Category Archives: Karapatan

Karapatan files “crime against humanity” raps vs anti-red task force

Officers of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-Elcac) should be held criminally and administratively liable for their “persistent, relentless and malicious Red-tagging and vilification

AFP: A diversionary tactic to manipulate and draw away attention from the well-supported cases filed by the government against them

For labeling Karapatan as a front for communist rebels, some officers of the government’s anti-insurgency task force has been charged with crimes against humanity by the human rights organization.

In the complaint, Karapatan accused national security adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr., Lt. Gen. Antonio Parlade Jr. and President Rodrigo Duterte’s supporters Lorraine Badoy and Mocha Uson of violating the Philippine Act on Crimes Against International Humanitarian Law, Genocide and Other Crimes Against Humanity.

The officers of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-Elcac) should be held criminally and administratively liable for their “persistent, relentless and malicious Red-tagging and vilification” of the group, said Karapatan in the complaint filed in the Office of the Ombudsman.

Karapatan red-tagging complaint diversionary tactic

 December 5, 2020

MANILA – The government’s anti-communist task force on Saturday said the complaint filed by militant human rights group Karapatan against four government officials for red-tagging is only a diversionary tactic to manipulate the well-supported cases filed by the government against… Read More

Military hamletted Pantukan residents forcibly evacuated, filed complaints at the CH

Davao City — Residents of Brgy. Tibagon, Pantukan, Compostela Valley Province have filed a complaint before the Commission on Human Rights-Region XI Office (CHR XI) against 71st Infantry Battalion for sowing terror through hamletting their community.

Victims from Sitios Cadapa, Sapang Tin-aw and Sapang Lubog in Brgy. Tibagon were maliciously harassed by certain Sgt. Macalanda, Sgt. Mabalot and other 16 army soldiers of 71st IBPA.  On March 8, 2012 at around 12:00 noon, about 18 military men led by certain Sgt. Macalanda and Sgt. Mabalot of 71st Infantry Battalion Philippine Army arrived at the community village of Purok 9 Sitio Sapang Tin-aw, Brgy. Tibagon. The army soldiers who came from the Barrio Site of Brgy. Tibagon, disembarked from a civilian dump truck owned by a local medium-scale miner in the area. They were in full combat gear, wearing complete uniform with high powered firearms. The army soldiers used to hitch a ride in civilian Dam Truck together with other civilians riding the truck even during their military operations; intentionally they do not use their 6×6 truck military vehicle and use civilians as human shields.

“The military occupied our purok and 3 houses without any permission even if the households were not around at that time. They did not respect civilian supremacy even I myself as a Purok Chairperson was not respected as a local authority,” said Nellyn Calva, 42, female, married, and Purok Leader of Sitio Sapang Tin-aw.

On March 10 at about 6:00-11:30 in the morning, Nellyn Calva and Herculano Sumilhig were called upon by Sgt. Macalanda to report at the purok where the military encamped. “We were interrogated by the military for almost 6 hours without taking our breakfast yet. Inside the purok, we were coerced by Sgt. Macalanda and Sgt. Mabalot to admit that we are members and/or supporters of New People’s Army and that we were trained as Milisyang Bayan, in which we vehemently denied all their untruthful accusations! We are just civilians and simple farmers in our community. Since the military arrived, our personal and economic lives were disrupted! How can they say that they are for peace and development when they continue to sow terror on us?!”, lamented Herculano Sumilhig, 46, male, Vice-Chairperson of CATINLUFA (Cadapa, Tin-aw, Lubog Farmers Association).

“They took photos on us and coerced us to sign on a blank paper, we don’t even know what was the purpose of it. They had a list of names and we were asked about the identities of the listed persons whom we knew are our neighbors and even my name was there”, Calva added.

On March 11, residents from Purok 8 Sitio Cadapa, Purok 9 Sitio Sapang Tin-aw, and Purok 10 Sitio Sapang Lubog gathered at the purok of Sitio Sapang Tin-aw because it was their meeting for 4Ps as beneficiaries of that program from Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD). At about 12:30 in the afternoon, the 4Ps meeting ended. Few minutes later, Sgt. Macalanda presided the meeting. There were 15 residents from Sitio Sapang Lubog, while 17 from Sitio Sapang Tin-aw.

