Statement of Kawagib on the Sabah Issue

Kawagib-Alliance for the Advancement of Moro Human Rights denounces the military action being taken by Malaysian security forces against the followers of Sulu Sultan Jamalul Kiram III in Lahad Datu in Sabah, Malaysia.

The assault carried out Friday, which claimed the lives of twelve of those Filipinos, was deplorable and a complete disregard of diplomatic options that were still at hand. Both Malaysian and Philippine authorities fell short of preventing the needless bloodshed and continue to demonstrate callousness towards the lives of the people at stake. 

Stop aggression against people of Palestine!

Karapatan Alliance for the Advancement of People’s Rights-Philippines vehemently condemns the massacre of the Palestinian people at the Gaza Strip, because of the heightened and continuing aggression of Israel, with the support of the United States government. 

Reports from human rights NGO Palestinian Center for Human Rights in Palestine said that in the Israeli offensives and airstrikes at the Gaza Strip in the past six days, the number of Palestinians killed by Israeli Occupation Forces has reached 87 victims, including 58 civilians. Most of the victims were women and children, as the Israeli forces bombarded populated areas, civilian and government facilities under its “Operation Pillar of Cloud.” 

As the world commemorates the International Day to End Impunity on November 23, it is reprehensible that such atrocious acts of aggression, violence and impunity are brought on the Palestinian people.

We likewise condemn the Israeli government’s plan to conduct ground invasion of Palestinian territory, as this will inevitably result to graver violations on people’s rights.

We stand in solidarity with the people of Palestine in their struggle for sovereignty and for their homeland. We believe that it is the right of the Palestinian people to defend their lives and rights, amid the various violations of international humanitarian law and brutal aggression against their nation and their people. 

We strongly condemn the vicious support of the US government, particularly the Barack Obama administration, for the aggression against the Palestinian people. It continuously egged on and justified these latest attacks against the Palestinian people. By its strong political and military support to the Israeli government, the US is equally guilty of the atrocities committed against Palestine. We call on Israel to stop all its offensives against Palestine.

We call on all freedom-loving peoples of the world to stand with people of Palestine in their just aspirations for liberation and against all forms of aggression.

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Aquino’s ‘successful’ NZ gab a misinformation to int’l community

Fiddling around the euphoria of pretensions and hubris, President Noynoy Aquino’s gab in New Zealand has sparked intense reactions.  His apologists, Ricky Carandang and Atty. Edwin Lacierda, expectedly, were quick to come to his defense.

Instead of seriously considering the concern of the international community on the human rights situation in the country, particularly, that of the Philippine Solidarity Network Alliance in New Zealand, Mr. Carandang and Atty. Lacierda easily dismissed this as mere “misinformation” and “propaganda of the extreme leftist elements in the Philippines.” 

PSNA repudiated these insinuations, citing reputable institutions and individuals that have raised similar concerns, such as the UN Special Rapporteurs on human rights defenders and extrajudicial killings; parliaments of the European Union, Canada and Italy; Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and the World Council of Churches, among others.  

Like the government’s claim that there are no political prisoners in the Philippines or its report to the Universal Periodic Review of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights 13th Session in May this year,  Mr. Carandang bragged  of a “significant improvement” in the human rights situation in the country.   But the real situation on the ground belies this claim.  From July 2010 to September 2012, Karapatan has documented 114 cases of extrajudicial killings (EJK), 12 enforced disappearances, 70 torture victims, 224 victims of illegal arrests and detentions, 8,266 victims of forced eviction/demolition and 29,613 internally displaced persons, under  the Aquino presidency.

Aquino Govt writes off HR violations for $13M US aid

Karapatan today criticized the Aquino government as “it continues to peddle lies on the human rights situation in the international community, through the Universal Periodic Review process at the United Nations and, the recent visit of Dept. of Justice Sec. Leila de Lima at the United States, in exchange for US military assistance.” 

