September, 2022

On the recent appointments at the Commission on Human Rights

With the appointment of a new Chairperson and a commissioner of the Commission on Human Rights, Karapatan calls on the new appointees to uphold the Commission’s mandate and expectations for independence, probity, integrity, and transparency to conduct investigations on human rights violations against poor and disadvantaged sectors and provide prompt, responsive, accessible and excellent public service for the promotion and protection of human rights.

In particular, we expect members of the new commission en banc to address the recommendations by the previous commission during its public inquiry on the attacks and challenges against human rights defenders and its investigations in the drug war. Thousands of complaints of rights violations including extrajudicial killings, torture, enforced disappearances, arbitrary arrests and detention, judicial harassment, threats, and dangers of red-tagging experienced by civilians, human rights defenders and communities remain, and investigations regarding these by the national human rights institution need to be conducted with utmost resolve to hold the perpetrators in government accountable, to ensure that government policies from which the violations emanate be addressed with the full view of making sure that the root causes are looked into and that there’d be non-repetition of the said violations.

Karapatan welcomes recent Manila court decision on proscription case vs CPP-NPA

Human rights alliance Karapatan hailed a Manila court’s ruling on the petition by the Department of Justice to proscribe the CPP-NPA a terrorist organization, saying it is a victory against “State terrorism and intolerance to political dissent.”

Karapatan Secretary General Cristina Palabay said “the 135-page ruling by Manila Regional Trial Court Branch 19 Judge Marlo Magdoza-Malagar essentially affirmed the assertion of hundreds of activists who have been red-tagged and are still languishing in jail, after being arbitrarily arrested on trumped-up charges.”

In its unrelenting campaign to clamp down on dissent, the State has been vilifying political activism as terrorism and linking activists from progressive groups to the CPP-NPA, said Karapatan.


As expected, Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.’s speech before the United Nations General Assembly in New York yesterday, September 21, was nothing but another lame attempt to resurrect his family’s tarnished name in the eyes of the international community.

To stand before the world on the 50th anniversary of his father’s formal declaration of martial rule is not a simple case of selective memory on the part of the president of the Philippine government. It is an act that challenges truth and all known norms of decency. Worse, this act, committed in the name of the Filipino people, disrespects the thousands killed, disappeared, tortured and raped during the 22 years of the first Marcos regime. It is not only contemptuous of the many victims of human rights violations in the current and second Marcos regime. It also aims to deny that the late dictator’s son and namesake is well on his way to committing his own bloody record of injustices and plunder.

Marcos Jr.’s speech at UNGA on 50th year after martial law reeks of hypocrisy, glosses over HR violations and impunity in PH

As various groups and communities in the Philippines and abroad mark the 50th year after the declaration of Marcos Sr.’s martial law with protests, Karapatan scored the dictator’s son Ferdinand Marcos Jr. over his recent speech at the UN General Assembly, calling it a “grand show of hypocrisy.”

“Marcos Jr. used the world stage at the UN General Assembly to talk about lofty universal ideals and principles that he and his family refuse to live by. Fifty years after his dictator-father’s martial law, he continues to justify the human rights violations committed during martial law, while keeping the billions of people’s money stolen by his family and their cronies.  It is a grand show of hypocrisy, another act meant to deodorize and atrocious crimes of plunder, massive human rights violations and exploitation of the Filipino people,” said Karapatan Secretary General Cristina Palabay.

never again

Marcos regime "blood-soaked, not golden" - martial law victims

Today, we commemorate the 50th year after the declaration of martial law by former dictator Ferdinand Marcos Sr. Also known as one of the bloodiest period in Philippine history, his family and cohorts looted the nation's coffers and blatantly committed various violations of people's fundamental rights under his authoritarian regime. Thousands of Filipinos from different walks of life were harassed, abducted, imprisoned, tortured, killed, or forcibly disappeared under Marcos' martial rule.

DepEd, OVP confidential funds should be allocated to books, classrooms, teachers’ salaries and benefits

Karapatan today decried the House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations and its political patronage of Vice President Sara Duterte, after the Committee swiftly approved the proposed budget of the Office of the Vice President which includes confidential funds amounting to P500 million.

“The Committee on Appropriations should be gravely reminded that what they are allocating is people’s money, not theirs to cater to their political ambitions. Their non-scrutiny of these questionable confidential funds is a clear sign of political patronage and lack of due diligence. These millions should have been best given to students and teachers for books and other instructional materials, classrooms and educational facilities, and teachers’ salaries and benefits,” said Roneo Clamor, Deputy Secretary General of Karapatan.


UN rights commissioner report, Marcos Jr.’s rebuff of ICC investigation signal need for int’l scrutiny on PH rights situation

Karapatan renewed calls for increased efforts of the international community to monitor the human rights situation in the Philippines and to take more meaningful and decisive steps such as independent investigations towards justice and accountability under the Marcos Jr. administration, as the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights released a report on the Philippines in the 51st session of the UN Human Rights Council and with the recent statement of Marcos Jr. rejecting investigations of the International Criminal Court.

PH human rights groups submit alternative human rights report to UN treaty body

A decade since the United Nations Human Rights Committee conducted a review on the Philippine government’s compliance to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), the State party will undergo a fifth review before the UN treaty body this coming October 2022, with non-governmental organizations providing alternative submissions to the government report.

Human rights group Karapatan and Tanggol Bayi, an association of women human rights defenders, submitted their 29-page joint alternative report on September 12, covering human rights issues during the administrations of Benigno Aquino III and Rodrigo Duterte, as well as the first months of the Marcos Jr. administration.  

STK rally

Marcos Jr.’s US trip insults martial law survivors, kin

In a press conference, martial law survivors and son of one of the named plaintiffs in the landmark class action suit in Hawaii, US decried the upcoming state visit of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. in the United States, calling it an “insult” to human rights violations victims as they mark the 50th year after the imposition of martial law by his father, the dictator Marcos Sr.

martial law survivors and kin 



to the UN Human Rights Committee in its 136th Session

Palais Wilson, Geneva, Switzerland

September 2022 

Karapatan: Release Reina Mae Nasino, two others soon; stop use of questionable search warrants, planting of evidence

After the Court of Appeals 12th Division declared void the search warrants used against activists Reina Mae Nasino, Alma Moran and Ram Bautista, rights group Karapatan echoed their families’ demand for their immediate release, and emphasized that “the use of questionable search warrants and planting of evidence against activists and dissidents should stop for good.”

Statement of the Religious Discernment Group on the perjury case against RMP, Karapatan and Gabriela

Dear friends, 

We are sharing with you the statement of the Religious Discernment Group on the perjury case against Rural Missionaries of the Philippines, Karapatan and Gabriela. 


“Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves,

If enacted, Tolentino’s proposal will spur crackdown on government officials, employees and their kin - Karapatan

Rights group Karapatan criticized Sen. Francis Tolentino for his remarks made on August 31, 2022 at the Senate proposing measures requiring government employees to disclose information on their relatives who may have connections with so-called terrorist organizations.

Karapatan denounces arrest of long-time woman activist Atel Hijos

Karapatan denounces the arrest of longtime women’s rights activist Atel Hijos yesterday, August 31, 2022 in Butuan City as yet another reprehensible act that shows how the judicial system is being weaponized against human rights defenders, following numerous other cases of trumped up charges against and arrests of human rights defenders in the Caraga region.