Karapatan renews call to disband paramilitary groups amid terror in Bukidnon

From martial law to Noynoy Aquino: paramilitary groups as AFP surrogates

Rights group Karapatan today reiterated its call on Pres. Noynoy Aquino to disband paramilitary groups, as “these are not only Martial Law relics that persist to this day, but are mercenary appendages of the Armed Forces of the Philippines that continue to sow terror and violence among the people.”

Cristina Palabay said that the New Indigenous People’s Army Reform (NIPAR), a known paramilitary group under the control of the 8th Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army, struck anew in Brgy. Dao, San Fernando, Bukidnon, as they set up camp, threatened and harassed indigenous peoples in the area, resulting to the forced evacuation of 12 families to Malaybalay, in front of the Provincial Capitol. According to the residents, NIPAR and its leaders Alde and Benjamin Salusad used brute force and harassment to force them to allow large-scale mining in their 52,000-hectare ancestral domain.

Military defies court order to transfer Alcantara to civilian detention facility

From martial law to Noynoy Aquino: political prisoners exist

Free Ka Bart, Free Ka Allan 

The Taguig Regional Trial Court today heard the motion of the counsels of Tirso Alcantara and Alan Jazmines to consolidate the charges of illegal possession of firearms and illegal possession of explosives to rebellion. The counsels again presented arguments  for Alcantara's  immediate transfer from military custody to a civilian detention facility citing, among others, the recent decision of the Gumaca RTC ordering the military to transfer Alcantara to the PNP Custodial Center at Camp Crame. 

The military failed to present Alcantara during the hearing and the Judge Advocate General Office (JAGO), for the second time, did not attend the court proceedings. 





Jazmines prevented from being interviewed

Jazmines pulled away from interview 

“Even without today’s hearing at the Taguig RTC, Alcantara should now be transferred to a civilian detention facility, specifically at the PNP Custodial Center at Camp Crame, because the Gumaca Regional Trial Court already ordered the military,” said Marie Hilao-Enriquez, Karapatan chairperson. 

Movement for justice for Geertman launched

From martial law to Noynoy Aquino, killings of missionaries among poor go on

A movement that seeks justice for Wilhelm Geertman will have its launch today, almost two months after Geertman was killed on July 3, 2012. Geertman, a Dutch lay missionary, worked in Central Luzon as organizer, educator, advocate of genuine land reform for the peasant indigenous people’s rights and environmental protection.  

Geertman was killed by two gunmen and another driver riding on a motorcycle. “Despite police claims that the killing was a simple case of robbery, Karapatan believes that the killers were state agents and that Geertman’s case is that of an extrajudicial execution. The pattern that preceded the killing and the manner by which he was killed resembles that of the many cases of extrajudicial killings under Oplan Bantay Laya and now, under Oplan Bayanihan,” said Marie Hilao-Enriquez, chairperson of Karapatan. 

Hilao-Enriquez said that “prior to the killing, Geertman and people around him experienced surveillance; there were also threats and branding of Geertman as supporter of the New People’s Army and a member of the National Democratic Front. It’s not at all new. It has been the practice by the government and the military especially under martial law.” 

Karapatan calls for the enactment of anti-disappearance bill

From martial law to Noynoy Aquino: enforced disappearance continue

As families and friends of the disappeared call for the surfacing and justice for their loved ones today, Karapatan challenged Pres. Noynoy Aquino to sign into law the long-pending legislation criminalizing the act of enforced or involuntary disappearances and penalizing state security forces and government officials involved in the perpetuation of such acts.

Families of Desaparecidos 

Cristina Palabay, Karapatan secretary general, said it is critical for Congress and Aquino to pass House Bill 98, as the 15th session draws to a close for the coming election. “The measure appears as ignored as the bill for justice and compensation for victims during Martial Law. With Gen. Jovito Palparan Jr., the butcher behind the abduction of Sherlyn Cadapan and Karen Empeño, still on the loose, these, and more, reflect the administration’s very low regard for human rights,” she said. 

Noynoy Mosaic of Desaparecidos 

Where is Ninoy in Noynoy?

