Restore our Hard-earned Taxpayers’ Contributions to their Originally Intended People Beneficiaries !
So summarize the calls of our teacher representatives from the Action and Solidarity for the Empowerment of Teachers (assert) for the judicious use of scarce public resources who troop to the Department of Education at ULTRA Pasig today, October 27 to present to Secretary Leonor Briones the 1446 first batch of public school teachers who either tested positive and/or died of COVID from March16, 2020 when Proclamation 929 placed the entire Luzon and parts of Visayas and Mindanao under state of calamity due to the pandemic.
The shrinking spaces for indigenous women in the Philippines
Seventh episode of the “#CourageON: Tumindig, Makialam, Kumilos” community show, where we discuss the plight of indigenous women from different parts of the Philippines and indigenous peoples’ rights advocates.
As October marks National Indigenous Peoples Month, we take this opportunity to hear the stories and experiences of indigenous women. What are the unique challenges that indigenous women face during the pandemic? What can we do to provide more support to them?
Titled “#CourageON: The shrinking spaces for indigenous women in the Philippines,” the seventh episode of the community show features panel discussions with indigenous women and indigenous peoples’ rights advocates. It discusses struggles on the ground and possible ways we can help provide more opportunities for indigenous women to grow their skills and protect their rights.
DOJ’s review of the drug war’s extrajudicial executions veils truth on Duterte’s central policy of killing
Back in April 2019, the Supreme Court ordered the Solicitor General to release to petitioners, all records of extrajudicial killings related to the government’s war on drugs. It turned down the appeal of the Solicitor General to keep the files with the government for reasons of national security. The petitioners-FLAG and CENTERLAW, should have received the records of at least five thousand cases of killings during police operations. The petitioners have also asked the Supreme Court to declare the war on drugs unconstitutional. The PNP and the Solicitor General eventually sent copies of what CENTERLAW described as “rubbish” documents, mostly unrelated to the drug war.
Philippines: Government review a woefully insufficient response to victims of “war on drugs”
The Philippine’s Department of Justice’s (DOJ) recently released matrix – containing limited information from its review of a mere 52 cases among thousands of deaths during police anti-drug operations – is another deeply disappointing indicator of the continuing lack of accountability for the thousands of unlawful killings and other crimes under international law, and human rights violations committed under the so-called “war on drugs”. The review is woefully inadequate, fails to meet international standards, and is a distressingly belated effort for the thousands of families in their grueling quest for justice. Amnesty International remains concerned that the Philippine authorities, including DOJ’s current review, continue to show no meaningful progress toward ensuring access to justice and reparations for victims, nor provides a clear commitment to end its bloody crackdown on illicit drugs.
This investigation by the DOJ comes amid further domestic and international demands for accountability for crimes under international law and human rights violations committed as part of the “war on drugs” launched by the Duterte administration in 2016. On 15 September 2021, the pre-trial chamber of the International Criminal Court (ICC) announced that it has authorized the Office of the Prosecutor to open an investigation into crimes against humanity in the context of the drug war and also those in Davao City by the alleged Davao Death Squad from 2011 to 2016. The UN Human Rights Council, while falling short of mandating an investigative mechanism, recently provided a grim update on the country’s human rights situation as part of the High Commissioner for Human Rights’ report in September this year. Moreover, within the country itself, there are increasing calls from civil society and the public for candidates in the upcoming May 2022 national elections to condemn and propose more humane and human rights-compliant alternatives to address the health and human rights impacts of the use and sale of drugs.
A Review and Commentaries on The Early Duterte Presidency in the Philippines by Professor Mark R. Thompson
This article of Professor Thompson published in 2016 by Journal of Current Southeast Asian Affairs aims to give a critical analysis of what the Duterte administration will be like. I could say that he is indeed a visionary and early on he clearly saw accurately how brutal and hideous the said regime would be.
Rodrigo R. Duterte has “stuck to his guns” in carrying out his campaign pledge to launch a violent anti-drug campaign. He fulfilled his promise of making the sharks at the Manila Bay fat due to the vicious, relentless, organized, simultaneous and nefarious brutal “War on Drugs” in a national scale. This is the upgraded version of the Davao model or template of mass murder.
