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Phil Rights Delegation at UN Calls for Justice for Filipina HR Defenders, Raise Child Rights Violations under Aquino

International Women’s Day:
Philippine Rights Delegation at the UN Calls for Justice for Filipina Human Rights Defenders, Raise Child Rights Violations under Aquino

Philippine human rights defenders tag counterinsurgency policy as PNoy’s way of honoring GMA and Palparan’s legacy of terror

INT’L SUPPORT FOR BUTCHER PALPARAN’S ARREST SOUGHT

[Geneva, Switzerland, March 7, 2012] An ecumenical delegation of Philippine human rights defenders asked for the support of international NGOs and foreign missions based in Geneva to call on the Philippine government “to step up its efforts to arrest Maj. Gen. Jovito Palparan Jr. and to stop honoring his legacy of military terror and violence through Oplan Bayanihan.” 

From defenders to victims: the plight HRDs in the Philippines amidst continuing impunity

(Paper presented by Atty. Edre U. Olalia, Secretary General of the National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers (NUPL) and Cristina E. Palabay, Spokesperson of Karapatan, at the Conference on Defending Human Rights Defenders  in London, 24 February 2012, organized by the Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers, Amnesty International UK and the European Association of Lawyers for Human Rights and Democracy.)

Philippines human rights crusader in Seattle for a series of talks on International Human Rights Day

Seattle-based community group Philippine-U.S. Solidarity Organization (PUSO) commemorated International Human Rights Day by hosting renown Filipina activist Marie Hilao-Enriquez. 

P-Noy accountable if Arroyos escape

"What's at stake here is not GMA's rights but the rights of the people"—this was the statement of GMA’s lawyers when the Department of Justice and the Bureau of Immigration officials stopped her from leaving the country. 

GMA and her cohorts do not have the right to talk about “people’s rights.” Did they ever think of this when hundreds of killings, enforced disappearances and other human rights violations were committed under her regime? 

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.

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.

KARAPATAN asserts scrapping of VFA for deaths related to US operations

COMMEMORATING today of the historic 1991 Philippine Senate rejection of the extension of U.S. bases, the human rights alliance KARAPATAN called for the abrogation of the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) citing the deaths of two Filipinos this year involving US troops.

Gregan Cardeño, 33, signed up as a security guard but was contracted out as an interpreter for US troops by  Skylink Security and General Services, a subcontractor of of DynCorp, an American firm that specializes in high-risk contract work for the Pentagon and the US State Department. last January 30, 2010.  Cardeño learned of the job opening from a family friend, Capt. Javier Ignacio, head of the AFP’s Military Police of the Western Mindanao Command in Zamboanga City.

On the morning of February 1, 2010, Cardeño was flown from Zamboanga to Marawi. By afternoon, in separate calls to his sister, Clarivel, and his wife, Myrna, he said he wanted out. The following day, according to the Marawi Police and the US troops, Cardeño was found dead inside the barracks of the Philippine Army's 103rd Infantry Brigade at Camp Ranao, Brgy. Datu Saber, Marawi City, where Cardeño was staying as it was the barracks of the US troops where he was supposedly assigned. 

Karapatan hits Bacalzo appointment as new PNP chief

THE NATIONAL human rights alliance, Karapatan, reacting to Pres. Aquino's appointment of Gen. Raul Bacalzo to replace Director General Jesus Versoza as the new chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP) said that the move "only created one more blunder in the bumbling police force."

"The PNP received international denigration in the blotched rescue effort during the August 23 hostage-taking crisis.  Gen. Bacalzo, as the former head of Task Force Usig to solve the killings of journalists and activists, had not really performed his duty to pin down the culprits in 1,206 cases of extrajudicial killings.  Even as a bar topnotcher, justice has not been served by Bacalzo," Karapatan chair Marie Hilao-Enriquez said.

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