[Right-UP] The Philippines’ COVID-19 Response: Securitising the Pandemic and Disciplining the Pasaway | by Karl Hapal

#HumanRights #COVID19ph

The Philippines’ COVID-19 Response: Securitising the Pandemic and Disciplining the Pasaway
by Karl Hapal

It was the third week of April 2020, five weeks since Metro Manila and other provinces were put under “enhanced community quarantine” (ECQ). Under ECQ, school and university classes were suspended, mass gatherings were prohibited, government offices were run with a skeletal workforce, businesses were closed except for those providing essential goods and services, mass transportation was restricted, and people were ordered to observe social distancing measures and to stay at home. At that time, the Philippines had 6,456 coronavirus disease (COVID-19) confirmed cases, 426 deaths, and 612 recoveries. Quarantine rules specified that only one person was authorized to go out and buy essential goods for the rest of their family. As the designated “authorized person outside of residence” (APOR), I was given a “quarantine pass,” a document issued by the barangay. With my quarantine pass securely kept in my bag, I went out to buy food and medicine in a nearby market. Without any public transportation, I walked for nearly thirty minutes to get to the market. The street leading to the market was relatively empty. Apart from people who were, like me, walking towards the market, very few vehicles plied the road. Occasionally, an ambulance would pass by as well as illegal motorcycle taxis. As I neared the market, I saw slow-moving vehicles occupying the street. It was as if I had gone back to the “old normal.” Soon I saw police vehicles. I also saw several buses where people were being loaded. I thought the buses were there to transport frontline workers. I was later told that the buses were there to transport people apprehended for violating quarantine guidelines. My brief encounter with the government’s campaign to apprehend violators of quarantine guidelines is hardly an aberration. Elsewhere in the greater Metro Manila area, the joint forces of the police and the military cracked down on erring individuals.

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[Event] A Story from the HeART | UP Educators’ Circle (UP EdCirc)

A Story from the HeART

Minsan na bang sumagi sa isipan mo 🧠 na gusto mong mapunta ka sa another world? 🌏

What if this can happen in real life? 🤔💭
Paano kung may isang alitaptap na maaaring magdala sayo sa panibagong mundo? 😱✨

Will you take this chance? 🏃🏼‍♂️🏃🏼‍♀️

However, in this world you might discover things you have never thought of before — things that might possibly change your life forever. 💫
Will you be grateful for it? 🥰

Or will you regret it? 😔

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[From the web] LAWYERS URGE THE SUPREME COURT FOR REFORMS IN THE ISSUANCE OF SEARCH WARRANTS: Express concern over the use of court processes as cover to attack activists and dissenters | NUPL

#HumanRights #Assault

LAWYERS URGE THE SUPREME COURT FOR REFORMS IN THE ISSUANCE OF SEARCH WARRANTS: Express concern over the use of court processes as cover to attack activists and dissenters
22 March 2021

More than a hundred lawyers, law deans and legal luminaries today formally urged the Supreme Court, through a letter, to institute reforms in the issuance of search warrants, concerned that court processes have possibly been resorted to as false legal cover to attack activists and dissenters.

The letter, prompted by the number of deaths and arrests in the course of the implementation of search warrants, include, among others, the following proposals:

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[Statement] Emerging stronger: New NUJP leaders call on fellow journalists to unite, resist attacks | NUJP

Emerging stronger: New NUJP leaders call on fellow journalists to unite, resist attacks
March 22, 2021

The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) has weathered a storm alongside colleagues in the profession but we still face rough seas ahead, if not rougher.

The systematic red-tagging of the NUJP, media outlets, and journalists has intensified in the past five years, endangering the lives of members of the press toiling hard to keep the people informed. Aside from being branded as enemies of the state, journalists have reported receiving threats telling them to stop being critical of government or be silenced.

This amid other attacks on press freedom including threats of closure and other forms of harassment that our colleagues from Rappler, ABS-CBN, and alternative media outfits have faced under the Duterte administration.

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[in the news] CHR pushes for passage of bill protecting human-rights workers | Inquirer.net

#HumanRights #Protection

CHR pushes for passage of bill protecting human-rights workers

The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) has called for the passage of a bill that seeks to protect human-rights workers in view of recent attacks on activists and members of progressive organizations.

According to CHR, House Bill No. 9199 or the Human Rights Defenders (HRD) Protection Bill should be considered a high-priority legislation especially in light of various reports that rights workers and other activists are either being harassed or targeted.

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[Right-UP] Run, Sara, Run (Away) | by Norman Novio

#HumanRights #Election

Run, Sara, Run (Away)
by Norman Novio

Whether in times of pandemic or not, held elsewhere or right here in Occidental Mindoro, the “Run, Sara, Run” motorcade is a nasty manifestation and display of usual theatrics in pushing forward a phenomenon called political dynasty which is part and parcel of the dreaded traditional politics.

Traditional politics and political dynasty are the two deadliest pandemic in our country’s socio-political history. Traditional politics and political dynasty are cradles of weathervane politicians and butterflies, the bootlickers and their hardcore flatterers disguised as “concerned netizens”, the local politicians who hope to catch manna before 2022 from public gods upstairs and coagulate with them both in financial and organizational terms.

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[Press Release] TDC, muling nanawagan sa DEPED na istriktong ipatupad ang work from home scheme sa mga guro

#HumanRights #Teachers #Covid19ph

TDC, muling nanawagan sa DEPED na istriktong ipatupad ang work from home scheme sa mga guro

Matapos ang muling pagtaas ng kaso ng COVID-19 sa bansa at ang pagsasailalim ng Metro Manila at mga karatig-lalawigan sa mas mahigpit quarantine rules, muling nanawagan ang TDC sa pamunuan ng DepEd na ipatupad ang alternative work arrangement (AWA) partikular ang work-from-home scheme.