Duterte’s electoral victory is an irony, by virtue of the fact that “six years of political stability and high growth under the relatively liberal and supposedly reformist administration of President Benigno “Noynoy” S. Aquino, III.”
Pedophiles Abuse Children while Court of Appeals Sleeps Shay Cullen 22 October 2021
The recent decision of the Department of Education (DepEd) to dismiss for Grave Misconduct from the teaching profession Franco N. Aranas, a teacher in New Cabalan High School, Olongapo City should have been a swift decision to protect children and see justice done. However, it has taken almost three years before the decision was made to dismiss the abusive teacher who sexually abused his students. Yet this teacher, Franco N. Aranas, while found guilty for Grave Misconduct by the DepEd’s Regional Director, May B. Eclar, can continue teaching in the same school until the dismissal from service is confirmed by Secretary Leonor Briones of the DepEd. We earnestly hope that Secretary Briones acts speedily to confirm the decision of the Regional Director to protect children and see justice is done. The DepEd must not harbor a child abuser among its ranks.
What is wrong with the system where it is clear justice delayed is justice denied, a system that favors the sex abusers and ignores traumatized children? It casts a dark shadow over the institutions. The teacher was accused of sexually abusing three minor students, one 14 and two 15 respectively, in the Sunshine Lodge near the Victory Liner station in Olongapo City on two separate occasions in June and August 2018. This place ought to be investigated for enabling human trafficking and child abuse, violations of law.
Kamakailan lamang inilabas ng Forbes Magazine ang listahan nila ng ‘di umano world’s “best employers” para sa taong 2021. Sa 750 na mga kumpanya, iba’t ibang higanteng korporasyon ang napabilang dito kagaya na lang ng Samsung Electronics, IBM, Microsoft, Amazon, at Apple na limang nangungunang employers sa nasabing listahan. Kabilang rin sa naturang listahan ang binansagang “3 Philippine blue chips” Jollibee Food Corporation sa pwestong 256th habang ang Ayala Corp. ay nasa 487th at Aboitiz Equity Ventures naman sa 665th.
Habang ang mga kumpanyang ito ay humahalakhak sa tuwa ay marami pa ring empleyado mula sa Jollibee Foods Corporation ang patuloy na nagdurusa base na rin sa kanilang mabigat na karanasan sa kanilang pagtatrabaho sa dambuhalang kumpanyang ito. Ang karaniwang hinaing ng mga empleyado rito ay ang labis na trabaho ngunit kakarampot na sahod at ang hindi natatapos na kontraktwalisasyon na siyang lubid-sakal sa mga trabahador ng JFC.
Every March and September, Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM) embarks on a Mining Hell Week (MHW) to surface the issues surrounding destructive large-scale mining and its impact on mining-affected communities.
The March MHW is to denounce the continued implementation of the flawed Philippine Mining Act, while the September MHW is to counter the narrative of the mining industry led by the Chamber of Mines of the Philippines (COMP) to entice more investors and companies to dig minerals in the Philippines.
This September 2021, the COMP did not organize a mining conference. Nevertheless, ATM deems it crucial to counter the pro-mining stance of the Duterte regime and the agenda of the COMP in the coming elections. ATM will challenge the proposed continuity of exploiting the country’s natural resources at the expense of nature and marginalized communities.
Philippines Loses Staunch Rights Defender | Human Rights Watch
Philippines Loses Staunch Rights Defender Chito Gascon Led Commission on Human Rights During Trying Years By Carlos H. Conde Senior Philippines Researcher Human Rights Watch
The Philippines has lost a beloved human rights defender. Jose Luis Martin Gascon, known to all as “Chito,” who had chaired the governmental Commission on Human Rights since 2015, died October 9 from complications due to Covid-19, his family said. He was 57.
Friends and allies in the human rights movement mourned Gascon’s passing. “The country lost a dedicated public servant who never cowered in fear in asserting people’s rights and civil liberties,” said Fides Lim, spokesperson of Kapatid, a group advocating for the rights of political prisoners. “Amid the challenges faced by the CHR … he carried on with dignity, strength and courage,” said Jacqueline Ann de Guia, Gascon’s colleague at the commission. Even the military, often the target of commission investigations, paid its respects.
