Tag Archives: Karapatan

[Statement] Philippines: Proposed Anti-Terrorism Law will solidify abuse of State power -Forum-Asia

Philippines: Proposed Anti-Terrorism Law will solidify abuse of State power

(Bangkok, 2 June 2020) – The railroading of the Anti-Terrorism Bill in the Philippines will further erode human rights in the country, rights groups said today.

The Asian Forum of Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA) and its member organisations Balaod Mindanaw, Dakila, Karapatan, LILAK (Purple Action for Indigenous Women’s Rights), Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA), and Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP) warned that the proposed law would lead to a crackdown on civic space and fundamental freedoms.

‘We have seen the systematic intimidation of civil society, from human rights organisations to journalists and the general public under the Duterte regime. The Anti-Terrorism Bill would institutionalise and facilitate abuse of power, leading the weaponisation of the law against its people,’ the groups said.

On 1 June, President Rodrigo Duterte certified House Bill 6875 or the Anti-Terrorism Bill as urgent, which would allow the House of Representatives to fast-track its approval.[1] The bill is expected to be passed before Congress adjourns on 5 June. The House of Representatives had earlier adopted the Senate version of the bill, approved in February 2020, to facilitate its passage into law.

The proposed anti-terror law contains provisions that effectively erode civil liberties and remove necessary checks in power. Vague language in the bill, including on the definition of terrorism which includes acts committed ‘regardless of the stage of execution’ would allow for broad interpretation and overreach.[2]

The bill allows for a lengthened period of warrantless detention, and surveillance that goes beyond stipulations in existing national security legislation. It would lead to the creation of an Anti-Terrorism Council, comprised of State officials, which would have the power to authorise the arrest and detention of a person suspected of being a terrorist – a power reserved for the Courts.

Under Duterte’s administration, repressive laws and policies have been used as tools of intimidation and reprisals against human rights defenders and critics. Executive Order No. 70, adopted in 2018, led to the consolidation of the country’s agencies towards a whole-of-nation approach against national insurgency. This policy was used to justify surveillance activities and raids against organisations accused of being communist fronts.[3]

Citing ‘national security’, State officials have regularly released lists tagging human rights defenders, including United Nations Special Rapporteur Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, as terrorists. FORUM-ASIA’s members Karapatan, PAHRA, and TFDP have also been labeled as terrorists for speaking out against human rights violations in the country. These accusations threaten their security and compromise the ability to conduct their work.

The administration has used existing legislation, including on cyber-libel and sedition to target critics, while pushing for new laws that dismantle Constitutional guarantees and stifle dissent. The recently introduced Bayanihan to Heal as One Act included a ‘fake news’ provision which has been used to arrest individuals posting online criticism of the government’s response to the pandemic.

‘Fast-tracking the Anti-Terrorism Bill at a time when the country is grappling with the effects of a public health emergency demonstrates a complete disregard for any trust the public has placed in its Government. Members of the Philippine Congress should take a strong stand against this bill and demonstrate that they are capable of upholding democracy and not just the wishes of their President,’ urged the rights groups.

[Joint Statement] Philippines: Proposed Anti-Terrorism Law will solidify abuse of State power

About FORUM-ASIA:

The Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA) is a regional network of 81 member organisations across 21 Asian countries, with consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council, and consultative relationship with the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights. Founded in 1991, FORUM-ASIA works to strengthen movements for human rights and sustainable development through research, advocacy, capacity-development and solidarity actions in Asia and beyond. It has sub-regional offices in Geneva, Jakarta, and Kathmandu. http://www.forum-asia.org
For further information, please contact:
East Asia and ASEAN Programme, FORUM-ASIA at ea-asean@forum-asia.org

For media inquiries, please contact:
Yi-Lan, Communication and Media Programme, FORUM-ASIA at communication@forum-asia.org

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[Urgent Alert] Offices of three people’s organizations in Bacolod, home of 2 activists in Metro Manila raided -KARAPATAN

Karapatan strongly condemns the raid of the offices of Gabriela, Bayan Muna and the National Federation of Sugar Workers (NFSW) in Bacolod City on the evening of October 31, 2019. Police operatives used a search warrant issued by Executive Judge Cecilyn Burgos-Villavert of Branch 89 of the Regional Trial Court in Quezon City to target the three offices. The use of search warrants has become a trend increasingly used in Negros, which makes offices and individuals vulnerable to the planting of evidence. With the leadership of state forces in Negros who have been given the go signal by the Duterte government to kill, lie, fabricate, and unleash State terrorism to the full, the recent incidents indicate a full-blown crackdown on activists and red-tagged legal organizations.

Suspiciously, the search warrant used in the raid in Negros was issued by a court from Quezon City. Back in March 2019, the search warrant used for the simultaneous operations targeting peasant activists in Negros was also issued from a different region, particularly in Cebu. As of this writing, Karapatan is still trying to verify additional information on the said incident, including the reported warrantless arrests of several individuals.

