, illegal arrests, torture, and harassment,” Cristina Palabay, Karapatan Secretary General said.

Karapatan condemns arrest warrant vs. former political prisoner and peasant activist Angie Ipong

Human rights group Karapatan strongly denounced the warrant of arrest issued against former political prisoner and peasant activist Angelina Bisuña Ipong and several others for a trumped-up murder case. The warrant was issued by acting executive judge Lou A. Nueva of the Regional Trial Court, Branch 7, Bayugan City, Agusan del Suron June 6, 2018.

Cyberlibel charge vs. satire sites display government desperation to curtail free speech – Karapatan

Human rights alliance Karapatan expressed grave concern over the cyberlibel charge filed by Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) spokesperson Pircelyn Pialago against satirical social media pages Barurot News and Pinoy Laugh Page in what is clearly “a display of the government’s increasing desperation to silence any form of criticism and its continuing attacks on the basic right to freedom of expression.”

Cyberlibel charge vs. satire sites display government desperation to curtail free speech – Karapatan

Human rights alliance Karapatan expressed grave concern over the cyberlibel charge filed by Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) spokesperson Pircelyn Pialago against satirical social media pages Barurot News and Pinoy Laugh Page in what is clearly “a display of the government’s increasing desperation to silence any form of criticism and its continuing attacks on the basic right to freedom of expression.”

Incoming NCR police chief, AFP Chief of Staff sourced from a long line of butchers, human rights violators - Karapatan

“The impending designation of Brig. Gen. Debold Sinas as Philippine National Police National Capital Region chief and the recent appointment of Lt. Gen. Noel Clement as the new Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff are indications of how the Duterte regime rewards butchers who have instigated unspeakable terror in many communities,” said Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay. 

Karapatan assails closure of 54 Lumad schools in Mindanao, calls it a violation of the right to self-determination

Human rights group Karapatan assailed the resolution of the Department of Education (DepEd) - Region XI ordering the permanent closure of 54 Salugpongan Ta Tanu Igkanogon Community Learning Centers in Davao Region.

“The permanent closure of the said learning centers is a denial of every Filipino child’s right to education. We are enraged by the DepEd’s decision to order the closure of the Salugpongan schools based solely on false accusations made by National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon. This unilateral decision that did not consider the testimonies of teachers, administrators and students is an affront to the efforts of indigenous communities to provide education for their children. This government is once again choosing militarism over education, thus outrightly violating the right to self-determination by indigenous communities,” said Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay.

Two years after formation of gov’t body filing charges vs activists, Karapatan calls for its abolition

"Under the Duterte government, we have seen an alarming increase in the number of activists and government critics charged with trumped-up cases and subjected to illegal arrests. This is a systematic maneuver meant to silence those voicing out legitimate issues and the poor’s interests. Since October 2017, the machinery tasked with case build-up for the filing of trumped-up charges has been the Inter-Agency Committee on Legal Action (IACLA), alongside the devious machinations under the National Task Force (NTF) to End Local Communist Armed Conflict and the implementation of counterinsurgency Oplan Kapanatagan,” Cristina Palabay, Karapatan Secretary General said.

Duterte-Marcos alliance continues to rehabilitate the Marcoses – Karapatan

“There is a duplicitous and sly plan in motion to continue the political rehabilitation of the Marcoses. Starting from the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos’ undeserved burial at the Libingan ng mga Bayani in 2017, up to the refusal of this government to jail convicted criminal Imelda Marcos and the congenial accommodation for Bongbong Marcos’ ongoing electoral protest, the Duterte regime is the gift that keeps on giving. This special treatment is reserved for Marcos Jr. who, if successful in acceding as Vice President after some serious hocus pocus, will provide protection for Duterte and his allies once the latter steps down,” said Karapatan deputy secretary general Roneo Clamor.

Karapatan slams surveillance, threats on Chairperson, human rights workers

Karapatan decries the recent cases of surveillance and threats against its human rights workers in “what clearly appears to be systematic and organized effort to attack, intimidate, and vilify human rights defenders and our work of documenting and reporting rights violations.”
“The government has called Karapatan and its human rights workers many names—demons, terrorists, enemies of the state — putting our lives and security at risk, but never did we once

Karapatan hits death threats directed against rights defenders in Negros Occidental

Human rights alliance Karapatan raises the alarm on the series of threats by suspected State forces to intimidate rights workers and activists defending people’s rights in Negros Occidental.

Karapatan assails arrest of former Southern Tagalog SecGen, 6 other rights workers in Palawan

Rights group Karapatan condemns in strongest terms the illegal and warrantless arrest of human rights workers in Palawan in what is the latest in the Duterte regime’s series of crackdown on rights defenders, activists, and

As former top cops reveal Albayalde’s involvement in ‘ninja cops’ case, Karapatan hits Duterte’s drug war anew

Human rights group Karapatan reiterates its condemnation against Duterte’s sham war on drugs as recent revelations of former top police officials reveal that no less than the President’s current Philippine National Police (PNP) chief has intervened in the case involving the Pampanga ‘ninja cops,’ who were ordered to be dismissed for allegedly recycling illegal drugs that were seized from anti-drug operations.

As Esperon’s reprisal perjury case nears resolution, Karapatan calls for its dismissal

On October 3, 2019, Karapatan, Gabriela, and the Rural Missionaries of the Philippines (RMP) are set to file a rejoinder to the prosecutor’s office, with regard to allegations made by National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon, Jr. This will be the last process before the trumped-up perjury case filed by Esperon will be submitted for resolution before the Quezon City Prosecutor’s Office.