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National Democratic Front of the Philippines
First of Four Agreements Between GRP and NDFP
Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines
The CARHRIHL is the first of four agreements in the substantive agenda of the formal talks between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP). The other items in the substantive agenda are on socio-economic reforms, political and constitutional reforms, and on end of hostilities and disposition of forces.
The CARHRIHL was signed on March 16, 1998 in The Hague, The Netherlands and was approved on April 10, 1998 by NDFP National Council Chairperson Mariano Orosa and on August 7, 1998 by GRP President Joseph E. Estrada.
Message from Fidel V. Agcaoili -Chairperson, NDFP Negotiating Panel
Continue to Uphold CAHRIHL and Fight For A Just Peace for the FILIPINO People
Message to the gathering of peace advocates on the 20th anniversary of the CARHRIHL
March 16, 2018
We in the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) Negotiating Panel join the Filipino people in commemorating the 20th anniversary of the signing of the landmark Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL), the first in the four-item substantive agenda of the peace negotiations between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the NDFP.
The Agreement paves the way for negotiating the much needed social, economic and political reforms in the country. We hail the CARHRIHL as an important document in the struggle to promote and protect human rights and, for the Parties in the armed conflict, to abide by international humanitarian law in the conduct of war, especially during times of impasse in the peace negotiations.
We urge peace advocates, human rights defenders and the Filipino people to continue and persevere in their struggle for human rights and the principles of international humanitarian law.
In practice and in principle, and even prior to the signing of the CARHRIHL, the revolutionary forces under the NDFP have been adhering to human rights and the principles of international humanitarian law.
These are embodied in the following documents:
- the Basic Rules of the New People’s Army (NPA) adopted on 29 March 1969
- the Guide for Establishing the People’s Democratic Government adopted in October 1972
- the Rules in the Investigation and Prosecution of Suspected Enemy Spies issued by the Political Bureau of the Central Committee (CC) of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) on December 1989
- the NDFP Declaration of Adherence to International Humanitarian Law on 15 August 1991
- the Memorandum on the Minimum Age Requirement for NPA Fighters issued by the Executive Committee of the CC of the CPP on 15 October 1999
and the NDFP Declaration of Undertaking to Apply the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and Protocol I of 1977 on 5 July 1996.
- On 24 April 2012, the National Council of the NDFP adopted the NDFP Declaration and Program of Action for the Rights, Protection and Welfare of Children.
- The NDFP has been engaging with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) since 1988 in the releases of prisoners of war (POWs) and alleged reported violations of IHL.
- We have likewise engaged the United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) and the UN Special Representative of the Secretary General on the Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict in relation to alleged violations of children rights that were leveled against the forces of the NDFP by the GRP and some so-called civil society groups, in an attempt to impugn the integrity and/or destroy the revolutionary movement with false accusations and charges.
Twenty years after its signing, the CARHRIHL remains binding and effective on both Parties, regardless of the current status of the peace talks.
It is to the credit of the negotiators that in forging the CARHRIHL they were able to overcome difficulties such as questions of belligerency and existence of dual political power in the country.
The agreement provides for the assumption of separate duties and responsibilities by the Parties in upholding, protecting and promoting human rights and the principles of international humanitarian law, in accordance with their respective principles, organizations and circumstances until such time as they shall have reached the final resolution of the armed conflict.
Such principled approach can serve as a viable model in the negotiations for social, economic and political reforms. The CARHRIHL has withstood periods of impasse in the peace talks during the Arroyo, Aquino and Duterte regimes.
Through the Joint Monitoring Committee (JMC), the two sections in the Joint Secretariat (JS) have continued to receive and study complaints of alleged violations of human rights and international humanitarian law by the Parties.
The NDFP Monitoring Committee has regularly come out with reports on the complaints filed with the JMC. It is incumbent upon the Parties to avail of this monitoring mechanism for the submission of complaints, instead of resorting to drastic means such as terminating the formal talks every time an armed incident happens.
In upholding the CARHRIHL, periods of impasse in the formal talks have been broken through goodwill and confidence building measures such as the release of prisoners of war and of political prisoners, including NDFP consultants.
On the other hand, violations of CARHRIHL have undermined the conditions for the successful conduct of the peace talks.
Historically, this has included arrests of NDFP consultants, military operations in communities, and the non-covening of the JMC. Currently, the GRP petition to proscribe the CPP and NPA as so-called “terrorist organizations”, the inclusion of more than 600 individuals in the DOJ “terror list”, the brutal all-out war and militarization in the countryside and the arrest and continuing detention of NDFP peace consultants are just some of the violations of CARHRIHL that continue to undermine prospects for the resumption of the peace talks.