We stand with these organizations and assert that these attacks are acts of reprisal for the campaigns and criticisms raised by these organizations against the government’s failures. All three organizations are operating legally, and to allege that they are “legal fronts” of the Communist Party of the Philippines is baseless. Lest we remind this government, freedom of association and the right to petition the government for redress are enshrined in the Constitution. Criticism and protest should not be tantamount to incessant red-tagging and political persecution. Likewise, this incident attests to the dangers individuals and organizations face amid red-tagging. It is a reminder that red-tagging is a prelude to graver violations.

Karapatan also links this crackdown in Negros to the recent arrests in Metro Manila, involving an activist couple. At around 5am today, October 31, Cora Agovida, Gabriela Metro Manila spokesperson and Mickael Tan Bartolome, Kadamay Metro Manila member, were illegally arrested by operatives who forcefully entered their home. Operatives of the CIDG and the Metro Manila Police District (MPD) allegedly showed a search warrant.

This is another case indicating a crackdown against activists. All elements, including the use of illegal possession of firearms and explosives to charge activists, are glaring in this latest arrest targeting critics of the government.

These arrests are orchestrated, following a trend and now concentrated in specific areas. The monsters who have used Negros as a laboratory for harrowing human rights violations are now terrorizing Metro Manila.

Negros and Metro Manila are hotspots. Along with martial law in Mindanao, the de facto martial law in Negros under Memorandum Order No. 32, and the Implan Kalasag in Metro Manila, we are to face the worst. This is on top of operations manned by the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict and counterinsurgency program Oplan Kapanatagan. We enjoin all organizations to be vigilant, especially in the coming days.

As we condemn these attacks, we assert the right of organizations and individuals to continue with their advocacy. If this is an indication of what is to come, we call for unity and resistance amid State terrorism. #StopTheAttacks

References:

Cristina Palabay, Karapatan Secretary-General
+639173162831

Karapatan Public Information Desk
+639189790580

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[Urgent Alert] Two Karapatan human rights workers killed in the Philippines this morning -KARAPATAN

KARAPATAN URGENT ALERT

Two Karapatan Sorsogon staff, Ryan Hubilla and Nelly Bagasala, were gunned down at around 8:20 in the morning this Saturday, June 15, 2019 at the corner of Phase 2, Seabreeze Homes Subdivision, Barangay Cabid-an, Sorsogon, Bicol. The perpetrators were onboard a motorcycle. The scene of the crime was only a kilometer away from the City Police Office.

Before the incident, Karapatan rights workers were subjected to periodic surveillance conducted by military and police operatives. Last April 21 at 10PM, said rights defenders, including Ryan, were tailed by a gray pick-up vehicle and a black motorcycle. Both vehicles had no license plates. This happened after Karapatan staff escorted Atty. Bart Rayco, NUPL-Albay lawyer, after visiting his clients who were political prisoners at PNP Cabid-an.

Karapatan condemns the killing of two of its human rights workers. This is a stark indication of the worsening attacks against human rights defenders, particularly in regions where Memorandum No. 32 is implemented. As we condole with the families of our dear colleagues, we raise our fists in condemnation and firmly commit to seek justice and accountability from this ruthless regime.

Justice for Ryan Hubilla and Nelly Bagasala! Stop the Attacks!

Cristina “Tinay” Ellazar Palabay
Karapatan Secretary General and Tanggol Bayi (Defend Women) – Philippines Convenor
Personal Email:cristina.e.palabay@gmail.com
Official organization emails: karapatan@karapatan.org, tanggolbayi@gmail.com

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[From the web] Pagtanggal sa Filipino bilang core subject sa kolehiyo at mandatory ROTC, mga atake sa karapatan ng mamamayan -KARAPATAN

Mahigpit na kinondena ng Karapatan ang desisyon ng Korte Suprema na alisin ang Filipino at Panitikan bilang mga pangunahing asignatura sa kolehiyo. Nakikiisa ang Karapatan sa lahat ng grupong patuloy na naninindigan para igiit ang ating pambansang pagkakakilanlan dahil ito ay mahalang gulugod ng karapatang pantao ng mamamayan.

“Sa hakbang ng Korte Suprema, inaatake ang karapatan nating maitaguyod ang sariling wika para sa pambansang kultura, kamalayan at tunay na pag-unlad ng bayan,” ani Roneo Clamor, pangalawang pangkalahatang kalihim ng Karapatan.

Kamakailan, naglabas ng resolusyon ang Korte Suprema upang muling pagtibayin ang nauna nitong hatol noong 2018 pabor sa CHED Memorandum Order (CMO) No. 20 na nagtatanggal sa Filipino at Panitikan bilang mga “core subjects” sa kolehiyo.

Ayon sa CHED, alinsunod ito sa layuning hubugin ang mga estudyante sa iba pang wika upang maging “globally competitive”.

Read more @www.karapatan.org

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[Statement] New SEC memo on non-profit organizations violates right to organize – Karapatan

New SEC memo on non-profit organizations violates right to organize – Karapatan

Surreptitiously, without consultation with many non-profit organizations, the Securities and Exchange Commission issued SEC Memorandum Circular No. 15 (s. 2018) or the Guidelines for the Protection of SEC Registered Non-Profit Organizations (NPOs) From Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Abuse or the NPO Guidelines on November 7, 2018.

