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Category — Press Releases

On Malacanang’s statement re Karapatan’s report on political killings to UN

April 15, 2017

For reference: Cristina Palabay, Karapatan Secretary General, 0917-3162831

On Malacanang’s statement re Karapatan’s report on political killings to UN

Instead of Malacanang’s blanket dismissal of allegations that its State security forces have killed peasants and indigenous peoples, it should look into these documented cases substantiated with facts and testimonies, even first-hand witness testimonies identifying the State perpetrators of the political killings. It should initiate prosecution to hold them accountable and rescind the counter-insurgency program that has terrorized peasant and indigenous communities. It should address the thousands of complaints lodged at the Joint Monitoring Committee on the Comprehensive Agreement on Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL).

Our broken justice system and domestic institutions have failed the victims and their families. Only one conviction in a local court was attained in the 1,587 victims of political killings during the Arroyo, Aquino and the current Duterte regime. While it true that international institutions should not interfere with domestic affairs, any State is duty-bound to uphold international human rights commitments and therefore is accountable to its peoples according to such commitments.

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PUBLIC INFORMATION DESK
publicinfo@karapatan.org
———————————————————————

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.

April 20, 2017   No Comments

Karapatan submits cases of political killings under Duterte to UN

Press Statement
April 11, 2017
 
Reference:      
Cristina “Tinay” Palabay, Secretary General, +63917-3162831
Angge Santos, Media Liaison, +63918-9790580

A month before the UN review on PH rights compliance: Karapatan submits cases of political killings under Duterte to UN
 
In a letter of allegation submitted to the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial/Summary or Arbitrary Executions Ms. Agnes Callamard yesterday, April 10, 2017, Karapatan submitted documentation on forty-seven (47) victims of extrajudicial killings in the Philippines under the Duterte administration, in line with the continuing counter-insurgency program of the government.
 
The said cases were submitted a month before May 8, 2017, the 3rd cycle of the Universal Periodic Review on the Philippines at the UN Human Rights Council, a process whereby the human rights record of a country will be examined by other State. The period under review covers the last four years of the Aquino administration and the first months of the Duterte government. Karapatan also submitted similar complaints during the Arroyo and Aquino administrations.
 
“The victims of killings are peasants, indigenous peoples and workers; many faced harassment and villification by the military because of their advocacy and actions to defend people’s rights and are thus considered as human rights defenders,” said Cristina Palabay, Karapatan Secretary General, in her letter to Callamard. Karapatan urged Callamard to consider, investigate, make recommendations and take any appropriate actions on the cases.
 
“Despite the 2008 report to the United Nations Human Rights Council on the Philippines by your predecessor, Prof. Philip Alston, strong recommendations on extrajudicial killings perpetrated as part of counter-insurgency programs, was unheeded both by the Arroyo and Aquino governments. Throughout both administrations, political killings of peasants, indigenous peoples, Moro, workers, women and youth continued and intensified. Under Arroyo, Karapatan documented at least 1,206 individual victims of extrajudicial killing. Under Aquino, there were 334 victims of extrajudicial killing,” Palabay explained.
 
Karapatan said that “under Duterte, from July 2016 to March 31, 2017, a total of 47 cases of political killings have been documented by Karapatan.”
 
“These killings are all in the context of the counter-insurgency programs implemented from one regime to another that supposedly seek to end the armed rebellion of revolutionary movements in the Philippines. From Arroyo’s Oplan Bantay Laya, Aquino’s Oplan Bayanihan and to the current Oplan Kapayapaan of Duterte, these counter-insurgency programs have victimized thousands of Filipinos, including struggling communities, tagged as “enemies of the State,” she further stated.
 
Karapatan expressed hope “that Callamard’s findings about the gravity of political killings in the Philippines will convince the Duterte government to completely junk counterinsurgency programs of which EJKs are a major aspect, to issue strong warnings to and prosecute EJK perpetrators, and continue to pursue his efforts at attaining just and lasting peace with the NDFP and the Moro liberation movements.”
 