“Expose na expose po ang mga guro natin sa virus dahil sa iba’t ibang mga gawain gaya ng face to seminars at meetings na puwede naman sanang gawing virtual. Mayroon ding ilang nire-require for home visitation maliban pa sa distribution at retrieval ng modules,” pahayag ni Benjo Basas, Pambansang Tagapangulo ng TDC.

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[People] Saving the Forests is Saving the Planet | by Fr. Shay Cullen

#HumanRights #Environment

Saving the Forests is Saving the Planet
Shay Cullen
21 March 2021

The International Day of Forest is today, 21 March. Forests are of vital importance to the well-being of all creatures, the natural world, and especially humankind. They absorb most of the damaging CO2 that causes climate change. Their protection and restoration should be of the highest national priority of each nation to hold back global warming from rising above 1.5 degrees celsius and avert the catastrophe that is to come.

Forests are vital for retaining and releasing water the whole year-round, preventing draught and providing clean water and protection from landslides and soil erosion in the typhoon season. In the Philippines and other nations that have suffered deforestation, there is severe low crop yield that causes food insecurity due to massive rains and typhoons because of soil erosion. In some provinces, 50 percent of the rich topsoil has been washed away and more to come. There are no more forests to hold the water back. The Philippines, once self-sufficient in rice, now imports most of its rice.

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[Statement] Hindi kailangang ibabad sa isang linggong virtual inset ang mga guro | TDC

#HumanRights #Teachers #COVID19ph

Hindi kailangang ibabad sa isang linggong virtual inset ang mga guro
(Sagot ng TDC sa opisyal na pahayag ng DepEd ngayong araw, Marso 16, 2021)

Sa kabila ng malawak na pagtutol mula sa hanay ng kaguruan, ipinilit pa rin ng DepEd Central Office ang paglulunsad ng in-service training (INSET) sa pamamagitan pagpapanood lamang sa YouTube Live sa lahat ng guro.

Malinaw ang intensiyon ng memorandum na nilagdaan ni Undersecretary Alain Pascua noong Marso 4, 2021 (DepEd OUA MEMO 00-03-21-0063), ito ay para sa lahat ng mga guro, hindi boluntaryo at panonoorin ng live sa iisang platform, ang YouTube.

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[Statement] Rights organisations call for release of activist Teresita Naul on her first anniversary in detention | civicus and omct

#HumanRights #RedTagging

Philippines: Rights organisations call for release of activist Teresita Naul on her first anniversary in detention

Ahead of human rights defender Teresita Naul’s first anniversary in detention on 15 March 2021, civil society alliance CIVICUS and the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) call for her immediate release.

Teresita Naul was arrested on 15 March 2020 in Lanao del Sur, on the southern island of Mindanao, by the national police and the Philippines Army (AFP) on fabricated charges of “kidnapping”, “destructive arson” and “serious illegal detention”. Police claim she is a member of the New People’s Army (NPA), an armed Communist rebel group responsible for an attack on the military in Agusan del Sur in December 2018, although there is evidence proving that she was in another part of the country on that day.

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[Press Release] A year under lockdown: workers’ condition worse than before | EILER

#HumanRights #Workers #COVID19ph

A year under lockdown: workers’ condition worse than before — labor NGO

The Ecumenical Institute for Labor Education and Research (EILER) is dismayed at the government’s failed pandemic response and for leaving the workers behind, a year after implementing the Enhanced Community Quarantine or ECQ.

Recent government data showed an increase in the annual unemployment rate up to 10.3 per cent, the highest recorded annual unemployment in 15 years (2020 Annual Preliminary Estimates of LFS). Before this, the unemployment rate reached an all-time high of 17.7% in April of 2020.

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[Press Release] Environmental Advocates’ Plea: Stop Activist Killings | EcoWaste Coalition

#HumanRights #Environment #Killings

Environmental Advocates’ Plea: Stop Activist Killings

Responding to the brutal killings of nine activists last March 7, environmental advocates pressed the government to ensure that the lives and liberties of those peacefully exercising their constitutionally-guaranteed rights are upheld and protected.

“As the fight for Mother Earth is a fight for her children too, the EcoWaste Coalition condemns the spate of politically-linked killings that have claimed the lives of activists working for and with the marginalized sectors,” said Aileen Lucero, National Coordinator, EcoWaste Coalition, including the nine activists who perished from the bloodbath last Sunday following joint police-military operations in CALABARZON.

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[Statement] Profiling of lawyers is an assault to the administration of justice | NUJP

#HumanRights #RedTagging

Profiling of lawyers is an assault to the administration of justice

On March 12, 2021, a certain Police Lieutenant Fernando G. Calabria, Jr., Chief Intelligence Officer of Calbayog City Police Station wrote a letter to the Office of the Clerk of Court of the Calbayog City Hall of Justice “requesting” a list of lawyers representing supposed communist-terrorist group (CTG) personalities in court. The letter shows that the request is supposedly in compliance with the order of “PNP higher offices” to which the data will be submitted. Attached to the letter is a table of the data being requested from the clerk of court, to wit: “Legal Personality, Affiliations, Client (CTG Personality), Mode of Neutralization, Case Filed, and Status”.

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[Statement] AMRSP solidarity statement for Mayor Aquino’s death, Otto de Vries, bloody Sunday, and the Rural Missionaries of the Philippines

#HumanRights #Killings #RedTagging

AMRSP solidarity statement for Mayor Aquino’s death, Otto de Vries, bloody Sunday, and the Rural Missionaries of the Philippines

From AMRSP FB page

We hoped for peace, but no peace came. We hoped for a time of healing, but found only terror.’ – Jeremiah 8:15

What is happening in our land?

Violence continues to spiral uncontrollably and with such impunity in our beloved land. So much pain and anguish, hatred and division have afflicted our peoples and nation that we seem indifferent to these deadly events happening in our midst.

