Karapatan condemns threats harassment vs fact-finding mission in Mindanao

Press Release | April 9, 2018

Reference: Cristina Palabay, Secretary General, 0917-3162831

Karapatan Public Information Desk, 0918-9790580

 As the three-day International Fact Finding and Solidarity Mission in three regions in Mindanao is concluded today, Karapatan scored the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police for the numerous cases of threats and harassment faced by participants to the said mission.

"Either these are proof of the State forces' paranoia overdrive or it is clear evidence that the Duterte administration has much to hide and cover up in its continuing implementation of martial law and counterinsurgency program Oplan Kapayapaan in Mindanao," said Karapatan Secretary General Cristina Palabay.

Karapatan also stressed that "the widespread presence of soldiers in the streets and communities, suspicious-looking men on motorcycles and vehicles taking pictures and intimidating participants brazenly, and the endless military checkpoints all prove that civilian authority is severely undermined by the military in the Mindanao."

"The Duterte regime is spinning a narrative that military presence is normal and for peace and order. The cases of extrajudicial killings, torture, illegal arrests and detention, forced and fake surrenders documented by the fact-finding mission all show the contrary - that there is widespread unpeace and insecurity precisely because of the presence and combat operations of the military against civilians, who they perceive are all enemies of the state," Palabay commented.

"Congratulations, AFP, PNP and Malacañang! Your dirty tricks against human rights defenders and peace advocates who joined the factfinding mission have all the more exposed the lies underneath your 'no human rights violations in Mindanao under martial law' mantra. You never fail to prove that the real terrorists are those in uniform and those in power," she added.

"Unless repressive policies are revoked, any change in the leadership of the AFP or PNP or DOJ will have no real effect in making the human rights situation on the ground any better," Palabay said.

The said mission was led by the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas and the Mindanao for Civil Liberties. Makabayan legislators led by former Rep. Satur Ocampo and Mindanaoans Rep. Ariel Casilao and Rep. Carlos Zarate, former Agrarian Reform Secretary Rafael Mariano, peasant leaders and rights groups like Karapatan participated in the mission.


Incidents of threats and harassment against members of the International Fact Finding and Solidarity Mission in Mindanao

Compiled from updates by Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas

April 6: Upon arrival at the Bancasi Airport in Butuan City and the Lumbia Airport in Cagayan de Oro City, delegates of the FFM noticed banners with threatening texts: "Welcome members of international fact finding and solidarity mission. Just do it right!".

In Butuan, at least five military intelligence agents held the said banner. Unidentified and suspicious looking men were taking pictures and videos of FFM participants. Two men onboard a black Toyota Hi- Lux van with plate number ABF1165 followed the delegates from the airport to the

Butuan City Highway. Men onboard two motorcycles also tailed the convoy from the highway.

In Misamis Oriental, soldiers held the FFM team led by formerAgrarian Reform Secretary Rafael “Ka Paeng” Mariano at a checkpoint in Brgy. Molugan, El Salvador, Misamis Oriental at 6:26am. Participants were required to get off their vehicles and present their IDs. At 6:38am, FFM delegates in another vehicle were held at a checkpoint im Brgy. Luyong Bunbun, Opol, Misamis Oriental, where the driver was asked to show his license and the vehicle’s certificate of registration. In less

than 30 minutes at Brgy. Igpit, the delegation was again held by AFP Scout Rangers who required them again to show their IDs, while their driver was questioned and threatened with some traffic violation.

April 6: FFM delegates in Southern Mindanao saw banners with threatening texts "Out International Fact Finding and solidarity mission teams. We want peace" en route to mission areas in Tagum City, Davao del Norte.

April 6: FFM delegates were harassed in at least eight checkpoints from the airport. They were tailed by men onboard motorcycles and their pictures were taken.

April 6-8: men in plainclothes onboard a motorcycle and unknown men on board a heavily tinted Toyota intermittently tailed FFM in Caraga.

April 6: FFM delegates en route to Malaybalay, Bukidnon have been harassed at least 5 times.