Palabay said they are working with Rise Up, a campaign network of faith-based institutions and people’s organizations, in preparing similar complaints that will be filed at the UN on cases of extrajudicial killings in line with the Duterte administration’s war on drugs.
 
Karapatan is also in the process of preparing documentation on other cases of human rights violations such as illegal arrest and detention of civilians and activists, forcible evacuation and bombing of communities, which will be forwarded to relevant mandate holders. The organization also co-convenes the Philippine UPR Watch, a network of faith-based and human rights organizations that engages in the UPR process which will send a delegation of human rights defenders to the UPR this May.
 
*Full copy of letter attached. Information on the submitted cases are available upon request.

———————————————————————
PUBLIC INFORMATION DESK
publicinfo@karapatan.org 
———————————————————————

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. 

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Attachment(s) from International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines | View attachments on the web 1 of 1 File(s)
Letter to UNSR EJK April 10, 2017.pdf

April 11, 2017   No Comments

Karapatan submits cases of political killings under Duterte to UN

Press Statement
April 11, 2017

Reference:
Cristina “Tinay” Palabay, Secretary General, 0917-3162831
Angge Santos, Media Liaison, 0918-9790580

A month before the UN review on PH rights compliance: Karapatan submits cases of political killings under Duterte to UN

In a letter of allegation submitted to the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial/Summary or Arbitrary Executions Ms. Agnes Callamard yesterday, April 10, 2017, Karapatan submitted documentation on forty-seven (47) victims of extrajudicial killings in the Philippines under the Duterte administration, in line with the continuing counter-insurgency program of the government.

The said cases were submitted a month before May 8, 2017, the 3rd cycle of the Universal Periodic Review on the Philippines at the UN Human Rights Council, a process whereby the human rights record of a country will be examined by other State. The period under review covers the last four years of the Aquino administration and the first months of the Duterte government. Karapatan also submitted similar complaints during the Arroyo and Aquino administrations.

“The victims of killings are peasants, indigenous peoples and workers; many faced harassment and villification by the military because of their advocacy and actions to defend people’s rights and are thus considered as human rights defenders,” said Cristina Palabay, Karapatan Secretary General, in her letter to Callamard. Karapatan urged Callamard to consider, investigate, make recommendations and take any appropriate actions on the cases.

“Despite the 2008 report to the United Nations Human Rights Council on the Philippines by your predecessor, Prof. Philip Alston, strong recommendations on extrajudicial killings perpetrated as part of counter-insurgency programs, was unheeded both by the Arroyo and Aquino governments. Throughout both administrations, political killings of peasants, indigenous peoples, Moro, workers, women and youth continued and intensified. Under Arroyo, Karapatan documented at least 1,206 individual victims of extrajudicial killing. Under Aquino, there were 334 victims of extrajudicial killing,” Palabay explained.

Karapatan said that “under Duterte, from July 2016 to March 31, 2017, a total of 47 cases of political killings have been documented by Karapatan.”

“These killings are all in the context of the counter-insurgency programs implemented from one regime to another that supposedly seek to end the armed rebellion of revolutionary movements in the Philippines. From Arroyo’s Oplan Bantay Laya, Aquino’s Oplan Bayanihan and to the current Oplan Kapayapaan of Duterte, these counter-insurgency programs have victimized thousands of Filipinos, including struggling communities, tagged as “enemies of the State,” she further stated.

Karapatan expressed hope “that Callamard’s findings about the gravity of political killings in the Philippines will convince the Duterte government to completely junk counterinsurgency programs of which EJKs are a major aspect, to issue strong warnings to and prosecute EJK perpetrators, and continue to pursue his efforts at attaining just and lasting peace with the NDFP and the Moro liberation movements.”

Palabay said they are working with Rise Up, a campaign network of faith-based institutions and people’s organizations, in preparing similar complaints that will be filed at the UN on cases of extrajudicial killings in line with the Duterte administration’s war on drugs.

Karapatan is also in the process of preparing documentation on other cases of human rights violations such as illegal arrest and detention of civilians and activists, forcible evacuation and bombing of communities, which will be forwarded to relevant mandate holders. The organization also co-convenes the Philippine UPR Watch, a network of faith-based and human rights organizations that engages in the UPR process which will send a delegation of human rights defenders to the UPR this May.