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[Video] #SanaAllDapatAll Pantay at Patas | #WokeDTalk2021 Episode 1

#HumanRights #IntlWomensDay2021

WELCOME PO SA WOKE D’ TALK 2021 EPISODE 1Ang title po ng Episode natin ay #SanaAllDapatAll​ PANTAY AT PATASAng mga topic po ng usapan ay iinog sa usaping Diskriminasyon at ang International Women’s DayAng Episode po na ito ay LIVE-STREAMED nitong March 6.

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[Video] HRNN commemorates International Women’s Day 2021

#HumanRights #IntlWomensDay2021

HRNN commemorates International Women’s Day 2021

Sa March 08, 2021
Alas-4 ng hapon!

Maki-HRNN kasama ang ating mga guest anchors na maghahatid ng mga balitang tungkol sa karapatang pantao, na dapat malaman mo!
SEE LINKS:
YOUTUBE:
https://youtu.be/YzrhtvW41WA
FACEBOOK:
https://www.facebook.com/iDEFENDofficial/live/
TWITTER:
https://www.twitter.com/iDEFENDhr

Sa ulo ng mga balita!
Heto ang ating HR Ulat!

Congress OK’s bill na ang mga drug suspects ay guilty until proven innocent!
Ayon kay Speaker of the house Lord Allan Velasco baka daw maitulak na ang Cha-Cha sa Mayo.

Duterte walang imik sa sunod-sunod na pagpaslang sa mga abugado sa bansa.
At iba pang mga balita!

Sa ating Kamusta Ka, makipagkumustahan tungkol sa mga usaping pangkabaaihan at kasarian kasama ang Coalition Against Traffickin In Women- Asia Pacific (CATWAP), Moro women, GALANG (Philippines), KAISA KA, Nagkaisa-Women, at Women’s Legal and Human Rights Bureau – WLB.

Makibalita sa Balitang Birus para sa latest CoViD news tungkol sa mga bakuna, testing, at iba pang balitang pang-health!

Alamin ang reak nga mga pare at mare sa tanong na

“Anong papel ang ginagampanan ng kababaihan sa pagtugon sa krisis ng pandemya?” sa ating PAREAK, MAREAK.

Makibahagi sa ating Hiling Habilin, at malaman ang patuloy na mga panawagan at pagkilos para sa kababaihan at para sa pagtatanggol ng karapatang pantao.

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[Statement] on the recent wave of attacks against lawyers and activists | Centerlaw

#HumanRights #Killings

Centerlaw statement on the recent wave of attacks against lawyers and activists

Bloodshed continues at the hands of the police and military, with the latest crackdown on activist groups resulting in the deaths of nine individuals in the CALABARZON region. This comes immediately in the wake of a public kill order made by the Chief Executive, with a call for the police and military to ignore human rights. The assault on members of the legal profession is likewise unrelenting with the attack on Atty. Angelo Karlo Guillen, counsel for one of the petitions against the Anti-Terror Law.

CenterLaw once again condemns the culture of killing and violence that continues to thrive under the auspices of power. The series of violent attacks and arrests that took place within the span of a week is but a grim reminder of the larger pattern of impunity plaguing the country. They are repeated intrusions on fundamental liberties and civic spaces reserved for the healthy and constitutionally protected exercise of dissent. The unbridled use of violence in law enforcement operations is incompatible with the rule of law and has no place in Philippine legal order. What is more alarming is that procedural rules before the courts have been exploited to facilitate and lend legitimacy to the attacks.

CenterLaw calls on police officers and members of the armed forces to carry out their duties with full respect for legal processes and within the confines of the law. We repeat our demand for accountability for all past abuses and to put an end to the terror that has become so commonplace in our society. We also call on the Supreme Court to undertake its duty by promulgating rules aimed at safeguarding constitutional rights. Life and liberty are sacred. They must be protected at all times against any and all forms of threat and attack.

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Include your full name, e-mail address, and contact number.

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[Press Release] Apela ng mga guro sa DEPED, pagpahingahin niyo naman kami! | TDC

#HumanRights #Teachers

Apela ng mga guro sa DEPED, pagpahingahin niyo naman kami!
Virtual training na panonoorin sa youtube, hiniling na ipatigil

Mariing tinututulan ng mga guro sa pampublikong paaralan ang balak na pagsasagawa ng in-service training (INSET) ng Department of Education (DepEd) sa pamamagitan ng maghapong panonood lang sa YouTube sa loob ng isang linggo mula Marso 15 hanggang Marso 19.

“Hindi na nga magkandaugaga sa napakaraming trabaho ang mga guro ay ayaw pa rin kaming tigilan ng DepEd. Kung ang kalabaw at makina ay kailangang magpahinga, lalo pa ang mga guro dahil tao kami,” sabi ni Emmalyn Policarpio, guro sa Valenzuela City at Secretary-General ng Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC).

Dagdag pa ni Policarpio ay tila hindi umano nauunawaan ng pamunuan ng DepEd ang kalagayan ng mga guro na sa kasalukuyan ay hindi pa nga nakatatapos sa mga gawain ay dinagdagan na naman. Matatandaang nagkaroon ng adjustment sa school calendar ang DepEd sa pamamagitan ng isang kautusan ni Sec. Leonor Briones noong Marso 2 na nagsasabing magkakaroon ng karagdagang dalawang linggong remediation at intervention activities ang mga guro mula Marso 1 hanggang Marso 12 at sa Marso 15 hanggang 19 naman ay isasagawa ang school-based in-service training o INSET.

“Nagulat na lamang kami na biglang may lumabas na memo na nagsasbaing ang INSET sa March 15-19 ay magmumula sa DepEd Central Office at kami ay obligadong manood sa YouTube maghapon sa loob ng limang araw. Ito ba ay mas produktibo kesa sa iba naming gawain gaya ng pag-check sa modules, paggawa ng grades ng mga bata at mga reports na kailangang isumite?” Tanong ni Policarpio. “Dito pa lamang sa mga ito ay wala nang pahinga ang mga guro dadagdagan pa nila,” ayon muli sa kanya.