At first glance, the said memorandum seems like an innocuous set of guidelines to supposedly “protect non-profit organizations from money laundering and terrorist financing abuse.” However, considering the context of the worsening human rights situation, including the increasingly dangerous situation of human rights defenders, and the climate of impunity in the Philippines, SEC Memorandum Circular No. 15 merits deeper scrutiny.

As it is, human rights defenders face greater risks under the Duterte administration. Karapatan notes that at least 139 human rights defenders have been killed from July 2016 to November 2018. UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders Michel Forst, in his World Report on the situation of human rights defenders, has noted that in the Philippines, the “government’s war on drugs has created a climate of insecurity and impunity for extrajudicial killings that affects human rights defenders.” Forst also observed that Duterte’s has fostered a “very harmful rhetoric against human rights defenders,” labelling them as “anti-nation,” “protectors of drug lords,” “communists,” “terrorists,” among others.

Recently, a slew of such rhetoric has resulted in killings of farmworkers and a human rights lawyer in Negros, arbitrary arrests on trumped up charges of peace advocates, peasant organizers and leaders, harassment of human rights workers, and profiling and surveillance of teachers.

A closer look and analysis reveal that the latest set of guidelines by SEC is one that infringes on non-governmental organizations’ rights to organize and form associations, specifically on their freedom or capacity to freely conduct or perform their advocacies, as well as the right to privacy of the officers, members, clients or beneficiaries of any of those considered as non-profit organizations. This new memorandum is an extension of the mounting repressive policies insidiously implemented by the Duterte government in installments, so as not to betray its real intent of curbing all platforms for dissent.

With the said recent SEC Guidelines, the Commission is given unchecked discretion to determine and identify those whom it considers “NPOs at Risk.” No clear parameters have been stated, other than a very arbitrary classification of NPOs as “low risk,” “medium risk,” “high risk,” or “blacklisted.” Determination of which NPO will be classified as such also rests on information provided by government agencies such as the Philippine National Police. This renders progressive organizations at risk, particularly those openly red-tagged by the PNP and the Duterte government as “legal fronts.”

Through SEC Memorandum Circular No. 15, the SEC and government authorities are given unbridled power to compel disclosure of numerous information on non-government organizations, without a court order, including information on the location of beneficiaries or projects, areas of operation or activity, identities and locations of persons or entities who provide financial support for the NPO or are its intended beneficiaries. According to the guidelines, such information will be shared and made accessible to government agencies such as the PNP and the National Bureau of Investigation. With the express provision in the said memorandum on the SEC’s powers to enlist the aid, support and/or deputize any and all enforcement agencies of the government, civil or MILITARY, for the purpose of conducting investigations and information gathering, there is great danger that the SEC will be used for profiling, intelligence-gathering, surveillance, harassment and other possible grave violations against NGOs.

Through the said memorandum, the SEC is given control of all non-profit organizations in the country, as it is weaponized to infringe on the freedom and capacity of these organizations to freely conduct or perform their advocacies.

Karapatan thus calls for the scrapping or rescinding of SEC Memorandum Circular No. 15 as a measure that is directly inconsistent to the government’s duty to uphold the right to organize and privacy of all citizens, including the rights of human rights defenders against any form of interference or reprisal on their work. Such an arbitrary yet powerful memorandum will provide justification for a new form of witch-hunt, albeit still with the same targets. Such regulations will inevitably impede the work of human rights defenders, aid and development workers and other non-profit/non-government organizations and will surely result in the further constriction of civic space in the Philippines.

Reference: Cristina Palabay, Secretary General, +639173162831
Karapatan Public Information Desk, 0995-5658306

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[Statement] Manilakbayan ng Mindanao to file a case against PNP-QCPD on Times St. Incident -KARAPATAN

Asian Human Rights Commission

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
AHRC-FST-087-2014
December 03, 2014

A Statement from KARAPATAN Alliance for the Advancement of People’s Rights forwarded by the Asian Human Rights Commission

PHILIPPINES: Manilakbayan ng Mindanao to file a case against PNP-QCPD on Times St. Incident

MANILA CITY – Manilakbayan ng Mindanao contingent is set to file a case against Police Superintendent Col. Pedro Sanchez and his subordinates in connection with the incident that ensued during the November 29 protest action conducted by the participants of the Manilakbayan ng Mindanao last November 29 at Times St., Quezon City.

Asian Human Rights Commission

Around 20 policemen of Police Station 2, Masambong Police Station, PNP-Quezon City Police District (QCPD) led by P/Supt. Col. Sanchez harassed and violently dispersed more than 200 lumads (indigenous people) and farmers comprising the Manilakbayan ng Mindanao contingent, and their counterparts from Southern Tagalog and the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas and Hacienda Luisita.

“We successfully ended our program and we’re about to leave the vicinity when all of sudden policemen armed with truncheons violently hit, grasped and pushed our fellow protesters,” Hanimay Suazo, Secretary-General of KARAPATAN-Southern Mindanao Region said.
According to a fact sheet prepared by human rights group KARAPATAN, there were 15 individuals from the ranks of the protesters who were injured including two media men. Seven   were from Southern Tagalog, 7 from Southern Mindanao Region, 2 from CARAGA Region and 1 from the National Capital Region.