“We were interrogated by the military with all the accusations that we are NPA supporters, an army soldier took pictures of us without our consent. They coerced us to sign the attendance with a blank heading. I am a pre-school teacher and I was also malevolently accused as teacher of the NPA and that our school was built by the NPA. How can that be? Since 2007 I became the teacher of the school and was accredited by the Barangay and Department of Education. We have a curriculum and module based on Early Childhood Care and Development Program (ECCD), how can I be an NPA? It is a grave insult on me and my students!,” said Maria Lou Lambo, 23, female, married and pre-school teacher of Sayong Edukasyon Pambata established by Rural Missionaries of the Philippines (RMP).

“At that moment, Sgt. Macalanda was very mad and shouted on us, ‘Mga tarantado kayo! Huwag niyo kaming gaguhin! Huwag na kayong magpa-ligoy-ligoy pa! Aminin niyo na nga mga NPA kayo!’ So is this what the military’s Peace and Development all about? Putting the lives of civilians at risk?”, Lambo added. The meeting in purok ended at about 5:30pm, with the residents felt harassed by the military. The people were also warned by the military on forming organizations and joining  march rallies.

On March 13 at around 1:00 in the afternoon, the military left the community of Prk 9. Again they hitched a ride again on a civilian dump truck heading towards Sitio Cabahian, Brgy. Tibagon where they dropped off and occupy 2 houses of civilians for encampment.

“Even KARAPATAN who dispatched a Quick Reaction Team  (QRT) to document the incident in the area was also harassed on March 14 at around 3:00 in the afternoon. The team of 71st IB led by Sgt. Macalanda conducted illegal checkpoint at Sitio Cabahian, Brgy. Tibagon. There were no signage of checkpoint, they occupy civilian residence, the military wore civilian clothes and they put the QRT on hold for about 15 minutes for interrogation”, said Rev. Jurie Jayme, spokesperson of KARAPATAN-Southern Mindanao.

Jayme added that, “On March 18, majority of the residents from Purk 10 forcibly evacuated because they were afraid of the presence of the military as the latter went back to encamped in their community. As of this moment, the military is still in the area, while the residents are displaced and took sanctuary with their relatives in their respective places.”

“We are deeply concerned about these recent cases of human rights violations perpetrated by the Palparan Battalion 71st IBPA under the command of Lt. Col. Camilo Ligayo. As trained by the butcher, this battalion is a habitual violator of basic human rights and the international humanitarian law. Harassments were documented, violation of domicile, use of civilians as shields during military operations, encampment in the community, declaring civilians as NPA surrenderees and all forms of coercion and psywar tactics. Generally, 71st IB is hamletting the civilian community and out of fear, majority of the residents forcibly evacuated since March 18, about 77 households with 304 individuals affected,” the KARAPATAN spokesperson explained.

“Apologies are not accepted, the military should be held accountable for these degrading treatment and human rights violations that they have done to the victims. Oplan Bayanihan has unleashed its true nature similar with the cold-blooded Oplan Bantay Laya which is doomed to fail. Pres. Aquino should shape-up, it’s almost 2 years and still no improvement on the human rights situation in our country, neither it has a space in his so-called ‘righteous path’,” Jayme ended. Rev. Jurie Jayme, spokesperson, 09198161876; Hanimay Suazo, secretary-general, 09199675059

9 HR violations vs. cops, others in Soliman eviction

Residents of Soliman street, their shanties spared in the July 1 demolition, voluntarily dismantle their houses for transfer to the Los Amigos city government relocation site. BING GONZALES

The human rights group Karapatan has backed residents from Soliman, Agdao in filing  charges of human rights violations before the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) involving the stalled violent demolition in Soliman,Agdao.