10:15am, Baloi, Cagayan de Oro: The team led by Amihan Secretary General Cathy Estavillo was stopped by the Regional Public Safety Battalion. The armed personnel asked their driver to show the vehicle’s Official Receipt of Certificate of Registration (OR-CR),  then instructed all passengers to

get off the vehicle and to show their identification cards. They were also told to sign the Scout Rangers’ logbook.

11:15am, Alae, Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon: The team led by former Agrarian Reform Secretary Rafael “Ka Paeng” Mariano was stopped by the PNP Highway Patrol Group and held for over 30 minutes without explanation. As in the last checkpoints, the HPG officers asked the driver to show his license and vehicle’s OR-CR. Before being let go, the delegates were asked to leave the vehicle and go through quarantine. The same HPG officers also held the local delegates and asked to show a permit to travel before they could proceed.

11:55am, Manolo Fortich Central, Bukidnon: The delegates were briefly stopped by armed special police forces, at which point the delegates also noticed they were being tailed by two motorcycle riders.

12:30pm, Impasug-ong, Bukidnon: FFM teams were stopped by the 8th Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army and asked to get off their vehicles to show their IDs. The policemen disallowed the delegates from taking photos.

12:50pm, Dalwangan, Malaybalay, Bukidnon: The Bukidnon Provincial Public Safety Company stopped both teams and demanded that they write their names in their logbook.

The teams finally arrived at their destination at Brgy. Patpat, Malaybalay, Bukidnon at 1pm. All three contingents of the FFM were tailed hereon till they made it to the city proper.

4:30pm, Brgy. Sumpong, Malaybalay City, Bukidnon: A small contingent of the team en route to IFI Church was asked by the Bukidnon Provincial Public Safety Company to get off theirvehicles and show their IDs. Thirty minutes later, the Bukidnon Provincial Public Safety Company held the team ledby ACT Rep. Antonio Tinio. They were asked to show their IDs, and their names were listed down by the police.

April 7: A rally was staged by soldiers of the 71st IBPA and police in Brgy. Anibongan, Maco, Compostela Valley calling for the continuation of martial law in Mindanao and for the FFM teams to leave. They also took pictures of the FFM delegates. Since April 2, they have been encamped in the village, purportedly for "clearing operations." The 71st IBPA is responsible for the frustrated EJK, torture and illegal detentionof two youth peasants in Maco last November 2017.

April 7: Some 15 farmers from  Surigao del Sur who participated in the FFM focus group discussions were accosted by the police in Lianga, Surigao del Sur. They were brought to the Lianga police station, where their pictures were taken and they were made to sign on the police logbook. The license of their van's driver was confiscated. They were released after.

April 7 - Elements of Task Force Tagum, in full battle gear, flagged down, boarded and inspected the vehicles of FFM delegates in Purok Durian, Brgy. Apokon, Tagum City, Davao del Norte, while the participated were en route to Compostela Valley. Soldiers told the delegates that they will be barred

from passing through unless they subject themselves to the said checkpoint. Lt. Cricensio refused to let the delegation proceed without presenting the IDs of all the participants.

April 7 - FFM delegates in Northern Mindanao were stopped in two checkpoints from Malaybalay City on the way to the mission area in Quezon, Bukidnon. The contingent was tailed by men onboard three motorcycles, two of which do not have plates. Unidentified masked men also took pictures of delegates and their vehicle at the checkpoints in Brgy. Aglayan, Malaybalay City and Brgy. Lumbo, Valencia City.

Members of the Regional Public Safety Battalion asked if the participants were with former DAR Secretary Rafael Mariano.


Plus jamais de Loi martiale ! - Centre d'appui aux Philippines

Communiqué 28 mai 2017                                                              capcpc@gmail.com

Le Centre d'appui aux Philippines (CPC-CAP) condamne fermement l'imposition de la loi martiale à Mindanao, proclamée par le président Rodrigo Duterte le 23 mai 2017.

Le prétexte était un affrontement armé entre les forces armées des Philippines (AFP), la police nationale dans la ville de Marawi et le groupe Maute, un groupe affilié aux militants de l'État islamique (IS) selon le gouvernement philippin.

