August, 2020

Stop the killings! Justice for the victims of EJKs!

The recent killings of peasant rights advocate and peace talks consultant Randall Echanis, human right defender Zara Alvarez, and Bayan Muna regional coordinator Jory Porquia have highlighted the increasing use of extrajudicial killings (EJKs) against activists, political dissenters and members of the opposition.

More than 500 human rights advocates sign statement calling for a stop to the killings in the Philippines

On the occasion of National Heroes Day, more than 500 human rights advocates from here and abroad are calling on the Philippine government to end the spate of killings that has claimed the lives of several activists over the past few months. 

Desaparecidos warns of rise in cases of enforced disappearance under terror law, launches protest quilt for justice

The Anti-Terrorism Act will serve as a fertile ground for increased cases of enforced disappearance, Desaparecidos, the organization of families of victims of enforced disappearance, warned as they commemorated the International Day of the Disappeared today, August 30.

Karapatan: Independent and impartial probe on Zara Alvarez’ killing should investigate State forces

As slain human rights and health worker Zara Alvarez is laid to rest today, human rights watchdog Karapatan asserted that “any independent investigation on her cold-blooded murder should first look into State forces and their complicity and involvement — precisely because of the pattern of threats and vilification she and other slain human rights workers had been subjected to from the police and the military.”

Release Esterlita Suaybaguio and all political prisoners! — Karapatan

On the first year since the illegal arrest and detention of peace consultant Esterlita Suaybaguio, Karapatan renews the call for the release of Suaybaguio and all political prisoners in the Philippines. 

Threats vs rights defenders intensify as military pushes to regulate social media under terror law

“Straight from the horse’s mouth: the military’s proposal to ‘regulate’ social media under the Anti-Terrorism Act clearly isn’t about countering terrorism: they’ll use it to censor dissent and go after legal organizations they have long vilified as ‘terrorists,’” human rights watchdog Karapatan asserted, as the group slammed Southern Luzon Command Chief Lieutenant General Antonio Parlade Jr., also an official of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC), for expressing support for such proposals yesterday,


On Duterte's alleged order not to release information on activist killings to CHR

We are aware that the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) has been conducting investigations on the attacks and killings of human rights defenders based on the complaints filed before their offices and on the testimonies given during their public inquiry in September 2019.

Karapatan on Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque’s statement on the killing of activists Zara Alvarez and Randy Echanis

We are revolted at the Duterte administration’s doubletalk. While Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque denounced violence against activists, his cohorts in Malacañang including President Rodrigo Duterte and the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict had been on record several times ordering and inciting violence on us. This pervasive and harmful rhetoric has been so publicized that the whole world knows it.

UN rights expert, int’l rights groups express concern on the killing of Zara Alvarez

The international human rights community expressed concern on the killing of Karapatan paralegal and health worker Zara Alvarez, as various organizations in the Philippines and abroad conducted a global day of action today, August 19, against extrajudicial killings in the country. 

State forces complicit in the killing of human rights worker Zara Alvarez — Karapatan

Human rights alliance Karapatan asserted that State forces are “complicit, if not directly behind” the killing of human rights and health worker Zara Alvarez, as Karapatan joined other human rights advocates, progressive formations, and civil libertarians in today’s Global Day of Action for Justice today at the Bantayog ng mga Bayani to condemn the killings of Alvarez, peace advocate and land defender Randall Echanis, Louie Tagapia, and all cases of extrajudicial killings.

Karapatan condemns killing of human rights and health worker Zara Alvarez

Zara Alvarez is the 13th human rights worker from Karapatan killed under the Duterte administration, human rights watchdog Karapatan said, as the group slammed “what is beginning to look like a killing spree of human rights defenders, peace advocates, and vocal critics in an attempt to sow terror and cower us into silence, especially now with the Anti-Terrorism Act in place.”

Karapatan: Separating Ina Nasino from her child a cruel injustice on top of cruel injustice

Human rights alliance Karapatan assailed the separation of political prisoner Reina Mae “Ina” Nasino from her one-month old baby as a “cruel injustice on top of cruel injustice” after Manila City Jail (MCJ) Female Dormitory warden Chief Inspector Maria Ignacia Monteron ordered to remove her child from the MCJ last Thursday, August 13.

Karapatan on Kian Loyd Delos Santos’ 3rd death anniversary: justice remains elusive for drug war victims

On the third anniversary of the murder of 17-year-old Kian Loyd Delos Santos, human rights watchdog Karapatan reiterated its call for justice, which the group asserted, “remains elusive for the thousands of victims killed in the government’s sham and bloody war on drugs as it continues to claim more and more lives with rampant impunity.”

Karapatan: NDFP peace consultants targets of Duterte’s bloodhounds

The brutal and grisly murders of peace consultant Randall Echanis and Louie Tagapia, a neighbor who just happened to be around, are recent indications of the surely-to-be-denied shoot-to-kill and take-no-prisoner policy of the Duterte government. Operation Tokhang has certainly gone beyond supposed drug users.

Delaying release of slain combatants’ remains to their families a violation of international humanitarian law — Karapatan

Killing unarmed and/or wounded combatants and subjecting their families to inhumane and unjust acts by putting them “mercilessly and cruelly through the eye of the needle just to claim their loved ones’ remains” is a violation of international humanitarian law, human rights watchdog Karapatan asserted. 

Karapatan expresses cynicism on DOJ investigation on Echanis’ killing, calls for independent investigation led by the CHR

Human rights alliance Karapatan today expressed cynicism on Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary Menardo Guevarra’s statement on an investigating team from the department’s task force on Administrative Order No. 35 to probe the killing of elderly peasant leader and peace consultant Randall “Randy” Echanis. 

Karapatan: Killing of Randy Echanis, the latest in the loathsome attacks on peace and peasant advocates

The killing of 72-year-old peace advocate and agrarian reform activist Randall "Randy" Echanis is "a cold-blooded and unpardonable extra-judicial execution," human rights watchdog Karapatan stated, as the group decried his killing as "the latest in a long list of atrocities and loathsome attacks on peace and peasant advocates under this fascist regime."

Karapatan House of Representatives Position Paper on Death Penalty

The following is a copy of Karapatan’s position paper on the death penalty submitted to the House of Representatives Committee on Justice August 5, 2020. You can download a copy of the position paper here or you can copy and paste the following link on your browser.

Karapatan: Death penalty a legislative fiat for Duterte’s kill, kill, kill policy vs the poor, rights defenders

As the House of Representatives Committee on Justice hears the proposed bills for the reimposition of capital punishment or the death penalty for drug-related offenses and other heinous crimes, human rights watchdog Karapatan asserted that any measure seeking to revive death penalty, if passed into law, “would only be a legislative fiat for this murderous regime’s rabid kill, kill, kill policy against the poor and human rights defenders.”

Karapatan hits regulation of social media under terror law, continuing online attacks vs public and rights defenders

Instead of using the draconian Anti-Terrorism Act to “regulate” social media, human rights watchdog Karapatan strongly retorted that the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) should “instead regulate and police the social media platforms of their own ranks and other law enforcement agencies, which have been known for spreading malicious lies and violent, terroristic threats against the public without letup and with rampant impunity.”

Karapatan: Address distress signal of frontliners by scrapping IATF’s militarist leadership and strategies

Imposing a two-week “modified enhanced community quarantine”(MECQ) on Metro Manila and other provinces “would still yield the already failed results of the government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic” if the “anti-people leadership” of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) is not replaced, human rights alliance Karapatan asserted.