Jay Apiag, spokesperson of KARAPATAN North Cotabato was hit on the neck or right clavicle that caused him to faint and was rushed to the East Avenue Medical Center.

Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) Secretary-General Antonio “Ka Tonying” Flores, one of the leaders who negotiated with Sanchez, was arbitrarily arrested during the protest. He was detained in Camp Karingal, the headquarters of QCPD, for four days.

Approximately 9:30 in the morning, the protesters started to march from the Bureau of Internal Revenue office in Quezon City. They were prevented to pass through when a police patrol car and five policemen blocked the road. It was the first confrontation between the two parties but the protesters managed to pass and positioned in front of Aquino’s gate.

The program started at around 9:55 am and additional 10 police men positioned in front of the gate while a negotiation was going on between the two parties. P/Supt. Sanchez arrived in the area around 10:05 am and commanded his men to disperse the protest. Sanchez pressured the protesters to stop the program but the group’s leaders asserted that they would end the program peacefully.

The program ended around 11:15 am. The protesters organized themselves to leave Aquino’s residence but the police kept on pushing the protesters with truncheons. Suddenly some police elements hit one of the protesters with a truncheon which ignited the commotion. P/Supt. Sanchez climbed up the mobile stage and hit Jay Apiag on the neck.

In defense, some of the protesters were compelled to fight back by throwing stones at the attacking police.  Representative Carlos Zarate of Bayan Muna Partylist later arrived for negotiation.

“What happened in Times Street is a clear manifestation of police brutality, a bitter response of the Aquino administration to the people’s legitimate demands,” Suazo said.
“We cannot let the PNP get away from their atrocity, it’s ironic when they are supposed to promote justice and peace,” she said.

Jomorito Goaynon, spokesperson of Manilakbayan ng Mindanao said that “instead of addressing the demands of the Mindanaoans who traveled afar to register the human rights situation of hinterland Mindanao to the president and to the broadest Filipino people, we were met with a violent dispersal from the police.”

Goaynon said they were expecting that the president would take actions on their urgent demands, among which are the pull-out of army battalions in Mindanao, the cessation of destructive foreign agro-foreign projects, the stop of military attacks on community schools, the dismissal of trumped-up charges, and the stop of extrajudicial killings in Mindanao.

Over 300 people representing Mindanao’s different sectors and mostly indigenous people participated in the Manilakbayan ng Mindanao. They started their Manilakbayan (Journey to Metro Manila) last November 12 passing by Visayas, and the Bicol and Tagalog regions where their counterparts met and joined them.  Presently having their “Kampuhan” (People’s Camp) in Liwasang Bonifacio, their Manilakbayan ng Mindanao campaign will conclude on December 10.

Meanwhile, the Manilakbayan ng Mindanao is preparing its legal documents and assistance to file a case on the violent dispersal, arbitrary arrest, physical assault, harassment and coercion done by the PNP-QCPD.

# # #
About AHRC:The Asian Human Rights Commission is a regional non-governmental organisation that monitors human rights in Asia, documents violations and advocates for justice and institutional reform to ensure the protection and promotion of these rights. The Hong Kong-based group was founded in 1984.
Read this Forwarded Statement online
Visit our new website with more features at http://www.humanrights.asia.

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[From the web] Karapatan calls on victims of Palparan to come out and charge him in court -KARAPATAN

Karapatan calls on victims of Palparan to come out and charge him in court

Karapatan welcomes the long overdue arrest of The Butcher Gen. Jovito Palparan Jr. Those who harbored and kept Palparan from arrest in the past years should be accountable as well.

karapatan_logo4

Palparan’s arrest is due to the persistent and untiring struggle for justice of victims and kin, and the Filipino people against state repression. His arrest does not absolve BS Aquino from accountability for the human rights violations—killings, torture, and enforced disappearances—committed by the Palparans under his reign.

He should be immediately in jail for the disappearance of Karen Empeno and Sherlyn Cadapan.

Palparan should be fully accountable for all the evils he committed—extrajudicial killings, torture and disappearances—under Macapagal-Arroyo’s Oplan Bantay Laya.

Among those killed under Palparan are human rights defenders Eden Marcellana and peasant leader Eddie Gumanoy in Southern Tagalog; UCCP Pastor Edison Lapuz, Leyte; Atty. Fedelito Dacut, Leyte; Supreme Bishop Alberto Ramento of the Iglesia Filipina Independiente.

Read full article @www.karapatan.org

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[From the web] Pol Prisoner Holds Hunger Strike for Fr.Romano and All Victims of Rights Abuse – hrdefenders.wordpress.com

Pol Prisoner Holds Hunger Strike for Fr.Romano and All Victims of Rights Abuse
by yoyong, hrdefenders.wordpress.com
July 15, 2013

karapatan_logo4

A political prisoner in Cebu marked the 28th year commemoration of the abduction and disappearance of Redemptorist priest Rudy Romano on July 11, 2013 with a hunger strike until the Presidential State-of-the-Nation Address on July 22, 2013.

Subsisting exclusively on fluids, Ramon Patriarca timed his protest on the day of the activist priest’s abduction to support call of KARAPATAN for truth and justice on Romano’s fate.