Hanimay Suazo, deputy secretary-general of the human rights alliance, said Karapatan recorded nine cases of human rights violations during a fact-finding mission their group conducted among residents of Soliman, particularly in blocks 2 and 3 where the July 1 scuffle ensued.

These cases involve illegal arrests, physical assault and injuries, violation of children’s right to protection and safety, threat, harassment, intimidation, destruction of property, coercion, forcible evacuation and displacement, and violent dispersal of mass actions.

Karapatan also documented 10 victims who were wounded in the course of coercive demolition by police authorities and demolition crew.

217 households with an estimate of 300 families face threats of demolition in Soliman, Agdao since January this year. “This is the reality of the urban poor in our country. They are victims of the unjust government policies on land and they are deprived of their right to decent housing,” Suazo said.

“The CHR and even the DILG should conduct an investigation on the violent demolition. Police and SWAT teams were all over the area in full battle gear, aiming their high-powered guns on the residents, she said.

Karapatan holds Sta. Ana Police Station commander Police Chief Supt. Roland Lao, elements of SWAT team, Task Force Davao’s Col. Rey Leonardo Guerrero and Court Sheriff Abe Andres and the claimant of the land, the Davao Enterprises Corporation (DAVENCOR) accountable for these human rights violations.

“The people have the inalienable right to decent housing. In a set-up where government policies often work in the favor of the rich and owners of businesses, they are left with no choices but to defend their homes at all cost,” Suazo said.

CHR: Sue NPAs for Maco ambush

                The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) in the Davao Region said families of civilians killed by a landmine blast in Maco in Compostela Valley recently should file a case in court.

CHR director Sipaco

Regional director Alberto Sipaco said the slain civilians were aboard a government truck on their way to attend a gathering. He defended troopers allowing civilians to Army trucks saying government extends assistance to civilians like rides in distant places. The civilians were aboard an Army 6×6 trucks in Libaylibay when the ambush occurred.

                The families should sue those behind this, said Sipaco.

                The Human rights group KARAPATAN-Southern Mindanao has commiserated with the families of the civilians who were killed during an ambush staged by the New People’s Army and urged for full investigation by independent authorities and proper indemnification for the victims’ families.

                But Karapatan also lambasted the 10th Infantry Division Philippine Army (IDPA) for using civilians as shields while they are on counter-insurgency operations in an apparent utter ignorance, if not violation to the Comprehensive Agreement of Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CAR-HR-IHL).

                The military has admitted the civilians were on their way to a military-organized seminar on the formation of the Barangay Defense System (BDS), primarily tasked to arrest in the counter-insurgency campaign.

“The 10th IDPA resorts to this kind of tactic when they know they’re at high risk in armed conflict areas in Compostela Valley Province,” KARAPATAN-SMR Acting Deputy Secretary General Hanimay Suazo said.



Davao City militant leader gets death threat

Black ribbons for Kelly Delgado


‘You’ll be next!”

                This morbid threat, scrawled on a piece of paper with a black ribbon for a deathly companion, has sent militants here in a frantic rally behind Karapatan-Southern Mindanao secretary general Kelly Delgado.

                Not taking the threat lightly, militant groups here last week launched the “Defend Kelly Delgado, Defend All Human Rights Defenders” (DKD-DAHRD) movement in support of Delgado.

            Delgado, earlier accused by a military official to have asked the New Peoples Army (NPA) to liquidate certain AFP officers, purportedly received the threat in a letter

            “Kaw na ang susunod (You’ll be next). Dili jud ka muundang sa imo ginabuhat ba (You really do not want to stop what you are doing).”

            The militant Karapatan is currently investigating killings of several militant leaders, which it blamed on the military. Delgado suspects the threats came from the military as part of the military Oplan Bantay Laya to intimidate militant organizations standing up against military abuses.

            Among those coming out to join the movement to support Delgado is the Ecumenical Movement for Justice and Peace (EMJP). EMJP’s Girlie Padilla said if the threats on human rights defenders continue, no one will be left to defend victims of human rights violations.

            Rev. Jurie Jaime of the Promotion of Church People’s Rights said the threat on Delgado was meant to instill fear among militant personalities.