“If human rights defenders are not brutally murdered, they are thrown behind bars over absurd criminal charges based on perjured testimonies and planted evidence, all to concoct the lie that human rights defenders are terrorists or criminals.”
“The arrest warrant is the legal cover for the potential commission of other human rights violations and irregularities such as the planting of firearms and explosives to justify additional non-bailable charges. Such was the experience of other activists such as Rey Casambre, Maoj Maga, Alexander Reyes and many others.”
Karapatan Secretary General Cristina Palabay said the domestic remedies are no longer enough, noting the trend of police “planting evidence” with impunity.
“Rights are not won through silence, through fence sitting and inaction. Rights are won and claimed through difficult, arduous, beautiful, creative and vibrant struggle.”
The complaint said the red-tagging of Cristina Palabay, Karapatan and its members and officers by the respondents violates the principle of distinction under international and domestic humanitarian law.
The Anti-Terrorism Act violates international standards on human rights and countering-terrorism with its vague and overboard definitions of “terrorism” as well as the excessive powers it grants to the Executive branch of the government.
“As several research, surveys, and studies clearly show, capital punishment is an ineffective deterrent to crime — contrary to the propositions of those advocating for its reimposition.”
Despite its shortcomings, the resolution remains “among the indications of the international community’s acknowledgement of and persisting scrutiny on the human rights crisis” under the Duterte administration.
“Some of these communications to the UN were thought to be private, exposing the degree of surveillance and cracks in digital security that activists and journalists face,” the report revealed.
Guillen’s brother said that the victim went missing when he returned to his house after they have been advised by the military to evacuate the place because of an encounter between government forces and the New People’s Army. Reports say that his decomposing decapitated body was found at the base of a ravine near the encounter site in barangay Tan-awan.
“Duterte would rather discredit human rights defenders and institutions than acknowledge that there are extrajudicial killings and other violations in the Philippines. He continues to deny what the whole world has already come to recognize.”