*Full copy of letter attached. Information on the submitted cases are available upon request.

———————————————————————
PUBLIC INFORMATION DESK
publicinfo@karapatan.org
———————————————————————

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.

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Attachment(s) from Andy Whitmore | View attachments on the web
1 of 1 File(s)
Letter to UNSR EJK April 10, 2017.pdf

April 11, 2017   No Comments

We Want Genuine Peace in Our Land!

Dear friends,

Sharing with you a statement of the Cordillera Human Rights Alliance – Karapatan on the recently concluded Solidarity and Peace Mission in Malibcong, Abra on April 3-6, 2017, for your news stories and reference. Please attribute data and views to CHRA-Karapatan. Thank you.

Karapatan Public Information Desk

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We Want Genuine Peace in Our Land!
https://www.scribd.com/document/344480480/WE-WANT-GENUINE-PEACE-IN-OUR-LAND

The people of Malibcong, Abra call for peace and expressed their support for the peace talks highlighting their demand for State security forces to uphold and fully adhere to all State obligations in their conduct of war.

The Kakailian Salakniban tay Amin a Nagtaudan (KASTAN) – the Abra provincial chapter of the Cordillera Peoples Alliance (CPA), Abra Human Rights Movement (AHRM), Cordillera Human Rights Alliance (CHRA), Cordillera Elders Alliance (CEA), Karapatan National Alliance for Human Rights, Kabataan Partylist (KPL), Regional Ecumenical Council in the Cordillera (RECCORD), and Innabuyog-Cordillera strongly support the people’s calls and further demand for accountability of violators to be exacted.

Civilians have become targets in the recent intense military combat operations of the notorious 24th Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army (IBPA) under the 7th Infantry Division (ID) led by Lt. Col. Tomas Dominic Baluga, known as the “Palparan Battalion.” The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) declared the municipality as a “hostile area” to justify military presence and actions. They also claim that “other groups and people” are required to get AFP permission before entering and holding activities in communities.

The AFP committed the following human rights and international humanitarian law violations as validated by a Peace Mission held in Malibcong, Abra this April 3-6, 2017:
• Curtailment of the right to mobility – people are not allowed to freely move within their community to visit and till their swidden farms and pastureland in Malibcong and the whole Malanas line. The AFP requires the people to present their valid ID or residence certificate before going in or out of the community. They were told not to go to the forests and that they have to seek permission or inform the military forces of their whereabouts and schedules before going out of the community.
• Food blockade – Entry or purchase of food in the community is limited, as the military troops suspect that if “extra” food is brought in, this will be given to the NPA.
• Encampment within residential area endangering civilians and several cases of violation of domicile
• Indiscriminate air strikes using phosphorus bombs resulting to the burning of the communal forest of the indigenous people of Mataragan and Bangilo.
• Illegal arrest and detention – 4 cases of illegal arrest and detention including 1 minor and 2 women.
• Threat/Harassment/Intimidation – Lt. Col. Baluga openly issued a threat against civilians suspected to be supporters of the New People’s Army in a community meeting. “Daytoy nga Bala biruken na ti kalaban na pati dagiti supporter na.” (Bullets will not only be used to hunt the enemy but also their supporters.)

We condemn all these violations of the the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL) that have sown terror in the Mabaka Gubang and Banao ancestral domain.

Farming was disrupted since the indiscriminate bombings between the boundaries of Sitio Putol, Sitio Matalibeng, and Bangilo last March 16, 2017. Rice fields and swidden farms, the people’s main source of livelihood, are unattended. Economic activity is hampered because of fear. They are forced to stay inside the community without assurance that food will be available the next day.

Classes from Kinder to High School in Mataragan and Bangilo were suspended for one week after the bombing violating the children’s rights to education.

The Peace and Solidarity Mission organized by CHRA was not spared from intimidation. Lt. Col. Baluga and his troops attempted to bar the mission team from entering the community and holding activities in the area, despite compliance with protocol courtesy calls to appropriate local government units.

