Press release

Karapatan to AFP’s Parlade: Your defense of a murderous gov’t betrays your ignorance of human rights principles

Let us school Parlade about a very basic concept of human rights. The primary duty-bearer in the defense, protection, and promotion of human rights is the government and all its agencies, which includes the military. Human rights organizations such as Karapatan have their mandate centered on State-perpetrated human rights violations particularly because of this basic principle. The government has trillions of dollars at its disposal, funds that are being used to commit atrocities instead of being channeled to social services and mechanisms to promote and advance human rights. Remember the Commission on Human Rights? It was created after the Marcos’ martial law regime, precisely because of the recognition that the government has the propensity to train its guns against civilians and civil society. We are emphasizing this for Parlade and his crew’s enlightenment.

 

Karapatan: Persecution vs rights advocates already worsening, set to intensify after PH leaves ICC

Lawyer Jude Sabio, legal counsel of self-confessed member of the Davao Death Squad Edgar Matobato, recently expressed his fear of persecution against him and other human rights defenders, particularly those who have filed complaints at the International Criminal Court (ICC). The country’s withdrawal of its ratification of the Rome Statute takes effect on March 17, 2019. 

Military’s accusations against rights groups a blatant attack vs people’s right to uphold, defend human rights

Brigadier General Antonio Parlade Jr., deputy chief of staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), has consistently red-tagged Karapatan in several interviews and statements. Parlade is among the representatives of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF) which made rounds in diplomatic missions in Europe. Among Parlade and the NTF’s modus operandi is to red-tag and discredit organizations, including Karapatan and the Rural Missionaries of the Philippines, who have worked for decades in their commitment to uphold, protect, and defend human rights.

Rights groups file complaints vs. government on increasing incidents of red-tagging, terrorist-labelling at the NDFP-GRP JMC

On March 15, 2019, Karapatan and Rural Missionaries of the Philippines (RMP) filed complaints with the Joint Monitoring Committeee of the Government of the Republic of the Philippines with regard to the red-tagging and terrorist-labelling of said organizations. The filing was also done a day prior to the 21st year of the signing of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL). CARHRIHL was an agreement entered into between the government of the Philippines and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) on March 16, 1998 in the Hague, Netherlands.

Karapatan demands scrapping of repressive, unconstitutional Negros ordinance on factfinding and humanitarian missions

On March 2, 2019, a 400-delegation was organized to conduct a humanitarian mission in several villages in Guihulngan City. Various human rights and people’s organizations and Guihulngan residents joined the said mission. Soldiers from the 94th Infantry Battalion-Philippine Army tried to disallow the entry of the humanitarian mission participants to the communities but they eventually relented after negotiations.

Rights groups seek CHR investigation on increasing incidents of red-tagging, terrorist-labelling

On March 12, 2019, Karapatan, Rural Missionaries of the Philippines (RMP) and Kabataan Partylist filed complaints at the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) with regard to the red-tagging and terrorist-labelling of said organizations.

Karapatan on EDSA People Power’s 33rd anniversary: Dictatorship looms once again

Today, we are one with the Filipino people in commemorating the 33rd anniversary of the EDSA People Power. Karapatan remembers all the martyrs and victims of the brutal Marcos regime, and hails the unity of the Filipino people in toppling the Marcos dictatorship. This momentous event in our history should never be credited to one family, or to specific persons, but rather to the millions who marched and courageously fought tyranny and dictatorship. The EDSA People Power I reminds us that power emanates from the people and abusive governments will be held to account for their crimes.

Duterte govt’s black propaganda junket in Europe, UN shows its desperation to bury injustices

“The Duterte goverment’s black propaganda junket in Europe and at the United Nations was a desperate move to deodorize its notorious human rights record and to evade accountability for its crimes and tyrannical acts. It has repeatedly rejected calls for independent investigations by human rights experts and has barely responded substantially to communications sent by UN offices regarding cases of rights violations. Through a national task force composed of militarists and mercenary hacks, it is promoting a most unbelievable lie - that government is correct and everyone else is wrong. What is however apparent is its ellaborative effort to hide the injustices apparent in the country,” said Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay.

Rights group slams military hitlist in Northern Mindanao, continuing detention of rights defenders

Karapatan deplores the release of what it calls a military hit list, as yet another case of harassment against human rights defenders in Northern Mindanao. 

At around 10:30 A.M. today, January 22, 2019, in the middle of the Hustisya-Northern Mindanao assembly and launching at the Philtown Hotel in Cagayan de Oro City, a suspected military agent approached the security guard of the said hotel and handed him two brown envelopes. Each envelope contained 13 copies of flyers listing organizations of youth and teachers, and tagging names of church workers, lawyers, rights advocates and that of a journalist, as “terrorist members of the New People’s Army and Communist Party of the Philippines.”

PH already under military rule as Duterte doles out key gov’t positions to military, police

“Retiring or retired uniformed officers have a guaranteed career ahead of them under the Duterte regime. As a reward for the incessant human rights violations directed and funded by the government, these butchers are appointed to key civilian positions. Duterte not only coddles the masterminds of the most atrocious crimes, but ensures they are positioned in strategic roles to perpetrate more abuses. Along with our expression of outrage on the 3rd martial law extension in Mindanao, we likewise condemn the blatant positioning of militarists who usurp and cripple civilian functions to give way to nationwide military rule,” said Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay in light of the appointment of another ex-military as undersecretary of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

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