Press Statement
December 20, 2018

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

Karapatan to Panelo: Reports to UN based on strong, substantial evidence from victims and their families

Reports raised in the UN platform are not baseless, but grounded in strong, substantial evidence and testimonies of victims and their families. It is no secret to the world, let alone to the Filipino people at the forefront of the Duterte regime’s fascist attacks, that the ruthlessness and repression of the Duterte regime has reached an unprecedented level. We are not resentful local groups being used by the opposition, but rather critical individuals and rights defenders who bear witness to the gross rights violations in this country. The report on the Philippines presented by UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders Michel Forst is likewise substantiated by our own experiences of persecution, harassment, illegal arrest and detention, and even colleagues who were killed. We are people who have, throughout regimes, demanded accountability. The Duterte regime is no exception.

We have availed remedies in court, particularly countercharges with regard to the Sagay 9 incident, the killing of Lumad student Obello Bay-ao by paramilitary groups, and past cases such as the disappearance of UP students Karen Empeno and Sherlyn Cadapan of which retired Gen. Jovito Palparan was recently convicted. We are making use of ALL available platforms for accountability, and no spokesperson’s frothing mouth can discourage us from exposing these violations. He can belittle our efforts, in the same way that all past governments have, but we will continue to move forward. We expect these accusations from a guilty government, and we remind them that for all their shenanigans, repressive policies and widespread rights violations, the fight for justice is far from over. Unlike them, we have nothing to fear.

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PUBLIC INFORMATION DESK
publicinfo@karapatan.org
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Alliance for the Advancement of People’s Rights
2nd Flr. Erythrina Bldg., #1 Maaralin corner Matatag Sts., Central District
Diliman, Quezon City, PHILIPPINES 1101
Telefax: (+63 2) 4354146
Web: http://www.karapatan.org/

KARAPATAN is an alliance of human rights organizations and programs, human rights desks and committees of people’s organizations, and individual advocates committed to the defense and promotion of people’s rights and civil liberties. It monitors and documents cases of human rights violations, assists and defends victims and conducts education, training and campaign.