Inspite of this, the people of Brgys. Umnap, Buanao, Lat-ey, Paqued and Mataragan persisted to hold community assemblies as part of the Peace Mission as a statement to the AFP that the rights and welfare of the civilians should be upheld and protected, especially in a civil war. The harassments, surveillance, outright threats from the AFP failed to cow the people’s assertion of rights.

We call on the people to stand with the Mabaka, Gubang and Banao tribes and other militarized communities in the country. As the peace talks between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) have resumed, we call for support for the CARHRIHL to be fully implemented, and for an independent investigation be conducted on the aerial bombing conducted by the AFP.

With the foreseen negative economic impact of the miltarization of the Malibcong, we also appeal for financial and material support for the people.

Scrap Oplan Kapayapaan! No to all-out war!
Stop militarization of indigenous communities!
Pull out AFP troops from ancestral domains and territories of national minorities!
Hold the 24th IBPA and the 7th ID accountable for their human rights and international humanitarian law violations!
Struggle for peace based on justice!

For reference:
Imelda Tabiando
Secretary General, CHRA-Karapatan
mobile number: 09189199007

———————————————————————
PUBLIC INFORMATION DESK
publicinfo@karapatan.org
———————————————————————

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.

April 11, 2017   No Comments

Canadians press for release of all political prisoners in PH

Press Statement
April 10, 2017

Reference:
Cristina “Tinay” Palabay, Secretary General, 0917-3162831
Angge Santos, Media Liaison, 0918-9790580

Amid support for the GRP-NDFP peace talks Canadians press for release of all political prisoners in PH
http://karapatan.org/Amid+support+for+the+GRP-NDFP+peace+talks%2C+Canadians+press+for+release+of+all+political+prisoners+in+PH

As they expressed their support for the continuation of the peace talks between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines, more than 200 Canadian trade unions, churches, ecumenical organizations, solidarity and human rights organizations, academics, journalists and individuals in Canada also called for the release of all political prisoners in the Philippines.

“The release of all political prisoners is an issue of justice. We appeal to President Duterte to protect the right of his country’s citizens to speak and act on their political beliefs. We urge him to rectify the injustice committed against those who are imprisoned for exercising their right by releasing all political prisoners now,” they stated in an open letter addressed to Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte. The said letter from Canadians for Just Peace in the Philippines, an international platform which supports the Philippine peace process, was sent to Duterte on April 4, 2017, during the fourth round of GRP-NDFP peacetalks in The Netherlands.

The Canadians for Just Peace in the Philippines also called on Duterte to specifically release the three (3) consultants of the NDFP who remain in detention as a confidence building measure, as well as to immediately release 130 ailing political prisoners on humanitarian grounds.

“It is our firm belief that the release of all political prisoners is a critical step to achieve success in the peace talks,” they stated.

Meanwhile, Karapatan said “any and all means to release all political prisoners are welcome, but the GRP should be constantly reminded that every day that passes with them in jail, while their numbers continue to increase with the recent illegal arrests and detention of political activists, is another day of injustice against them.”

In the GRP-NDFP Joint Statement signed on April 6, 2017, the GRP reported that nineteen (19) political prisoners, including three NDFP consultants, have been recommended for conditional pardon to the Presidential Committee on Bail, Recognizance or Pardon (PCBREP). The GRP also said that it will assist in the release of two (2) consultants recently arrested, while both parties committed to continue to explore all expeditious and acceptable modes for the release of the rest of the prisoners.

Karapatan Secretary General Cristina Palabay said that “the general and unconditional amnesty of all political prisoners remains as the most expeditious mode of release of political prisoners.”

“Duterte should be reminded that only the warmongers in his military and moronic legislators like Antonio Trillanes, Panfilo Lacson and Magdalo men oppose the release of political prisoners. They have no credibility to speak on matters of justice, hence lending your ear to these peace saboteurs will amount to nothing but unpeace,” Palabay concluded.