Immédiatement après, l'administration de Duterte a déclaré la loi martiale sur toute l'île de Mindanao, la deuxième plus grande de cette nation insulaire de 100 millions d’habitants. Ce sont les habitants de Marawi qui ont été confrontés à la violence et aux déplacements. Il y aura sûrement des victimes civiles,  dommages collatéraux causés par l’intensification des opérations militaires.

Déjà dans les jours qui ont suivi la déclaration de la loi martiale, on rapporte des incidents où de nombreux groupes de personnes ont été détenus sans mandat, comme les 250 personnes «d'intérêt» à Davao, la capitale de Mindanao et les 30 participants du Forum œcuménique des femmes à Sultan Kudarat, une autre grande ville. La liberté de circulation est entravée, les médias et les médias sociaux sont censurés et les personnes soupçonnées de troubler la sécurité publique par leurs activités dans les médias et les médias sociaux sont menacées d'arrestation. Cela sans mentionner l’interdiction de se joindre à des manifestations publiques et sont menacés d'arrestations massives en vertu de la loi martiale, ce qui musèle les militants des droits sociaux et des droits de l'homme et leur enlève la liberté d'expression pour s'opposer à une telle règle.

Nous ne pouvons que nous rappeler les décennies de la loi martiale sous l'ancien dictateur Ferdinand Marcos dans les années 70 et 80, lorsque notre Centre d’appui aux Philippines a été formé. Nous avons été nombreux à nous mobiliser pour alerter nos concitoyens canadiens à la violation systématique des droits de l'homme, aux milliers de disparitions, aux exécutions extrajudiciaires et à la décimation d'une génération entière de jeunes et de forces progressistes au cours de ces terribles années. Nous avons organisé des activités pour soutenir ceux qui résistaient courageusement à la dictature aux Philippines. C’est ainsi que beaucoup d'entre nous ont été initiés au monde de la solidarité internationale.

L'histoire a démontré que la loi martiale ne mènera jamais à la paix, ni à Mindanao ni aux Philippines dans l'ensemble. Au lieu de cela, une présence militaire accrue aggravera encore l'insécurité dans la région. Elle renforce également le pouvoir des militaristes au sein du gouvernement du président Duterte, qui sont totalement inféodés à l'impérialisme américain, qui a d'énormes intérêts économiques à Mindanao, y compris les investissements dans l'extraction des ressources naturelles.

La paix ne peut venir qu'en traitant les causes profondes du conflit armé - la pauvreté, l’absence de développement, les droits ancestraux des Bangsamoro (minorité musulman) et les autres peuples indigènes.

Le processus de paix actuel entre le Gouvernement de la République des Philippines et le Front national démocratique des Philippines vise à s’attaquer aux racines du conflit armé. Le Centre d’appui aux Philippines soutient pleinement ce processus et croit qu'il est infiniment plus dans l'intérêt du peuple philippin que la loi martiale!





Never Again to Martial Law! -- Centre for Philippine Concerns

Communiqué May 28, 2017   capcpc@gmail.com

The Centre for Philippine Concerns/Centre d’appui aux Philippines (CPC-CAP) strongly condemns the imposition of Martial Law in Mindanao, as proclaimed by President Rodrigo Duterte on May 23, 2017.

The pretext was a firefight between the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), the National police in the town of Marawi, and the Maute group, a small group affiliated with the Islamic State (IS), according to the Philippine government.

Immediately afterwards, the Duterte administration declared martial law on the whole island of Mindanao, the second largest in this island nation of 100 million people. The people of Marawi have faced the brunt of violence and displacement. Civilians are sure to be victims of collateral damage from increased military operations.

Already in the days following the declaration of Martial Law, there have been incident-reports where large groups of people have been detained without warrant, including 250 ¨persons of interest¨ in Davao, the capital of Mindanao and 30 participants of the Ecumenical Women’s Forum in the city of Sultan Kudarat.  Freedom of movement is hampered, media and social media is being censored and people deemed to violate public security through their activities in the media and social media are threatened with arrest.

This is not to mention that people are prohibited from joining public demonstrations and are threatened with mass arrest under Martial Law, effectively muzzling social and human rights activists and removing their freedom of expression to oppose such rule.

