SF CHRP (San Francisco Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines) is a San Francisco based human rights advocacy group. Latest news and views on human rights in the Philippines.
On August 16th, delegates getting ready for an upcoming congress for human rights advocacy group, Karapatan, were harassed by the Philippine National Police. The PNP have been implicated in many human rights abuses throughout this current Aquino administration and the previous administration of Macapagal-Arroyo:
Around 2PM this afternoon, human rights workers who attended the Karapatan 4th National Congress aboard a bus from Tagaytay City to Manila were arbitrarily stopped and held by the Philippine National Police (PNP)-Cavite along Tagaytay Road in Silang, in front of the PNP Academy.
Cristina Palabay, Karapatan’s newly-elected Secretary General, said, “This is sheer harassment. The four-man team were not able to show us any written order nor give a reason, valid or not, why they stopped us. They insisted they only received orders to stop us but had to ask their headquarters for the reason why. They were even armed with M16 rifles.”
While the police team was calling the headquarters through a handheld radio, Karapatan members said they heard a man’s voice at the other end saying ‘member ng Karapatan ang sakay d’yan!’ Bigyan ng feedback si ano,… CPDO at siya ang nagbigay ng instruction sa atin.”(Italicized text taken from video transcript.)
Palabay added that, “at one point in the negotiation, we heard another order again through the radio that said ‘…boarded are Karapatan members… investigate them and take pictures or video references’.“ (Italicized text taken from video transcript.)
The four policemen were with family names Sanchez, Alcaraz, Nolasco and Manalo.
Karapatan is set to file charges against the Cavite PNP for the incident. The 28 Karapatan members were held for 30 minutes. Ten minutes earlier, Karapatan members observed a mobile car of the Quezon City Police Department at Rowena’s, a bakeshop in the area.
The Philippine government, national police, and Armed Forces of the Philippines have routinely (with absolutely no solid evidence whatsoever) linked Karapatan, and Karapatan members, to the Communist Party of the Philippines and the New People’s Army in order to justify their harassment and targeting of Karapatan members and to justify their dismissals of Karapatan reports and advocacy for human rights victims. The picture and video references of specific Karapatan members has concretely put their lives in danger as members of Karapatan have been assasinated in the past for their human rights work.