Karapatan

Morong 43 relatives, supporters mount a caravan to Camp Bagong Diwa

Together with members of the Free the 43 Health Workers Alliance, the national human rights alliance Karapatan, today joined a convoy of vehicles that composed a caravan from the QC Memorial Circle to Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig City where the Morong 43 community health workers are spending their ninth month of illegal detention.

The caravan participated in by different organizations and sectors is being conducted to express support to the healthworkers in their firm struggle for freedom as well as those of other political prisoners languishing in different detention centers in the country and who are persecurted for their political beliefs.  The participants are calling to “Free the 43; Free all poilitical Prisoners!”

It can be recalled that the health workers were  arrested by combined police and Philippine Army troops on February 6, 2010 while conducting a health training in a resort in Morong, Rizal using a very defective irregular warrant issued by a judge from Cavite. The named person in the warrant was not even a member of the Morong 43 nor was he a resident of the resort that was raided. The healthworkers were subjected to torture and degrading treatment and their rights are continually violated that even PNoy has declared their arrest and detention as a “fruit of a poisonous tree,” a situation, he said, which “must be rectified” by the court.   Five of the Morong 43 were subjected to extreme torture to turn them against their companions, separated from the majority of the 43 and are still under military detention in Camp Capinpin, Tanay. 

Karapatan calls on PNoy to act on Peace based on Justice

REACTING to Malacanang’s position that “it will be better for the NDF to visit the Palace with a signed peace agreement,” as announced by Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda, and that “the President could not be expected to comment” on the proposed visit,” as stated by Peace Adviser Teresita Quintos-Deles, the national alliance of human rights groups in the Philippines, KARAPATAN, called on President Aquino to take a “hands-on action” on the peace process. 

“We are very much concerned about the peace process.  The President should not pass the buck on this all-important issue.  If he closes the door on peace, the gates for more human rights abuses will surely be flung open,” KARAPATAN acting secretary-general Jigs Clamor said.

In his first SONA, the President said that the government is open to resumption of the peace negotiations and in fact, he was asking the  CPP-NPA-NDF:  “Handa na ba kayong maglaan ng kongkretong mungkahi, sa halip na pawang batikos lamang?  (Are you ready with concrete proposals instead of criticism?),” forgetting in the process that there have been several proposals from the NDFP that were never discussed because the previous regime scuttled the peace talks.  Even his desire for a ceasefire before talks has been adequately responded to by the revolutionary group.

Karapatan hits PNoy's double-standard justice

The national alliance of human rights groups in the Philippines, KARAPATAN, hit  President Benigno Aquino III  for "double-standard justice" on the case of the detained Morong 43 health workers when he said during the press conference in Malacanang that he leaves it to the court to decide on the fate of the Morong 43.

What we said from the start was right when the President admitted that the evidences were wrongly gotten and the person in the warrant of arrest is not among the arrested health workers. 

No to double standard, release the Morong 43 -- Karapatan

“No double standards please,” says Karapatan, a national alliance of human rights groups, as it presses  for the immediate and unconditional release of all political prisoners, including the 43 health workers known as the Morong 43.

“We express our support in granting amnesty for all rebel soldiers, but we are dismayed by the inaction of the President on the plight of almost 400 political prisoners who, like the mutineers, fought the corrupt and repressive Arroyo regime,” said Jigs Clamor, Karapatan acting secretary general.

SC ruling on Human Security Act, paving the way for more human rights violations -- Karapatan

THE NATIONAL ALLIANCE for human rights in the Philippines, Karapatan, assailed the latest Supreme Court (SC) ruling affirming the constitutionality of the Human Security Act of 2007 (Republic Act 9372) as "paving way for more human rights violations."

Karapatan is one of the SC petitioners against the law.

Karapatan acting secretary-general Jigs Clamor said that human rights violations in the Philippines has continued under the Aquino administration as attested by 16 reported victims of extra-judicial killings, two victims of enforced disappearances, and continued detention of political prisoners like the Morong 43 health workers illegally searched, arrested, tortured and detained by the military.