We cannot forget the decades of Martial Law under former dictator Ferdinand Marcos in the 70’s and 80’s, when our Centre for Philippine Concerns was formed. Many of us were mobilized to alert our fellow Canadians to the systematic violation of human rights, the thousands of disappearances and extrajudicial killings, and the decimation of an entire generation of youth and progressive forces in those terrible years. We held activities to support those bravely resisting the dictatorship in the Philippines. Many of us were initiated into the world of international solidarity through this movement.

History has shown that Martial Law will never lead to peace, neither in Mindanao or the Philippines overall. Instead, increased military presence will further aggravate the insecurity in the region. It also strengthens the hand of the militarists in President Duterte’s own government, who are notoriously beholden to US imperialism which has huge economic interests in Mindanao, including investments in natural resource extraction. And Canadian imperialism is also involved since Canadian mining companies like TVI are active on the island of Mindanao.

Peace can only come by addressing the root causes of the armed conflict - the poverty, lack of development and the ancestral rights of the Bangsamoro (Muslim minority) and other indigenous peoples.

The current peace process between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines aims to address the roots of armed conflict. The Centre for Philippine Concerns fully endorses this process in the face of roadblocks recently being placed in its path by the Duterte government, and believes it is infinitely more in the interests of the Filipino people than Martial Law!



Duterte and the People’s Agenda



Saturday, September 24, 2016
2 pm – 5 pm
7th Floor, Student’s Lounge, Hall Building, Concordia University
1455 De Maisonneuve W, Montreal, QC H3G 1M8
Metro Guy-Concordia
Free admission, donations welcome

Organized by the Centre for Philippine Concerns and #JustPeacePH
- Platform for a Just and Lasting Peace in the Philippines (Montreal)

Featuring five Montrealers just back from the Philippines:
Zharmaine Ante (AnakBayan Montreal)
Evelyn Calugay (PINAY)
Renz Grospe (AB Montreal)
Sherilyn Recinto (AB Montreal)


Peace talks are underway between the Government of Rodrigo Duterte (GRP) and the revolutionary forces of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP). A six-point agreement was signed in Oslo, Norway this past August and the next crucial series of discussions are planned for October, also in Oslo.

On the table will be a Comprehensive Agreement on Social and Economic Reforms, or CASER, elements at the heart of a just and lasting peace. Meanwhile a ceasefire is holding between the government forces, composed of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) on one side, and the New Peoples Army (NPA) on the other.

Why are there peace talks? It’s because a civil war has been raging in the Philippines since 1969. The daily, systematic and systemic injustice experienced by the majority of the people of the Philippines has driven them to seek fundamental changes in society through various means. Meanwhile, the tiny minority benefitting from the status quo uses all means at their disposal, including the instruments and violence of the state to defend it and prevent fundamental social change. As a result, many Filipinos have embraced armed struggle to overthrow the ruling system. That war continues throughout the country today.

The Canadian media have been full of stories about the controversial statements of the new Philippine President, about his war on drugs and his insults against the President of the US, among other things. But these headlines tell only a small part of what is going on in the Philippines, and have distorted reality to a large extent.


Virtually no international media attention has been given to the peace talks which the Duterte government has agreed to restart, much less the comprehensive 15-point People’s Agenda for Change that was presented to President Duterte the day he was sworn in. This Program for Nationalist and Progressive Change and a more detailed Agenda for the First 100 Days covers five major areas: Economy, Social Policy, Governance, Peace and Human Rights, and National Sovereignty and Foreign Policy.

Five Montrealers who spent up to three months immersed in the people’s movements in the Philippines this past summer will be present September 24 at Concordia to give us the real story of what is going on. They spent time in Negros, Nueva Ecija, Cebu and Mindanao, including Davao, the home city of the new President. Their testimonials will be up close, uncensored and first hand. They will expose some of the roots of the armed conflict in the Philippines and how the 15-point agenda starts to address the underlying causes of rebellion.

Join us with your stories and your questions. It will be a fulfilling and exciting afternoon of exchanges, punctuated by cultural presentations.


