Media Releases

Karapatan denounces state terrorism fomented by Philippine state security forces in the run-up to the May elections

Karapatan Deputy Secretary General Roneo Clamor demands for the release of his wife, Dr. Mary Mia, and 42 other health workers.Human rights alliance Karapatan strongly denounces the terrorism being foisted on groups critical of the Arroyo regime’s policies and human rights violations in the run-up to the May elections. Karapatan condemns the recent illegal arrest of more than 40 health workers and doctors, including the wife of Karapatan Deputy Secretary General Roneo Clamor, Dr. Mary Mia, who were conducting First Responders Training in Morong, Rizal early Saturday, February 6.

At 6:15 Saturday morning, at least 300 heavily armed elements of the combined forces of the 202nd Infantry Brigade of the Philippine Army (202IBPA) and the Rizal Provincial Philippine National Police (PNP) forced their way into the farmhouse of Dr. Melecia Velmonte in Morong, Rizal where the training was being held.

Rights group reports on the state of human rights in the Philippines

OBL bloodiest, most brutal campaign vs. Filipino people -- Karapatan
 

At a media briefing, the national human rights alliance, KARAPATAN, presented its annual report on the human rights situation as well as the almost-decade’s old Arroyo administration’s human rights record.

The 2009 Report on the Human Rights Situation in the Philippines was presented in observance of the December 10 International Human Rights Day, and in the midst of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's implementation of Martial Law in Maguindanao province, which the rights groups strongly opposes.

The Report features the cases of violation of human rights documented by Karapatan, from January to October of 2009. It also features a comprehensive analysis of the regime's counter-insurgency plan, Oplan Bantay Laya (OBL), which victimized legal, progressive and unarmed individuals for the span of 5 years.

In its 52-page report, Karapatan said that the OBL is "by far the bloodiest and most brutal counter-insurgency campaign unleashed on the Filipino people by any president" for it "lumps together" the armed revolutionary movement, legal and democratic organizations, media and political opposition” as targets to quell the growing dissent against Arroyo's political and economic policies.

Karapatan also emphasized that the OBL "fosters a reign of terror and climate of impunity that encourage even her warlord minions to massacre scores of men and women in a gruesome carnage in Ampatuan, Maguindanao."

Statement on the Declaration of Martial Law in Maguindanao

The human rights alliance, KARAPATAN, condemns the Gloria-Macapagal Arroyo regime for declaring a state of Martial Law in the province of Maguindanao in the aftermath of the Ampatuan massacre.  Not only is Presidential Proclamation 1959 highly unconstitutional; it is NOT the solution to bring the perpetrators of the killings of 57 individuals, which included lawyers and journalists, to justice.  

The declaration is very reprehensible in that the massacre is being used to justify a more draconian measure which will greatly affect more people and again allow an opportunity for the masterminds of the gruesome crime to eventually escape punishment.

As history has shown us, martial law is open for abuse. The declaration of Martial Law and the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus in Maguindanao can and will lead to more human rights violations and atrocities in the province.  Even without placing the province under military control, the paramilitary groups such as the CAFGU, CVO and CAA controlled by Arroyo’s warlord ally, the Ampatuans, prevailed in the province which sowed fear in the hearts of and disrupted the lives of the civilian population.  Placing the province under direct military control would not differ much and in fact, might aggravate the already volatile situation.  As it is, after the massacre, and before the declaration of martial law in the province, the government has already deployed a large number of troops in the area.

Karapatan condemns military for the killing of human rights advocate Fr. Lucero

Karapatan Alliance for the Advancement of Peoples' Rights today condemned the military for the killing of of human rights advocate and Catholic priest Fr. Cecilio Lucero and for other human rights violations in the province, at the public presentation of the report of the national fact-finding mission (NFFM).

The fact-finding mission which was conducted on October 7 to 10, 2009, was initiated by Karapatan and with Katungod-Sinirangang Bisayas-Northen Samar and the Promotion of Church People's Response (PCPR) to look into the Lucero’s killing.

KARAPATAN reiterates call for greater vigilance to protect the people’s rights; condemns continuing human rights violations

The human rights alliance Karapatan today raised the alarm on the continuing assault to the people’s rights and reiterates its call to the public for greater vigilance on the alarming continuing killings, abductions, militarization of both urban and rural communities, harassments and surveillance of civilians and other human rights violations reminiscent of the martial law period.