Read full article @hrdefenders.wordpress.com

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[From the web] DND-DILG hit list legitimizes rights violation vs 60-year old peasant organizer -KARAPATAN

DND-DILG hit list legitimizes rights violation vs 60-year old peasant organizer
May 11, 2013

karapatan_logo4

Karapatan deplored the enforced disappearance, illegal arrest and detention of Estelita T. Tacalan, a 60-year old peasant organizer and rural health worker in Misamis Oriental, as a “recent case of rights violation legitimized by the Joint Order No. 14-2012 of the Department of the Interior and Local Government and the Department of National Defense.”

The DND-DILG Joint Order No. 14-2012 reportedly contains an updated list of alleged wanted Communist leaders and allocates PhP 466,088,000.00 as reward money for their capture.

Secretary general of Karapatan, Cristina Palabay, said Tacalan was reported missing by its Northern Mindanao chapter since April 27. On May 7 Karapatan and Tacalan’s family received information from an ABS-CBN reporter that confirmed the arrest of Tacalan through Supt. Cholijun Caduyac, Assistant Regional Chief of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG)-Philippine National Police (PNP) Region 10. Caduyac reportedly said Tacalan was arrested and detained based on a warrant of arrest for murder and arson charges. The CIDG claimed that Tacalan is among the list of wanted persons of the DND.

Read full article @www.karapatan.org

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[From the web] Karapatan and Bayan raise alarm on attacks vs activists via series of robberies, surveillance -www.bayan.ph

Karapatan and Bayan raise alarm on attacks vs activists via series of robberies, surveillance
February 22, 2013

bayan1Human rights group Karapatan and umbrella group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN), together with members and leaders of several organizations today condemned in strongest terms the series of attacks against people’s organizations and partylist groups, disguised as break-ins and robberies. The groups decried what they described as the “rising and systematic forms of state repression and harassment of government critics”. They said that the recent incidents were made to appear as common crimes but were actually targeted attacks on activists and their organizations.

From March 2012 up until last week, Karapatan and Bayan documented twelve(12) cases of break-ins of houses of activists and peace advocates, and offices of progressive organizations; robberies involving items such as laptops, USB/flash drives, video cameras, and the like; and surveillance of known personalities and members of such organizations.

Read full article @www.bayan.ph

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[From the web] AFP should show proof that security guard Rolly Panesa is CPP’s “Benjamin Mendoza” -Karapatan

AFP should show proof that security guard Rolly Panesa is CPP’s “Benjamin Mendoza”
January 25, 2013

karapatan_logo4Karapatan dared the Philippine Army of the Armed Forces of the Philippines to prove before the Court of Appeals that the man they arrested illegally and tortured is indeed who they claim to be in their press releases as CPP’s high ranking official ‘Benjamin Mendoza’ “because clearly, they picked the wrong man,” Cristina Palabay, secretary general of Karapatan said at today’s hearing at the Court of Appeals for detained Rolly Panesa’s Petition for Habeas Corpus.

“Panesa has been in jail for three months since his abduction on October 5, 2012, yet the government has not presented any document to prove their claim. The man should be immediately released and indemnified,” Palabay said.

Marites Chioco, Panesa’s common-law wife and petitioner to the habeas corpus case, submitted to the court Panesa’s birth certificate, baptismal certificate, school records, records of his employment, Social Security System Identification Card, Philhealth Card, driver’s license, NBI clearance and a certificate that he has gone through a training for the CAFGU.

Read full article @www.karapatan.org

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[In the news] ‘DENIAL KINGS’ | Rights group scoffs at AFP disavowal of Order of Battle -InterAksyon.com

‘DENIAL KINGS’ | Rights group scoffs at AFP disavowal of Order of Battle
By InterAksyon.com
December 24, 2012

MANILA, Philippines – The denial by the military and the government of the existence of an “Order of Battle” with names of alleged enemies of the state has come under fire from rights groups, who described the denial as a disservice in the wake of the passage of Asia’s first measure outlawing enforced disappearances.

The long series of enforced disappearances precisely stemmed from the existence of such a list, as the “OB” has been taken as license by some men in uniform to seize persons on the list in order to neutralize the insurgency, Karapatan said.

“It seems that acts of denial are usual responses of the Aquino government and the AFP, when confronted with questions on their accountability for human rights violations. Mga denial kings ang mga nasa Malacanang at AFP! The lies that they have sown through their counter-insurgency program Oplan Bayanihan are now being exposed,” said Cristina Palabay, Karapatan secretary general.

Karapatan noted the practice of the Aquino government in “continuing” such policy through the reported Joint Order 14-2012 of the Department of National Defense and the Department of Interior and Local Government, which contains an alleged list of leaders of the communist movement whose bounties for arrests amount to P466million.

“Such order, which was not even made public, is a dangerous and malicious perpetuation of the OB list as it becomes a hit list of personalities/individuals who may be persecuted, filed with trumped-up charges or killed,” commented Palabay.

