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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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.