June, 2020

Duterte’s four years in power: an epidemic of State terrorism, blatant injustice, gross rights violations

With the looming enactment of the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020, human rights watchdog Karapatan warned that “as President Rodrigo Duterte enters his twilight years in power, he and his militarist lapdogs are now gearing up to unleash in full the horrors of State repression in a desperate effort to consolidate power and secure his fascist dictatorship in the face of growing mass resistance.” The group decried Duterte’s four years in power as “a worsening epidemic of State terrorism, blatant injustice, and gross human rights violations.”

Red-tagging, attacks on rights and environmental defenders intensify amid looming enactment of terror bill

Human rights watchdog Karapatan sounded alarm over the “increasingly worsening attacks on human rights activists and environmental defenders” amid the looming passage of the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 as the rights group decried the military’s red-tagging of Josephine Parra-Porquia, wife of slain human rights activist Jose Reynaldo “Jory” Porquia, as well as the arrest of seven anti-mining Lumad leaders in Misamis Oriental.

Rights group lauds 31 UN experts’ statement on PH, decries continuing killings of rights defenders

Rights group Karapatan today welcomed the statement of thirty-one (31) Special Procedures of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UN HRC) released on Friday, June 26, 2020, calling on the UN HRC to “establish an on-the-ground international investigation into the human rights situation in the Philippines” and “to initiate, whenever possible, governmental sanctions and criminal prosecution against individual Philippine officials who have committed, incited or failed to prevent human rights abuses.”

Karapatan warns terror bill will embolden State forces to commit torture, rights violations

As the world marked the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture yesterday, June 26, human rights watchdog Karapatan warned that the passage of the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 will “alarmingly enable and worsen the use of torture and other brutal forms of state violence in the government's counterinsurgency and counterterror campaigns.” 

Struggle for queer liberation is resistance to State repression, demand release of Pride 20!

In time for the 51st anniversary of the Stonewall uprising in New York City, Philippine human rights alliance Karapatan asserted that “despite the many gains of the LGBTQ+ community over the last decades, the militant struggle for genuine equality and queer liberation continues in our resistance against all forms of discrimination, oppression, and repression” as the group assailed the violent dispersal of a Pride March in Mendiola, Manila earlier today, June 26, which led to the arrest of at least 20 Pride protesters. 

Condemn racist attacks and police brutality in the US! — Karapatan

Karapatan expresses solidarity with the American people and with various people’s movements all over the world in condemning the spate of ruthless racist attacks and police brutality on anti-racism protests in the United States following the murder of Black men and women such as George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery.

Karapatan: Delay of SC decision on release of political prisoners worsens COVID-19 crisis in prisons

Human rights watchdog Karapatan appealed to the Supreme Court to act decisively amid reports of the deferral of its decision on the petition for the humanitarian release of prisoners, including political prisoners, with the onslaught of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country’s detention facilities. Karapatan Secretary General Cristina Palabay asserted that “with every day that vulnerable prisoners are not released, the lives of more and more prisoners are put at greater risk.”

Abduction of development worker, strafing of student activist show rapidly deteriorating rights situation in PH — Karapatan

Amid the looming passage of the Anti-Terrorism Bill, the human rights situation in the Philippines is rapidly deteriorating with worsening and continuing attacks on human rights defenders and activists, rights watchdog Karapatan said, as the group strongly condemned the abduction of development worker Elena Tijamo and the strafing of student activist Jolina Calot Meraya.

Terror bill to institutionalize NTF-ELCAC’s campaign of State terrorism — Karapatan

Human rights watchdog Karapatan warned that the creation of the Anti-Terrorism Council (ATC) under the pending Anti-Terrorism Law of 2020 is nothing more but a mere ploy to institutionalize the repressive campaigns of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC). Rebutting the claims of National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr.