Read full article @ interaksyon.com

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[In the news] On Human Rights Day, rights groups slam Aquino government for violations – Bulatlat

On Human Rights Day, rights groups slam Aquino government for violations – Bulatlat.
By JANESS ANN J. ELLAO
Bulatlat.com
December 13, 2012

bulatlatMANILA – “We have likewise set on fire whatever is left of the chances for positive change we gave Pres. Noynoy Aquino in the past two years. He did not only squander the opportunity for change but has also pushed our patience to the limit, with all the rights violations his regime has committed against the people,” Marie Hilao-Enriquez, chairperson of Karapatan, said.

This was the statement of the Karapatan chairperson as they set fire on the effigy of President Benigno Aquino III.

The seven-foot two-faced effigy, according to Karapatan, “symbolizes the twin evils of large-scale mining and intensified military operations in peasant and indigenous peoples’ communities.”

Under Aquino, there are now 129 victims of extrajudicial killings, where 69 were farmers and 25 indigenous peoples. Cristina Palabay, secretary general of Karapatan, said most victims in Mindanao are anti-mining activists and Lumad leaders who “defend their land and the environment against the intrusion of big foreign mining corporations.”

Read full article @ bulatlat.com

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[Statement] Karapatan sa Pagkain, Ipaglaban -FDC Women’s Committee

Karapatan sa Pagkain, Ipaglaban
Kamtin ang Pang-ekonomiyang Katarungan ng Kababaihan!

Nakikiisa ang FDC Women’s Committee sa iba’t ibang organisasyon at kilusan ng kababaihan na nakikibaka upang makamit ang karapatan sa pagkain at mapangalagaan ang interes ng nakararaming prodyuser ng pagkain sa buong mundo – ang mga kababaihan.

Ang karapatan sa pagkain ay bahagi ng ating mga karapatang pantao. Ayon sa ating pamahalaan, sapat ang produksyon ng ating mga pangunahing pagkain. Subalit bakit marami pa rin sa ating mga kababayan lalo na ang mga bata at kababaihan ang nagugutom? Maraming bilang ng kababaihan ang nakakaranas ng malnutrisyon. Ang mga kababaihang buntis ay hindi nabibigyan ng sapat na pagkain at mga bitamina para sa malusog na pagdadalantao at panganganak.

Hindi na makayanan ng mga kababaihan sa kanayunan at higit sa lahat ng mga kababaihan sa maralitang taga-lungsod ang walang humpay na pagtaas ng presyo ng bilihin. Sabayan pa ng pagtaas ng kuryente at tubig kaya lalong hindi na makayanan ng mga kababaihan na mabigyan at malagyan ng sapat at masustansyang pagkain ang kanilang hapagkainan.

Nagbigay ang ating gobyerno ng programang 4P’s (Pantawid Pamilya Pangkabuhayan Programa) para sa mga mahihirap na pamilya o indigent, pero sapat ba talaga itong pantawid gutom sa ating mga kababaihan at kabataan? Natugunan ba nito ang mga kakulangan sa pagkain at malinis na tubig na inumin?

Hindi lang pagkain ang sinasaklaw ng karapatang ito kundi pati na rin ang malinis na tubig na inumin. Hanggang sa kasalukuyan mayroon pang 15.73 milyong kababaihan na walang akses sa malinis na inumin. Kamakailan lamang tumaas muli ang presyo ng tubig sa Kamaynilaan. Sa ilalim ng pribatisasyon na itinataguyod ng pamahalaan, ginagawang kalakal at pinagkakaitaan ang tubig sa halip na tiyakin ang suplay at kalidad nito, bilang serbisyo sa mga mamamayan.

At dahil na rin sa pagdating ng mga kalamidad sa ating bansa ay kontaminado na ang ating mga tubig, kung kaya’t maraming mga kababaihan at kabataan ang nagkakasakit na nagiging sanhi ng kanilang maagang pagkamatay. Lalong madadagdagan ang mga balakid sa pagtamasa ng mga kababaihan ng kanilang batayang karapatan sa pagkain at sa kalusugan.

Isang susing sagot sa di-makatarungang kalagayang ito ay ipaglaban at tiyakin ang karapatan ng mga kababaihan bilang mga prodyuser ng pagkain at bilang mga manggagawa, sa pormal man o di-pormal na larangan ng paggawa. Nanatiling malawak ang kawalan ng sariling lupa ng mga kababaihan at akses sa iba pang rekurso sa paggawa at produksyon. Bagamat milyon-milyon ang halaga ng ambag nila sa kabuuang produksyon ng pagkain, hindi sila kinikilala bilang mga magsasaka kundi mga katulong ng (lalaking) magsasaka lamang, kaya’t pangkaraniwan nang hindi binabayaran ang lakas-paggawa ng kababaihan. Katulad din ito sa pagtingin na katulong lang sa bahay ang mga kababaihan at walang nililikhang serbisyo at produkto sa maghapon nilang pagtrabaho sa gawaing pag-aaruga at pagkalinga sa pamilya, komunidad at lipunan.

Ang paggunita ng pandaigdigang krisis sa pagkain ay hindi lamang pagkakataon upang palakasin pa ang laban para makamit ang ating karapatan, kundi okasyon din upang pahigpitin, palawakin ang laban tungo sa pagsasaktuparan ng pangekonomiyang kapangyarihan ng kababaihan.

