On Presidential Peace Adviser Jesus Dureza’s statement on the GRP cancellation of backchannel talks with the NDFP
Father of peasant brutally killed by soldiers files complaint vs GRP

Duterte’s martial law extension will bring more rights abuses
On Presidential Peace Adviser Jesus Dureza’s statement on the GRP cancellation of backchannel talks with the NDFP
publicinfo: Jul 19 01:24PM

  
What has repeatedly undermined and derailed the enabling environment for the GRP-NDFP peace talks is the GRP’s utter disregard for the previously signed agreements with the NDFP, including those on the substantive agenda in the peace negotiations and that on human rights and international humanitarian law, on the mere say-so of US lapdogs and militarists in the Duterte Cabinet and the military.
 

The GRP’s unilateral ceasefire, for instance, has been nothing but a PR spin of the military and police, because there was no let-up in the attacks against Lumad schools, extrajudicial killings, illegal arrests and bombings of communities allegedly influenced by the NPA. This situation was made worse by the all-out war declaration of the AFP, when bombs rained on several communities in Luzon and Mindanao affecting thousands of residents. The imposition of martial law certainly worsened the climate for meaningful and substantive discussions in the peace process, as well as the piecemeal release of political prisoners. How can the GRP make a credible pitch for a bilateral ceasefire agreement, when it has barely shown credence in implementing an already signed agreement on human rights and international humanitarian law?
 
 
Moreover, what Pres. Duterte and GRP has repeatedly undermined is the strong clamor of the Filipino people for a just and lasting peace, through sincere and earnest discussions on the roots of the armed rebellion and the ways to go forward on significant economic and political reforms. With the backchannel talks cancelled by the GRP, and with the extension and even possible expansion of the scope of martial law hovering like a Damocles sword, the Filipino people, including the people of Mindanao, will face further unpeace.
 
 
Reference: Cristina Palabay, Secretary General, +63917-3162831
Karapatan Public Information Desk, +63918-9790580
 

Father of peasant brutally killed by soldiers files complaint vs GRP
publicinfo: Jul 19 03:54PM +0800

Press Release | July 19, 2017
 
 
Reference:
Jigs Clamor, Karapatan Deputy Secretary General, +63999-7721233
Karapatan Public Information Desk, +63918-9790580
 
 
 
Rodolfo Tagalog Sr., father of peasant brutally killed in Milagros, Masbate, Bicol, filed a complaint against the Government of the Philippines (GRP) at the GRP-NDFP Joint Monitoring Committee today, July 19, 2017. Rodolfo Sr.’s son, Rodolfo Jr., was killed by composite elements of the 2nd Infantry Battalion – Philippine Army (IBPA) and 9th Infantry Division last April 15, 2017. Rodolfo Sr. was accompanied by human rights workers from Karapatan.
 

Rodolfo Tagalog Sr. (third from left) filed a complaint at the GRP Nominated Section of the GRP-NDFP Joint Monitoring Committee.
 
 
In a fact sheet submitted by Karapatan-Bicol based on the affidavit executed by Myrna Capillan, wife of Rodolfo Jr., her husband was in the river, bathing their horse in the morning of April 15. At around 5:30 to 7am, an encounter between the military and the New People’s Army (NPA) ensued. Witnesses attest that Rodolfo Jr. was abducted by soldiers of the 2nd IBPA and 9th ID. He has not been heard of for three days, until his family received a call from local authorities that three bodies are for retrieval from a military camp in Sitio Tulay, Milagros, Masbate.
 
 
According to Capillan, soldiers first showed photographs of the three bodies for her to positively identify Rodolfo Jr. She confirmed that it was indeed her husband and described the state of her husband’s body as: “his right cheeks were missing, his eyes were bloody and he had gunshot wounds.” Myrna added that Rodolfo Jr. was no longer wearing his shirt so rope marks, wounds, and bruises were visible on his bare skin.
 
 
“Walay makalampas sa kasakit sa maguwang nga mahibaw-an na ing-ana ang gisapit sa anak” (Nothing can fully describe the pain of a parent after learning that this is what his child has gone through), said Rodolfo Tagalog Sr. in his local language. Rodolfo Sr. only learned of his son’s death eight days after the incident. During the April 15 encounter, he was gathering coconuts, when a bullet grazed his arm and he fell from the tree. Despite his injury, he crawled to a bushy area to hide. Unable to move because of the pain, he stayed in the same spot for 8 days until a child chanced upon him and helped him.
 
