Press release

Karapatan recommends filing of charges vs cops, soldiers in Negros 14 killings, arrests

In a press conference in Quezon City, Karapatan Secretary General Cristina Palabay called for the indictment and prosecution of police and military operatives responsible for the killings, frustrated killings, illegal arrest and detention, and other criminal acts committed in the course of their implementation of the local synchronized enhanced management of police operations (SEMPO) on March 30, 2019. 
 

Rights group welcomes Supreme Court order to release drug war documents

On April 2, 2019, the Supreme Court ordered the government to release documents on the thousands of death under the Duterte administration’s anti-narcotics campaign. Human rights and media groups have estimated that more than 20,000 Filipinos have been killed under Duterte’s drug war campaign. Per information from the Philippine National Police (PNP), they claimed some 5,000 deaths as a result of “legitimate” police operations in line with the war on drugs. The rest of the cases are considered deaths under investigation.

Anakpawis member forcibly disappeared in Central Luzon; Lumads evacuate in Caraga as counterinsurgency operations escalate

“As the nation is confronted by the mass killing of 14 farmers in Negros, there was no let-up in the human rights violations committed by security forces elsewhere in the country. We continue to receive reports of disappearances, killings, and forced evacuations due to bombings and military operations. This is indicative that the government is not done plunging the country into an even grimmer period marked with incessant human rights violations and glaring impunity,” said Karapatan Secretary General Cristina Palabay.

Karapatan files complaints on Duterte government’s smear campaign vs rights defenders to UN independent experts

On April 5, 2019, Karapatan filed letters of allegation to United Nations Special Rapporteurs over cases of threat, harassment and intimidation, particularly the red-tagging and terrorist-labelling of organizations, in line with the Duterte government’s counterinsurgency program.

Kin of victims assert those killed were farmers, call for an immediate and independent investigation on the mass killing of 14

“The mass killing of 14 farmers in Negros Oriental on March 30, 2019 is another graphic reminder that state security forces are themselves the perpetrators of the worst atrocities, which often target the poor, marginalized, and the defenseless. Three years ago today, on April 1, 2016, another carnage involving farmers in Kidapawan were perpetrated by the police, using the same set of twisted justifications to evade accountability that the police and military are using now. We reiterate our call for an independent investigation on the incident, knowing fully well that the AFP and the PNP are not the proponents of honesty, but rather of impunity. We support the investigation to be started by the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) on the said incident,” said Karapatan Secretary General Cristina Palabay on the mass killings in three separate towns in Negros Oriental. 

At least ten peasants reported killed in a day as police operations plague Negros Oriental

Karapatan vehemently condemns the series of killings by the Philippine National Police in different parts of Negros today, March 30, 2019. According to initial reports, separate incidents of killings of at least ten peasants simultaneously occurred in Canlaon City and Sta. Catalina in Negros Oriental. In Canlaon City, eight residents were reportedly killed by elements of the Philippine National Police. In Sta. Catalina town, at least two peasant leaders were killed in similar operations.

Karapatan challenges gov’t anew: Do not block UN and ICC efforts to investigate PH

“Amid the false and malicious accusations hurled against organizations like Karapatan, we have been openly addressing these issues as we ask for dialogues with the European Union and other governments to directly talk to us. We are confident that these red-tagging schemes, taken to the international arena by a government who wishes to discredit us, will be sufficiently refuted by years of our human rights advocacy for marginalized communities. We echo the same challenge to the Duterte government and its rabid gang of militarists: If indeed human rights organizations are merely spouting lies to defame the government, then do not block efforts by the International Criminal Court (ICC) and United Nations Independent Experts to investigate these human rights violations that we have reported and exposed,” said Karapatan Secretary General Cristina Palabay.

Dismiss trumped-up charges against the Rosales couple - Karapatan

Today, March 27, 2019, political prisoners and former public sector organizers Oliver and Rowena Rosales, will again face the trumped-up charges of illegal possession of firearms and explosives filed against them in the Regional Trial Court Branch 19 in Malolos, Bulacan.

Free Renante Gamara! Stop political persecution of peace consultants!

Karapatan strongly condemns the illegal arrest of another peace consultant of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) on the evening March 20, 2019. Peace consultant Renante Gamara and his companion, Arturo Balagat, a former priest, were reportedly arrested by combined elements of the Special Action Force (SAF) and the Philippine Army. They were brought to Camp General Pantaleon Garcia in Imus, Cavite at around 10:30PM yesterday, and are now both in NCRPO Bicutan. Both were charged with trumped-up charges of illegal possession of firearms and explosives. 

Relatives of human rights victims urge end to attacks against human rights defenders

Women human rights defenders Nanette Castillo and Jimmylisa Badayos expressed support for human rights defenders of Karapatan and other rights groups, and called for an end to the attacks against human rights organizations. Castillo lost her son to Duterte’s drug war campaign and has since worked alongside Rise Up for Life and Rights, an organization which supports victims and families of the government’s brutal anti-narcotics drive. Jimmylisa Badayos, on the other hand, is the daughter of woman human rights defender Elisa Badayos. Elisa Badayos was the regional coordinator of Karapatan in the Visayas when she was killed in November 2017 by suspected members of a landlord’s private army, which doubles as a paramilitary group. Both Castillo and Badayos have worked with Karapatan on several campaigns. 

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