New York Human Rights Advocates Call for the Release of Rafael Baylosis and All Political Prisoners

New York Human Rights Advocates Call for the Release of Rafael Baylosis and All Political Prisoners

27540630_2061889917171263_1768405012304447907_nOn February 5, 2018, human rights advocates and peace-loving people, including members of BAYAN USA and International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines (ICHRP USA) entered the Philippine Consulate General of New York to demand the release of all political prisoners, including Rafael Baylosis. Bernadette Ellorin, of BAYAN USA, and Hank Broege, of ICHRP USA and NYCHRP, led the group in delivering a letter of concern to Consul General Ma. Theresa B. Dizon-De Vega. The consul general refused to meet with the advocates sending a delegate instead. Ellorin requested that the letter be delivered and demanded to release Baylosis, all political prisoners, and raised concerns about the 13,000 victims of extrajudicial assassinations under President Duterte. Meanwhile, the group started chanting, and calling for the release of Rafael Baylosis, with signs in hand. The security personnel threatened to call the NYPD on the activists.

“The consul general was caught off guard. I hope that they were embarrassed that these human rights violations are ongoing. I hope that we were able to convey that what Duterte is doing is very unpopular and that many people condemn the atrocities that he is committing. I hope that they are more careful with what they do, how they represent themselves, and the issues in the Philippines. People all over the world are finding out about what is going on in the Philippines and the government should feel that pressure under scrutiny,” commented Broege.

On January 31st, peace activist Rafael Baylosis, 69 years old, and his companion, Roque Guillermo Jr., were arrested by members of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group-National Capital Region  (CIDG-NCR) on trumped-up charges. Rafael Baylosis is a long-time activist and labor leader. He is also a peace consultant of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP). The arrest of Baylosis violates the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG) and Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL), which the government of the Philippines is obligated to follow.

On January 26, 2018, President Rodrigo Duterte, repeated his vow to crush the New People’s Army (NPA) within the year, including the so-called ‘legal fronts of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP). With these recent threats, the Philippine government has executed a renewed round of harassment against activists including Vencer Crisostomo (Chairperson of Anakbayan), Einstein Recedes (Secretary General of Anakbayan), Teddy Casino (BAYAN MUNA Partylist), Renato Reyes Jr. (Secretary General of BAYAN), and Representative Carlos Zarate (BAYAN MUNA Partylist) in addition to the arrest of Baylosis.

BAYAN USA and ICHRP then took their call to the streets outside of the Philippine Consulate, calling for the release of Baylosis and political prisoners saying “activism is not a crime.” The initial advocates who entered the Philippine Consulate were joined by other members of BAYAN USA and ICHRP. Solidarity allies also joined and spoke against human rights violations. Many spoke out against martial law, fascism, human rights violations, and supported the call for peace talks and the release of political prisoners. Speakers highlighted the solidarity between the Philippine liberation struggle and the black liberation struggle. Joined by NYC Shut It Down: The Grand Central Crew #blacklivesmatter, advocates then marched to Times Square to share to the broader Times Square public 5 facts about Baylosis’ arrest and the interconnectedness of liberation struggle and repression.

The U.S., under Trump, has given over 100 million dollars to support military operations in the Philippines. These tax dollars are used to fund the active martial law operations in Mindanao and military repression elsewhere in the country. Duterte has arrested at least 145 people for politically-motivated reasons, including six peace consultants, a Bishop, and other faith leaders, bringing the total to over 486 political prisoners under his administration.

Meanwhile, human rights advocates such as members of NYCHRP continue to call for the resumption of peace talks, to continue the negotiation on the Comprehensive Agreement for Socio Economic Reforms (CASER), to end martial law, and to end fascist impunity.


Free Rafael Baylosis and All Political Prisoners! Activism is not a crime! Never again to fascist dictatorship! Resume the Peace talks!


Donate to send NYCHRP to the launching of the USA chapter of the International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines!



The NY Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines (NYCHRP) seeks to join other human rights defenders for the official launching of the U.S. chapter of the International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines (ICHRP). The ICHRP USA launch is set to take place on December 9, 2017, in Portland, Oregon, in commemoration of International Human Rights Day.

The main objectives of the ICHRP USA launch are to develop a mechanism for structure and coordination among members, and to launch a campaign to stop the killings in the Philippines and end U.S. military aid!

NYCHRP members, who are all volunteer, grassroots human rights activists, need your help to travel across the country for this momentous gathering!!!