The NDFP has not been remiss in its responsibility to remind the GRP to uphold the CARHRIHL. During the 2nd round of formal talks in October 2016, the NDFP Panel raised, among others, the issue of extra-judicial killings in the “war on drugs” and the Marcos burial at the Libingan ng mga Bayani as contrary to the provisions of the CARHRIHL.
It should be noted that the CARHRIHL had previously provided the impetus for the GRP Congress to enact a law recognizing and compensating the victims of human rights violations during the US-Marcos dictatorship and other measures that aim to protect human rights.
Fully implementing CARHRIHL will significantly enable and greatly improve the atmosphere for further negotiations on basic reforms. It will rebuild the reservoir of confidence and goodwill between the two Parties.
In many ways, and in the long run, upholding the agreement can be a far superior test and measure of seriousness and sincerity in peace negotiations compared to short-term ceasefires.
Affirming CARHRIHL will educate not only the forces of both parties engaged in armed conflict but the entire population who are facing various challenges in relation to human rights. The agreement can provide the basic tools and mechanisms for addressing issues such as extrajudicial killings in the drug war or Martial Law in Mindanao.
The NDFP welcomes calls by peace advocates who seek the full implementation of the provisions of CARHRIHL and the continuation of peace negotiations. The NDFP is ever- committed to upholding the solemn pact that is CARHRIHL. The NDFP, even as it determinedly fights for the national and democratic interests of the people against the onslaught of the fascist Duterte regime, is also ever-ready to engage the regime in peace negotiations on the next substantive agenda.
The NDFP is committed to achieving a just peace for the Filipino people on the basis of substantial socio-economic and political reforms. #
Uphold CARHRIHL: Pursue Peace Talks Through GRP-NDFP Peace Talks
As March 16, 2018 marks the 20th anniversary of the hallmark Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL)— the first substantive agreement between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines, peace advocates have joined together to affirm that respect for human rights and international humanitarian law in the Philippines is an essential building block for pursuing #JustPeace in our land.
At this time, when the Duterte administration appears focused on moves like pulling out of the International Criminal Court and declaring more-than-600 persons as terrorists under the Human Security Act, we urge President Rodrigo R. Duterte to instead focus the attention of his government on faithful adherence to the principles of human rights and international humanitarian law.
Fully implementing CARHRIHL—which aims to provide an effective mechanism for upholding, promoting and protecting human rights and international humanitarian law, thus providing additional protection for the people amid armed conflict—will go far in fostering positive energy for peace negotiations, if not propel both parties to resume the peace talks and continue their journey toward achieving #JustPeace.
We continue to encourage confidence-building measures, principled and innovative resolution of issues and impasses, as well as a renewed commitment to implementing CARHRIHL, an agreement signed bilaterally 20 years ago. The gains of the peace talks can surely flourish with persistence and creativity by peace advocates and support by schools, churches, people’s organizations and civil-society groups.
Peace advocates choose to hold high the torches of hope and possibility. We will stand the gap, continue the climb, and forge the way for creating the atmosphere needed for building peace in our land.
As we push to #Uphold CARHRIHL, we also push for the continuation of peace talks that would address and resolve the roots of the armed conflict.
Most Rev.Deogracias S. Iniguez, Philippine Ecumenical Peace Platform
Bishop Reuel N.O. Marignza, Pilgrims for Peace
Ms. Kaye Limpiado, Sulong CARHRIHL
Ms. Sharon Cabusao, Kapayapaaan Campaign for Just and Lasting Peace
Mr. Benjie Valbuena, ACT for Peace
Mr. Rey Claro Casambre, Philippine Peace Center
Reference: Most Rev. Deogracias S. Iniguez
For interview, please contact Pilgrims for Peace 0928-385-4123
16 March 2018 Press Statement
Uphold CARHRIHL, Creating an Atmosphere for Just Peace
20th Anniversary of CARHRIHL
By Most Rev. Deogracias S. Iniguez, Jr. D.D., March 16, 2018
Magandang umaga sa inyong lahat!
Unang-una sa ating kagalang-galang na mga panauhin, mga kapwa peace advocates, mga kaibigan. Nagtitipon tayo ngayon para gunitain ang ika-20 anibersaryong pagkakapirma ng mga Negotiating Panel ng GRP at NDFP sa Comprehensive Agreement on the Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law o CARHRIHL noong Marso 16, 1998.
Nagkabisa ang kasunduang ito at naging “binding and effective” sa dalawang Partidon ang pirmahan ito ni Mariano Orosa, Tagapangulong NDFP, noong Abril 10, 1998, at ni Presidente Joseph Estrada ng GRP noong Agosto 7, 1998.
Marahil marami sa inyo ang nagtatanong: Sa kasalukuyang panahon, may dahilan o katwiran pa ba para ipagdiwangang CARHRIHL? Hindi ba ito isang kasunduan na maganda nga ang nilalaman, pero mistulang papel lamang na walang kabuluhan, walang halaga, dahil hindi naman naipapatupad?