“Human rights defenders, victims and their relatives, and communities under military attack can attest to the prevailing, if not more emboldened, climate of impunity under Aquino. While the GPH officials claimed at the UN and, among US parliamentarians, that the Aquino government is taking concrete steps to address extrajudicial killings and; that they do not promote the culture of impunity, indigenous peoples’ leader Genesis Ambason was shot and tortured to death by paramilitary groups in Agusan del Sur last week,” said Cristina Palabay, secretary general of Karapatan.

According to Karapatan, Ambason is the 112th victim of extrajudicial killings under the Aquino administration. Among these are nine children who were victims of EJK, three of them killed during the AFP operations in Maguindanao this August 2012. Also, rampant military operations are conducted in mineral and resource-rich areas to suppress the opposition mounted by farmers and indigenous peoples against the entry of big foreign mining and business operations. 

Palabay said “this parody of lies by the Aquino government is meant to justify the release of the more than $13 million in US military assistance to the GPH, which was blocked since 2008, when international solidarity groups brought to fore the issues of extrajudicial killings and other rights violations in the Philippines.”

UN-SRs noted growing number of killings of rights defenders

Human rights group Karapatan today affirmed the observations of the United Nations Special Rapporteurs (UN-SR) on human rights defenders and extrajudicial killings on the “growing number of threats and killings of rights defenders” in the Philippines. The statement by the UN mandate holders was released on July 9, two weeks prior to Phil. Pres. Noynoy Aquino’s State of the Nation Address (SONA).

UN Special Rapporteurs on Human Rights Defenders Margaret Sekaggya and on Extrajudicial Killings, Christof Heyns released the following statement, which can be accessed through

Two years of Aquino presidency: Torture still in practice

Torture still used by the AFP under the Aquino govt

As the world commemorated on June 26 the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, the Aquino government continues to employ torture on political prisoners as in the case of Tirso Alcantara, a consultant of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) to the peace process.

GPH hounded by persistent concerns on EJK, disappearances and torture at UN rights review

GENEVA-- As the Chief Justice of the Philippines was being handed down a verdict in the impeachment trial, the Philippine government was also undergoing a similar process of accountability, this time before the United Nations.

End Extrajudicial Killings in the Philippines!, End Impunity!, Free all Political Prisoners! - the Filipino people speak out. 

Around 69 countries quizzed the Philippine government on its human rights record, Tuesday May 29 in Geneva, Switzerland. The Philippines participated in the second cycle of the Universal Periodic Review of the United Nations Human Rights Council. One after the other, at least 22 countries expressed concerns on the continuing spate of extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances and torture in particular, and impunity in general, according to the Philippine UPR Watch. Several countries also called on the Philippine government to dismantle all paramilitary groups and militias.

Groups score PH rights report to UN: All rhetoric, no real gains

Presscon on UPR 

On May 29 this year, the Philippine government’s human rights record will come under scrutiny by member states of the United Nations Human Rights Council. While the Philippine government paints a picture of an improved human rights situation in the country, Philippine human rights groups are saying otherwise.

Filipino Rights Workers File Complaints on Violent Demolitions and Arbitrary Detention before the UN, Ask Support of Int’l Commu

[Geneva, Switzerland March 14, 2012] The Philippine UPR Watch, an ecumenical delegation of Philippine human rights organizations and advocates that engages in the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) process of the UN Human Rights Council (HRC), capped the delegation’s activities in Geneva, Switzerland by filing complaints before the offices of UN Special Rapporteur on Adequate Housing Raquel Rolnik and Working Group on Arbitrary Detention Chair Malick Sow on the continuous rights violations under Philippine Pres. Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III. 

TELLING IT AS IT IS:Philippine UPR Watch Delegation to have audiences before US Congress and Canadian Parliament

The delegation of the Philippine UPR Watch is meeting with US Congressional offices, both Senate and House, as well as with the US State Department and the Canadian Parliament this month to bring to their attention the continuing extrajudicial killings, disappearances, torture and other human rights violations under the Aquino administration. 

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