Press release

Continuing rights violations, lack of accountability should impel UN Human Rights Council to investigate rights situation in PH

“The killing of broadcast journalist Percival Mabasa, the continuing lack of accountability for the killings in the drug war and counterinsurgency campaigns, and the unabated red-tagging spree of rights defenders, government critics, and even members of the judiciary by state forces and government officials sound the alarm for the pressing imperative for independent investigation on the human rights situation in the Philippines.”

Thus said rights group Karapatan, as representatives of the Philippine government led by Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla deliver statements during the enhanced interactive dialogue at the 51st regular session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) today, October 5.

Abolish NTF-ELCAC, hold Badoy-Partosa accountable for crimes

Human rights group Karapatan renewed its call for the abolition of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC), as the task force commended its former spokesperson Lorraine Badoy-Partosa after she had been widely criticized by lawyers’ groups and individuals over her red-tagging and reported threats of Judge Marlo Magdoza-Malagar. The group also scored former President Rodrigo Duterte and the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) over statements and resolutions calling for the “full activation” of the NTF-ELCAC.

“Clearly, the Marcos Jr. administration, through the NTF-ELCAC and allies such as Duterte and the PDP-Laban, continue to coddle the likes of Badoy-Partosa because notorious red-taggers like her pursue their bankrupt and militarist counterinsurgency framework, which has resulted in numerous extrajudicial killings and other human rights violations,” Karapatan Secretary General Cristina Palabay said.

On the recent appointments at the Commission on Human Rights

With the appointment of a new Chairperson and a commissioner of the Commission on Human Rights, Karapatan calls on the new appointees to uphold the Commission’s mandate and expectations for independence, probity, integrity, and transparency to conduct investigations on human rights violations against poor and disadvantaged sectors and provide prompt, responsive, accessible and excellent public service for the promotion and protection of human rights.

In particular, we expect members of the new commission en banc to address the recommendations by the previous commission during its public inquiry on the attacks and challenges against human rights defenders and its investigations in the drug war. Thousands of complaints of rights violations including extrajudicial killings, torture, enforced disappearances, arbitrary arrests and detention, judicial harassment, threats, and dangers of red-tagging experienced by civilians, human rights defenders and communities remain, and investigations regarding these by the national human rights institution need to be conducted with utmost resolve to hold the perpetrators in government accountable, to ensure that government policies from which the violations emanate be addressed with the full view of making sure that the root causes are looked into and that there’d be non-repetition of the said violations.

Karapatan welcomes recent Manila court decision on proscription case vs CPP-NPA

Human rights alliance Karapatan hailed a Manila court’s ruling on the petition by the Department of Justice to proscribe the CPP-NPA a terrorist organization, saying it is a victory against “State terrorism and intolerance to political dissent.”

Karapatan Secretary General Cristina Palabay said “the 135-page ruling by Manila Regional Trial Court Branch 19 Judge Marlo Magdoza-Malagar essentially affirmed the assertion of hundreds of activists who have been red-tagged and are still languishing in jail, after being arbitrarily arrested on trumped-up charges.”

In its unrelenting campaign to clamp down on dissent, the State has been vilifying political activism as terrorism and linking activists from progressive groups to the CPP-NPA, said Karapatan.


As expected, Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.’s speech before the United Nations General Assembly in New York yesterday, September 21, was nothing but another lame attempt to resurrect his family’s tarnished name in the eyes of the international community.

To stand before the world on the 50th anniversary of his father’s formal declaration of martial rule is not a simple case of selective memory on the part of the president of the Philippine government. It is an act that challenges truth and all known norms of decency. Worse, this act, committed in the name of the Filipino people, disrespects the thousands killed, disappeared, tortured and raped during the 22 years of the first Marcos regime. It is not only contemptuous of the many victims of human rights violations in the current and second Marcos regime. It also aims to deny that the late dictator’s son and namesake is well on his way to committing his own bloody record of injustices and plunder.

Marcos Jr.’s speech at UNGA on 50th year after martial law reeks of hypocrisy, glosses over HR violations and impunity in PH

As various groups and communities in the Philippines and abroad mark the 50th year after the declaration of Marcos Sr.’s martial law with protests, Karapatan scored the dictator’s son Ferdinand Marcos Jr. over his recent speech at the UN General Assembly, calling it a “grand show of hypocrisy.”

“Marcos Jr. used the world stage at the UN General Assembly to talk about lofty universal ideals and principles that he and his family refuse to live by. Fifty years after his dictator-father’s martial law, he continues to justify the human rights violations committed during martial law, while keeping the billions of people’s money stolen by his family and their cronies.  It is a grand show of hypocrisy, another act meant to deodorize and atrocious crimes of plunder, massive human rights violations and exploitation of the Filipino people,” said Karapatan Secretary General Cristina Palabay.

never again

Marcos regime "blood-soaked, not golden" - martial law victims

Today, we commemorate the 50th year after the declaration of martial law by former dictator Ferdinand Marcos Sr. Also known as one of the bloodiest period in Philippine history, his family and cohorts looted the nation's coffers and blatantly committed various violations of people's fundamental rights under his authoritarian regime. Thousands of Filipinos from different walks of life were harassed, abducted, imprisoned, tortured, killed, or forcibly disappeared under Marcos' martial rule.

DepEd, OVP confidential funds should be allocated to books, classrooms, teachers’ salaries and benefits

Karapatan today decried the House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations and its political patronage of Vice President Sara Duterte, after the Committee swiftly approved the proposed budget of the Office of the Vice President which includes confidential funds amounting to P500 million.

“The Committee on Appropriations should be gravely reminded that what they are allocating is people’s money, not theirs to cater to their political ambitions. Their non-scrutiny of these questionable confidential funds is a clear sign of political patronage and lack of due diligence. These millions should have been best given to students and teachers for books and other instructional materials, classrooms and educational facilities, and teachers’ salaries and benefits,” said Roneo Clamor, Deputy Secretary General of Karapatan.


UN rights commissioner report, Marcos Jr.’s rebuff of ICC investigation signal need for int’l scrutiny on PH rights situation

Karapatan renewed calls for increased efforts of the international community to monitor the human rights situation in the Philippines and to take more meaningful and decisive steps such as independent investigations towards justice and accountability under the Marcos Jr. administration, as the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights released a report on the Philippines in the 51st session of the UN Human Rights Council and with the recent statement of Marcos Jr. rejecting investigations of the International Criminal Court.

PH human rights groups submit alternative human rights report to UN treaty body

A decade since the United Nations Human Rights Committee conducted a review on the Philippine government’s compliance to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), the State party will undergo a fifth review before the UN treaty body this coming October 2022, with non-governmental organizations providing alternative submissions to the government report.

Human rights group Karapatan and Tanggol Bayi, an association of women human rights defenders, submitted their 29-page joint alternative report on September 12, covering human rights issues during the administrations of Benigno Aquino III and Rodrigo Duterte, as well as the first months of the Marcos Jr. administration.  

STK rally

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