Ano bang kabutihan o pakinabang ang naidulot na nito sa taumbayan? May magagawa pa ba ang CARHRIHL para matigil at mabigyang-hustisya ang libu-libong extra-judicial killings, ang nagpapatuloy na iligal napag-aaresto at di makatarungang pagpapakulong sa mga pinaghihinalaang kalaban ng gobyerno, ang malalagim na pagpatay sa mga lumad at mga magsasaka, at ang dumarami pang mga paglabag sa mga batas hinggil sa konduktang digmaan o armed conflict? Kung meron man, may pag-asa pa bang makamit ang mga kabutihan at pakinabang na ito sa kasalukuyang kalagayang nakabalahoang peace talks, at sinasabi pa nganggobyerno, ng GRP, na “terminated” naito at hindi na ipagpapatuloy ang negosasyon para sa inaasam na “just and lasting peace”?
Sisikapin nating sagutin ang mahahalagang tanong na ito sa pagtitipon natin ngayon, sa tulong at presensya ng mga kinatawan ng mga Negotiating Panel ng dalawang Partido, at sa mga inputs ng iba pang panauhin. Sa ganang amin, mga peace advocates na matamang sumusubaybay at masugid na nagtutulak sa usapang pangkapayapaan - kami sa PEPP, Pilgrims for Peace, Kapayapaan, Sulong CARHRIHL at Philippine Peace Center - buong kumpiyansa naming sinasagot ang mga tanong na ito ng malakas at matining na “OO!”
OO, napakalaki ang kabuluhan ng CARHRIHL sa pagharap sa nabanggit na kalagayan!
OO, may malaking pakinabang na natatamo at maaari pang tamuhin mula sa CARHRIHL ang mamamayan, lalu na ang mga biktima o potensyal na biktima ng mga paglabag sa karapatang pantao!
OO, may mahalagang papel ang CARHRIHL sa pagbasag ng impasse o pagkabalahong usapang pangkapayapaan!
Maaaring hindi alam o hindi malinaw sa marami sa inyo, pero ito ang katotohanan: Sa nakaraang 20 taon mula nang ipagtibay ng GRP at NDFP ang CARHRIHL, nagsilbing daan o instrumento ang CARHRHIL para palakasin at patibayin ang “goodwill” at kumpiyansang dalawang partido sa isa't isa, malikha ang magandang klima at atmospera sa usapan, at makapagpatuloy sa mas mahalagang agenda ng mga saligang reporma salipunan at ekonomiya.
Mababanggit nating kongkretong patunay ang ilang pagkakataon kung kailan malaki ang naitulong ng implementasyon ng CARHRIHL, tulad ng pagpapalayang GRP sa mga bilanggong pulitikal sa isang panig, at pagpapalaya naman ng NDF sa mga nabihag ng NPA na mga pulis at sundalong AFP, para manumbalik sa negosasyo nang dalawang Partido sa kalagayang nagkaroon ng mga gusot o balakid sa usapan at mabalaho o masuspindi ito.
Isa namang malinaw na halimbawa ng pakinabang na nakamit ng mamamayan mula sa CARHRIHL ang indemnipikasyon nglibu-libong biktima ng paglabag sa karapatang pantao sa ilalim ng diktadurang Marcos.
Mas mahirap sukatin, pero natitiyak naming may kabuluhan at positibong epekto rin ang mga pagsasanay at pag-aaral ng magkabilang pwersa sa CARHRIHL at ang mga opisyal natagubilin ng mga pamunuan ng magkabilang panig na ipatupad ito.
Higit na nasa pusisyon ang mga kinatawanng GRP at ng NDFP na isalaysay sa atin ang kongkretong mga nagawa at ginagawa nila, at ang ebalwasyon nila sa larangang ito. Sa kabilang banda, hindi maipagkakaila, at nais nating tawagin ang pansin ng dalawang Partido, sa napakalaki pang agwat o pagkakaiba sa pagitan ng magagandang mga probisyon na nakasulat sa CARHRIHL at sa “reality on the ground” o pagpapatupad ng mga ito.
Kung ang pagpapatupad ng CARHRIHL ay nagsilbing “confidence-building & goodwill measure” sa usapang pangkapayapaan at nakabuti sa mamamayan, ang kabaligtaran nito ay totoo rin. Ang hindi pagpapatupad ng CARHRIHL, ang patuloy napaglabag sa Kasunduan, paglabag sa mga karapatang pantao, paglabag sa mga batas ng makataong konduktang digma o International Humanitarian Law - nakakalason ang mga ito sa atmospera ng usapang pangkapayapaan at hindi nalulunasan, sa halip lumulubha ang paghihirap at pagkasalanta sa mamamayan dulot ng armadong tunggalian.