Children are the Most Important of All- Jesus | by Fr. Shay Cullen 10 October 2021
The attention of most adults is primarily focused on what they consider to be the most important reality in the world- themselves, especially many clerics. Yet there is one overriding unassailable truth that stands above all else in the teaching of the founder of Christianity, Jesus of Nazareth.
The truth that 2.382 billion Christians, including 1.329 billion Roman Catholics, have supposedly bound themselves to accept and obey is that children are the most important in the Kingdom of God. To accept, recognize and affirm a child with that exalted status and dignity is to accept Jesus himself.
Opinion: Duterte is worried about the ICC. He should be. | by Carlos H. Conde
Clarita Alia remains anguished, nearly 20 years after I first heard her express her grief.
“His name was Danilo Lugay,” she told me over the phone recently from Davao City, in the southern Philippines. Police killed Lugay in September 2020 during a drug raid; a news report of the killing said he had fought back and police officers shot him. Lugay, 28, was the grandchild of Alia’s sister Naneth.
Alia’s voice cracked as she described what happened — the same pained voice that I heard when I interviewed her in 2002 for a report on the killing of her sons Richard, Christopher and Bobby, all teenagers. Assailants later murdered a fourth son, Fernando, in 2007. This unimaginable family tragedy gave Alia, a vegetable vendor who lives in a slum community, the label of poster mother for the city’s bloody “war on drugs,” in which police use extrajudicial executions instead of prosecutions as a primary method of punishing criminal suspects.
Congratulations, Maria and Rappler. You have made the country proud
Laban ng Masa joins the country in celebrating Maria Ressa’s being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, along with Russian journalist Dimitry Muratov. Maria and the news and opinion outlet she headed up, Rappler, have been in the forefront of the defense of freedom of the press. For continuing to expose the crimes of the Duterte regime, Ressa and Rappler were subjected to legal persecution and attempts at political annihilation and economic asphyxiation by the administration.
The Philippine Movement for Climate Justice mourns the passing of Commission for Human Rights Chair Jose Luis Martin “Chito” Gascon, who was a steady ally in the fight for Climate Justice and Human Rights.
Chito led his inquiry into the effects of climate change to human rights through discussions with petitioners and victims of Climate Catastrophe in the Philippines, as well as scientists and experts on climate change.
Passage of UN Human Rights Council (HRC) Resolution recognizing the right to a safe, healthy and sustainable environment
Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM) welcomes the recent passage of the UN Human Rights Council recognizing the right to a safe, health and sustainable environment, in Geneva. While the resolution is not binding to all member-states, this sends a strong message to all countries on the urgency of addressing climate change impacts and listening to the demands of the most vulnerable countries as we face greater risks especially in the midst of this pandemic.
ATM believes that the Philippine government must immediately pass domestic laws and national policies that will subscribe and fulfill this mandate. It is necessary to recall that the 1987 Philippine Constitution already recognizes this under Article 2, Section 16 which states “The State shall protect and advance the right of the people to a balanced and healthful ecology in accord with the rhythm and harmony of nature”.
Pagpupugay at pasasalamat sa buhay na inialay sa pagtatanggol ng karapatang pantao
Nagluluksa ang iDEFEND kabilang ang komunidad ng mga human rights defenders sa biglang pagyao ng Chairperson ng Commission on Human Rights of the Philippines na si José Luis Martín C. Gascón. Kilala bilang Chair Chito, saksi ang iDEFEND sa kanyang dakilang buhay at paninindigan para sa kalayaan, demokrasya at karapatang pantao. Nakakadalo siya sa ating general assembly upang makipagtalakayan sa mga usapin ng ating bansa at himukin ang ibayong pagkilos, pagharap sa mga pagsubok at pagkakaisa.
KWENTO NATIN ‘TO: Catch these events and be inspired in reclaiming the stories of our nation as we near the 2022 elections
With the theme Kwento Natin ‘To: Reclaiming the Stories of our Nation, human rights organization DAKILA jam-packed the Active Vista International Human Rights Festival (AVIHRF) 2021 with events, forums, and film screenings that tell the stories — real and imagined — of our fellow Filipinos. One of the festival’s forums, Press in Distress: Will Independent Journalism Survive in SEA?, also witnessed a historical moment when speaker Maria Ressa, Rappler CEO and president, received the news of her being the first-ever Filipino to win the Nobel Peace Prize live during the forum.