Ayon sa DepEd ay pinalawig ng halos isang buwan ang school calendar upang maisaayos ang learning gaps at mabigyan din ng pahinga ang mga batang mag-aaral. Ang sagot naman sa TDC ay dapat din umanong bigyan ng pahinga ang mga guro.

Sinegundahan naman ito ni Juanito Dona, Jr., Secretary-General ng Ating Guro Partylist (AGP). Ayon sa kanya, “Mawawalan ng saysay ang training na ito ukol sa online teaching sapagkat mas marami sa mga mag-aaral sa public school ay modular distance learning ang napiling modality. Kung sakali mang kailangan ang ganitong training, maaari naman itong gawin sa hinaharap, hindi ngayong panahon na ito.”

Nababahala rin umano ang AGP sa sitwasyon ngayon ng mga guro na tila ba wala nang patid sa paggampan sa kanilang trabaho na maaaring naisasakripisyo na ang kanilang kalusugan.

“Ang santambak na clerical tasks, online meetings, webinars at pisikal na mga trabaho ay maaaring makasama sa kalusugan ng ating mga guro. Idagdag pa ang stress na dulot ng pandemya, baka kailangan muna nating tiyakin ang kalusugan ng mga guro- physically, psychologically at mentally,” dagdag pa ni Dona.

Ayon pa rin sa dalawang grupo ay hindi man lang umano kinunsulta ang mga guro hinggil sa planong ito ng DepEd o tinanong man lang nila ang opinyon o damdamin ng mga karaniwang guro na araw-araw humaharap sa mga pagsubok magampanan lamang ang kanilang tungkulin.

“Sana naman po ay pakinggan ng ating Kalihim Liling Briones ang aming hinaing at agad na niyang ipatigil ang INSET na ito at hayaan na lamang magpasya ang mga paaralan at indibidwal na mga guro sa kung paanong paraan nila magagawa ang kanilang mga trabaho. At kung maaari sana ay ideklara na lamang na pahinga ng mga guro ang isang linggong ito,” ayon muli kay Policarpio.

Bagamat hinihingi ng mga guro ang isang linggong break, ayon sa kanila ay hindi rin umano ito masasabing pahinga sapagkat kailangan pa rin nilang tapusin ang mga gawain matapos ang second quarter.

Samatala, pormal nang umapela sa DepEd ang TDC hinggil sa bagay na ito, ayon sa sulat ni TDC National Chairperson Benjo Basas kay Sec. Briones, “We therefore appeal to your office to withdraw the said memorandum which forces our 900, 000 teachers to participate in a virtual INSET via YouTube, cancel this plan for now and give teachers time to breathe, a little at least, while doing other paperwork. And while contemplating the details of the next INSET, perhaps the department could give better efforts at providing for internet expense of teachers. Internet connection exceeds ₱1,000 a month yet the miniscule ₱300 monthly communication expenses reimbursement promised under DepEd Order No. 38, s. 2020 have yet to be realized in many schools.”

Isang online petition din ang magkasamang inilunsad ng TDC at AGP para kumalap ng suporta ng mga guro.#

For details:

Emmlayn Policarpio, TDC Secretary-General, 0923-0819751
JR Dona, Ating Guro Partylist Secretary-General, 0965-5470700

Submit your contribution online through HRonlinePH@gmail.com
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[Press Release] Kapangyarihan ng Kababaihan, Women’s Response to Duterte | World March of Women

#HumanRights #IntlWomensDay2021

On the Occasion of March 8 Celebration
Kapangyarihan ng Kababaihan, Women’s Response to Duterte

Photo from World March of Women

Over one hundred and fifty (150) women showed up at Plaza Miranda this morning beating drums, chanting “Kami ay Peminista, Hindi Terorista.”

“The pandemic has shown the strength of Filipino women not only to cope with but overcome the multiple responsibilities we carry and roles we undertake in the family and household, in the workplace, at the frontlines of the fight against COVID-19, in various civic and political spaces despite the threat of the virus and while limited by the adherence to health protocols,” said Ana Maria Nemenzo, National Coordinator of WomanHealth Philippines.

On the other hand, Jean Enriquez, Executive Director of the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women – Asia Pacific (CATW-AP) and National Coordinator of World March of Women (WMW), asserted that “the health crisis, too, has further unmasked the Duterte regime.” “It has exposed its weak leadership—with its failure in governance and to address the social-economic crises exacerbated by the pandemic,” according to the WMW statement.“It could only cover up this failure with increased brutality through its security forces, as seen in police harassment of ordinary people while those in authority could violate social and health protocols with impunity, in terrorist-tagging that has led to the murder of activists and civilians, in intensified military operations among urban and rural communities, and in repeatedly dismissing women’s capacity for leadership,” added Enriquez.

“Babae and hardest hit ng pandemya. Siya rin ang matapang napumapasan ng mahihirap na trabaho sa frontlines, kahit tanggalanng trabaho ang dala ng pandemya,” said Judy Ann Chan-Miranda of Partido Manggagawa. More women lost their jobs compared to men, 1.7 times more in most countries, according to the International Labor Organization. In a developing country such as the Philippines, where majority of women work in the informal or invisible sector, they have been the most affected, explained Miranda.

“Sa panahon ng ganitong krisis, nakakalungkot na ang perspektibang kasarian ang napagwawalang-bahala. Sa pag-aayos ng mgaproblema ng bansa, mahalaga na tugunan ang di-pagkakapantay-pantay na nararanasan ng kababaihan,” asserted Myrna Jimenezof Sarilaya. It is extremely important that women are not left behind during this pandemic. For us, there is really no better time to get involved and fight for our rights but now,” Jimenez added.

Meanwhile, the pandemic has aggravated other social-political issues in the country especially those affecting and confronted by indigenous peoples.