"If violations were rampant even before the SC ruling, then it would definitely worsen with a strengthened legal framework by which state authorities could suppress civil and political liberties.  This is paving way for more violation of human rights," Clamor said.

"We have been opposing the passage of the law since 2001. It could be recalled that U.S. Director for National Intelligence John Negroponte even came to the Philippines in December 2005 to push for the prompt enactment of the law patterned after the anti-terror US Patriot Act. Now, the U.S, had finally found its way under Aquino," Clamor added.

Karapatan demands prosecution of masterminds on killing of Negros human rights worker

"Based on witnesses and the statements of the arresting police, we have known all along that Bayles was killed by members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, though retracted by the police and being denied by the military" said Fred Caña, Karapatan - Negros Secretary General said.  "And here is Gazmin's admission at the budget deliberations on Thursday, straight from the horse's mouth!"

Karapatan condemns the new wave of political killings as another peasant leader is killed in Negros

 

Karapatan strongly condemns the killing of another peasant leader in Guihulngan, Negros Oriental early morning today by the elements of 11th infantry battalion of the Philippine Army.  In the initial report from Karapatan Negros, Rene “Toto” Quirante, local chairman of the KAUGMA-ON, a local chapter of the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas was shot dead at around two in the morning today in Sitio Amomoyong, Barangay Trinidad, Guihulngan, Negros Oriental. Quirante was one of the six peasant leaders of KAUGMA-ON who have been charged with common crimes in 2008.

Karapatan denounces intensifying military harassment

THE NATIONAL ALLIANCE of human rights organizations in the Philippines, KARAPATAN, denounced the intensifying military offensive against human rights defenders in Southern Mindanao and other parts of the country.

KARAPATAN cited the life-threatening accusations made by BGen. Eduardo Del Rosario and Datu Ruben Labawan last September 21 in a press conference held in Davao City against Kelly Delgado, Secretary General of KARAPATAN in Southern Mindanao Region (SMR).

Remembering the declaration of martial law:

Karapatan dares P-Noy to indemnify martial law victims, abandon U.S.-instigated counterinsurgency plans  to stop human rights violations and end impunity

COMMEMORATING the declaration of martial law on September 21, the national alliance of human rights groups, KARAPATAN, challenged Pres. Benigno Simeon "PNoy" Aquino III to render the long overdue INDEMNIFICATION of the victims of martial law, ABANDON the US-sponsored counter-insurgency program Oplan Bantay-Laya and all other counter-insurgency programs, to stop human rights violations and end impunity.

KARAPATAN chairperson Marie Hilao-Enriquez, who, together with her family and hundreds of thousands of others suffered greatly during martial law, commented that the horrors of martial law, brought back in by the US-Arroyo regime, are not being dispelled by PNoy!  “In fact, the Filipino people may be seeing more of these horrors in the coming days. Instead of scrapping the bloody counter-insurgency Oplan Bantay Laya (OBL), which engendered the worst human rights violations under the US-GMA regime, PNoy and his military officers extended this brutal campaign up to the end of this year and announced a new one to be put in place next year,” bewailed Enriquez.

Even as the victims of OBL 1 and 2, like the victims of martial law, are still crying out for justice, the victims under the 83-day-old PNoy administration are increasing.  Already, 13 victims of extrajudicial killings under PNoy have been documented by Karapatan; from January-June 2010, there have been 17 victims.  Far-flung communities in Negros Oriental, Caraga and Bicol terrorized by AFP troops, have been forced to evacuate for some time because of military operations in their areas.

Rights group questions $434M U.S. grant to RP gov't amid continuing human rights violations

AS PRES. Benigno Simeon Aquino III flies off to the United States on official visit, the alliance of human rights groups in the Philippines, KARAPATAN, questioned the $434-million USD compact grant by the Millenium Challenge Corporation (MCC) of the US as a “violation of its own selection criteria” and “encourages governments allied with the US to continue human rights violations as what the US did in the Philippines.”  

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