As the national elections draw near — when warring narratives try to fill our consciousness — DAKILA and Active Vista shall continue to bring forward events on the last two days of the festival that will contribute to shaping and reclaiming the narrative of our nation come the 2022 elections.
So as the festival closes on October 10, invite your friends and family members! We’ve got an epic line-up of relevant events to fill your weekend!
Statement of CHR spokesperson, Atty. Jacqueline Ann de Guia, on the passing of CHR Chairperson Chito Gascon
It is with deepest sorrow that we announce the passing of Chairperson Jose Luis Martin “Chito” Gascon. He passed away early this Saturday morning, 9 October 2021, due to Covid-19 complications. He was 57.
At a time of unprecedented human rights challenges, Chair Chito courageously and steadfastly upheld the constitutional mandate of the Commission. Amidst the unrelenting attacks against the institution and to him personally, he was unwavering and unflinching in fighting for the universal values of freedom, truth, and justice that are essential in the pursuit of human rights. He was undaunting in the fight for human rights, rule of law, and democracy out of deep reverence to the equal rights and dignity of all.
ATING GURO to file Nomination for Partylist Elections
Teachers’ group ATING GURO Partylist will file its certificate of nomination as well as the individual CONA of its nominees today, October 7.
This despite the Comelec’s initial denial of their petition for accreditation to allow them to participate in next year’s partylist elections. On June 25, the Comelec Second Division dismissed the instant petition filed by the party for two grounds, first that the petition signed by the party’s Public Information Officer (PIO) designated by the party’s governing board as certified by its Chairperson and Secretary-General. And that the party failed to prove that majority of its members belong to the sector it wishes to represent- teachers, active and retired, public and private and their dependents.
Low wages, attacks on workers rights, hinder fulfillment of decent work agenda – EILER
The country still lags behind on the Decent Work Agenda, according to Labor NGO Ecumenical Institute for Labor Education and Research (EILER).
As the domestic employment crisis deepens, more and more workers are forced to engage in irregular, precarious or intermittent employment with lower wages. Widespread joblosses, rampant contractualization, and inadequate decent job opportunities with living wages, are worsened by the militaristic pandemic response and intensified repression against trade union and human rights.
Killing State: Confronting the Normalization of State Violence in the Philippines
The Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA), Fastenopfer, Franciscans International (FI), and the Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA) would like to invite your organization or representatives to the “Killing State: Confronting the Normalization of State Violence in the Philippines” on Thursday, October 7, 2021 at 5PM Philippine time.
‘Press in Distress: Will Independent Journalism Survive In SEA?’
It’s not just in the Philippines. Cracking down on press freedom is a tactic used by other governments with authoritarian tendencies, including those of our neighbors Indonesia and Malaysia. We can push back—as one. In Press in Distress: Will Independent Journalism Survive in SEA?, media organizations and press freedom advocates from all three countries will come together in a live forum to discuss how we all can work together to overcome local and regional threats to press freedom.
DAKILA, Active Vista, Rappler (Philippines), Aliansi Jurnalis Independen (Indonesia), Centre for Independent Journalism (Malaysia), Freedom Film Network (Malaysia), and Gerakan Media Merdeka (Malaysia) invite you to ‘Press in Distress: Will Independent Journalism Survive In SEA?’, a simultaneous regional forum on the state of the press in Southeast Asia on October 8, 2021, Friday, 4:00 pm.
More than flowers and praises, teachers deserve dignity (Statement for World Teachers’ Day 2021)
This school year will be the second chapter of Philippine education under the pandemic. Last September 13, a new school year was, according to the DEpEd, successfully opened. But we have to forgo most of the excitement that accompany school openings.
Only a month earlier, new cases of infection hovered in the vicinity of the dreaded 20K per day, a streak of record highs Filipinos could only watch with their eyes. Then came the announced pilot implementation of face-to-face classes in some 120 schools that seems to have miraculously “managed” the Covid-19 inflation somewhat.
The Rise Against Reprisals: An Online Forum on the Situation of Human Rights Defenders in the Philippines
The Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA), Fastenopfer, Franciscans International (FI), and the Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA) present The Rise Against Reprisals: An Online Forum on the Situation of Human Rights Defenders in the Philippines on Monday, October 4, 2021, at 5PM Philippine time.