“The pandemic and climate change have worsened food insecurity among indigenous communities,” said Judy Pasimio of LILAK (Purple Action for Indigenous Women’s Rights). Indigenous women continue to defend their lands and rights, as food providers and defenders of women human rights, against destructive mining operations, industrial plantations, and mega-dams—industries which destroy food sources of indigenous and rural communities, according to Pasimio. “While they face state accusations that they are terrorists or sympathizers of terrorists, they continue to care for their communities and to struggle,” she added. “Amidst the pandemic, they continue to fight,” said Pasimio.

“But opposite the kind of power that the Duterte regime wields—the kind that oppresses and even kills, the kind that steps on the interest of ordinary people, mocks and manipulates legitimate grievances of the public, promotes and entrenches the political and economic elite, and the kind that betrays national interest to connive with foreign interest—is woman power, the kind that liberates from oppression, engenders social-economic and political equality, fights against all forms of discrimination and marginalization, and promotes human dignity,” according to the WMW statement. “Feminism is the kind of power that is not afraid; that emboldens women to be at the frontlines, to be leaders and warriors, to dream, fight for, and realize genuine change,” the grassroots feminist movement added. The action included survivors of prostitution and women relatives of extra-judicial killings, all wearing purple and chanting “Kamingmga Babae, Laging Umaabante.”

“We, women together with a broader labor movement would like our government to invest their energy and resources to develop a robust public employment program,” said Michelle Lising, Chairperson of Sentro Women’s Council. “This is needed to address the deep economic crisis, and such policies should include climate jobs, employment and income guarantees,” added Lising.

The Center for Migrant Advocacy (CMA) is also calling for more long-term support and protection for overseas Filipino workers and migrants, among whom majority of women have been the most adversely affected by the pandemic and corresponding lockdowns in countries around the globe. “There should be more long-term assistance for our Filipinos working abroad who were displaced by the pandemic as well as policies that will ensure for their sustainable protection especially against abuse of women,” said Ellene Sana, Executive Director of CMA.

“Five years after Rodrigo Duterte got elected as president, women’s situation in the Philippines worsened,” claimed Jelen Paclarin, Women’s Legal and Human Rights Bureau (WLB). “Women who criticized Duterte’s blatant remarks and wrongdoings have experienced denigration, vilification, and became the central topic of his sexist jokes to entertain people or divert the issue fired at him,” added Paclarin. According to WLB, with this kind of leadership and pronouncements, Duterte has solidified that stereotyping, shaming, and silencing women is normal and acceptable in our society. “President Duterte continues to disregard the rights of women as guaranteed by the 1987 PhilippineConstitution and their important role in nation-building,” said Paclarin.

Foundation for Media Alternatives (FMA) Executive Director Liza Garcia also shared the significance of online spaces in women’s rights: “Violence against women committed online have spiked in 2020 by up to 165%, based on our data mapping results: Women are still being targeted with sextortion, non-consensual circulation of intimate images, and sexual threats. Reports of deepfaked videos and photos of women, and disinformation against women human rights defenders also continue to surface.” “These persistent threats impede women from fully exercising online the same human rights that they have offline,” according to Garcia. “If left unaddressed, the gender gaps and existing violence online is tantamount to allowing the ICTs to be just as oppressive as the many forces offline that hinder women from progress,” she said. “Not only is a VAW-free Internet vital to women’s meaningful connectivity, it is also part and parcel of making safe spaces for women and supporting the gender equality that we are all striving towards,” added Garcia.

#BabaeMakapangyarihan was the hashtag used by the group in posting International Women’s Day captions.

Contact Persons : Jean Enriquez 09778105326, Judy Miranda 09175570777

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All submissions are republished and redistributed in the same way that it was originally published online and sent to us. We may edit submission in a way that does not alter or change the original material.

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[Event] Milenyors Noon, Millennials Ngayon: Karapatan ipinaglaban nila noon, isusuko mo ba ngayon? | Kaisa Ka

#HumanRights #Women

Milenyors Noon, Millennials Ngayon: Karapatan ipinaglaban nila noon, isusuko mo ba ngayon?

Taralets!
Ngayong Marso 8, 2021 sa alas 6PM Makilahok, makinig sa mga testimonya at kwento ng kababaihan sa ating pagharap ng mga hamon ng ating panahon.

#ragepinay

https://web.facebook.com/KAISAKAnational/photos/a.138170453598900/899812137434724/

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[Event] Kababaihan Lumaban Ka! | Oriang

#HumanRights #Women

From Oriang FB page

Sumama sa Martsa ng Kababaihan bilang paggunita sa Pandaigdigang Araw ng Kababaihan sa Marso 8, 2021!

Kababaihan Magkaisa!

#LabanOriangLabanKababaihan2021

#8March2021

https://web.facebook.com/OriangLumalaban/photos/a.250353605471382/1046449792528422/

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[Statement] on the brazen attack on the life of the human rights lawyer, Atty. Angelo Karlo Guillen | CHR VI

#HumanRights #Killings

Statement on the brazen attack on the life of the human rights lawyer, Atty. Angelo Karlo Guillen | CHR VI

The Commission on Human Rights Region VI strongly condemns and denounces the brazen attempt on the life of Atty. Angelo Karlo Guillen by unknown assailants in the evening of March 3, 2021 along General Luna Street in Iloilo City.

The increasing number of violent attacks against lawyers deserves utmost attention and condemnation to the highest degree. Lawyers must never be subjected to attacks for merely performing their duties. Lawyers are essential for the attainment of justice and the rule of law. Regardless of who they represent, lawyers must be given enough freedom to freely exercise their profession without threats of attack and violence upon their person.

The Commission on Human Rights calls upon our Philippine National Police and other law enforcement officers to swiftly and effectively investigate this case and to bring the perpetrators to justice. We also urge the government to provide measures in order to safeguard the rights of the people against such attacks.

