March, 2020

Karapatan calls for release of political prisoners amid COVID-19 pandemic in online campaign

In an online campaign, human rights group Karapatan, together with friends and families of political prisoners, peace advocates, civil libertarians, and church workers reiterated its urgent appeal for the release of prisoners, including political prisoners on just and humanitarian grounds as the country grapples with the threat of the 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

Arrest, inciting to sedition charges vs teacher sets dangerous pretext for crackdown on dissent amid COVID-19

The warrantless arrest of 55-year old public school teacher Juliet Espinosa in General Santos City over charges of inciting to sedition sets a dangerous pretext for a crackdown on dissent, human rights group Karapatan warned, amid the government’s continuing militarist response to the 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

No raison d'être for appointment of military generals to implement PH action plan vs COVID-19

There is no rationale for the appointment of retired military generals in the government’s “National Action Plan” (NAP) against the 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, human rights watchdog Karapatan asserted, rebutting Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo’s statement justifying President Rodrigo Duterte’s appointment of ex-military men to lead the NAP’s implementation.

Karapatan welcomes UN call for release of political prisoners amid COVID-19 pandemic

Human rights alliance Karapatan reiterated the call to free all political prisoners in the Philippines on just and humanitarian grounds, following the urgent appeal of United Nations (UN) High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet for governments to protect people held in overcrowded detention centers and other closed centers from the threat of the 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

“Human compassion” of the law reserved only for Duterte allies in COVID-19 lockdown

Human rights watchdog Karapatan strongly decried the government’s “double standard” on how penalties are being imposed amid the Luzon-wide “enhanced community quarantine” against the 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.  The group’s statement came after the Department of Justice (DOJ) insisted that Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III — who recently tested positive for COVID-19 — will not be investigated nor subjected to a warrantless arrest despite breaching quarantine protocols in accompanying his wife at the Makati Medical C

Unbridled executive powers, anti-fake news provision in emergency powers is Duterte's ticket for Marcosian repression

President Rodrigo Duterte has now signed into law a measure granting himself emergency powers to supposedly address the public health crisis brought about by the 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19), which allows unbridled and general rule-making authority of the president and without parameters or restrictions including the power to arbitrarily define and penalize "fake news" with up to two months in jail and 1 million pesos of fines.

Karapatan: Duterte’s bid for emergency powers is a bid for potential abuse of power

With the worsening crisis brought by the 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, the government needs to pour in all of its resources to formulate the urgent and necessary public health and economic measures to mitigate the alarming transmission of the disease.

Karapatan calls for release of political prisoners amid COVID-19 pandemic

Amid the lethal impact of the 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, human rights group Karapatan called for the release of political prisoners, especially the elderly,  sick with chronic, debilitating or terminal medical conditions, pregnant, those who are due for parole or pardon, at least one spouse each of political prisoner couples and accidental victims of political arrests.

Disinformation, vague quarantine directives from nat'l gov't = rights violations on the ground

Human rights group Karapatan raised alarm over statements made by Martin Diño, Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) undersecretary for barangay affairs, that individuals can be arrested without warrant during the Luzon-wide “enhanced community quarantine” against the 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic supposedly because human rights disappear and the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus is suspended when a state of emergency is declared.

Gov't authorities urged to respect rights in the midst of "enhanced community quarantine"

Human rights alliance Karapatan called on the Duterte government to uphold and respect people’s rights amid the imposition of the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine against the 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. Karapatan said that stringent measures currently being imposed make poor communities of workers, the homeless, the urban and rural poor vulnerable to arrests and detention as well as other rights abuses and violations.

Killings, arrests continue amid COVID-19 pandemic —Karapatan

Human rights alliance Karapatan strongly condemns the murder of cultural worker Marlon Maldos in Cortes, Bohol and the massacre of peace consultant and former political prisoner Julius Giron and his two companions, including a medical doctor, in Baguio City, as well as the arbitrary arrest of Manobo leader Gloria Tumalon based on trumped-up charges.