Philippines: International community must support independent investigative mechanism to end attacks on civil society
New research on the state of civic freedoms in the Philipines
CIVICUS, the global civil society alliance, continues to call on the UN Human Rights Council to establish an independent investigative mechanism to address human rights violations and abuses in the Philippines to further accountability and justice. A new brief published today, shows that one year on from the adoption of a profoundly weak resolution at the Council, serious civic freedoms violations continue to occur, creating a chilling effect within civil society.
The CIVICUS Monitor has documented the arbitrary arrest and detention of human rights defenders and activists on fabricated charges. In a number of instances, the activists have been vilified and red-tagged – labelled as communists or terrorists – in relation to their work prior to their arrest. There have also been reports of evidence planted by the police and military forces to justify arrests or violence against activists.
Torture and Abuse of Children in Jails Shay Cullen 24 September 2021
The unpleasant truths about the torture and abuse of children behind bars are the truths that may not set us free from guilt, apathy, and indifference. It is not only in the Philippines’ Bahay Pag-Asa, youth detention jails, that children and youth are maltreated and abused in detention but also in many countries. Treating youth as criminals has a life-long traumatic impact on them. One thing for sure is the loss of trust and respect for the adult world of authority that allows them to be abused. As the saying goes, “Abuse a child and you make an enemy.”
In Cambodia, last June, Kak Sovann Chhay, an autistic 16-year old Cambodian teenager following the human rights activism of his jailed father, was jailed. Kak Sovann Chhay sent a message on Telegram to government supporters that were considered insulting to government officials. The police broke into his house without a warrant. He was handcuffed, arrested, beaten and jailed in the adult jail of the Cambodian capital, Phnom Penh. His mother is not allowed to visit him. A lawyer has and reports squalid conditions not fit for an animal. UN officials have been alerted and expressed urgent concern for violations of his human rights. He is facing two years in jail in the notorious sub-human conditions of a Cambodian prison. https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-58588022
MAG Statement Pro-people and rights-based COVID-19 response is needed, MAG demands for a comprehensive COVID-19 pandemic response September 3, 2021
More than a year in lockdown, the Philippine government still needs to understand that the imposition of wide-scale lockdowns will not suffice in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. By September 1, 2021, the Philippines recorded a total of two (2) million COVID-19 cases. With a population of 109 million people, only around 33 million doses have been administered, with 13.7 million individuals fully vaccinated, and 19.3 million got their 1st dose, as of August 29, 2021.
As the Philippine government continues to fall behind in supporting the overwhelmed health system, more and more lives of Filipinos are put at risk. The recent issue on misuse and underutilization of DOH funds and questionable COVID-19 supplies procurement, involving PhP 67 billion worth of COVID-19 funds has raised concerns on corruption within the health department. At the same time, reports of patients not able to access health services, whether for COVID-19 or not, due to overcapacity of hospitals have become common. The government needs to hasten crafting solutions in accordance with these realities in the grassroots and the health facilities. Specifically, this may include provision of additional life support equipment (e.g. ventilators and hospital oxygen supply), establishment of systematic contact tracing, integration of local and national referral systems such as the One Hospital Command Center to effectively coordinate COVID19 and non COVID19 cases, as well as faster vaccine rollouts.
URGENT: Early Notice Regarding the Possibility of the Persecution of the Executive Coordinator of KontraS and Lokataru, Fatia Maulidiyanti and Haris Azhar
The Commission for the Disappeared and Victims of Violence (KontraS)—a human rights non-governmental organization based in Jakarta, Indonesia— would like to give early notice for accommodating safe space for the possibility of the persecution of Executive Director of Lokataru, Haris Azhar, and Coordinator of KontraS, Fatia Maulidiyanti.
On August 26, 2021, the Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment, Luhut Binsar Panjaitan, gave a subpoena to Haris Azhar and Fatia Maulidiyanti through their attorney Juniver Girsang & Partners regarding a talk show on Haris Azhar’s youtube channel with the title “Ada Lord Luhut dibalik Relasi Ekonomi-Ops Militer Intan Jaya!! Jenderal BIN Juga Ada!!” (There is Lord Luhut behind the Economic Relations-Military Operations Intan Jaya!! The General of the State Intelligence Agency is also there!!).
