Press release

President Aquino must think twice in appointing Rosales as CHR chief -- Karapatan

The human rights watchdog Karapatan expressed dismay over the impending appointment of former Akbayan representative Loretta Ann Rosales as chairperson of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR). 

“Our experience bears out that Ms. Rosales has shown bias against human rights violations victims and advocates such as Karapatan,” Marie Hilao-Enriquez said, Karapatan chairperson.   

Karapatan condemns first political killing under P-Noy

The human rights alliance Karapatan strongly condemns the killing of Bayan Muna-Aklan provincial chairperson Fernando Baldomero who was shot this morning while on his way to bring his child to school. 

Baldomero, who is also a municipal councilor of Lezo, Aklan and at the same time provincial coordinator of the Makabayan Coalition, is the first victim of extrajudicial killing since President Noynoy Aquino was sworn into office. An attempt was made on Baldomero’s life early this year when his house in Bgy. Sta. Cruz Bigaa, Lezo, Aklan was lobbed with a grenade by two men riding in a motorcycle.

According to initial reports, Baldomero was in front of his house, while trying to start his motorcycle to bring his child to school he was shot by two unidentified men.  The attackers were armed with a 9mm pistol and long fire-arms.

Karapatan chairperson Marie Hilao-Enriquez said that the incident follows the announcement of the new three-year counter-insurgency plan by the newly installed Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Ricardo David.   “Neither Gen. David nor President Noynoy have called to stop the killings and to end the culture of impunity that still prevails,” Enriquez said.

“The lack of declaration from President Noynoy to stop the killings and impunity, coupled by Gen. David’s pronouncement of another deadline to end insurgency, and this new wave of political killings, signals that former president Gloria Arroyo’s counter-insurgency program, Oplan Bantay Laya, is still enforced under Mr. Aquino’s term and has not let up on targeting progressive individuals”, Enriquez said. She also noted that in June, seven individuals were killed, including an Ampatuan massacre witness, and last week, a former lawyer of the Mangudadatus was ambushed. 

Karapatan welcomes Atty. Leila De Lima’s assignment to DOJ post

The human rights alliance Karapatan welcomes the appointment of Commission on Human Rights Chairperson Leila de Lima to the post of Secretary of the Department of Justice (DOJ) in President-elect Noynoy Aquino’s cabinet.

Karapatan chairperson Marie Hilao-Enriquez lauded CHR Chairperson De Lima for showing heart and sympathy for the victims of human rights violations, and for doing her best to maintain the INDEPENDENCE of the Commission despite being appointed by outgoing President Gloria Arroyo. “We hope that as DOJ Chief, Atty. De Lima will continue asserting the same level of independence as she did while she was in the CHR, refusing to be bullied into subservience and exercising the Commission’s mandate with integrity and courage, ” Hilao-Enriquez said. 

Human rights groups urge President Noynoy Aquino: Stop the Killings! Stop Human Rights Violations! End Impunity!

While reporting of a successful participation to the 14th Session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva as a member of the Ecumenical Voice Philippine NGO delegation, Marie Hilao-Enriquez, Chairperson of Karapatan Alliance for the Advancement of People's Rights, condemned the continuing extrajudicial killings in the Philippines and called upon president-elect Noynoy Aquino to stop the killings and address the persistent issue of human rights violations in the country.

Karapatan slams moves to prevent CHR investigations on the Morong 43

The human rights alliance Karapatan, along with relatives and supporters of the Morong 43, trooped to the Court of Appeals (CA) hearing on the petition to block the investigations being conducted by the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) on the illegal arrest and detention of the 43 health workers.

On April 24, the 7th Division of the CA ordered the CHR to stop its hearings with a 60-day temporary restraining order, in response to a petition filed by Morong Judge Mangrobang, the judge who approved the defective warrant used to illegally arrest the healthworkers, and Atty. Cyrus Jurado, the lawyer claiming to represent five of the 43 health workers.  “This is preposterous and unacceptable; where will the people now turn to in cases of human rights violations if the courts curtail the mandate of a constitutional body such as the CHR?,” bewailed Karapatan Chairperson Marie Hilao-Enriquez.

Rights groups and advocates fast in support of the Morong 43

Today, the human righs alliance, Karapatan, salutes and joins the health workers, collectively known as Morong 43, in their fasting to fight for their and other political prisoners’ freedom and assert their rights to be treated humanely, free from torture, cruel and degrading treatment as provided for in the Convention against Torture of the United Nations, to which the Philippine government is a signatory.

Karapatan also unites with and strongly supports the relatives of the Morong 43 as well as other sectors, in conducting a solidarity fasting, to express sympathy and support to the struggle being waged by the Morong 43 and other political prisoners.  

“The Morong 43 must be commended and supported in doing this fasting as a higher form of struggle in their fight for freedom and assertion of their rights to be treated humanely while in prison.  We, in Karapatan, condemn the military’s attempt to trivialize this struggle as “mere theatrics” just so to downplay this act of protest.  The military is afraid that their brazen disregard of the basic rights of the people will be further exposed in this fasting,” said ex-political detainee and Karapatan chairperson Marie Hilao-Enriquez. 

CHR investigation on rights violations committed against Morong 43 must be supported

Where the Court of Appeals feared to tread

The CHR Investigation on human rights violations committed against and the conditions of the arrest and detention of the Morong 43 must be supported!

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.”

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