Arrest of rights worker in Mindanao amid pandemic shows Duterte’s fascist priorities —Karapatan

Human rights alliance Karapatan denounces the arrest of its Regional Council Member for Northern Mindanao Teresita Naul on March 15, 2020 at around 8:00 a.m. at her relative’s residence in Lala, Lanao del Sur.

Rights group says militarist quarantine a fertile ground for more rights violations

Amid the 2019 coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, human rights group Karapatan asserted that while it “recognizes and understands the necessity of implementing stringent quarantine measures for the interest of public health and safety,” the implications of an “enhanced” community quarantine for the entirety of Luzon — which Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo and Department of the Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año earlier described as a “total lockdown” — “should be a cause for concern in light of the government’s m

Karapatan hits gov’t disregard of Filipinos’ welfare as incidents of red-tagging persist amid a pandemic

Human rights group Karapatan criticized on Sunday, March 15, the relentless harassment and intimidation perpetrated by the Duterte regime following the red-tagging of human rights activists, including its Western Mindanao Chairperson and Iglesia Filipina Independiente (IFI) Bishop Antonio Ablon and its Regional Council member from Northern Mindanao Teresita Naul.

PH gov’t militarizes response to COVID-19 pandemic

Human rights alliance Karapatan sounded alarm over President Rodrigo Duterte’s militarist response to contain the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic following his public statement on Thursday, March 12, 2020. Karapatan Deputy Secretary General Roneo Clamor urged that “for us to effectively counter this pandemic, the public needs access to free public health services for testing and treatment, not Duterte’s go-to militarist-flavored response to crisis.”

Badoy’s red-tagging spree in House hearing exposes fascist underbelly of anti-terror bill — Karapatan

Human rights group Karapatan slammed the presence of Presidential Communications and Operations Office (PCOO) Undersecretary Lorraine Badoy in the House hearing on the proposed Anti-Terrorism Bill on Tuesday, March 10, 2020. Karapatan Deputy Secretary General Roneo Clamor derided Badoy’s presence in the hearing as a “audacious and ridiculous display of the PCOO and the Duterte government’s priorities.”

Rights group condemns military deception in arrest of couple in Bohol

Human rights alliance Karapatan condemns in strongest terms the trumped-up charges against couple Reynaldo and Carmelita Camacho, who were arrested by the elements of the 47th Infantry Battalion (IB) without a warrant nor any legal basis in their home at Brgy. Tolang, Getafe, Bohol last February 8, 2020.

Filipino women unite against a fascist and sexist president —Karapatan

On the commemoration of International Women’s Day today, March 8, the world honors women, recognize their achievements and contributions in building their communities and their countries in general, even as they continue to bear the primary burden of keeping hearth and home.

But as we honor them, we note with alarm the risks, threats and the dangers to women’s lives and well-being confronted by women as we exercise our rights and freedoms.

Karapatan slams revival of dismissed perjury case vs rights defenders

Today, March 3, 2020, leaders of Karapatan, Rural Missionaries of the Philippines (RMP) and Gabriela posted bail on the trumped-up perjury case filed by National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr. before the Quezon City Metropolitan Trial Court Branch 37.

Rejoinder to Parlade

In a statement released to the Philippine News Agency (PNA) last Sunday, February 23, following the shooting-to-death of a certain Antonio Benson, aka “Hazel” and “Pita”, by the New People’s Army (NPA), Lt. Gen. Antonio Parlade, Jr., chief of the Philippine Army’s Southern Luzon Command (SOLCOM), named “Karapatan, NUPL, Gabriela and others” accountable for the actions of the NPA.

Rights group to legislators: Don't be instruments to authoritarian rule, resist anti-terror law

In a press conference on Monday, March 2, 2020, human rights alliance Karapatan joined other progressive organisations in opposing the passage of the Anti-Terror Bill, which seeks to amend and strengthen RA 9372 or the Human Security Act (HSA) of 2007. The rights group raised alarm over contentious and vague provisions, which it said “infringes on and effecti

Andanar’s spins and slants in Geneva: Looks sunny but really cold and chilling

The ongoing efforts by Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) secretary Martin Andanar and his team here in Geneva to mislead the international community is ludicrous if only it is not perilous.