Press release

Prosecute Dyan and Armand’s abductors for violating Anti-Torture Act - Karapatan

The abductors of Dyan Gumanao and Armand Dayoha violated multiple provisions under Section 4 of RA 9745, otherwise known as the Anti-Torture Act of 2009.

Human rights alliance Karapatan called on the Commission on Human Rights (CHR), as the group accompanied Gumanao, Dayoha and their parents in a meeting with CHR Chairperson Richard Palpal-latoc, to conduct a thorough investigation of the abduction of Gumanao and Dayoha, who were held against their will for six days by men introducing themselves as policemen.

Hold abductors of Cebu union organizers accountable under anti-enforced disappearance law - Karapatan

QUEZON CITY -- “State security forces, from the regional to the national level, should be held accountable for the abduction and disappearance of Dyan Gumanao and Armand Dayoha, under the Anti-Enforced Disappearance Law,” said Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay, as they expressed support for the couple’s call for justice on their ordeal.

Palabay said that the Philippine National Police, and the Armed Forces of the Philippines, are complicit in the abduction and disappearance of the two union organizers and development workers.

Karapatan: Marcos Jr., NTF-ELCAC’s counterinsurgency program endangers workers’ lives, rights

The counterinsurgency program that is being implemented by the Marcos Jr. administration, which it continues from previous regimes including the Duterte government, through the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) has resulted in gross violations on the working people’s right to life and to their freedom of association and right to organize, human rights alliance Karapatan said.

“We urge the High Level Tripartite Mission of the International Labor Organization to take the Marcos Jr. administration and the NTF-ELCAC to task for having gravely endangered the lives, security and liberty of workers, including trade unionists and labor rights advocates, and strongly recommend the abolition of the NTF-ELCAC,” said Karapatan Secretary General Cristina Palabay, as the mission is scheduled to meet officials of the NTF-ELCAC and other government agencies this morning.

Release of long-detained political prisoners urged, in light of SC ruling on Gigi Reyes

Human rights alliance Karapatan called on the Supreme Court and local courts to conduct a review or audit of cases and possibly apply to long-detained political prisoners the same ruling that led to the release on bail of Atty. Jessica Lucila “Gigi” Reyes, Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile’s former chief of staff.

Reyes faces plunder charges in relation to the pork barrel scam which involved the funnelling of congressional funds to bogus NGOs, and enabled lawmakers to receive multi-million pesos in kickbacks. She invoked the writ of habeas corpus, saying that her nine-year detention without the resolution of her case has violated her right to speedy trial. In August 2015, Enrile, who stands as among the principal accused charges with Reyes, was ordered released on bail by the Supreme Court on “humanitarian grounds.”

Karapatan to DILG, NTF-ELCAC: Stop harassing widow of onion farmer who committed suicide

Human rights alliance Karapatan called on the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) to stop harassing the widow of an onion farmer who testified at the Senate earlier this week that her husband committed suicide after sustaining insurmountable losses.

According to Merlita Gallardo of Bayambang, Pangasinan, her husband Roger Gallardo killed himself in January 2021 because their debts were piling up and he didn’t want to borrow money anymore. At the same Senate hearing, Elvin Jerome Laceda, president of non-governmental organization Young Farmer’s Challenge Club of the Philippines (YFCCP), said his group had learned about four other farmers in Bayambang who were also driven to suicide because of debt.

Karapatan calls DOJ panel reso on Asuncion murder complaint a form of whitewash

Karapatan is appalled at the resolution and views of the panel of prosecutors by the Justice Department on the murder complaint filed against 17 personnel of the Philippine National Police on the killing of trade union leader Emmanuel “Manny” Asuncion.

Asuncion is among the nine activists and indigenous peasants killed during the Bloody Sunday police raids on March 7, 2021. Information on the incidents are available through this link:

Karapatan demands turnover of baby abducted in Negros by 79th IB to grandparents

Human rights alliance Karapatan assailed the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) for blocking efforts by an elderly couple to gain custody of their grandchild, who was abducted by soldiers two years ago.

Karapatan Secretary General Cristina Palabay said the child’s grandmother Erlinda Tejome Salino and her husband had gone through the necessary legal procedures, including adoption proceedings, to claim their now 2-year old grandson from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) but have been given the run-around. According to reports, the 2-year old is the child of alleged NPA couple Ka Peeta and Ka Jandy.

Karapatan hits pattern of abduction, coercion of activists and civilians under Marcos Jr. and Duterte admins

As families of union organizers Dyan Gumanao and Armand Dahoya welcomed them back yesterday, January 16, 2023, six days after their abduction at the Pier 6 in Cebu City, Karapatan Central Visayas released a video sent by a concerned citizen showing at least four men pushing and hauling Gumanao and Dahoya onboard a grey vehicle on the morning of January 10.

The said video was initially uploaded by Tug-ani, the UP Cebu student publication on their Facebook page:

Karapatan Secretary General Cristina Palabay said that “the actions of the couple’s captors in the video indicate their stark brazenness in abducting people in broad daylight, where numerous witnesses are present.”

Karapatan denounces Eastmincom for abductions, illegal detention of 4 persons

Human rights alliance Karapatan assailed the Eastern Mindanao Command (Eastmincom) of the Armed Forces of the Philippines for its abduction and continued illegal detention of four individuals and branding them as “surrenderees.”  

Karapatan Secretary General Cristina Palabay said Aurily Havana and Jennifer Binungkasan, women fighters of the New People’s Army who were pregnant when abducted last November 2022, as well as Roselle Polinar, a civilian who was also pregnant when abducted last August, were presented along with a man named Cesar Corella by the Eastmincom on January 7 as “NPA surrenderees.” Also abducted with Polinar was her husband JR, but his whereabouts remain unknown.  

New year marked with rights violations under Marcos Jr. - Karapatan

“Amidst Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s consecutive trips abroad, claims of an ‘internal cleansing’ in the Philippine National Police and reports of an alleged destabilization plot within the Armed Forces of the Philippines, the State’s attacks against activists, progressives and communities continue unabated,” said Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay, as the group sounded the alarm on reports of human rights violations into the first two weeks of 2023.  

Into the first two weeks of 2023, Karapatan has received reports of the killing of a peasant in a faked encounter in Himamaylan City, Negros Occidental, the disappearance of two labor rights advocates in Cebu, and the harassment of Tumandok indigenous people in Capiz province.

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