*For a copy of the full open letter by Canadians for Just Peace in the Philippines, please see this link: http://karapatan.org/An+Open+Letter+to+President+Rodrigo+Duterte+from+Canadians+for+Just+Peace+in+the+Philippines

April 11, 2017   No Comments

Download Save to OneDrive – Personal

[Attachment(s) from International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines included below]
Dear Friends,

Attached is an open letter signed by Canadian trade unions, churches,
ecumenical organizations, solidarity and human rights organizations,
academics, etc and individuals calling on President Duterte to free all
political prisoners. The letter has been sent also to the GRP panel
members.

In solidarity with Filipinos back home and around the world, we hope for
a productive round of the peace talks.

Bern Jagunos (on behalf of ICHRP Canada)

#FreeAllPoliticalPrisoners
#JustPeacePH

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Attachment(s) from International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines | View attachments on the web
1 of 1 File(s)
Open Letter to President Duterte for release of all political prisoners.docx

Posted by: International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines <icchrp@gmail.com>

April 5, 2017   No Comments

Karapatan: There can be no peace if landlessness remains unsolved 

Press Statement
March 31, 2017

Reference:      Cristina “Tinay” Palabay, Secretary General, +63917-3162831
Angge Santos, Media Liaison, +63918-9790580

Karapatan: There can be no peace if landlessness remains unsolved

“Of the 46 victims of political killings under Duterte, majority are from the peasants – leaders and members of local peasant organizations who have been targeted by State security forces and/or private armies of the landed elite for asserting their rights,” said Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay on the continuing political killings. The Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) today led a nationwide mass action against the spate of extrajudicial killings of peasants.

The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) has specified that among the 46 documented cases by Karapatan, 19 were killed due to agrarian-related disputes. Palabay said that “a genuine land reform program remains an elusive goal as past governments remained hell-bent on passing laws with loopholes that landlords simply skate through.”

“It becomes a more challenging task as those in government also belong to the landed elite in the country. The crafting of the Comprehensive Agreement on Social Economic Reforms (CASER) is an important undertaking, putting to the table the historical and structural inequalities that has maintained and worsened the feudal exploitation of the majority, with the objective of changing it.”

The CASER is among the substantive agenda in the formal peace talks between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines, which will tackle free land distribution, among other aspects of agrarian reform, rural development and national industrialization. Progress has been notably positive before the GRP cancelled the peace talks. The continuation of the peace talks opens the possibility of continuing discussions, finalization and the eventual signing of the CASER as a binding agreement between the GRP and the NDFP.

Genuine agrarian reform has been a long-standing issue that has plagued the past and present administrations. Among the positive developments under the Duterte administration is the appointment of peasant leader and organizer Rafael Mariano as the Secretary of the Department of Agrarian Reform. The confirmation of his appointment, however, remains in limbo as the Commission on Appointments (CA) bypassed him yet again, along with Department of Social Welfare and Development Sec. Judy Taguiwalo, last March 15, 2017.

Palabay said that “the deferment of confirmation of DAR Secretary Rafael Mariano’s appointment by the CA means there are many forces at work, such as big landlords and corporations, to impede efforts towards free distribution of land to farmers and the moratorium on land conversion. Indeed, when the status quo is threatened from proceeding like business is as usual, efforts of progressive officials who spearhead substantial changes are being blocked.”

“What we need is a government who is for the majority not just in rhetoric, but most importantly, in action. Words of peace have very little bearing when people who fight for their basic rights are being killed on the ground. Walk the talk, Mr. President. You say you will protect the majority of the Filipinos, and who are the majority but the farmers and workers clearly demanding for genuine land reform and an end to contractualization,” added Palabay.

“More than ever, there is urgency to talk about the roots of unrest and armed rebellion. If exploitation, landlessness, and suffering continues without any real prospect of reforms and change, then the people will be duty-bound to exhaust all means possible to address and change the system which, for so long, have perpetrated their destitution,” Palabay concluded.

———————————————————————
PUBLIC INFORMATION DESK
publicinfo@karapatan.org
———————————————————————

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.