As the nation today commemorates the 29th death anniversary of Ninoy Aquino and reflects on the ideals of the man,Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay said, “with the current human rights situation in the country — the bombings of communities, extrajudicial killings, disappearances, arbitrary arrests and detention — we can’t help but wonder, if there is a Ninoy in each one of us, where is Ninoy in Noynoy?”

Ninoy Aquino, Pres. Noynoy’s father, was a prominent figure in the Filipino people’s struggle against the Marcos dictatorship. He was a high-profile political prisoner during martial law. “Like the 385 political prisoners at present, Ninoy was jailed because of trumped up charges of murder, illegal possession of firearms and other criminal offenses. Despite the opportunity to correct this practice and stop human rights violations, as he witnessed the suffering of his own father, Noynoy refused to release all the political prisoners. In fact, he has perpetuated the same forms of injustice inflicted against their family. Like the dictator Marcos, he declared that there are no political prisoners at present,” added Palabay.

Karapatan, as of June 30, 2012, has documented 170 political prisoners arrested and detained in the two years of Noynoy’s presidency.

Free Iosu Uribetxeberria! Free All Basque Political Prisoners

We in SELDA (organization of former political prisoners in the Philippines), KARAPATAN Alliance for the Advancement of People’s Rights in the Philippines and the Ecumenical Movement for Justice and Peace (EMJP) – all member organizations of the International League of People’s Struggle in the Philippine -- strongly support the call to release Basque political prisoner Iosu Uribetxeberria and all other Basque political prisoners. 

The continued detention of Uribetxeberria, who is suffering from terminal cancer, is inhumane and violates his basic human rights. 

2M for Palparan a PR stunt? --Karapatan

“The reported increase to P2 million of the bounty for Maj. Gen. Jovito Palparan and former Gov. Joel Reyes is an exercise in futility unless the Aquino government genuinely resolves to go after and arrest these notorious rights violators and make accountable even those who are protecting them such as the Armed Forces of the Philippines and possibly, powerful politicians and businesses. Who can be most obvious coddlers of these criminals than the institutions which benefitted from their heinous acts?”

Karapatan Congress delegates harassed

View from inside the bus 

Around 2PM this afternoon, human rights workers who attended the Karapatan 4th National Congress aboard a bus from Tagaytay City to Manila were arbitrarily stopped and held by the Philippine National Police (PNP)-Cavite along Tagaytay Road in Silang, in front of the PNP Academy.

Cristina Palabay, Karapatan’s newly-elected Secretary General, said, “This is sheer harassment. The four-man team were not able to show us any written order nor give a reason, valid or not, why they stopped us. They insisted they only received orders to stop us but had to ask their headquarters for the reason why. They were even armed with M16 rifles.”

Cavite Police harassment

Taking photos 

While the police team was calling the headquarters through a handheld radio, Karapatan members said they heard a man’s voice at the other end saying ‘member ng Karapatan ang sakay d’yan!’  Bigyan ng feedback si ano,… CPDO at siya ang nagbigay ng instruction sa atin.”(Italicized text taken from video transcript.)

Karapatan 4TH Congress: Delegates take up challenge amid rights violations

The two-day 4th Congress of Karapatan concluded on August 15, with close to 150 human rights defenders from the Karapatan chapters, sectoral organizations and other allied organizations in attendance. 

Ka Satur Ocampo, Makabayan Coalition President, the Congress’ keynote speaker, called on the delegates to “continue to persevere and courageously defend the people’s rights as a way of paying tribute to the people’s heroes and martyrs,” especially those from the ranks of Karapatan and its allied organizations. 

Karapatan calls for immediate release of Tirso Alcantara amid his transfer to civilian detention facility

Karapatan today renewed its call for the immediate release of Tirso Alcantara, a peace consultant of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines, as they received reports that the Gumaca Regional Trial Court ordered, on July 18, 2012, the Chief of the Intelligence Security Group or the Commanding Officer of the Intelligence Security Group of the Philippine Army to comply with the May 9, 2012 Order to “commit accused Tirso Alcantara at the the PNP Custodial Center at Camp Crame.”

“Ïn the first place, Alcantara should be released immediately, instead of being subjected to inhumane conditions in jail, as a consultant in the peace process between the NDFP and the GPH,” said Cristina Palabay, spokesperson of Karapatan.

Syndicate content

You may also want to visit:



free all political prisoners