Atty. Jonnie L. Dabuco
CHR VI Director

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[Event] #BabaeMakapangyarihan | World March Of Women

#HumanRights #Women

Dalhin po ang inyong tambol o iba pang percussion instruments sa Marso 8, ika 9 ng umaga sa Plaza Miranda 💜🎶

#BabaeMakapangyarihan

https://web.facebook.com/wmw.ph/photos/a.336254526861414/1037076510112542/

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[From the web] Women need more vaccines, not tarpaulins! | Akbayan

#HumanRights #Women #COVID19ph

Women need more vaccines, not tarpaulins!

Photo from Akbayan FB page

“More vaccines, not tarpaulins!”

This was the message conveyed by women members of Akbayan Partylist as they unfurled a banner at a footbridge in Quezon City on Thursday marking this year’s International Women’s Month.

The Akbayan women said that they are calling for more vaccine options for the public and an end to early and expensive election campaigning amid the country’s efforts to contain COVID-19.

“Women want more vaccine options. The more vaccines that are made available, the more lives we can save, and the sooner we can all realize a new and better normal for all. Campaign tarpaulins and other early and expensive election campaigning will not save lives nor protect women from the global health crisis,” Akbayan Chair Emeritus Etta Rosales said.

It was reported that tarpaulins that carried messages urging Presidential daughter and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte to run for president in 2022 appeared in different parts of the country. Duterte and her supporters drew flak from the public as the tarpaulins sprouted in different areas amid the country’s lack of vaccines against COVID-19.

“As women, who are one of the most vulnerable sectors to the pandemic, we are scandalized by this early election campaigning in the middle of a global health crisis. Hindi bale sana kung ganoon din kabilis ang rollout ng bakuna gaya ng paglalagay nila ng mga tarpaulin sa buong bansa,” Rosales said.

Rosales, who is also a former partylist representative, explained that women have every right to call for more vaccines as they bear the brunt of the pandemic.

“From facing a higher risk of COVID-19 transmission and deaths, as majority of health frontliners are women, to loss of jobs and increasing gender-based violence, COVID-19 has hit women harder and worsened gender inequality. Let us not add furthermore to our women’s multiple burden by depriving them of a fast, safe and efficient vaccine program,” Rosales said.

“We call on the government to provide a safe, adequate, and effective vaccination plan for all. We also call for the faster arrival of more vaccines to give the public, particularly women, the widest array options to protect ourselves from COVID-19,” Rosales said.

https://web.facebook.com/AkbayanParty/photos/a.99632461555/10157600362061556/

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[Featured Site] QuaranTalk Media

#HumanRights #Information

QuaranTalk Media

Digital media group producing online shows; provides multimedia production services.
Empowering the Filipino. Inspiring action. Serving the People.

Contact:
0917 546 9472
quarantalkonline@gmail.com

https://web.facebook.com/quarantalkmedia/videos/1164050063989932

QUARANTALK MEDIA PROGRAMS
MONDAYS
▪️9pm – “Quarantalk” with Jules Guiang & Eah Antonio
TUESDAYS
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WEDNESDAYS
▪️7pm – “Kilos Kabataan” with Jules Guiang & Angelica Reyes
▪️9pm – “QT Earth” with Rodne Rodiño Galicha
THURSDAYS
▪️9pm – “Throwback Kasaysayan” with Prof. Francisco Jayme Guiang
▪️10:30pm – “E-numan with Thysz & Raffy” with Thysz Estrada and Raffy Magno
FRIDAYS
▪️9pm – “SDG Online Tambayan” with 2030 Youth Force in the Philippines Inc.
SATURDAYS
▪️9pm – RADYO COMELEC with COMELEC Director James Jimenez and Team
Handog ito sa inyo ng #QuarantalkMedia.
Empowering the Filipino.
Inspiring action.
Serving the People.

#QuarantalkMedia #QTMedia

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[Statement] Climate Justice Group calls on Duterte to take Paris Agreement seriously; PH vulnerable to destruction from climate change | PMCJ

#HumanRights #ClimateJustice

Climate Justice Group calls on Duterte to take Paris Agreement seriously; PH vulnerable to destruction from climate change

On February 24, 2021, President Rodrigo Duterte acknowledged the reality of the negative impact of climate change through his weekly national address, citing the rapid increase of flooding in multiple areas, “Noong una, ‘yong climate change medyo ano [sic] pa ako noon na parang ayaw ko maniwala. But ngayon, sobra talaga ang tubig na galing sa langit because of [sic] umiinit ho ang planeta”. In 2016, President Duterte refused to sign the Paris Treaty on behalf of the country citing the Philippines’ need to industrialize, before finally agreeing to sign it in 2017 after pressure from several climate justice groups.

It has been proven through scientific research that flooding comes as a consequence of industrial mining operations and deforestation, a fact that which President Duterte fails to acknowledge in his weekly address, concluding his statement on increased incidences of flooding in the country by stating that “there is only one thing really that can save this planet, it’s God. Maybe we should pray more, whatever the God.” Philippine Movement for Climate Justice’s National Coordinator Ian Rivera states that, “With this kind of thinking, and coming from a head of a country that is most vulnerable to climate change, will the Filipinos be saved from the impacts of the climate crisis? Prayer must always be supplemented by action—and for this anthropogenic climate crisis, what we need is a president who understands the science and the leadership it so requires for concrete efforts. The situation is still not hopeless.” He continues that the country may still reduce the negative effects of climate change, should the administration remain ambitious in following through with our Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) to the treaty, as well as “the moral charge to demand those actions from rich polluter countries”.

The Philippines remains one of the most vulnerable nations to the destructive effects of climate change. PMCJ calls on President Rodrigo Duterte and his administration to put climate justice at the forefront of the Philippine survival from the climate crisis. Through concretizing efforts towards an ambitious NDC, and upholding our country’s end of the Paris Agreement, it is possible to reverse the catastrophic effects of climate change, and achieve a global temperature of not more than 1.5 degrees c.

https://web.facebook.com/ClimateJusticePH/photos/a.153468781484242/1790241807806923/

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[People] Global Warming Can Be Stopped | Fr. Shay Cullen

#HumanRights #Environment

Global Warming Can be Stopped
Fr. Shay Cullen

One of the most famous and committed protectors of the natural world and defender of the planet is David Attenborough. He gave a speech online to the UN members of the Security Council on climate change and security this week. Climate change is disrupting our world and the temperature has risen one-degree centigrade and it will not go back. There is no going back, he said. We have reached a point of no return and that is a security risk to the planet and to every nation. We can stop it rising higher.

