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Karapatan condemns first political killing under P-Noy

The human rights alliance Karapatan strongly condemns the killing of Bayan Muna-Aklan provincial chairperson Fernando Baldomero who was shot this morning while on his way to bring his child to school. 

Baldomero, who is also a municipal councilor of Lezo, Aklan and at the same time provincial coordinator of the Makabayan Coalition, is the first victim of extrajudicial killing since President Noynoy Aquino was sworn into office. An attempt was made on Baldomero’s life early this year when his house in Bgy. Sta. Cruz Bigaa, Lezo, Aklan was lobbed with a grenade by two men riding in a motorcycle.

According to initial reports, Baldomero was in front of his house, while trying to start his motorcycle to bring his child to school he was shot by two unidentified men.  The attackers were armed with a 9mm pistol and long fire-arms.

Karapatan chairperson Marie Hilao-Enriquez said that the incident follows the announcement of the new three-year counter-insurgency plan by the newly installed Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Ricardo David.   “Neither Gen. David nor President Noynoy have called to stop the killings and to end the culture of impunity that still prevails,” Enriquez said.

“The lack of declaration from President Noynoy to stop the killings and impunity, coupled by Gen. David’s pronouncement of another deadline to end insurgency, and this new wave of political killings, signals that former president Gloria Arroyo’s counter-insurgency program, Oplan Bantay Laya, is still enforced under Mr. Aquino’s term and has not let up on targeting progressive individuals”, Enriquez said. She also noted that in June, seven individuals were killed, including an Ampatuan massacre witness, and last week, a former lawyer of the Mangudadatus was ambushed. 

Karapatan welcomes Atty. Leila De Lima’s assignment to DOJ post

The human rights alliance Karapatan welcomes the appointment of Commission on Human Rights Chairperson Leila de Lima to the post of Secretary of the Department of Justice (DOJ) in President-elect Noynoy Aquino’s cabinet.

Karapatan chairperson Marie Hilao-Enriquez lauded CHR Chairperson De Lima for showing heart and sympathy for the victims of human rights violations, and for doing her best to maintain the INDEPENDENCE of the Commission despite being appointed by outgoing President Gloria Arroyo. “We hope that as DOJ Chief, Atty. De Lima will continue asserting the same level of independence as she did while she was in the CHR, refusing to be bullied into subservience and exercising the Commission’s mandate with integrity and courage, ” Hilao-Enriquez said. 

Human rights groups urge President Noynoy Aquino: Stop the Killings! Stop Human Rights Violations! End Impunity!

While reporting of a successful participation to the 14th Session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva as a member of the Ecumenical Voice Philippine NGO delegation, Marie Hilao-Enriquez, Chairperson of Karapatan Alliance for the Advancement of People's Rights, condemned the continuing extrajudicial killings in the Philippines and called upon president-elect Noynoy Aquino to stop the killings and address the persistent issue of human rights violations in the country.

Karapatan slams moves to prevent CHR investigations on the Morong 43

The human rights alliance Karapatan, along with relatives and supporters of the Morong 43, trooped to the Court of Appeals (CA) hearing on the petition to block the investigations being conducted by the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) on the illegal arrest and detention of the 43 health workers.

On April 24, the 7th Division of the CA ordered the CHR to stop its hearings with a 60-day temporary restraining order, in response to a petition filed by Morong Judge Mangrobang, the judge who approved the defective warrant used to illegally arrest the healthworkers, and Atty. Cyrus Jurado, the lawyer claiming to represent five of the 43 health workers.  “This is preposterous and unacceptable; where will the people now turn to in cases of human rights violations if the courts curtail the mandate of a constitutional body such as the CHR?,” bewailed Karapatan Chairperson Marie Hilao-Enriquez.

Rights groups and advocates fast in support of the Morong 43

Today, the human righs alliance, Karapatan, salutes and joins the health workers, collectively known as Morong 43, in their fasting to fight for their and other political prisoners’ freedom and assert their rights to be treated humanely, free from torture, cruel and degrading treatment as provided for in the Convention against Torture of the United Nations, to which the Philippine government is a signatory.

Karapatan also unites with and strongly supports the relatives of the Morong 43 as well as other sectors, in conducting a solidarity fasting, to express sympathy and support to the struggle being waged by the Morong 43 and other political prisoners.  

“The Morong 43 must be commended and supported in doing this fasting as a higher form of struggle in their fight for freedom and assertion of their rights to be treated humanely while in prison.  We, in Karapatan, condemn the military’s attempt to trivialize this struggle as “mere theatrics” just so to downplay this act of protest.  The military is afraid that their brazen disregard of the basic rights of the people will be further exposed in this fasting,” said ex-political detainee and Karapatan chairperson Marie Hilao-Enriquez. 

 

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