Mabuhay ang mga kababaihang prodyuser ng pagkain at mga babaeng manggagawa sa kanayunan at sa agrikultura!Pang-ekonomiyang katarungan ng kababaihan – ipagaban, isakatuparan!

Freedom from Debt Coalition (FDC) Women’s Committee
Oktubre 2012

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[Resources] Submission of KARAPATAN to UNHRC for ICCPR

Submission of the national human rights organization KARAPATAN, Alliance for the Advancement of People’s Rights to the United Nations Human Rights Committee in its 106th Session Palais Wilson, Geneva, Switzerland, October 15-November 2, 2012

This is an alternative note of the Philippine national human rights organization, KARAPATAN Alliance for the Advancement of People’s ights to the UN Human Rights Committee (HRC) in its 106th session to review the compliance of the Philippine State Party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).

The note seeks to illustrate to the HRC that extrajudicial killings and arbitrary arrests and detentions, as well as other human rights iolations like disappearances, torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment continue and persist with impunity in the Philippines.

KARAPATAN is a national human rights organization documenting and investigating cases of human rights violations in the Philippines. It also assists victims and their families in seeking remedies and justice for these violations. KARAPATAN has sixteen (16) regional offices in the archipelago that gather reports and send these to the National Office in Manila to be consolidated into quarterly and annual reports which the Alliance regularly come up with, publish and disseminate.

Read complete report @ www2.ohchr.org

[From the web] Cybercrime law violates Intl rights obligations of Aquino Govt -Karapatan

Cybercrime law violates Intl rights obligations of Aquino Govt
by Karapatan
October2, 2012

Karapatan today joined activists, netizens, journalists, bloggers, organizations and individuals in a protest action in front of the Supreme Court, to call on the high court to declare the Cybercrime Law unconstitutional; as the measure, which is due to take effect on Oct.3, “poses serious threats to the right to privacy, freedom of speech and expression, among other civil and political rights.”

Members of the organization flashed tablets with electronic posters tagging the Cybercrime Law as a form of “e-martial law,” likening the law to the forms of suppression on civil and political rights by the military dictatorship imposed by former Pres. Ferdinand Marcos.

Cristina Palabay, Karapatan secretary general and one of those who filed a petition in the Supreme Court questioning the constitutionality of the Cybercrime Act, said that aside from the law’s provisions on libel, the said measure gives free rein on authorities to monitor internet traffic data of internet users and to take down sites which they deem “libelous.”

Read full article @ www.karapatan.org

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[Press Release] Human rights group intensified calls for justice; highlights calls for livelihood and employment -Women WISE3

Human rights group intensified calls for justice; highlights calls for livelihood and employment

On its 4th anniversary, the Women Workers in Struggle for Employment, Empowerment and Emancipation or Women WISE3 intensified calls for justice following Malacanang’s claim of improving human rights situation.

In reaction to a Malacanang statement in Aug 30 saying that there are no cases of enforced disappearances under the Aquino government, Dylin Lauron, Women WISE3 coordinator said, “The Aquino government should stop denying that human rights violations like enforced disappearances continue to happen. Truth be told, the number of violations in the first two years Aquino are way more than the first two years of its predecessor.”

Various human rights group have documented more than 70 cases of extra-judicial killings beginning July 2010 while there are 11 cases enforced disappearances according to Karapatan. Various labor rights violations, as documented by the Center for Trade Union and Human Rights, have victimized at least 10,000 workers in the last two years.

“Just like how it hides the real poverty situation by changing the [poverty] threshold, the Aquino government wants the people to believe that the human rights condition in the country is improving by sheer denial of facts. This is very alarming. What action can we expect from a government that denies the real situation?” Lauron pointed out.

Lauron also challenged Malacanang to expedite the resolution of human rights violations committed by the Arroyo government. “If Aquino is serious about making the past administration accountable to the people, he must also prosecute Arroyo for her grave human rights records.”

Lauron added that Aquino’s counterinsurgency program, Oplan Bayanihan, must be stopped to end the spate of human rights violations.

Meanwhile, Women WISE3 also highlighted calls for livelihood and employment for families of victims of human rights violations especially whose breadwinners were killed, disappeared, or displaced from their work, amid natural disasters and floods.

“Most families of victims of human rights and labor rights violations are left impoverished because oftentimes, they lose the family breadwinner or worker-victims find it more difficult to land on regular jobs. Their economic condition is aggravated by the natural disasters and floods which we experience more often nowadays due to global warming.”

“To wholly address these concerns, livelihood programs and better employment opportunities must also be extended to families of victims of human rights violations,” Lauron explained.

For reference: Dylin Lauron, Women WISE3 Coordinator, 0922.565.8886

PRESS RELEASE
02 September 2012

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[From the web] Karapatan seeks disqualification of Abang Lingkod partylist

Karapatan seeks disqualification of Abang Lingkod partylist
July 27, 2012

Karapatan joined Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) in filing a complaint at the Commission on Elections for the removal and/or cancellation of registration of Abang Lingkod partylist. The complaint was filed by Wilfredo Marbella, Deputy Secretary General of KMP and Marie Hilao-Enriquez, Karapatan chairperson. The complaint included a petition to deny due course and/or cancel certificate of nomination.