One of the grave security risks is the increase in number and severity of natural disasters that is turning millions of people into victims of draughts where rice fields are turning to deserts in one part of the world and becoming permanent lakes in others. The devastating fires around the world have driven thousands from their homes and killed millions of animals. Wildlife is fast disappearing. Many people are so complacent to see birds flying and fish swimming in the sea cannot and cannot imagine or accept that they may soon be no more as many are already diminished or extinct because of us and our fossil fuel-based lifestyles.

In Surigao, floods have driven thousands of people into shelters as their homes are flooded and crops destroyed and livestock killed by the latest typhoon. Millions of poor people are the worst affected and will live in greater poverty than before. Climate refugees are becoming the greatest threat as millions are displaced by natural disasters and abandon their shacks and shanties and the hunger and poverty and head for the rich nations and besiege their borders begging for help and work.Their numbers will continue to increase.

Besides, the growing increase in CO2 from coal plants and vehicles is making the earth warmer. As I have written before, vast tracts of marsh lands in Siberia and near the Arctic Circle are melting, releasing billions of tons of methane into the atmosphere. This, too, is adding to the blanket of gas that is insulating the planet and preventing the heat from escaping while the sun beats down roasting everything on the planet. Winters are already harsher, colder and more prolonged as happened this year again in the northern hemisphere reaching as far south as Texas in the USA, cutting the electric power grid and people almost dying of cold as one child did. This is unheard of in many years. Nothing like this increase in global temperatures has happened for millions of years and when it did, the earth was uninhabitable, even animals could hardly survive, and thousands of species became extinct. It’s happening again all because of us humans, the species with the big intelligent brains who should know better. We do know better, but good choice does not always follow the facts.

Many politicians and corporate bosses especially in the developed economies refuse to face and admit the truth of global warming and dangerous climate change simply because of corporate greed, the love of comfort and money and to retain political power and economic growth. David Attenborough tried to convince the Security Council of this fact.

The near absence of political will and the blindness of denial are allowing the planet’s temperature to creep upward to the maximum allowable temperature increase of 2 degrees before even greater disaster will occur. Even this one degree increases, the experts say, is already a calamity. An increase of .75 degrees is causing the death of the coral reefs- the life-giving food of thousands of species of fish upon which millions of families depend for a daily meal.

The oceans are under threat, too, not only from over-fishing but they are absorbing all the CO2 they can and they are becoming more acidic. Global fish stocks are threatened as a result. There will be more massive crop failures, drought, floods, rising sea levels, greater forest destruction and massive population migrations. The prices of food commodities are increasing at an alarming rate and as production drops, famine could once again kill millions in some countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. It is not only war but war against nature that is endangering the world population.

It sounds all gloom and doom, it is, and we have to take serious action to stop it. The deadline is a tipping point of global temperature that when reached could make the warming irreversible and perhaps it already is. If we humans continue destructive behaviors, like destroying forests and burning fossil fuels in coal plants to make electricity and populating the world with billions of methane-making cattle, we are making big trouble for ourselves and the rest of humankind. The forests are threatened not only by greedy humans in Hungary, the Amazon and South East Asia, by logging and growing soya and raising cattle for beef but by disease due to the warmer temperature where tree-destroying diseases and insects thrive. The billion cattle in the world are releasing methane, a greenhouse gas and dangerous to the planet.

Committed environmentalist march, demonstrate and petition and electing “green” politicians to push governments and corporate tycoons to stop building more coal plants and turn to non-destructive and renewable ways of making electricity such as geothermal, solar and wind power. We can all be environmentalists. I happily joined the Preda Foundation team and the Aeta Indigenous people of Zambales in planting 4000 tree saplings last year and 2000 this year.

We too can change our community to be more climate friendly by protecting our local environment, speaking out against logging, planting trees, recycling, and establishing organic food gardens to feed ourselves and eat less meat. This is the challenge for our future and the future of our families and the next generation. Each of us can find a way to be involved in saving the environment in our community.

http://www.preda.org

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[Press Release] TDC welcomes dismissal of DEPED plan to reduce teachers’ vacation period

#HumanRights #Teachers

TDC welcomes dismissal of DEPED plan to reduce teachers’ vacation period

The Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC) welcomes the statement from the Department of Education (DepEd) that it will no longer pursue the plan to impose a “two-week vacation” prior to the opening of the next school year.

“Teachers, by tradition and by rules are entitled to a two-month school break and the DepEd cannot just disregard this, it’s a matter of right,” said TDC National Chairperson Benjo Basas.

In a radio interview this morning, Dr. Diosdado San Antonio, Undersecretary for Curriculum and Instruction said that the agency will no longer propose a two-week break between school years 2020-2021 and 2021-2022 following criticisms from netizens opposing the plan, which made the matter a trending topic in several social media platforms last week.

The TDC earlier said that a school break of only two weeks between two academic years is unacceptable especially that distance learning has been physically, mentally and psychologically exhausting both for teachers and learners.

Yesterday, the DepEd has released the DepEd Order No. 12, s. 2021 providing for the new schedule of activities under the current school year, extending it further to July 10, among other changes. Said Order, however does not provide for the school break between the SY 2020-2021 and SY 2021-2022.

“Since there are now changes in the schedule, the two-month break should be adjusted as well,” Basas ended.

