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Karapatan calls on CHR to conduct independent probe of reported killing of NDF consultant, peasant organizer in Negros

Human rights alliance Karapatan today called on the Commission on Human Rights to conduct an independent investigation into the reported summary execution of peasant advocate Ericson Acosta, a writer and consultant of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines, and his companion, peasant organizer Joseph Jimenez of the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas, in Kabankalan City, Negros Occidental by combined elements of the 94th and 47th Infantry Battalions of the Philippine Army on November 30.

Initial reports by Karapatan’s chapter in Negros indicate that Acosta and Jimenez were captured alive as of 2 a.m. of November 30, 2022 in Sitio Makilo, Barangay Camansi but were tagged hours later by the Armed Forces of the Philippines as casualties in a fake encounter. Residents also said that the bodies of the two bore stab wounds. Acosta was also said to be recuperating from illness in the said community.

Statement on the 159th birth anniversary of Filipino people’s hero Andres Bonifacio

This year’s commemoration of the 159th birth anniversary of Andres Bonifacio Day should be taken as an opportunity to re-learn and live out our people’s history --- that the struggle for national independence and against all forms of oppression by foreign powers and the local ruling classes is a struggle for human rights and dignity of the Filipino people.

Bonifacio pushed for national unity, the genuine unity which forged together the strength of the Filipino masses, through the formation of the Katipunan. It was the kind of unity that sought to assert national freedom and independence, and for Filipinos to benefit from all their toil and hardships.

Tanggol Bayi and Karapatan Statement on International Women Human Rights Defenders’ Day

Today, on International Women Human Rights Defenders’ Day, Tanggol Bayi and Karapatan salute all women who have tirelessly worked and contributed to the continuing struggle for women’s rights, human rights and freedoms.

In the Philippines and all over the world, the recent years are the most challenging for women human rights defenders. Attacks and threats including discriminatory acts and gender violence used to attempt to muzzle and silence the voices of women human rights defenders have grown more brazen and systematic. Upholding the rights of women and the people is easily branded as a crime or as an act of terrorism. Lives and liberty were taken away from the many courageous women human rights defenders.

Int’l community prods PH gov’t to enact Human Rights Defenders’ Protection legislation

In a hearing of the Committee on Human Rights of the House of Representatives today, November 29, 2022, Karapatan cited the strong recommendations of various member States of the UN General Assembly for the enactment of a legislation for the protection of human rights defenders and on the attacks against activists in the Philippines, during the recent Universal Periodic Review of the UN Human Rights Council in November.

Forty States called for justice and the protection and promotion of the rights of human rights defenders and journalists in the Philippines, in the 4th cycle of the UPR of the Philippines recently, with the governments of the United Kingdom, Canada, Finland, Romania, Switzerland, and Mexico recommending the enactment of a Human Rights Defenders’ Protection legislation.

Karapatan lambasts PNP claims on ‘working justice system’

Human rights alliance Karapatan took strong exception to claims by the Philippine National Police that the recent conviction of a Caloocan City policeman for torture and planting of evidence in relation a five-year old drug war-related killing forms proof that “the Philippine justice system is working.” The murder cases filed against the policeman, PO1 Jeffrey Perez, for the August 2017 killing of 19-year old Carl Angelo Arnaiz and 14-year old Reynaldo “Kulot” de Guzman are still pending in court.

“The only thing this recent conviction proves,” said Karapatan secretary-general Cristina Palabay, “is that there were human rights violations during the drug war. This should not be used by authorities to make what is obviously a false statement—that the Philippine justice system is working.”