Bukod sa nagpapatuloy at lumalala pa nga ang mga seryosong paglabag sa mga karapatang pantao at sa mga batas sakonduktang pakikidigma, isang malaking kakulangan din ang hindi pagpupulong ng Joint Monitoring Committee upang harapin ang natipon nang libu-libong pormal na reklamo o complaints na naisampa sa JMC laban sa mga pwersang AFP, PNP at NPA sa nakaraang labintatlong taon mula nang itayo ito.
Nananawagan kami sa dalawang Partido na punuin ang malaking agwat o kakulangang ito. Pulungin ang JMC.
Harapin ang maraming nakasampang reklamo mula sa mamamayan. Alinsunod mismo sa Artikulo I ng Final Provisions ng CARHRIHL, patuloy na umiiral ang JMC at dapat itong regular na nagpupulong hangga't hindi pormal na nilulusaw.
Maraming nagtatanong kung gaano kasinsero ang dalawang panig sa usapang pangkapayapaan. Ang masasabi namin, masusukat ang sinseridad ng dalawang panig, o ng alin man dito, sa kung gaano katapat sila sa pagpapatupad ng kanilang mga Kasunduan.
Kaya't muli kaming nananawagan sa GRP at sa NDFP: “Igalang at puspusang ipatupad lahat nang kasunduan!”
At bilang paggunita at pagdiriwangs a CARHRIHL habang nasa bingit pa ng alanganin ang usapang pangkapayapaan, malakas at mariin kaming nanawagan, IPATUPAD ANG CARHRIHL! IPAGPATULOY ANG USAPANG PANGKAPAYAPAAN!#
From a post by Renato Reyes Jr.
St. Scholasrtica's Strattham Hall. March 16, 2018
Today is the 20th anniversary of the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law, a landmark pact in the GRP-NDFP peace talks.
We call for its full implementation, and that it won't go the way of the Philippines withdrawal from the ICC.
It remains in effect even when there are no peace talks taking place.
Filipinos can avail of the provisions of CARHRIHL, a binding agreement between the GRP and NDFP, when asserting their rights and calling out rights violations.
Upholding CARHRIHL and resuming peace talks are far more beneficial to the people than Duterte's all-out war and fake "terror" listing of individuals and groups.
Upholding CARHRIHL is a test of sincerity in achieving a #JustPeace for the people.
CARHRIHL recognizes the full range of human rights: civil, political, socio-economic, cultural.
It also recognized the need to indemnify victims of Marcos dictatorship as early as 1998. Peace and HR advocates seek its full implementation as well as the resumption of peace talks. #PeaceTalksItuloy
Resume Peace Talks
A WOMAN’S PLACE IS STILL IN THE REVOLUTION
The National Democratic Front of the Philippines in Southern Mindanao and all revolutionary forces in the region celebrate the International Women’s Day with women of all classes and sectors around the nation and across the globe.
We especially congratulate all women revolutionaries who are serving the interest of the Filipino people by arousing, organizing and mobilizing other women in the line of the national democratic revolution. We are likewise inspired by the examples of the great women who have been martyred in our struggle against imperialism, feudalism and bureaucrat capitalism. Women’s struggle for emancipation have come a long way since the historic Petrograd mobilization of 1917 where tens of thousands of women marched in the streets, demanding “Bread and Peace” against the Russian Tsar’s war and campaign of suppression.
Barely two years in power, GRP Pres. Rodrigo Duterte is reeling back more than a century of social progress with his regressive views on the value of women and their struggle for emancipation. From sexist jokes and misogynistic threats to government and social policies, Duterte has proven himself the enemy not only of women but of the entire Filipino people. Today, Filipino women are rising up to the call of undertaking militant action against the US-Duterte’s despotic regime and wars against the Filipino people. In Southern Mindanao, thousands of women are becoming invaluable mobilizers for armed struggle, agrarian revolution and base building.
Significantly, despite Duterte’s sexist threats, more and more women are joining the ranks of the New People’s Army in the region. Most of them opt to become medical officers while others are commanders or political instructors of NPA units. Even more encouraging is the marked involvement of women in the establishment of organs of political power where many of them are becoming leading members of barrio and municipal revolutionary councils.
All of leading Party units across the region also have many women cadres in their ranks. In the face of the US-Duterte regime’s outright subservience to the interests of imperialists and oligarchs, thousands more women are participating in mass actions against feudal exploitation, imperialist mining and agri-plantations in the guerilla bases. In towns and cities, women comprise more than half of the forces who are militantly confronting Duterte’s refusal to end contractualization among workers, his regime’s sell-out of the country’s economic sovereignty, his anti-poor TRAIN Law, and other issues.