Bishop Alminaza statement on the murdered human rights lawyer, Rex Fernandez
“There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” – John 15:13
On behalf of the Visayas Clergy Discernment Group (VCDG), a 2008 CBCP initiative to address social concerns, I express our grief over the senseless murder of human rights lawyer Rex Fernandez. He was killed last August 26, 2021 in Cebu City.
Lawyer Rex Fernandez, a former Redemptorist seminarian, had a heart for the people and had touched so many lives.
Victims and their families will engage a justice system that they can trust- iDEFEND
The report of the ICC registry indicating an overwhelming support of victims and their families towards an investigation into the war on drugs by the International Criminal Court, proves the lack of credibility of the Philippine system to provide justice to more than thirty thousand cases of extrajudicial killings in the country.
According to the Victims’ Participation and Reparations Section of the registry, there had been more than 200 submissions to the ICC supporting the request of the prosecutor to launch a formal investigation into the human rights violations in the country. The VPRS cited that some reasons given by the victims are the reign of impunity entrenched by the President, the unending trauma that they endure, and their conviction that their relatives did not fight back against authorities.
Sino ang mga Bayani at mga Bangag, Bulag at Talipandas ng Bayang ito?
Sa kanyang paskil sa Facebook noong Agosto 25 ay sinabi ni G. Jose ang mga sumusunod:
“In these perilous times we need heroes. Those young NPA rebels killed by this country’s Armed Forces—whatever their personal achievements, however their courage, are not Filipino heroes. They fought to destroy this Republic in their protracted war. Was Ninoy Aquino a hero? He had murky connections that provoke this question. His massive funeral—never in our history has such event occurred. Is this enough to anoint him? Our thousands of workers who left this country that cannot sustain them—how truly heroic are they? Our frontline health workers—fatigued, sometimes underpaid—many have died—how do we recognize their heroism? In my novel Po-on, the fictional Mabini declares—“the heroes are the foot soldiers, the peasants who produce our food.” Now, look at the mirror and ask yourself, “Have I toiled, suffered and sacrificed something precious for Filipinas? You may not know it, friend, but our unhappy country needs you.”
Joint Statement on the International Day of the Disappeared: The Importance of Eliminating Enforced Disappearance Practices in Asia Asia Alliance Against Torture August 30, 2021
Today, on the occasion of International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances, the Asia Alliance Against Torture (A3T) condemns the practice of enforced disappearances that continues to occur in Asia. It is a cruel practice that perpetuates impunity, where the government shows no political will to investigate and solve cases of enforced disappearance. Marking today’s annual commemoration of the Day of the Disappeared, the A3T would like to highlight the importance of eliminating enforced disappearance practices in Asia.
AFAD Commemorates the UN International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances 30th August, 2021
Manila: Today, on the occasion of International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances, the Asian Federation Against Involuntary Disappearances (AFAD) remembers the victims across the globe and extends solidarity to the families of the disappeared and countless human rights defenders fighting to put an end to impunity amid great challenges. According to the United Nations, enforced disappearance is more than “a human rights violation against an individual”. Enforced disappearances affect the entire family of the victim and is “used as a strategy to spread terror within the society”.
Facebook Live! International Day of the Disappeared: Remembering their Heroism and Activism
The event aims to forge unity while honoring and paying tribute to the desaparecidos as well as expressing solidarity with the hundreds of thousands of families and relatives around the world who are searching and waiting for their disappeared loved ones to return home.
Coalition Against Enforced Disappearance (CAED) believes that it is imperative for us to unite, draw inspiration from the lives of the disappeared, and together help their families especially in these unprecedented times.
Lessons Unlearned: Fight for Inclusive Education Carries into Second Year of Remote Learning by Isaiah Castro
“It makes me anxious,” John Carlou, 20, confesses when asked how he feels about remote learning. “Since it started, I have been struggling financially, mentally, and emotionally. Also, learning at home does not work well for me because I keep doubting myself.”
The eldest among four children, John Carlou resides in the rural Daanbantayan town in northernmost Cebu. An incoming third-year student of political science at the University of the Philippines (UP) Cebu, he admits that he feels “alienated” and is still adjusting to the virtual set-up. He worries about his performance, especially during the heavily stressful final exams, which reflects on the grades he received last semester.
