Press release

Rights group slams CA dismissal of habeas corpus petition of 43 health workers.

The human rights alliance Karapatan expressed its disgust at the Court of Appeals’ dismissal of the petition for the writ of habeas corpus filed by the relatives of 43 health workers who were arrested early February.

“It is now very apparent that this Court is becoming an arm of the Oplan Bantay Laya counter-insurgency program by handing down this abominable decision,”  declared Jigs Clamor, deputy seceretary general of the human rights alliance Karapatan and husband of the detained Dr. Merry Mia-Clamor, one of the Morong 43.

As the military races to beat its 2010 deadline of OBL 2 and in the runup to the May elections

Rights group warns of more gross and systematic violations as the Arroyo regime is now implementing martial law tactics against dissenters


The human rights alliance KARAPATAN is raising the alarm that the Arroyo regime through her generals, is now implementing martial law tactics against its supposed “enemies.”  

Marie Hilao-Enriquez, Chairperson of the Alliance pointed out that this is being shown by the military’s illegal arrest of the 43 health workers, its brazen disregard and violation of the law, specifically RA 7438, its outright initial defiance of the Court order to present the victims to the Court, and its intransigence in keeping the victims in a military camp where military elements continue the torture of the detainees, denial of medical attention to the victims and harassments of relatives.

The Arroyo regime, through her generals’ martial law treatment of the 43 Health Workers and the military’s blatant disregard for human rights and violation of the law, is setting the pattern for the military’s conduct of beating its Oplan Bantay Laya 2’s supposed deadline to end the insurgency this year.  “It is no wonder why the military continues its vilification campaign against KARAPATAN and other progressive people’s organizations; through this campaign, the military seeks to justify its fascist ways of silencing legitimate criticism of inimical government policies by legitimate people’s organizations whose members are vocal in their dissent and opposition, “said Hilao-Enriquez.

Free the 43 health care workers now!

Human rights alliance Karapatan today joins the relatives and different groups and organizations in support of the release of the illegally arrested 43 health workers, at the hearing of the petition for the writ of habeas corpus at the Court of Appeals.

The relatives filed a petition for the writ of habeas corpus at the Supreme Court and the high court’s First Division granted it yesterday, ordering the AFP to present all of the 43 health care workers who were forcibly taken on February 6 in Morong, Rizal, before the appellate court.

“We welcome this response of the SC,” Karapatan Secretary General Lovella de Castro said. “The arrest and detention of the health workers are illegal and they should immediately be freed.”

Relatives of 43 health workers file petition before SC,demand their immediate release

Human rights alliance Karapatan joined the relatives of the 43 abducted and illegally detained health workers in their filing for the petition of the writ of habeas corpus at the Supreme Court today.

The relatives were led by Karapatan Deputy Secretary General Roneo Clamor, whose wife Dr. Merry Mia-Clamor is one of the doctors forcibly taken by the joint military and police forces last Saturday, February 6.

The health workers were held incommunicado for almost three days in Camp Capinpin, Tanay, Rizal, and were denied their right to see their relatives and lawyers. It was only yesterday afternoon when some of the relatives, along with Commission on Human Rights Chairperson Leila de Lima, were allowed inside the camp to talk to the victims.

The petition prayed that all of the 43 health workers be presented before the Court and be immediately released.

Karapatan denounces state terrorism fomented by Philippine state security forces in the run-up to the May elections

Karapatan Deputy Secretary General Roneo Clamor demands for the release of his wife, Dr. Mary Mia, and 42 other health workers.Human rights alliance Karapatan strongly denounces the terrorism being foisted on groups critical of the Arroyo regime’s policies and human rights violations in the run-up to the May elections. Karapatan condemns the recent illegal arrest of more than 40 health workers and doctors, including the wife of Karapatan Deputy Secretary General Roneo Clamor, Dr. Mary Mia, who were conducting First Responders Training in Morong, Rizal early Saturday, February 6.

At 6:15 Saturday morning, at least 300 heavily armed elements of the combined forces of the 202nd Infantry Brigade of the Philippine Army (202IBPA) and the Rizal Provincial Philippine National Police (PNP) forced their way into the farmhouse of Dr. Melecia Velmonte in Morong, Rizal where the training was being held.

Rights group reports on the state of human rights in the Philippines

OBL bloodiest, most brutal campaign vs. Filipino people -- Karapatan
 

At a media briefing, the national human rights alliance, KARAPATAN, presented its annual report on the human rights situation as well as the almost-decade’s old Arroyo administration’s human rights record.