Under the semi-colonial and semi-feudal system which the US-Duterte regime now resolutely consolidates through dictatorship and fascism, Filipino women of the exploited class find their rightful place in their struggle for emancipation. In the revolutionary movement, under the guidance of the Communist Party of the Philippines, women know that in order to emancipate themselves, they must immerse their struggle in the national democratic revolution.
Long live all toiling and revolutionary women! Long live the national democratic revolution!
(sgd.) RUBI DEL MUNDO Spokesperson NDFP-SMR National Democratic Front of the Philippines Southern Mindanao Region March 8, 2018 PRESS STATEMENT
WOMEN, RISE AGAINST THE US-DUTERTE REGIME
7 March 2018
Rodrigo Duterte and his regime relentlessly trample on women’s rights. His contempt for women knows no limits. His policies result in hardships, especially for the toiling women. From his unamusing rape jokes, disparages and threats, Duterte clearly is the ugly face of the feudal and patriarchal aspect of a social system which exploits and oppresses women.
Among the latest of Duterte’s tirades against women is his direct order for soldiers to shoot women Red fighters in their vagina to make them worthless. He also ridiculed women Red fighters for “leaving behind” their children when they go back to the armed struggle. For Duterte, women are mere sex objects and chattels for men. He cannot accept that women play greater roles in social struggles and transformation.
Duterte is inciting his troops to commit crimes and brutalities against the people, whether they are civilians or combatants. He openly endorses rape and other forms of sexual violence against women as a tool of his dirty war, Oplan Kapayapaan. He aims to scare off women and trample on their dignity. Operating troops of the AFP already have a long list of atrocious fascist crimes. These include the rape of a 14-year old Lumad girl by at least three soldiers in Talaingod, Davao del Norte on July 2015. On July 2016, 8th IB troopers shot dead a pregnant woman in Bukidnon.
Operating soldiers are known for their vulgar attitude and disrespect towards women. In the Duterte’s regime brutal fascist war, more and more women fall victim to killings, repression, illegal arrest and detention. In Mindanao, women, especially Moro women, suffer under martial law. Up to now, hundreds of thousands of women and their children suffer in evacuation centers and are prevented from going back to their homes in Marawi.
At the same time, the fascist military utilizes deception and seduction by romantic liaisons to render women passive and turn them away from the struggle. Peasants, especially women peasants, suffer slave-like oppression and grave forms of feudal exploitation in the countryside. The Duterte regime defends large land monopolies of big landlords and plantations. His declaration for free land distribution is clearly a lie as his regime prioritizes the reclassification of land to give way to massive land conversion of agricultural lands.
Duterte’s free irrigation is worthless to most farmers due to the absence of genuine land reform and because only a small fraction of farmlands is irrigated.
Women workers continue to suffer from low wages and inhuman working conditions. They are victims of contractualization. As workers, they endure high unemployment rates, low-level and precarious employment, especially during last year’s big job fall (more than 600,000 jobs lost).
Despite Duterte’s stunts, he cannot hide the fact that his regime is worthless in defending migrant workers’ rights and welfare, especially women migrants, and he has failed to give them alternative jobs. The Duterte regime’s measures and policies which continued the pro-imperialist neoliberal policies of the previous regimes have brought about extreme hardships to women.
At the start of the year, the people, especially women and other heads of households, endured high prices of goods and services due to additional and new taxes brought about by the TRAIN law. They are further victimized by the artificial rice shortage engendered by Duterte’s friend Manuel Piñol to continue with, and control, rice importation. Hundreds of children are victimized by bureaucratic corruption and irresponsibility of successive regimes in the unfolding tragedy of the experimental Dengvaxia vaccine. In the face of these hardships, the ruling reactionary state aims to keep women passive, meek and apolitical.
They are reduced to the confines of their households—as wives, mothers, sisters or daughters – who exist solely to serve the male members of their families. But women have long been breaking out of this mold. In the face of grave oppression, they rise in their numbers to participate in various struggles.
For these women, their participation in these struggles is the first step towards liberation. In struggle, they lift their prestige and status as women. They break the dominant feudal and patriarchal view on women as second class citizens. They actively contribute to ending the oppressive and exploitative semifeudal and semicolonial and construction of a democratic and progressive system. Hundreds of thousands of women are members of revolutionary mass organizations and other national-democratic associations and movements.
There are many women in the New People’s Army, especially coming from the ranks of the toiling masses. They decided to participate in the armed struggle and carry out various revolutionary tasks. The Filipino people look up to them. They serve as commanders, political guides, medics, supply and education officers, literacy teachers and other fields of work in different levels of the people’s army. No task or opportunity are denied to them just because they are women. Many of the Communist Party of the Philippines’ leaders are women.