Jun Cruz Reyes at pressconIn a press conference today, Karapatan Chairperson Marie Hilao-Enriquez joined the UP organizations in denouncing the series of surveillance operations committed on artist, writer and UP professor Jun Cruz Reyes, by men believed to be military intelligence agents.

Reyes, a writer and professor at the University of the Philippines reported that on September 13, 2009, a man approached him at an eatery and photographed him without his permission. He also divulged that on the same day and on September 10, men who looked like soldiers went to and observed his house in Bulacan. Reyes also disclosed that on November 15, 2007, men in army fatigues with their faces covered attempted to bribe his neighbor to point out his whereabouts.  He also said that in August of 2007, two men who looked like soldiers attempted to enter his house but the dogs’ barking gave their presence away so the men ran when they saw that neighbours saw what they tried to do.  After this incident, his dog was poisoned. Reyes also revealed that in 2006, he was warned by his friend that he was in the Philippine Army's so-called "order of battle" list, a list believed to be targets for "liquidation." 

Never again to Martial Law! Resist and Fight Tyranny!

The 37th anniversary of the declaration of martial law today is not a reason to celebrate but to remember the dark period of our Philippine history when tyranny and oppression seemed never-ending. Victims of the Marcos dictatorship and those under Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo remind the nation to be always vigilant and struggle against those who attempt to crush the people's civil liberties and will for genuine social change.  This is also a day to honor the memories of those who laid down their lives fighting for the people’s democratic rights.

Stop military operations in Manobo communities in Surigao!

The human rights alliance Karapatan denounces the continued military operations of the 58th IBPA at Lianga, Surigao del Sur which caused the evacuation of over 300 families or 1,795 individuals, mostly lumads (indigenous peoples), from their homes.

Enough of the human rights violations! Enough of Gloria Arroyo!

 

Today, human rights advocates under the banner of Karapatan, and relatives of victims of human rights violations Hustisya! (Victims of Arroyo Regime United for Justice), Desaparecidos, together with Selda (Society of Ex-detainees Against Detention and for Amnesty) and the Ecumenical Movement for Justice and Peace (EMJP) declare that they will do everything to make sure this will be Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s last State of the Nation Address.

After almost a decade in power, Arroyo has been the president with the longest residency in Malacañang after the dictator, Ferdinand Marcos. Her administration has ruled in a state of an undeclared martial law making her worse than her predecessors.

For the human rights advocates, her track record proves that if she ever has a human rights agenda, apparently, is nothing but to systematically violate the Filipino people’s civil and political rights to keep her into power. Human rights violations are being committed as a matter of state policy, thus with immunity, to quell public dissent and cover up the plunder and economic exploitation of the Filipino people. 

Karapatan welcomes the lifting of JASIG suspension, calls for the release of detained NDFP consultants

On the resumption of peace talks
Karapatan welcomes the lifting of JASIG suspension, calls for the release of detained NDFP consultants

The human rights alliance Karapatan welcomes the lifting of the suspension of the Joint Agreement on Security and Immunity Guarantee (JASIG), which shall take effect on July 17, to pave the way for the resumption of the peace negotiations between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP).

Rights group reiterates calls on government to stop policy of torture, render justice to victims

At the CA hearing today for Fil-Am torture survivor, Melissa Roxas’ petition for the writ of amparo

Rights group reiterates calls on government to stop policy of torture, render justice to victims 

Karapatan commends adbucted torture survivor Fil-Am activist Melissa Roxas for speaking to the public for the first time yesterday, Sunday (Manila time). Roxas tearfully recounted her experience in the hands of her abductors, in a press conference in Los Angeles which was streamed via the internet to the rest of the world.

The human rights alliance and relatives of victims of human rights violations shall again troop to the Court of Appeals for the hearing of Roxas’ petition for the writ of amparo.  “We hope that the Court of Appeals will look kindly on Melissa Roxas’ petition and grant the prayers asked for in this case so that the remedies of the writ of amparo can be rendered to her,” thus, said by the mothers of Desaparecidos who attended the hearing to show support to Roxas.

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