 
“Three months after the incident and Tatay Rodolfo Sr. is still in pain – both in the literal and figurative sense. Filing the case against the GRP is one platform for victims and kin to expose the threads of State repression in the countryside and how it is affecting them. This is a clear violation of the Comprehensive Agreement of the Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL), and this is not an isolated case. This has been happening, and is gradually worsening after Duterte’s all-out-war, the US-instigated counterinsurgency program, and the recent martial law declaration,” said Karapatan Deputy Secretary General Jigs Clamor.
 
 
More than a year after Duterte became president, Karapatan has already documented 68 victims of political killings, majority of which are peasants. Clamor underscored that such violations against people’s civil and political rights have become all too rampant because of State policies that enables such abuses.
 
 
“Hustisya ra, hustisya ang amo gipangayo, naa ko diri para isambit ang hustisya. Wala man mi sala, pero ngano ing-ani man ang trato sa amo. Hustisya ang ako kanunay na isambit. Hustisya para sa ako, hustisya para sa ako anak” (Justice, I am here for justice. We have done nothing wrong, so why are we treated this way? I will continue to demand for justice – justice for me and justice for my son), concluded Rodolfo Tagalog Sr.
 

Duterte’s martial law extension will bring more rights abuses
publicinfo: Jul 19 11:33AM +0800

Press Release | July 19, 2017
 
 
Reference:
 
Cristina Palabay, Secretary General, +63917-3162831
Karapatan Public Information Desk, +63918-9790580
 
 
Duterte’s martial law extension will bring more rights abuses
 
 
“President Duterte’s call for Congress to extend martial law in Mindanao until the end of 2017 is like exhorting a mad cabal of harbingers of impunity to inflict and applaud further grave violations on people’s rights and civil liberties,” said Karapatan Secretary General Cristina Palabay, on Malacanang’s announcement that Duterte has asked Congress to extend martial law until December 31 of this year.
 
 
A special session of Congress is set to be convened on July 22, a month after Proclamation 216 and the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus was put into effect in Mindanao. House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez has expressed optimism that Duterte’s call will be heeded by Congress.
 
 
In a letter submitted on July 19 to Secretary Silvestre Bello III, as chairperson of the negotiating panel of the Government of the Republic of the Philippines in the peace talks with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines, Palabay stated that from May 23, 2017 to July 16, 2017, covering the less than two months of the martial law imposition, Karapatan documented ten (10) victims of extrajudicial killing and 335 illegal arrests in Mindanao. She stated that the situation in Marawi, as a combination of the result of the firefight and mostly airstrikes of the Armed Forces of the Philippines aided by the US military, had displaced at least 400,440 individuals or 84,855 families.
 
 
“These violations, which are direct consequences of Proclamation 216 that worsened the impact of implementation of counter-insurgency programs, belie reports and views that there are no human rights abuses under Pres. Rodrigo Duterte’s martial law. Sinister efforts to extend the martial law period and the geographical scope of such declaration ultimately means the furtherance of such abuses. State militarist solutions to terrorism or rebellion, at the expense of people’s rights, are not solutions at all, as
these only magnify the problems at hand. What is direly needed are comprehensive economic and political reforms that address the root causes of social problems,” Palabay said.
 
 
The documented cases, Palabay added, are serious violations of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL), which was reaffirmed by both the GRP and NDFP peace panels during the first round of formal peace talks and during the
recent back channel talks under Duterte.
 
 
“Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana’s statements challenging human rights organizations and victim of rights abuses under martial law to work with the military in resolving these cases are words of a fork-tongued devil. The AFP simply has no credibility to speak of human rights protection nor of meting out accountability of its troops, with its long list of rights violations since Marcos martial law to Duterte’s martial law,” Palabay said.
 
 
Karapatan instead urged Duterte and the GRP Peace Panel “to look into these violations and heed the calls of affected communities, the victims and their families to lift martial law and to revoke the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus, to stop the killings, illegal arrests, forcible evacuation and bombing of communities, to pull out the AFP and paramilitary forces in civilian communities and to respect and implement the CARHRIHL.”
 
 
“We continue to support the Filipino people, especially the people of Mindanao, in resisting martial law and all forms of fascist attacks. Only through the people’s struggle can a just and lasting peace be achieved,” Palabay concluded.
 
 
 
*Attached is a copy of the letter sent to the GRP peace panel and the data on the human rights violations from May 23, 2017 to July 16, 2017.
 

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