The complaint stated that, “Abang Lingkod is not a party-list group of the marginalized and underrepresented peasant/farmer sector“ because Abang Lingkod’s objectives “do not contain anything that relates to peasant/farmer sector and, none of its incorporator and trustees are peasants/farmers.” On the contrary, “its nominees and leaders possess interest in conflict and adverse to the interests of peasants/farmers.”

Marie Hilao Enriquez said that Karapatan is specially concerned with Abang Lingkod’s standard bearer, Joseph Stephen Paduano aka Carapali Lualhati, the national commander of the Revolutionary Proletarian Army-Alex Boncayao Brigade (RPA-ABB). RPA-ABB has been involved with numerous cases of human rights violations, specifically in Negros Occidental and Oriental. It is widely known that RPA-ABB now functions as a paramilitary group.

The complaint cited that “by nominating Paduano as its standard bearer, ABANG LINGKOD for all intents and purposes, ties up its supposed advocacy with him. Hence, whatever advocacy that Paduano carries is attributed to that of ABANG LINGKOD. It could be very well concluded that Paduano’s track record of violating the rights of peasants/farmers is also reflective of the nature, character and objectives of ABANG LINGKOD.”

The complaint also mentioned that Paduano, through his group RPA-ABB, was a recipient of “funding from the government and big landlords in Negros, hence a ground for removal and/or cancellation of ABANG LINGKOD’s registration with this Honorable Commission.”

The government, through the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process, has admitted to giving funding support to Paduano and the RPA-ABB totaling P31 million already disbursed under the Payapa at Masaganang Pamayanan (PAMANA) program. Thus on November 2011, Representative Antonio Tinio questioned the allocation by OPPAP of P329-million for livelihood assistance to some 970 barangays in communities identified with RPA-ABB.”

Paduano, along with Patrick Leonard S. Lacson, Provincial Board Member of Negros Occidental were named defendants of the complaint.

In 2001, the Mamamayan Ayaw sa Droga (MAD) was disqualified when the Comelec and the Supreme Court discovered that it was funded by the Philippine National Police “using public funds.” ###

Source: www.karapatan.org

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[From the web] Aquino’s warped sense of justice: GMA freed, torturer promoted, impunity ignored -Karapatan

Aquino’s warped sense of justice: GMA freed, torturer promoted, impunity ignored

“And so this is justice under Aquino — torturers are given plum positions in the military, and the rich, powerful and notorious human rights violators like Palparan and Arroyo are mockingly free as preying vultures. No wonder, Noynoy deliberately omitted anything on human rights and peace in his SONA, a tacit and dangerous signal for state security forces to continue to prowl, with terror and violence against the people.”

Thus said Karapatan spokesperson Cristina Palabay, after news came out on the court resolution granting bail for former Pres. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and the designation of Morong 43 torturer Col. Aurelio Baladad as acting commanding officer of the 9th Infantry Division of the Phil. Army, shortly after Aquino’s State of the Nation Address (SONA). In his SONA, Aquino heralded the state of “justice” under his administration.

Karapatan supported the Morong 43 health workers who filed criminal and civil charges against Arroyo and Baladad, and the mothers of Sherlyn Cadapan and Karen Empeno who also filed criminal cases against Palparan resulting to the issuance of an arrest warrant. The group also filed an opposition to the appointments of Gen. Jorge Segovia and Baladad at the Commission on Appointments based on the pending complaints against them.

“It is reprehensible that a former President and military generals, whose notoriety on human rights violations has been condemned by the Filipino and the international community, are now both walking free from accountability. The crooked path of impunity lies under Aquino,” Palabay added.

The group also scored the series of moves to cover up the liabilities of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police in the extrajudicial killing of Italian missionary Fr. Fausto Tentorio and Dutch development worker Willem Geertman. Prior to Aquino’s SONA, the PNP investigators have stated robbery as the main motive behind the killing of Geertman, while paramilitary elements were excluded by the Dept. of Justice from the list of suspects in the killing of Tentorio.

“These are among the cases of extrajudicial killings that all remain unsolved under Aquino. Again, it begs the question: what kind of justice is Aquino harping on in his SONA? Clearly, it is the kind of justice that bears upon the poor and those working for meaningful changes in society, while promoting ‘justice’ for the moneyed and powerful,” Palabay concluded.

Source: www.karapatan.org

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[In the news] State of human rights under Aquino -www.thepoc.net

State of human rights under Aquino
by Ronalyn Olea, http://www.thepoc.net
July 28, 2012

The situation of human rights in the Philippines was the subject of the recent United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) Universal Periodic Review. It called attention to the continuing extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances, torture and other human rights violations and the prevailing climate of impunity in the Philippines.

The short period of the Aquino government that was reviewed drew concern from 22 countries over the continuing extrajudicial killings, disappearances and torture; the prevalence of paramilitary groups and private armies; and the non-prosecution of perpetrators of rights violations.

From June 2010 to June 2012 under the Aquino administration, human rights group Karapatan documented 99 cases of extrajudicial killings and 11 cases of enforced disappearances.

In Quezon province alone, there have been more than 120 cases of human rights abuses documented since 2011.

Read full article @ www.thepoc.net

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