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Karapatan reiterates call for reallocation of confidential, intelligence funds for social services, aid to poor families

Human rights alliance Karapatan assailed the billions of pesos of “confidential and intelligence funds” (CIF) being allocated to a number of government agencies even as much-needed social services and projects lack funding and the country is reeling from a gargantuan national debt of PhP10.13 trillion.

The group renewed its call to reallocate such funds to public health needs, education, housing, food and cash aid, and other social services, amid discussions at the Senate on the P650-million CIF allotted to Vice President Sara Duterte— PhP500 million to the Office of the Vice President and another PhP150 million to the Department of Education which she heads.

Stop the killings and attacks against journalists!

Thirteen years since 58 persons, including 32 media workers were mercilessly killed in Maguindanao, the need to commemorate the single biggest attack against journalists in Philippine history is more urgent than ever.

Recent history gives us ample proof that threats and attacks against journalists and the right to free speech have not abated, and have instead taken newer and more menacing forms.

Since the Ampatuan Massacre of 2009, forty-nine more journalists have been killed —23 under the Duterte regime which was openly hostile to the media, and three under the Marcos II regime.

Karapatan to Remulla-PH gov’t should issue standing invitations to UN SR on EJKs, others to investigate killings and all rights

Human rights alliance Karapatan said that the Philippine government should issue standing invitations for all UN Special Procedures, especially the UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial killings, human rights defenders, indigenous peoples, independence of lawyers and judges, and right to health, to conduct official investigations on reports of extrajudicial killings and other human rights violations in the country.

“While the UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial killings is most welcome to provide support for capacity building activities on human rights, the most pressing need for an official visit by the mandate comes from the continuing reports of extrajudicial killings in the country and the dire lack of justice related to the drug war and counterinsurgency programs, as well as to the killings of journalists, lawyers and those in the legal profession. The Philippine government should heed the call of UN member states to issue standing invitations to all UN Special Procedures,” said Karapatan Secretary General Cristina Palabay.

Kamala Harris visit to further drive US complicity in rights violations in PH - Karapatan

Human rights alliance Karapatan slammed the upcoming visit to the Philippines of US Vice President Kamala Harris, saying that it will further drive the US government’s complicity in the worsening violations of human rights in the country.

Karapatan Secretary General Cristina Palabay said that foremost on Harris’ agenda is further strengthening security arrangements under the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) which allows the US to preposition more troops, weapons and logistics in Philippine military facilities that function as quasi-bases for the US.

Gov’t fails to convince int’l community of improved human rights situation in PH

Geneva, Switzerland - The government tried but miserably failed in convincing the international community that the human rights situation in the Philippines has vastly improved. At the United Nations Human Rights Council’s (UNHRC) fourth cycle of Universal Periodic Review (UPR) in this city Monday, many countries expressed concerns about ongoing human rights violations in the country and the Philippine government’s inadequate responses to recommendations made in the last cycle in 2017.

Governments from at least 35 countries called on the Philippines to put a stop on extrajudicial killings and exact accountability on the perpetrators, particularly state security forces, while 38 countries called on the Philippines to protect human rights and indigenous defenders, lawyers and judges, environmentalists, and journalists. This clearly indicates that the world knows the real situation despite lies, empty rhetoric and distortion of facts by the Philippine government delegation.

The Philippine government delegation brought nothing but empty words and vague promises to the review. Its presentation did not reflect realities on the ground.

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