Philippines: Duterte et le Programme Populaire - un forum

Exposer les racines du conflit armé aux Philippines :
A la recherche de solutions ensemble

Avec cinq Montréalais tout juste de retour des Philippines:
Zharmaine Ante (AnakBayan Montréal)
Evelyn Calugay (PINAY)
Renz Grospe (AB Montréal)
Sherilyn Recinto (AB Montréal)
Olga Ulanov (Femmes de diverses origines)

Organisé par le Centre d'appui aux Philippines et #JustPeacePH - Plate-forme pour une paix juste et durable aux Philippines (Montréal)


Les pourparlers de paix sont en cours entre le Gouvernement de Rodrigo Duterte (GRP) et les forces révolutionnaires du Front national démocratique des Philippines (FNDP). Un accord en six points a été signé à Oslo, Norvège en août dernier et la prochaine série importante de discussions sont prévues pour octobre, également à Oslo.

Au programme des négociations sera un accord global sur les réformes économiques et sociales, ou CASER, des éléments qui seraient au cœur d'une paix juste et durable. Pendant ce temps, un cessez-le feu tient toujours entre les forces gouvernementales, composées des Forces armées des Philippines (AFP) et de la Police nationale des Philippines (PNP) d'un côté, et la Nouvelle Armée populaire (NPA) de l'autre.

Pourquoi y at-il des pourparlers de paix? Parce qu’une guerre civile fait rage aux Philippines depuis 1969. L'injustice quotidienne, systématique et systémique vécue par la majorité de la population des Philippines les a conduit à rechercher des changements fondamentaux dans la société par divers moyens. Pendant ce temps, la petite minorité bénéficiant du statu quo utilise tous les moyens à sa disposition, y compris les instruments et la violence de l'État pour empêcher tout changement social fondamental. En conséquence, de nombreux Philippins et Philippines ont opté pour la lutte armée pour renverser le système en place. Cette guerre se poursuit dans toutes les régions du pays actuellement.

Les médias canadiens et internationaux sont remplis d'histoires au sujet des déclarations controversées du nouveau président des Philippines, au sujet de sa guerre contre les narco-traffiquants et ses insultes contre le président des États-Unis, entre autres choses. Mais ces manchettes ne racontent qu'une petite partie de ce qui se passe aux Philippines, et ont déformé la réalité dans une large mesure.


Pratiquement aucune attention des médias internationaux a été donnée aux négociations de paix que le gouvernement Duterte a accepté de redémarrer, et encore moins au Programme populaire en 15 points qui a été présenté au président Duterte le jour où il a prêté serment. Ce Programme pour un changement nationaliste et progressiste et un programme plus détaillé pour les 100 premiers jours de sa présidence couvre cinq grands domaines: économie, politique sociale, la gouvernance, la paix et les droits de la personne, la souveraineté nationale et la politique étrangère.

Cinq Montréalais qui ont passé jusqu'à trois mois immergés dans les mouvements populaires aux Philippines cet été seront présent le 24 septembre à Concordia pour nous donner un son de cloche de ce qui se passe sur le terrain. Ils ont fait des séjours à Negros, Nueva Ecija, Cebu et Mindanao, y compris Davao, la ville d'origine du nouveau président. Leurs témoignages seront proche du terrain, non censurée et de première main. Ils exposeront quelques-unes des racines du conflit armé aux Philippines et expliqueront comment le programme en 15 points est un début pour s’attaquer aux causes sous-jacentes de la rébellion.

Rejoignez-nous avec vos histoires et vos questions. Ce sera un après-midi enrichissante et passionnante d’échanges, ponctuée de présentations culturelles.


Philippines - Release all political prisoners! : SELDA

15 June 2016

Victims of human rights violations and kin:

WE ARE citizens who have experienced human rights violations since the Marcos dictatorship until the departing Noynoy Aquino administration.  We know what persecution, torture, deprivation of liberty, forced separation from family, and isolation from society mean. We are former political prisoners who have survived to tell our stories.
Today, we are joined by kith and kin, other victims of rights violations, and justice advocates, to urge the release of all political prisoners who have been enduring injustice and suffering state brutality because they fought a war against slavery and poverty, elitism and greed, subservience to foreign interests, and unfreedom.
They must all be freed.
Today, as we press for the release of 509 political prisoners languishing in jails all over the country, we are encouraged by the declaration and intention of President-elect Rodrigo Duterte to do so. We are completely behind him to right what all the past presidents did wrong.