The Kaliwa Dam Project violates legal processes and the Philippine constitution, is destructive to the environment, and is against the country’s national interest.
With the increasing demand for water supply in Metro Manila, costly options appear to seemingly solve this concern. In fact, the recent “water crisis” was used to expedite and justify the New Centennial Water Source-Kaliwa Dam Project as the solution to such.
Enroll for free and be part of WeDecide-Alternative Politics Youth Bootcamp (Y-CAMP) with the theme “WeDecide to Alterpolitics. WeDecide for the future, Now!”
Y-Camp Highlights: The youth camp will bring together youth leaders and volunteers of Alternative Politics Movement. The youth campers will also shape the collective decision of the youth for a free, intelligent, and critical voting.
This activity will also gather volunteers, pool of speakers, writers, cultural warriors and digital soldiers.
Karapatan condemns the killing of Atty. Rex Fernandez in Cebu City yesterday, August 26.
As Karapatan’s former legal counsel, Atty. Fernandez handled cases of rights violations, and represented victims and their families in court for years and defended political prisoners charged with trumped-up cases.
A few years after the writ of amparo – a legal remedy to seek protection amidst threats to life, liberty and security – was made available by the Supreme Court in 2007, Atty. Fernandez served as legal counsel in petitions for writ of amparo on a number of cases of abductions and enforced disappearances. Among these were the petition for the writs of amparo for Romulo Robinos, Ryan Supan, and disappeared UP students Karen Empeno and Sherlyn Cadapan. He also lawyered for peasant activist Noriel Rodriguez and Filipino-American activist Melissa Roxas, both abducted, detained and tortured in Cagayan and Tarlac, consecutively, both in the year 2009.
Sanlakas vehemently condemns the brutal killing of Cebuano lawyer-activist Rex Fernandez.
To date, Fernandez is the 64th lawyer assassinated under President Rodrigo Duterte, himself a lawyer. Human rights defenders, among them lawyers, have been defenseless targets of murderers who remain at large. Their fault lies in their vigilance and persistence in defending the poor and marginalized as well as being active in causes for social change. The unabated killings make more evident the complicity of the Duterte Government in both encouraging attacks on human rights defenders and failing to exact justice from perpetrators.
Statement of CHR Spokesperson, Atty Jacqueline Ann de Guia, on the ambush of lawyer Rex Fernandez
The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) condemns the killing of lawyer Rex Fernandez in Barangay Guadalupe, Cebu City on Thursday afternoon, 26 August 2021. CHR will be sending a quick reaction team to conduct an independent investigation on this incident.
Fernandez was said to have been ambushed by unidentified assailants when his vehicle stopped at an intersection. The lawyer died on the spot. The lawyer’s driver was reportedly left wounded after the attack.
The Loss of Life in a Twenty-Year War by Fr. Shay Cullen
Life is precious and sacred. Many people believe in the sanctity of the human person with rights and dignity to be protected and preserved. This is not true for many more who kill and murder and execute their perceived enemies. Those that declare war and invade other nations are also guilty of bringing death and destruction. There is no “good” war. In the end, after millions are dead and wounded, peace is negotiated and made, and life returns to normal. Why then fight the war in the first place and not negotiate a settlement of differences before violence is inflicted? That is because war is very profitable for weapons manufacturers. A prolonged “endless” war is the best thing ever for the industrial military complex.
This industry dominates and greatly influences American politics and the US economy. It is what President Dwight Eisenhower warned the nation about in 1946. He called it a danger to the nation. The permanent armaments industry is today immensely greater and more powerful. It needs, and perhaps, promotes continuous wars to sell more arms to prosper and grow.
Global torture prevention community calls for protection of Afghanistan’s national preventive mechanism
The recent Taliban military offensive poses a grave threat to the continued independence and functioning of Afghanistan’s National Preventive Mechanism (NPM) – the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) – and for the safety of its members and staff.
Everyone in Afghanistan who has engaged in work to promote human rights and democracy now faces a serious risk of reprisals under the Taliban. At particular risk are the women who lead and work for the AIHRC. All those under threat, including the staff of the AIHRC and their families, need protection including, if necessary, through visas and safe passage.