We are raising $3000 in the next couple of weeks! The cost of roundtrip airfare from NYC to PDX is on average $350 each ticket. Six NYCHRP members have committed to attend the ICHRP USA launch! Thus, our expenses will amount to $2,100 on airfare alone! We are also budgeting costs of housing, food, and emergency expenses.

With only about a month away until the big event and airfare costs rising every day, your donation is critical to our participation in the ICHRP USA launch! Please consider supporting NYCHRP. Your donation will go a long way in support of the global solidarity movement to defend human rights in the Philippines!

In the Philippines, the Duterte government is becoming another despotic regime.  In a little over a year the drug war has resulted in over 12,000 extrajudicial killings.  Its war on terror has bombed all throughout Mindanao especially in Marawi, North Cotabato, Bukidnon, Davao del Sur, Davao del Norte, leaving at least 416,005 individuals displaced and 357,569 subjected to indiscriminate gunfire and aerial bombardment.

There is grave concern that martial law in Mindanao brings about even more human rights violations and abuses already targeting innocent civilians because of the state’s assumption that the rebels are among the evacuees. In the course of the Marawi siege, there were reported looting, illegal arrests, and other human rights violations. There are efforts to silence the mass media and public opinion and moves to dismantle the system of checks and balances.  Trumped-up cases are filed, critics and activists unjustly labelled as “enemies of the state” are arrested and detained.

In the economic sphere, life is not going to be better for the majority of the people who are poor. They will be hardest hit by the economic crisis that is expected to get worse. The socio-economic and political reforms that the Filipino people have long been clamouring for are not in sight. With the neoliberal economic policy already adopted by the government top economic team, it is clear that the Duterte policy is to preserve the economy which is dependent on the export of raw materials and cheap labor, import of manufactures, foreign investments, foreign loans to cover trade deficits and higher taxes and prices of basic commodities at the expense of the people.

More than ever, the broad masses of Filipino people need the solidarity and support of the peoples of the United States of America who, despite the continuing U.S. government’s foreign policy framework and methodology of “counter terrorism” over Philippine affairs that has for years been demonstrably dismissive of human rights, can choose to stand on the side of what is true, of what is right and just, with a suffering but struggling Filipino people.

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STOP THE KILLINGS: Duterte’s War on Drugs Through the Lens of Raffy Lerma

NYCHRP Raffy Lerma Oct 23 Flyer

Duterte’s War on Drugs Through the Lens of Raffy Lerma

Join the NY Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines (NYCHRP) for a special event highlighting photojournalist Raffy Lerma’s work that has captured harrowing scenes of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s War on Drugs. Lerma’s photos, featured by the NY Times and other mainstream media outlets, expose the Philippine government’s systemic violence against the country’s poor. Learn from Lerma and NYCHRP the realities of the War on Drugs and how the international human rights community can stand with its victims and the Filipino people who are resisting state repression.

October 23, 2016 at 6PM
Starr Bar – 214 Starr, Brooklyn, NY 11237 | |

NLG International Committee and NYCHRP Support Ten Years of People’s Lawyers Fighting for Human Rights

The following statement of greetings to the convention of the National Union of People’s Lawyers (NUPL) in the Philippines was co-authored by the New York Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines (NYCHRP) and the NLG International Committee.

September 16, 2017 marks 10 years that the National Union of People’s Lawyers (NUPL) has been upholding, promoting, and fighting for the rights of the oppressed and the people of the Philippines. The National Lawyers Guild (NLG) International Committee (IC) and the New York Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines (NYCHRP) stand in solidarity with the mission and work of the people’s lawyers. We strongly commend their ten years of ongoing struggle with the people!

We support NUPL’s continued lawyering for the people. The NUPL has pledged legal counseling and assistance to the hapless and helpless drug war victims, while denouncing those responsible for the cold-blooded, unmitigated premeditated, and brutal murders. One such victim was Kian Loyd Delos Santos, a 17-year-old who was killed during a police anti-drug operation in Caloocan in mid-August.  He was a victim among many other cases of systematic murders of drug suspects by the state forces of Duterte. Coupled with Duterte’s purported drug war is the still ongoing martial law he declared in Mindanao in May as a response to ISIS elements in Marawi City by the combined forces of the Maute and Abu Sayyaf groups. The martial law declaration was overly broad, covering all of Mindanao despite the target groups solely being in Marawi City. The City continues to be bombed and the Armed Forces of the Philippine have taken the declaration as a signal to generally target workers, the Lumad, and the Moro people.