Karapatan urges DOJ to recommend veto of terror bill

The Department of Justice (DOJ) should uphold people’s rights by recommending the veto of the Anti-Terrorism Bill, human rights watchdog Karapatan strongly urged, as the DOJ reviews the proposed measure. In a letter addressed to DOJ Secretary Menardo Guevarra, Karapatan Secretary General Cristina Palabay said that the Anti-Terrorism Bill “will inevitably and ultimately infringe on the people’s exercise of basic rights and fundamental freedoms.”

On the guilty verdict vs Maria Ressa and Rey Santos Jr

The conviction of Rappler’s Maria Ressa and Reynaldo Santos Jr. on cyber-libel charges has dire implications on the state of press freedom and the people’s right to information and freedom of expression in the Philippines. 

Threat of arrests vs ‘mañanita’ protesters a mockery of “Independence Day”

All systems go for today’s “Grand Mañanita” Independence Day protests against the Anti-Terrorism Bill, human rights watchdog Karapatan asserted, despite threats of arrests and dispersals from the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) — which the group slammed as “a blatant affront to our rights and civil liberties, if not an outright hypocritical mockery of Independence Day itself.”

Desaparecidos: Under Duterte regime, culture of impunity favors the butcher even in jail

Desaparecidos laments the Court’s decision to deny the motion to transfer the convicted butcher Jovito Palparan from the Directorate for Reception and Diagnostics or DRD to the maximum security cell in the National Penitentiary.  “Under the Duterte regime

Karapatan reiterates call to junk terror bill amid another arrest of an activist

Twenty lawmakers reportedly withdrew their "yes" votes on the Anti-Terrorism Bill. This is a big and unprecedented number. There is a visible and growing clamor to junk the Anti-Terrorism Bill, and yet the rubber stamp Congress has now sneakily transmitted the bill to Malacañang yesterday, June 9, serving it on a bloody silver platter, just awaiting the president’s signature.

Karapatan urges CHR, Facebook to investigate online red-tagging, digital security threats

Human rights watchdog Karapatan called on the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) and Facebook to launch a probe over the cases of online red-tagging in the country amid controversy over the recent reported cases of duplicate dummy Facebook accounts of activists as well as ordinary individuals expressing views critical of the government. 

On the Philippine government's rejection to implement UN OHCHR recommendations

The UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights received a staggering 893 written submissions and 793 individually signed template-based letters. It had discussions with government representatives. It has validated the data received from numerous sources. It interviewed victims and witnesses. It has formed its conclusions and recommendations based on its independent and impartial process — and it has concluded that the human rights situation in the Philippines is rapidly deteriorating.

Karapatan: UN report on PH rights situation shows why anti-terror bill should be junked

Human rights watchdog Karapatan welcomed the “timely” release of the report of the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (UN OHCHR) on the human rights situation in the Philippines, which came amid strong public backlash on the looming passage of the Anti-Terrorism Bill. Karapatan said that the UN report outlines the deteriorating state of human rights in the country — showing exactly why the proposed Anti-Terrorism Bill should be junked.

Rejoinder to Senator Panfilo Lacson

I challenge Sen. Ping Lacson to come out with emailed or received copies of invitations to known human rights organizations in the Philippines whom the Senate invited to the committee hearings. Karapatan and its members only knew about these hearings when media reports quoting generals come out.

Karapatan: Railroading passage of anti-terror bill in rubber stamp Congress already a clear sign of dictatorship

Human rights watchdog Karapatan is sounding alarm over the passage of the proposed Anti-Terrorism Bill on its third and final reading at the House of Representative after President Rodrigo Duterte certified the bill as urgent.

No letup in massacre of the poor under Duterte with killing of Sarangani barangay captain

The Duterte administration is continuing its brutal massacre of the poor in its bloody war on drugs, human rights watchdog Karapatan said, as the group decried the killing of barangay captain Diony Seromines in Brgy. Kawas, Alabel, Sarangani after he allegedly refused to sign a paper as a witness in a drug buy-bust operation.

Karapatan calls for CHR probe over killing of urban poor leader Carlito Badion

Human rights group Karapatan called on the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) to launch an independent investigation on the killing of Kadamay secretary general Carlito Badion, as the group decried the death of the urban poor leader as “a gruesome murder.”