Releasing all political prisoners, especially the 18 consultants of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines, will absolutely create a positive climate for the resumption of the peace talks.  There is no way that granting freedom to citizens who have been wrongfully arrested, jailed, and slapped with trumped-up charges will not encourage peace. This much-awaited milestone act of statesmanship by the President-elect, once realized, will what shall initiate closure to many instances of injustice.
Together with the freed political prisoners and all our families and organizations, we stand foursquare behind the peace process in search of solutions to the root causes of the war that has long raged in our country.

We warn the diehards of the withering Noynoy Aquino regime and all saboteurs not to sow intrigues, not to redtag, and not to disrupt and derail the release of political prisoners and the success of the peace negotiations.

We, the people, shall overcome!

The Samahan ng Ex-Detainees Laban sa Detensyon at Aresto (SELDA) is an organization of former political prisoners in the Philippines. Founded on December 4, 1984, SELDA was initiated by newly-released political prisoners of the martial law period.  SELDA’s primary task is to work for the release of all political prisoners and to see to it that humane treatment of those who are still in detention are complied with by the Philippine authorities.  SELDA advocates justice for current and former political prisoners.  It calls for the mobilisation of resources in support of political prisoners, former detainees and their families.  It carries out legislative advocacy for the indemnification and rehabilitation of political prisoners. SELDA goes into partnership and builds solidarity with concerned individuals and groups for the freedom and welfare of political prisoners and all victims of tyranny. 

SELDA National Office: 2/F, Erythrina Bldg., #1 Maaralin corner Matatag Streets, 
Brgy. Central District, Diliman, Quezon City 1101, Philippines
Tel: 632-9906595 Fax: 632-4354146 


De retour des Philippines! Rapport sur le mouvement anti-impérialiste

Leila Khaled du Palestine avec les manifestant-e-s anti-APEC aux Philippines
Vendredi, 1er avril, 2016: 18h00 à 20h30
Centre des travailleuses et travailleurs immigrant-e-s (CTI-IWC)
4755 rue Van Horne, Bureau 110, Montréal, Québec H3W 1H8 (Métro Plamondon)

Entrée libre: léger goûter et traduction vers l'anglais et le français
Amenez vos ami-e-s (et une chandelle!)

Témoignages de deux déléguées à la conférence de la plus grande organisation anti-impérialiste et démocratique du genre au monde: la Ligue internationale de lutte des peuples, LILP-ILPS.

Louisa Worrell du Centre des travailleurs et travailleuses immigrant-e-s (CTI-IWC), et Inti Barrios des Femmes de diverses origines (FDO-WDO) et du Bloc d'artiste présenteront leurs expériences.

La conférence, qui a eu lieu en novembre 2015 à Manille aux Philippines, a fait parti d'une plus grande mobilisation internationale visant à exposer et bloquer la réunion impérialiste de la Coopération économique en Asie pacifique (APEC). Le chef de l'impérialisme canadienne, Justin Trudeau, était présent a la rencontre de Manille, parmi une vingtaine de chefs d'état.

SUR FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/events/1697915117134495/

Louisa et Inti parleront aussi de leur expérience au sein des organisations populaires sur l'île de Negros suivant la conférence.

Tout anti-impérialiste est bienvenu-e-s! LILP au Québec invite particulierement ses organisations-membres et les allié-e-s pour partager leur luttes dans la perspective de collaboration et de l'élargissement du réseau anti-impérialiste au Québec et au-delà.

Amenez une chandelle pour une activité à la fin de la soirée!

Un léger goûter sera offert. L'entrée est gratuit, mais nous ne refuseront aucun don. Traduction chuchotée vers l'anglais et le français.

Malcolm Guy
-- coordinateur par interim au Centre d'appui aux Philippines (CAP-CPC), organisation membre de l'ILPS