Unmistakable realities on the HR situation in PH and Karapatan’s reaction on the recent Joint Statement of 39 States at the UNHRC

September 29, 2017
Reference:  Cristina Palabay, Secretary General, +63917-3162831
Karapatan Public Information Desk, +63918-9790580
Unmistakable realities on the HR situation in PH and Karapatan’s reaction on the recent Joint Statement of 39 States at the UNHRC 

The joint statement of 39 States expressing concern on extrajudicial killings  vis a vis the drug war and human rights violations against human rights defenders, indigenous peoples and journalists in the Philippines and regrets the non-acceptance of recommendations that address these serious violations belie the “good grades” attained by the Philippine government at the UN Human Rights Council in the recently concluded Universal Periodic Review. 
It also affirms that no amount of media spin by the Duterte administration can unmake the unmistakable reality of the human rights situation on the ground – that its repressive and anti-people programs such as the drug war, the martial law in Mindanao and the continuing implementation of the counter-insurgency programs impact heavily on the climate of impunity in the country and that the situation is spiralling to very dangerous levels, especially with threats on a nationwide martial law. 
While killings of the poor continued in the drug war, killings of human rights defenders also remain relentless. On September 26, Toto Lompaodan, 40, member of Alyansa sa mga Mag-uuma sa Sidlakang Davao (ALMASID), was shot dead by a certain Dexter Sallian of the 67th Infantry Battalion-Philippine Army (IBPA), while Lompaodan was claiming his cash assistance from the DSWD office in Cateel, Davao Oriental. On September 28, peasant leader Reneboy Magayano, 50, Chairperson of Maragusan Workers Association and a council member of Hugpong sa mga Mag-uuma sa Walog Compostela, was shot dead by suspected military agents of 66th IBPA on board a motorcycle while buying fish at Maragusan public market.
These killings occurred while the military conducts continuous aerial bombings and ground operations in Batangas province, displacing residents in communities and blocking all forms of independent support and humanitarian aid from human rights groups to the civilians. Amid martial law in Mindanao, the Armed Forces of the Philippines, through the 29th IBPA, has been conducting military operations in communities in Agusan del Norte since September 12, causing the forcible evacuation of at least 122 families, including members of the Unyon sa mga Mag-uuma sa Agusan del Norte-KMP.  
With the refusal of the PH government to allow an independent UNHRC investigation on the killings and other rights violations, its distortion of facts and continuing human rights violations, it is necessary to revisit calls for the removal of the Philippines at the UN HRC as it has shown mockery of its continuing membership in the said body and has consistently violated all international human rights instruments, as well as all recommendations pertaining to its obligations and commitments on human rights, despite its participation in the UPR process since 2008. 
We call on the international community to remain vigilant and continue its support for the Filipino people’s campaigns and struggles against human rights violations in the Philippines and Duterte’s tyrannical rule. 
*Attached is recent statement of 39 States at the UNHRC

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.