April 1, 2017   No Comments

#StopKillingFarmers: almost 50% of environmentalists killed in PH are farmers – Kalikasan

KALIKASAN PEOPLE’S NETWORK FOR THE ENVIRONMENT
26 Matulungin St. Central Dist., Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines, 1100
Tel./Fax: +632-920-9099 E-mail: secretariat@kalikasan.net  Website: www.kalikasan.net

PRESS RELEASE
31 March 2017

#StopKillingFarmers: almost 50 percent of environmentalists killed in PH are farmers – Kalikasan

Environmental activist group Kalikasan People’s Network for the Environment (Kalikasan PNE) joined the farmers from Southern Mindanao Region led by the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas in a protest action today in Mendiola, Manila to condemn the worsening spate of killings among the farmers. The group said that of the recorded 117 environmental activists killed since 2001, almost 50 percent are peasant farmers.

“We are one with the farmers from Southern Mindanao in denouncing the worsening impunity by state forces against their communities. Farmers are the ones who are directly affected whenever destructive projects such as mining, megadams or plantations are constructed, it is the reason why they are also in the front lines against these projects, and extrajudicial killings have been the most convenient way for government forces to pacify them,” said Clemente Bautista, National Coordinator of Kalikasan PNE.

The group noted that 11 of the 16 environmental activists killed in just nine months under the Duterte administration, including the recent four anti-plantation and anti-mining peasant activists from Compostela Valley province. Suspected military elements figured also in 11 of these cases.

“The rate of killings among environmental advocates including farmers under the Duterte administration is now higher than the previous administrations of Arroyo and Aquino. It seems the fascist military under the Duterte administration is intent to continue its business-as-usual of violating human rights for a living,” Bautista added.

“Military,police, paramilitary and private armed groups that serves as the protectors of big business interests are  the primary suspects of these killings. AFP’s ‘All-Out War’ and counter-insurgency program Oplan Kapayapaan has been used as a tool to brutally suppress unarmed civilians in the countryside that are defending their land and livelihood,” said Bautista.

The group cited the previous statements made by the AFP that their unabated military operations were also to secure ‘vital installations’ in the countryside that include large-scale mines, plantations, and other big business projects.

“We have long been raising the issue of rising killings among farmers and environmentalist to the Duterte administration. There is still no move by the current administration to resolve the cases. Duterte should immediately stop its bloody streak and launch a full-blown national investigation of the various killings of environment defenders especially the peasant farmers,” Bautista ended.#

Reference: Clemente Bautista – 0905 432 5211

National Secretariat
Kalikasan People’s Network for the Environment
26 Matulungin St. Central District, Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines, 1100
Tel: 02 920 90 99 | E-mail: secretariat@kalikasan.net | Site: www.kalikasan.net