President Duterte’s “War on Drugs” implicates multiple violations of people’s rights to life, liberty, and due process. The War on Drugs is just a small part of the President’s larger attacks on human rights, including the region-wide declaration of Martial Law and militarization of Mindanao. President Duterte disregards fundamental international and domestic human rights by instructing and goading the police and military to shoot and bomb innocent people and then promising to protect them from reprise. Further, the Duterte government’s application of any right is anti-poor, killing them and effecting intrusive searches and tests.

With the theme of “Addressing the Escalating Human Rights Violations: The Role of the People’s Lawyer in the Struggle to Attain Just and Lasting Peace,” we are confident that the NUPL will continue its legacy of human rights defense to address the burning issues of the Philippines today.

NLG is a national association of lawyers, law students, legal workers, and jailhouse lawyers in the United States dedicated to using the law as an instrument for attaining social justice. Formed in 1937 with a mandate to advocate for the protection of human and civil rights, it is the oldest human rights/public interest bar association in the nation.

NYCHRP is a volunteer-run education and advocacy group based in New York City that works to promote social, economic and political alternatives that foster democracy and peace based on justice in the Philippines and for Filipinos in the diaspora today. NYCHRP shares the vision of human rights advanced by the National Democratic movement of the Philippines.

As human rights advocates and members of the International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines, the NLG IC and NYCHRP echoes the concerns of the NUPL and the people they serve regarding the violations of people’s fundamental rights. We support the efforts of NUPL to link human rights work to a movement that demands the improvement of the Philippines from a political, economic, and social system burdened by semi-feudalism, bureaucrat capitalism, and imperialism to one that serves its people and allows for their participation in society.



On Major Human Rights Anniversaries, NYCHRP Opposes Martial Law and the Drug War in the Philippines

We are in a season of human rights anniversaries. Every August 30 is memorialized as the International Day of the Disappeared, calling attention to the victims of enforced disappearances. September 21st is the anniversary of the day that martial law was declared by the dictator in the Philippines. The New York Committee on Human Rights in the Philippines (NYCHRP) calls to mind the friends, co-workers, parents, children, and community members who government forces have forcibly and secretly taken away from the people who love and care for them.

NYCHRP remembers, in solidarity, the disappeared of Mexico, particularly in Ayotzinapa. Three years since the disappearance of 43 college students from the city of Iguala, the case has exposed the link between corrupt officials and paramilitary gangs profiting from drug smuggling and other illicit activities. NYCHRP also remembers the 29 victims of enforced disappearances in the Philippines. NYCHRP opposes the culture of impunity and corruption that deny justice and accountability to people in the Philippines where an oppressive local and international elite subdues the people under semi-feudalism, bureaucrat capitalism, and imperialism.

Amidst the exacerbating crisis in society and economy, NYCHRP also denounces the unbridled violations of human rights in the Philippines. Since the start of Duterte’s War on Drugs in 2016, nearly 12,000 people have been killed, mostly alleged drug users and small-time peddlers from among the poor. Tens of thousands of others have been thrown into jail, packing into prisons in a country which only has worsened the objectionable conditions of prisoners and political prisoners alike. One facility is overcrowded with 2,975 prisoners, or 10 times its legal capacity, and three-quarters are jailed for drug-related offences.

NYCHRP also condemns the continuing violation of human rights by Duterte’s martial law in Mindanao. The University of the Philippines – Diliman campus hosted a Lakbayan of national minority peoples and groups from all over the country in its third year. This year’s Lakbayan has a special significance: it will be the broadest protest action against martial law in Mindanao, the continuing destruction of the Islamic City of Marawi, and the worsening state of the residents of the city. People have been without homes since May 23. NYCHRP supports the fight for democracy, for human rights, for the dignity of the Lumad and the people of Marawi, and against the threat of the return of a dictatorship.

September 21 is the anniversary of the declaration of martial law by dictator Ferdinand Marcos. NYCHRP laments that the Philippines, in Mindanao, is once again under martial rule, and violations of human rights are increasing. NYCHRP calls on people to hold the President accountable to enacting genuine economic, social, and economic reforms that will actually solve the problems of the Filipino people. NYCHRP calls on the Duterte government to confront the roots of armed conflict and to reengage in peace talks with the revolutionary government of the Philippines in order to finalize the Comprehensive Agreement on Economic and Social Reforms.

NYCHRP is a volunteer-run education and advocacy group in New York City that promotes social, economic, and political alternatives that foster democracy and peace. NYCHRP shares the human rights vision of the National Democratic movement of the Philippines, and organizes people and communities to uphold and support human rights in the Philippines and the world.

#NeverAgaintoMartialLaw #AliveTheyTookThemAliveWeWantThemBack