The 2009 Report on the Human Rights Situation in the Philippines was presented in observance of the December 10 International Human Rights Day, and in the midst of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's implementation of Martial Law in Maguindanao province, which the rights groups strongly opposes.

The Report features the cases of violation of human rights documented by Karapatan, from January to October of 2009. It also features a comprehensive analysis of the regime's counter-insurgency plan, Oplan Bantay Laya (OBL), which victimized legal, progressive and unarmed individuals for the span of 5 years.

In its 52-page report, Karapatan said that the OBL is "by far the bloodiest and most brutal counter-insurgency campaign unleashed on the Filipino people by any president" for it "lumps together" the armed revolutionary movement, legal and democratic organizations, media and political opposition” as targets to quell the growing dissent against Arroyo's political and economic policies.

Karapatan also emphasized that the OBL "fosters a reign of terror and climate of impunity that encourage even her warlord minions to massacre scores of men and women in a gruesome carnage in Ampatuan, Maguindanao."

Karapatan condemns military for the killing of human rights advocate Fr. Lucero

Karapatan Alliance for the Advancement of Peoples' Rights today condemned the military for the killing of of human rights advocate and Catholic priest Fr. Cecilio Lucero and for other human rights violations in the province, at the public presentation of the report of the national fact-finding mission (NFFM).

The fact-finding mission which was conducted on October 7 to 10, 2009, was initiated by Karapatan and with Katungod-Sinirangang Bisayas-Northen Samar and the Promotion of Church People's Response (PCPR) to look into the Lucero’s killing.

KARAPATAN reiterates call for greater vigilance to protect the people’s rights; condemns continuing human rights violations

The human rights alliance Karapatan today raised the alarm on the continuing assault to the people’s rights and reiterates its call to the public for greater vigilance on the alarming continuing killings, abductions, militarization of both urban and rural communities, harassments and surveillance of civilians and other human rights violations reminiscent of the martial law period.

Jun Cruz Reyes at pressconIn a press conference today, Karapatan Chairperson Marie Hilao-Enriquez joined the UP organizations in denouncing the series of surveillance operations committed on artist, writer and UP professor Jun Cruz Reyes, by men believed to be military intelligence agents.

Reyes, a writer and professor at the University of the Philippines reported that on September 13, 2009, a man approached him at an eatery and photographed him without his permission. He also divulged that on the same day and on September 10, men who looked like soldiers went to and observed his house in Bulacan. Reyes also disclosed that on November 15, 2007, men in army fatigues with their faces covered attempted to bribe his neighbor to point out his whereabouts.  He also said that in August of 2007, two men who looked like soldiers attempted to enter his house but the dogs’ barking gave their presence away so the men ran when they saw that neighbours saw what they tried to do.  After this incident, his dog was poisoned. Reyes also revealed that in 2006, he was warned by his friend that he was in the Philippine Army's so-called "order of battle" list, a list believed to be targets for "liquidation." 

Karapatan welcomes the lifting of JASIG suspension, calls for the release of detained NDFP consultants

On the resumption of peace talks
Karapatan welcomes the lifting of JASIG suspension, calls for the release of detained NDFP consultants

The human rights alliance Karapatan welcomes the lifting of the suspension of the Joint Agreement on Security and Immunity Guarantee (JASIG), which shall take effect on July 17, to pave the way for the resumption of the peace negotiations between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP).

Rights group reiterates calls on government to stop policy of torture, render justice to victims

At the CA hearing today for Fil-Am torture survivor, Melissa Roxas’ petition for the writ of amparo

Rights group reiterates calls on government to stop policy of torture, render justice to victims 

Karapatan commends adbucted torture survivor Fil-Am activist Melissa Roxas for speaking to the public for the first time yesterday, Sunday (Manila time). Roxas tearfully recounted her experience in the hands of her abductors, in a press conference in Los Angeles which was streamed via the internet to the rest of the world.

The human rights alliance and relatives of victims of human rights violations shall again troop to the Court of Appeals for the hearing of Roxas’ petition for the writ of amparo.  “We hope that the Court of Appeals will look kindly on Melissa Roxas’ petition and grant the prayers asked for in this case so that the remedies of the writ of amparo can be rendered to her,” thus, said by the mothers of Desaparecidos who attended the hearing to show support to Roxas.

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