The NPA has decreed that women should be treated as equals and their rights oberved at all times. Etched in its basic rules—the Three Points of Discipline and Eight Points to Remember (more known as Tres-Otso)—is strict adherence to respecting women’s rights and the proper way to treat and speak to them. Women’s equal rights to men is also in the CPP’s constitution, program and other regulations, including inside marriages. In the face of the US-Duterte regime’s oppression, violence, vulgarity and low regard, women have no choice but the rise up against its fascism. Women should persevere in the national-democratic struggle and advance in various forms of armed and unarmed struggle. The Party calls on all women workers, peasants and students to join the New People’s Army and participate in the protracted people’s war nationwide. ANG BAYAN
War Path Against 'Mad Dog-ong'
War Path Against 'Mad Dog-ong'
In Manila, angry demonstrators taunted and pummeled with blows a big effigy nicknamed “Mad Dog-ong” styled in Duterte’s likeness, depicting a hybrid beast with a predatory head and mouth mounted on a dragon-like body adorned with military fatigues.
The effigy was seen attacking members of the media and women protesters as it shimmied along the road to the presidential palace, symbolizing the sleazy policy jokes and cruel counterinsurgency attacks that Duterte habitually hurls at women, the press and the people.
“Women are on the war path against Mad Dog-ong, the mad bloody puppet of the US and Chinese economic interests that cause poverty and dislocation of poor women who lose their homes, jobs, and incomes to the blood-sucking attacks of TRAIN tax reforms, privatized shelter programs, and continued labor contractualization,” GABRIELA secretary general Joms Salvador said as a throng of activists threw a net over the effigy and dragged it away.
PAHAYAG NG KABABAIHANG BILANGGONG PULITIKAL SA PAGGUNITA NG PANDAIGDIGANG ARAW NG KABABAIHAN
Kaming mga kababaihang bilanggong pulitikal sa Camp Bagong Diwa sa Taguig City Jail ay nakikiisa sa paggunita sa pandaigdigang araw ng kababaihan.
Inaresto at ikinulong kami sa panahon ng rehimen ni Arroyo at rehimen ni Benigno Aquino III. Sinampahan ng mga gawa-gawang kasong kriminal.
Hanggang sa kasalukuyan ay nagtitiis pa rin sa napakasikip na kulungan sa kabila ng pangako ni Pangulong Duterte na palayain ang lahat ng bilanggong pulitikal sa bansa. Sa paggunita sa mahalagang araw ng kababaihan, patuloy naming ipinapanawagan sa pangulo – Free All our Sisters, Free All Political Prisoners sa buong bansa.
Ang agarang pagpapalaya sa mga political prisoners ay usapin ng hustisya. Bukod pa sa napagkasunduan ito sa Peace Talks sa pagitan ng Gubyerno ng Republika ng Pilipinas (GPH) at ng National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP), obligasyon din ng GPH ang pagpapatupad ng Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law dahil pumirma siya rito.
Nananawagan din kami sa administrasyong Duterte na ipagpatuloy ang Peace Talks sa pagitan ng GPH at NDFP para maisulong ang makabayan at demokratikong adhikain ng mga kababaihan at mamamayan.
Humihiling din kami ng suporta sa mamamayan na lalo pang palakasin ang kilusang masa at kilusan ng kababaihan para palayain ang lahat ng bilanggong pulitikal at para makamit ang tunay na kapayapaan na nakabatay sa hustisya sa buong bansa.
Free All our Sisters! Free All Political Prisoners!
Ituloy ang Peace Talks sa pagitan ng GPH at NDFP! Palakasin ang pakikibaka ng sambayanan!
Signed: Taguig City Jail – Female Dormitory, Camp Bagong Diwa
Gemma Carag Arlene Panea Rhea Pareja Presentacion Saluta Maria Miradel Torres
WOMEN ACTIVISTS DECRY ATTACKS AGAINST RIGHTS DEFENDERS, CALL FOR RELEASE OF ALL POLITICAL PRISONERS
On the eve of International Women’s Day on March 7, 2018, organizations led by Karapatan and Tanggol Bayi staged a protest rally at Camp Crame, Quezon City to call for the release of all political prisoners and an end to attacks against activists and human rights defenders (HRDs).
Women relatives of political prisoners Marklen Maojo Maga, Dionisio Almonte, Edward Lanzanas, Rhea Pareja, Rex Villaflor and Jesus Abetria, and of detained peace consultants of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines Rafael Baylosis, Ferdinand Castillo, and Leopoldo Caloza also joined the women-led mass action.
Children of HRDs, sporting butterfly wings to symbolize their solidarity against tyranny, and former political prisoners led by Sharon Cabusao of Gabriela also joined the activity.