NTF-ELCAC’s Unwanted Visits to Unionists Homes Threatens Unionists
The Center for Trade Union and Human Rights (CTUHR) raised the alarm anew on the report of a new wave of “unwanted visits” of elements of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) to homes of union officers of Nexperia Philippines Inc. Workers Union (NPIWU), in Laguna last Sunday, August 22.
According to the account of the union, elements of the NTF-ELCAC, clad in fatigue military uniforms, some with firearms, simultaneously visited the homes of four (4) officers of their union at around 8:00 to 9:00 in the morning of August 22. The residences of the four (4) are in Brgy. Pulo and Brgy. Banaybanay in Cabuyao, Laguna. The said agents were summoning them to the Barangay Office to have an orientation with a “surrenderee” and sign an “agreement.” The three (3) refused to come to the Barangay Hall, while the other one was at work at the time of the visit.
The Burning and Flooding of the Planet Fr. Shay Cullen
Anyone watching on television the images of burning forests, the raging floods destroying lands and villages, massive landslides burying homes and people have no reason to deny the truth. The latest UN report on the climate crises by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) signed by 159 nations once again informs us that we human are responsible for this terrible crisis.
We humans are bringing disasters upon ourselves by tolerating and allowing through corrupt politicians the coal, oil and gas energy companies to promote their extraction and continual burning of fossil fuel. By financially supporting the election campaigns of friendly politicians, they are getting massive government subsidies to continue to produce and burn coal, oil and gas.
It’s Time for the U.S. to Stop Selling Weapons to Human Rights Abusers Published in:The Washington Post
By Elisa Epstein Washington Advocacy Officer Human Rights Watch @elisacepstein
The Biden administration notified Congress in June of a proposed sale of more than $2.5 billion in arms to the Philippines, including fighter jets and two kinds of precision missiles. The notice came less than two weeks after the International Criminal Court prosecutor sought approval to open a formal investigation into crimes against humanity related to the Philippines’ brutal “war on drugs.”
Human rights groups promptly expressed concern that the administration would reward an increasingly abusive government with such a large weapons sale, particularly given public pledges by both President Biden and Secretary of State Antony Blinken that the new administration would put human rights at the center of U.S. foreign policy.
This is not the first time in the Biden administration’s short tenure that it has found itself the object of criticism following an arms sale announcement. In February, the United States approved plans to sell Egypt missiles worth $197 million. In May, news broke of an approved arms sale worth $735 million of precision-guided weapons to Israel amid its latest military offensive in Gaza, where it used large, precision-guided munitions to destroy multi-story buildings containing scores of businesses and homes on the pretext of some unproven Hamas presence at those sites. According to the United Nations, Israeli airstrikes in May killed 260 Palestinians in Gaza, at least 129 of whom were civilians, including 66 children.
Healthcare workers harbor doubts about Palace decision to give benefits, assert that the struggle continues
Leaders from private hospital unions remain apprehensive on the reported order of President Duterte to the DBM and DOH to give healthworkers the benefits under Bayanihan 2 they have yet to receive within ten (10) days.
According to Jao Clumia, President of the St. Luke’s Medical Center Employees Association – QC (SLMCEA-QC), “Bago po tayo maglulundag sa tuwa sa pangyayaring ito ay kailangan muna nating tiyakin na ang kautusan ng pangulo ay hindi dapat magsilbing malamig na tubig na ipinambuhos sa ngitngit ng mga manggagawang pangkalusugan kungdi isang kongkretong aksyon bilang tugon sa aming mga inihapag na kahilingan. Ang walang diskriminasyong pagpapatupad ng nasasaad na mga benepisyo sa ilalim ng batas: na lahat ng mga manggagagawang pangkalusugan anuman ang posisyon, anuman ang estado sa pag-eempleyo, regular man o kontraktuwal, ay dapat na makatanggap dahil ito naman ang mga nasasaad sa batas na kanyang (Duterte) pinirmahan. Nag-aalala kami dahil hindi ganito ang intindi ni Sec. Duque sa utos ng kanyang amo at tigas-mukha pa ring iginigiit ang selektibo at limitadong pagbibigay ng benepisyo!”