April 1, 2017   No Comments

Philippines: Pursue justice, end impunity

Pursue justice, end impunity
30 March 2017

MEDIA RELEASE
No letting up in their pursuit of justice, the Morong 43 health workers together with Justice for the Morong 43! Justice for All Victims of Human Rights Violations! Alliance and the National Union of People’s Lawyers (NUPL) trooped to the 7th Division of the Sandiganbayan today to attend an original schedule of arraignment against military and police officers who illegally arrested and detained them on February 6, 2010. However, the supposed arraignment shall not anymore include in the complaint former president and now Congw. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Generals Ibrado and Bangit.
Justice for the Morong 43! Justice for All Victims of Human Rights Violations! Alliance maintained that Arroyo, Ibrado and Bangit should not have been exonerated on the torture raps filed by the Morong 43.  In an October 2016 resolution, the Ombudsman decided to absolve Arroyo, Ibrado and Bangit of any responsibility regarding the torture complaint. Although the the victims, their relatives, and colleagues felt hurt and disappointed by the decision, they nevertheless  support the Ombudsman’s new motion to file complaints against the other military officials, including Lt. Gen. Jorge Segovia, then commander of the Army’s 2nd Infantry Division when his men swooped down on a training facility in Morong on February 6, 2010, for violation of RA 7438 or Rights of Persons Arrested, Detained or under Custodial Investigation.
In their affidavit, the Morong 43 attested that upon arrest, they were denied of their right to be assisted by a legal counsel. According to them, they were only allowed to consult with their lawyers after 5 days in detention at Camp Capinpin, Tanay, Rizal. The 43 health workers were conducting basic health skills training when they were frisked, illegally arrested and detained by elements of the PNP and AFP on February 6, 2010 in Morong, Rizal.
The violation of the right to counsel is but a mere fraction of the vast human right violations committed against the Morong 43. With this development, the Morong 43 and the Alliance remain hopeful that justice will be served and all those who perpetrate impunity will be made accountable.##
UPDATE (as of 11:00 am):
Upon appearance at the Sandiganbayan, the Morong 43 and their legal counsels from the National Union of People’s Lawyers (NUPL), they were informed that most of the accused have filed meanwhile motions to quash the charges and which were heard earlier last March 24. In their statement, the NUPL said that, “Unbeknownst to the handling NUPL lawyers who were set to formally enter their appearance as private prosecutors today.”
Upon verification with the court, the NUPL found out that “it had already issued an order on the same date requiring the prosecution to comment within 30 days, and at the same time, cancelling today’s scheduled arraignment and resetting it to May 28. The complainants were not priorly notified of such cancellation.”
Reference:         Dr. Alex Montes – 0955-1763202| +63 2 929-8109

April 1, 2017   No Comments

Pursue justice, end impunity

Pursue justice, end impunity
30 March 2017

MEDIA RELEASE
No letting up in their pursuit of justice, the Morong 43 health workers together with Justice for the Morong 43! Justice for All Victims of Human Rights Violations! Alliance and the National Union of People’s Lawyers (NUPL) trooped to the 7th Division of the Sandiganbayan today to attend an original schedule of arraignment against military and police officers who illegally arrested and detained them on February 6, 2010. However, the supposed arraignment shall not anymore include in the complaint former president and now Congw. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Generals Ibrado and Bangit.
Justice for the Morong 43! Justice for All Victims of Human Rights Violations! Alliance maintained that Arroyo, Ibrado and Bangit should not have been exonerated on the torture raps filed by the Morong 43.  In an October 2016 resolution, the Ombudsman decided to absolve Arroyo, Ibrado and Bangit of any responsibility regarding the torture complaint. Although the the victims, their relatives, and colleagues felt hurt and disappointed by the decision, they nevertheless  support the Ombudsman’s new motion to file complaints against the other military officials, including Lt. Gen. Jorge Segovia, then commander of the Army’s 2nd Infantry Division when his men swooped down on a training facility in Morong on February 6, 2010, for violation of RA 7438 or Rights of Persons Arrested, Detained or under Custodial Investigation.
In their affidavit, the Morong 43 attested that upon arrest, they were denied of their right to be assisted by a legal counsel. According to them, they were only allowed to consult with their lawyers after 5 days in detention at Camp Capinpin, Tanay, Rizal. The 43 health workers were conducting basic health skills training when they were frisked, illegally arrested and detained by elements of the PNP and AFP on February 6, 2010 in Morong, Rizal.
The violation of the right to counsel is but a mere fraction of the vast human right violations committed against the Morong 43. With this development, the Morong 43 and the Alliance remain hopeful that justice will be served and all those who perpetrate impunity will be made accountable.##
UPDATE (as of 11:00 am):
Upon appearance at the Sandiganbayan, the Morong 43 and their legal counsels from the National Union of People’s Lawyers (NUPL), they were informed that most of the accused have filed meanwhile motions to quash the charges and which were heard earlier last March 24. In their statement, the NUPL said that, “Unbeknownst to the handling NUPL lawyers who were set to formally enter their appearance as private prosecutors today.”
Upon verification with the court, the NUPL found out that “it had already issued an order on the same date requiring the prosecution to comment within 30 days, and at the same time, cancelling today’s scheduled arraignment and resetting it to May 28. The complainants were not priorly notified of such cancellation.”
Reference:         Dr. Alex Montes – 0955-1763202| +63 2 929-8109

March 30, 2017   No Comments