“For the macho-fascist and foul-mouthed Duterte, repression is wielded as a tool against activists and human rights defenders in an attempt to force them into silence. Among his favorite moves is the use of blanket rhetoric, labeling anyone seeks to engage the government as “enemies of the state”, “terrorist” or “NPA members and sympathizers”. Everyone is considered fair game by this murderous government and its ruthless, bloodthirsty security forces,” said Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay during the protest rally.
Tanggol Bayi, an association of women human rights defenders in the Philippines, said that women experience verbal assaults from Duterte, on top of the criminalization and attacks that women HRDs experience on the ground. Tanggol Bayi also emphasized that women, if not subjected to harassment, are either put to jail or killed.
Myles Albasin, a woman youth leader from University of the Philippines-Cebu, together with five peasant organizers - Bernard Guillen, Carlo Ybanez, Joemar Indico, Joey Vailoces, and Randel Hermino - were illegally arrested on March 3, 2018 at Brgy. Luyang, Mabinay, Negros Oriental. They were alleged as NPA rebels and charged with trumped up cases of illegal possession of firearms and explosives, which were all denied by the six.
Jolita Tolino, a Dulangan Manobo and a volunteer teacher of the Center for Lumad Advocacy and Services, Inc. (CLANS), an alternative Lumad school that caters to indigenous children, was arrested on February 7, 2018 based on trumped-up charges of murder and frustrated murder.
Five women activists in Cordillera were also named in fabricated charges of frustrated murder and multiple attempted murder filed by the 7th Infantry Division, implicating them in an alleged encounter between the NPA and the AFP. All five are members of mass organizations.
“Duterte has already jailed 145 human rights defenders, mostly from the ranks of peasants and indigenous communities.
As of December 2017, there are 486 political prisoners in the country, 41 of whom are women. Clearly, Duterte is using everything and everyone in his machinery to gag the voices of those who are asserting people’s rights and welfare,” said Geri Cerillo of Tanggol Bayi.
“We also remember Karapatan Negros coordinator Elisa Badayos, who was killed while on a fact-finding mission in Bayawan, Negros Oriental on November 28, 2017. We are reminded that as fascist regimes breed intolerance against resistance and dissent, it is capable of truly heinous crimes.
For the human rights defenders all over the country and all over the world, we are with you in solidarity. It is the sacrifices that fellow HRDs have experienced that jolt us awake and remind us everyday that our rights were never handed down to us, it was always fought for,” Cerillo stated.
The said protest action is part of the activities in line with the Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development’s (APWLD’s) Feminist Solidarity Against Militarism and Fundamentalism.
Press Release March 7, 2018 Reference: Cristina Palabay, Secretary General, 0917-3162831 Karapatan Public Information Desk, 0918-9790580
Karapatan and Tanggol Bayi
KARAPATAN AND TANGGOL BAYI STATEMENT ON THE COMMEMORATION OF THE INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY
Today, March 8, 2018, as the world commemorates International Women’s Day, Karapatan and Tanggol Bayi joins Filipino women in marching and standing up against State repression and all forms of human rights violations and gender-based violence.
Karapatan and Tanggol Bayi remembers the 20 women killed in line with the Duterte regime’s counterinsurgency program. They are Emerenciana Dela Rosa, Violeta De Leon, Makenet Gayoran, Jessybel Sanchez, Rita Gascon, Leonila Pesadilla, Nurmayda Abbi, Arlene Almonicar, Cora Lina, Crisanta Petalco, Lolita Pepito, Rechely Luna, Ana Marie Aumada, Carolina Arado, Catalina Castro, Thelma Albanio, Dalia Arrabis, Grace Merilla, Elisa Badayos, and Jennirose Porras.
We demand justice and accountability for the many more women slaughtered under Duterte’s war on drugs, among other anti-people policies. We recall the many more women human rights defenders killed, harassed and jailed by previous regimes who know laws, but never their implementation; who give lipservice, but have been the staunch defenders of the status quo.
We live in very dangerous, difficult times. In the face of a murderous regime that knows no shame, the country continues to be steeped in poverty, puppetry to foreign interests such as that of the US, and repression and oppression in different forms.
The Duterte regime has been accustomed to demeaning and verbally assaulting women on live television, objectifying women, and openly inciting violence against them. Indeed, the likes of House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez and the President himself, who hold top positions, are instruments in reproducing and normalizing a society that that is mired with gender-based violence, political repression and oppression – targeting women who resist while ensuring the majority remain in their dire political and economic state.
Political repression and gender-based violence are not the only barriers faced by women today. Neoliberal policies aggressively peddled by the Duterte regime has led to increased poverty, exploitation, and discrimination that is actively reinforced by political and economic institutions and policies.
