Press statement

Karapatan to Duterte: Free all political prisoners, stop continuing human rights violations

Karapatan Secretary General Cristina Palabay today pressed for the release of all political prisoners, in the light of the recent death of political prisoner Bernabe Ocasla, a 66-year old peasant organizer from Western Samar, due to cardiac arrest last November 28, 2016. 

Camp Bagong Diwa political prisoners: Justice for Bernabe Ocasla! Free all political prisoners!

Thirty-six (36) political prisoners in Camp Bagong Diwa, Taguig City today wore black armbands to express their grief and indignation over the death of political prisoner Bernabe Ocasla on November 28 at the Jose Reyes Memorial Hospital in Manila.

At 5:30pm yesterday, 66-year old Ocasla, a peasant organizer, suffered his third and fatal cardiac arrest since Friday, November 25, when he was first brought to the hospital. He died instantly, after three days in coma. 

Rise Up! for people’s rights, Stop drug-related killings!

Karapatan today expressed its support for Rise Up!, a campaign initiated by faith-based groups, institutions and people’s organizations against the drug menace and for the protection of human and people’s rights against drug-related extrajudicial killings, as it holds a public forum and launch today at the Iglesia Filipino Independiente (IFI).

On Duterte’s statements on the killing of Espinosa

Pres. Rodrigo Duterte’s presumption of regularity in the operations of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG), which resulted to killing of Albuera Mayor Ronaldo Espinosa and Raul Yap, signals the outcome of any independent, much less official, probe on the incident. Such statements will be taken as a go-signal for the exoneration of the CIDG and the masterminds of the killing. Such statements fuel impunity, granting credence and legitimacy to every police action in line with the war against drugs. 

Rolando Espinosa 

On SC decision allowing hero’s burial of Marcos at LNMB

We condemn the nine Supreme Court justices for their abominable decision allowing a hero’s burial for the dictator Marcos. We also denounce the regimes after EDSA 1, from that of Corazon Aquino to Benigno Aquino III, which failed to hold the Marcoses and their cronies accountable for rights abuses, corruption, and anti-people policies.  These US-backed governments enabled the political rehabilitation of the Marcoses. 


Compassion, justice urged for ailing, elderly political prisoners

Nineteen political prisoners, not 71, released in relation to peace talks

Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay clarified that there have been only nineteen (19) political prisoners released in line with the GRP-NDFP peacetalks, and not 71 as stated by Peace adviser Jesus Dureza, in an article of Cebu Daily Inquirer on October 31, 2016. "Majority of those released are consultants to the peace process. NDFP consultant Jaime Soledad was acquitted from the fabricated charges against him, and political prisoners discharged from prison from July-October 2016 were released because of the merits of their counsels' defense and the campaign for their releases," Palabay explained. 

While Karapatan welcomed recent reports on the upcoming release of at least 50 political prisoners, Palabay reasserted that all the 400 political prisoners should be released at the soonest possible time. "We shouldn't wait for Christmas to do what is compassionate and just, especially for the elderly, sick, women and minors, and those languishing in jails for more than ten years," she stated.  

Free Miradel Torres 

Karapatan on proposals to show alleged de Lima videos

The proposal to present alleged intimate videos of Sen. Leila de Lima in Congress serves no legitimate purpose in the investigation, is in bad taste and an insult to the general public and the truly honorable members of the Lower House. It will be an attempt at a pornographic show that will not establish accountability in the illegal drug trade and related issues such as drug-related killings. 

Victims to Marcoses: Move On, Answer for Your Crimes

"To 'move on' without justice is simply not possible for the thousands, even millions, of victims of the Marcos dictatorship. Instead, it is the Marcoses who should move on,” said Danilo Dela Fuente, spokesperson of SELDA, today during the Supreme Court oral arguments on the petitions against late dictator Ferdinand Marcos’ burial at the Libingan ng mga Bayani. Former political prisoners and torture survivors during martial law, including dela Fuente and other personalities, were the first batch of those who filed the petition.  

No marcos in LNMB

KARAPATAN Statement on August 2, 2016 SC Reso, release of political prisoners

It is lamentable that the Supreme Court did not grant the motion for temporary release of the eight (8) detained peace consultants of the NDFP and two political prisoners for humanitarian release to directly facilitate their release. We also take exception to the limitations set by the SC order on the participation of NDFP consultants Vicente Ladlad and Randall Echanis. We, however, welcome the SC’s emphasis on the need for the local courts to give “appropriate priority” to hearings of motions for the releases of the 10 political prisoners. 

GPH unilateral ceasefire, defective and deceptive

“Lest counter-insurgency programs like Oplan Bayanihan are junked, any unilateral ceasefire declaration of the Philippine government is empty and defective. To ensure that his peace initiatives are not jeopardized, Pres. Rodrigo Duterte should junk Oplan Bayanihan, a cause of unpeace in many struggling communities and grassroots organizations fighting for genuine change,” Cristina Palabay, Karapatan Secretary General, pointed out. 

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