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Continuing killings, mass arrests, military harassment amid lockdown reveal Duterte regime’s priorities

The Duterte government is desperately intensifying its counterinsurgency operations as a cover-up for its failure in handling the COVID-19 pandemic and its impacts, human rights watchdog Karapatan said, as the group decried the continuing killings, arrests, and harassment of farmers and activists at the hands of police and military forces.

Karapatan hits online threats, harassment vs rights activists in Cordillera

Human rights group Karapatan decried the online threats, harassment and vilification against officers, including their families, of people's rights organization Cordillera People’s Alliance (CPA), after the group called out the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in an incident when two military helicopters dropped leaflets red-tagging several groups conducting relief efforts for communities most affected by the pandemic.

Budget for PH arms deal with US should be rechanelled to health services, food aid for poor Filipinos — Karapatan

Human rights group Karapatan questioned the Philippine government’s planned acquisition of billions of pesos worth of war materiel and armaments from the United States amid calls for increased public funding for public health services and financial aid for poor families in light of the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Edita Burgos on the ABS-CBN shutdown

We are not only saddened by the shutdown of ABS-CBN; we are also deeply alarmed. For the shutdown to be done on a day after World Press Freedom Day, the message to “tow the line or suffer the same fate of ABS-CBN,” is a clear threat. We are alarmed that soon, other media outlets would follow. Without the freedom of the press, there is the danger of other freedoms to be lost. God forbid, these are the first 'test signs' of curtailing other rights. While the situation limits our option to protest this move, we must do what we can.

Karapatan asserts call for political prisoners’ release as gov’t agencies relax rules for pardon, executive clemency

As the rules for pardon and executive clemency were reissued and relaxed in a bid to decongest jails in the country amid the COVID-19 pandemic, human rights group Karapatan reiterated that political prisoners, especially the elderly and the sick who are most at risk of contracting the deadly and fast-spreading virus, should not be excluded.