Multiple burdens hound women – as mothers, wives, unpaid family workers, underpaid contractual employees and other forms of oppression that bind women in a cycle of poverty and disempowerment. It is thus imperative for women to build movements, aligned with other oppressed sectors in society. It is in the collective strength of women and the people that we have triumphed over dictators and patriarchal systems that have diminished us for a long time. We take courage from the women who have lived, resisted and fought before us; and march alongside those who continue to fight for a just society.
(Photo: Artwork by Karapatan’s legal counsel, Atty. Ma. Sol Taule, depicting women’s solidarity)
A famous movie articulated that rebellion and resistance is built on hope. Our steadfast determination to continue fighting in the trenches of the struggle despite the incessant repression and oppression is our resistance. We are not terrorists or enemies of the state; we are women who have come together to defeat a macho-fascist and tyrannical regime, and demand justice and accountability.
Press Release March 8, 2018 Reference: Cristina Palabay, Secretary General, 0917-3162831 Karapatan Public Information Desk, 0918-9790580
DUTERTE REGIME’S PROSCRIPTION PETITION TARGETS CRITICS, RIGHTS DEFENDERS
Karapatan condemns the listing of more than 600 persons, human rights defenders and critics of the Duterte government in the proscription petition filed by the Department of Justice (DOJ), through Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Peter Ong, at a regional court in Manila on February 21, 2018.
The petition not only seeks to declare the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) as terrorist organizations but also named individuals as their supposed leaders or members, including those who are dead, missing and members of paramilitary units accused of killing Lumads in Mindanao.
“There is no doubt that the filing of the petition is an effort to sow fear and panic among Duterte’s detractors, subjectively prepare the public for more intense political repression, and be the front act of a crackdown against the dictator wannabe’s critics. The list of leaders and members is a take-off from the Order of Battle (OB) lists of the Gloria Arroyo and Noynoy Aquino regimes,” said Karapatan Secretary General Cristina E. Palabay.
She recalled that persons listed in the OB often ended up arrested based on false charges, incarcerated and even tortured, missing or killed. “Not only do such lists incite human rights violations, they also legitimize and make “normal” to the public the government’s abuse of power in suppressing dissent and decimating the supposed “enemies of the state,” she stated. Victoria Tauli Corpuz, UN Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples and former Chair of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, is among the named individuals in the petition. “This is a clear case of reprisal from Malacanang for Corpuz’s expressed concern over possible cases of human rights violations due to the imposition of martial law in Mindanao. She and another UN SR released a statement in response to a letter of allegation submitted by Karapatan to her office,” Palabay commented.
In the list also are human rights defenders who have been in the forefront of defending and protecting human and people’s rights like Elisa Tita Lubi, Karapatan National Executive Committee member and former interim Regional Coordinator of the Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development (APWLD).
Also named in the petition are Joan Carling, past Secretary General of the Asian Indigenous Peoples’ Pact (AIPP) and former member of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues; Atty. Jose Molintas, former member of the UN Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (EMRIP); Beverly Longid, Global Coordinator of the International Indigenous Peoples Movement for Self-Determination and Liberation (IPMSDL); Sandugo Co-Chairperson Joanna Cariño; Cordillera People’s Alliance (CPA) Chairperson Windel Bolinget; and at least 10 Lumad datu/leaders in Northern and Southern Mindanao.
Even more unbelievable is the inclusion in the list of the names of the nine-member Karapatan quick reaction team arrested in November 2017 and HR defenders in Negros.
While National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) as an organization was omitted in the proscription, those involved in the peace talks between the GRP and NDFP were listed like Peace Panel members Coni Ledesma, Juliet de Lima and Benito Tiamzon; Chief Political Consultant Jose Maria Sison; Senior Adviser Luis Jalandoni; Wilma Austria-Tiamzon and at least 20 other peace consultants; and former Bayan Muna Rep. Satur Ocampo, independent cooperator.
The Karapatan leader also said that the list is “severely defective as it contains scores of aliases (aka), John and Jane Does so any person can be added later.”
“The list also contains seven names of paramilitary group members including four from the New Indigenous Peoples’ Army (NIPAR), led by Alde “Butchoy” Salusad, who have standing warrants for the killing of Lumad leader Datu Jimmy Liguyon.
They also have been presented and paid as surrenderees, consistent to their being all-purpose pawns in the military’s repressive schemes,” Palabay said. “On the whole, DOJ’s proscription petition is dubious and a maneuver meant to harass, target and criminalize persons in progressive organizations.
We should oppose this and other tyrannical acts that brand legitimate dissent and activism as ‘terrorism.’ What should be addressed instead is Duterte’s brand of state terrorism, which has victimized thousands. Indeed, shouldn’t Duterte be branded instead as the number 1 terrorist?” Palabay concluded.
Press Release | March 9, 2018
Reference: Cristina Palabay, Secretary General, 0917-3162831 Karapatan Public Information Desk, 0918-9790580