Media Releases

PNP blame-game on Malayao’s killing seeks to shield State forces from accountability - Karapatan

“As in many other cases of state-sponsored killing, the government whips up some fantastic theory, expressed through contradictory statements and devoid of any evidence, that uses the NPA or some other scapegoat to evade accountability of its State forces and justify more draconian measures,” said Karapatan Secretary General Cristina Palabay in response to the statement of Chief Supt. Mario Espino of Philippine National Police Region 2 tagging the New People’s Army in the recent killing of peace consultant Randy Felix Malayao.

Karapatan deplores pattern of killings, arrests of civilians recently abducted by military or police in Mindanao

“There is now an ongoing trend of activists going missing, only to be later located in military camps or police stations or worse, dead. After abducting these individuals, the military and the police then spin ludicrous stories that they are either surrenderees or members of the New People’s Army (NPA), or their abduction already ‘cured’ by trumped-up criminal charges. Those who have been killed by suspected State forces are claimed to have been fatalities during armed encounters – another fantastic permutation of the worn-out ‘nanlaban’ narrative. It’s one outrageous lie after the other,” said Karapatan Secretary General Cristina Palabay, citing recent cases of human rights violations in Mindanao. 

Cold-blooded murders signal the start of 2019 under Duterte – Karapatan

“If this is an indication of what is to come, then anyone from the communities, the ranks of human rights and peace advocates, and the poor and marginalized sectors are all at an even greater risk. The Duterte regime’s kill, kill, kill program under ruthless campaigns have resulted in cold-blooded, cowardly killings that target individuals who have given their lives to the pursuit of justice, peace, and defense of people’s rights. We are extremely enraged at the extent of which this government can outrightly violate our rights. The Duterte regime and its legion of ruthless murderers have sunk to an all-time low, into a bottomless pit of dastardly crimes that can only be masterminded and executed by the most brutal and cruel butchers,” said Karapatan Secretary General Cristina Palabay, citing the recent killings of peace consultant Randy Felix Malayao and peasant leader Sergio Atay. 

Free the Rosales! Free All Political Prisoners!

“Duterte has already arrested 225 political prisoners under his term, bringing the number of political detainees across the country to 548 (as of December 2018). The government’s legal offensives have been expedited by the formation of the Inter-Agency Committee on Legal Action (IACLA) back in October 2017. This is further justified by the planting of evidence and the weaving of ludicrous and otherworldly tales. Suffice it to say, Duterte’s political persecution of progressive organizations and its members has intensified,” said Karapatan Deputy Secretary General Roneo Clamor. He noted that even former members of these targeted organizations are not exempt from the government’s reprisal, such as in the case of Rowena and Oliver Rosales. 

Two peasant leaders possibly disappeared as attacks vs Mindanao communities continue - Karapatan

“In the first month of 2019, we have already received a long list of military atrocities in peasant communities in Mindanao, including the recent abduction of two peasant leaders. These attacks are bound to exacerbate, what with the myriad of repressive policies piled on top of each other, ranging from martial law to the implementation of counterinsurgency program Oplan Kapayapaan,” said Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay.

Karapatan on the recent bombing incidents in Jolo, Sulu

Karapatan deplores the bombing at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel in Jolo, Sulu that has resulted to the killing of at least 27 persons and injury of 80. 

We express our deep sympathies to the victims, their families and to the people of Sulu in these difficult times as we are one with them and many sectors in society in calling for justice. We condemn the said bombing as a dire violation of international humanitarian law, which specifies protection for civilians and places of worship from such attacks. We likewise demand an immediate and impartial investigation on the incident, beyond the groundless accusations of political vultures eyeing this tragedy for political gain and mileage. 

Bill to lower age of criminal responsibility will inflict further harm and danger to children - Karapatan

Karapatan, its chapters and member organizations led by the Children’s Rehabilitation Center, vehemently oppose all moves, including that of the House of Representatives, to inflict further harm and danger to Filipino children by passing a bill to lower the minimum age of criminal responsibility to nine years old.

Peace consultant Rafael Baylosis finally released from jail following court’s dismissal of trumped-up charges

“Finally, Rafael Baylosis is released! We also welcome the recent decision of the Regional Trial Court in Branch 100, Quezon City to dismiss the trumped-up charges against Rafael Baylosis, consultant of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP), and his companion Roque Guillermo Jr. Said decision was penned by Judge Edith Mina-Aguba and it is an affirmation of our assertion that the case is fabricated and the evidence were planted,” said Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay. The trumped-up case of illegal possession of firearms and explosives filed against Baylosis and Guillermo was dismissed last January 15, 2019. After complying with the necessary requirements, Baylosis was finally released from jail this afternoon (January 18). 

3 farmers killed, 6 illegally arrested as 2019 rolls out - Karapatan

“There is no respite from the killings and illegal arrests. It seems that this government and its salaried mercenaries remain in a killing frenzy, targeting the poor in its twisted and militarist campaigns. As the year rolls out, the Duterte regime continues its grim legacy of outright disregard and scorn for human rights. We are set to face more challenging times ahead, as the country is plunged further down Duterte’s psychotic, cruel, and spiteful leadership,” said Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay, citing the cases of 3 extrajudicial killings and 6 victims of illegal arrests in January’s first two weeks.

Longest-detained political prisoner released – Karapatan

“After thirty two (32) years, political prisoner Jose Ceriales was finally released on April 19, 2017, after serving sentence for false charges of multiple murder and double frustrated murder. Peasant Ceriales was arrested on May 3, 1985 in Manjuyod, Negros Oriental when he was only 22 years old. Now, he is 54 years old. That is 32 years of injustice which spanned different regimes,” said Clamor on the release of the longest-detained political prisoner in the country.

 

 (Photo: Jose Ceriales finally freed after 32 years in prison. He was only 22 years old when he was arrested; he is now 54 years old)

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