Basas said that this is only a proof that DepEd can make sound policies if they will listen to their stakeholders, especially the teachers. In a hearing of the Senate Education Committee this morning, Basas reiterated that DepEd should include the teachers, the front liners in education sector in crafting its policies. #

For details:
Benjo Basas, National Chairperson
0927-3356375
NEWS RELEASE
March 3, 2021

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[Press Release] Toxics Watchdog Group Exposes Online Sale of Chemical Whiteners Laced with Mercury | EcoWaste Coalition

#HumanRights #Environment

Toxics Watchdog Group Exposes Online Sale of Chemical Whiteners Laced with Mercury
(EcoWaste Coalition cautions consumers against mercury-containing skin whitening cosmetics in the wake of 3.3. online shopping spree)

Photo by EcoWaste Coalition

The toxics watchdog group EcoWaste Coalition today released a new report revealing the unethical and unlawful use of online shopping and social media sites to sell skin bleaching, lightening or whitening products containing mercury, a dangerous poison banned in cosmetic product formulations.

The advocacy group for a zero waste and toxics-free society launched the report “Toxic Exposé: Online Trade of Mercury-Containing Skin Whitening Cosmetics in the Philippines” ahead of the 3.3 (which is equivalent to March 3) online shopping bonanza by e-commerce giants Lazada and Shopee.

The group conducted the investigation to generate data that will help stem both the supply and demand for mercury-containing cosmetics and promote the implementation of the Minamata Convention on Mercury, which phased-out in 2020 cosmetics such as skin lightening creams and soaps with mercury above one part per million (ppm).

Of the 65 samples procured from online dealers and subsequently screened for mercury using an X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) device, 40 were found to contain mercury above 1 ppm. Of these 40 samples, 38 had mercury in excess of 1,000 ppm, 25 with over 5,000 ppm, 19 with more than 15,000 ppm, and 5 were loaded with mercury above 25,000 ppm. None of the 65 samples are duly notified or registered with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

“The results of our investigation should push online shopping and social media sites to strictly disallow and monitor the use of their far-reaching platforms to advertise and sell adulterated, counterfeit and unauthorized cosmetics such as those with mercury content,” said Thony Dizon, Chemical Safety Campaigner, EcoWaste Coalition.

“To avoid being harmed by mercury in cosmetics, we appeal to all Filipinos to accept our natural skin color, refuse chemical whiteners, and resist color-based bias, prejudice and discrimination,” he emphasized.

“The recommendations arising from the study, we hope, will contribute to the active implementation of the National Action Plan for the Phase-Out of Mercury-Added Products and the Management of Associated Mercury-Containing Wastes,” Dizon added, “despite the understandable focus of the government and the society on addressing the threats of the COVID-19 pandemic to people’s health and the economy.” The said plan was adopted in 2019 with inputs from concerned stakeholders, including the EcoWaste Coalition.

Dr. Geminn Louis C. Apostol, Assistant Professor at the Ateneo School of Medicine and Public Health, warned consumers that “mercury-added skin whitening products are poison cosmetics that can damage the kidneys, reduce skin’s ability to resist bacterial and fungal infections, and cause a variety of dermal problems such as discoloration, rashes and scarring,” adding that “the disposal of mercury in such products through the wastewater also pollutes our rivers and the oceans and consequently contaminates the food chain.”

“Ecowaste Coalition has exposed a gaping hole in the regulation of adulterated cosmetics containing the dangerous neurotoxin mercury. Their chemical analysis of skin-lightening creams sold through online platforms, leaves no doubt that consumers are being exposed to mercury at levels that can impair their health and that of their unborn children,” stated Lee Bell, Mercury Adviser of the International Pollutants Elimination Network (IPEN), which includes the EcoWaste Coalition among its participating organizations.

“Philippines regulators should launch an immediate crackdown on the sale of these toxic cosmetic products through online platforms and dedicate resources to monitor and identify the suppliers and distributors. There should also be cooperation and information sharing with governments of countries where the mercury laden cosmetics are produced and exported to stop this trade at its source,” he suggested.

To safeguard women‘s health and put a stop to the unlawful trade and consumption of poison cosmetics with mercury, the EcoWaste Coalition has put forward the following recommendations:

— For consumers to shun chemical whiteners, embrace their natural skin color with pride and stand up to color-based bias, prejudice and discrimination, and for those who prefer to lighten their skin tone to reject unauthorized cosmetics that may contain mercury, hydroquinone and other harmful substances.

— For the cosmetics industry to move away from white-centric concepts and ideals of beauty, and promote diversity in beauty instead, including the inherent beauty of one’s natural skin color.

— For e-commerce platforms and social media sites to ban the sale of adulterated, counterfeit and unauthorized cosmetics and for them to keep an eye on and take down non-compliant product ads.

— For the government to strengthen laws and regulations that will regulate and monitor online trade and protect consumers against hazardous products such as mercury-containing cosmetics, and for the authorities to ensure the environmentally sound management of mercury-added products and their wastes.

Prior to its public release, the EcoWaste Coalition provided a copy of “Toxic Exposé” to the FDA for its reference and action.

The said report is part of the group’s “Project Toxic-Free for Human Rights and Sustainable Development in the Philippines” supported by the Swedish Society for Nature Conservation (SSNC).

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[Press Release] DEPED asked to officially clarify the reported extension of SY 2020-2021 | TDC

#HumanRights #Teachers

DEPED asked to officially clarify the reported extension of SY 2020-2021

The Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC) has asked the DepEd to officially respond to a circulating Facebook and SMS message from unknown sources which claims that there will be changes in the schedules of the on-going school year beginning today, March 1, 2021.

“May we respectfully ask your office about the veracity of the said message which is widely circulating since last week,” said Benjo Basas, TDC National Chairperson in a letter addressed to DepEd Secretary Leonor Briones.

The message, TDC said is purportedly an “important announcement and instruction” from a certain “RD” that based on the “ManCom” meeting last February 24, an academic break from March 1 to March 12 will be imposed and an “Inset” for teachers is set on March 15 to March 19. Furthermore, the message announced that the schedule of Quarters 3 and 4 will be moved to March 22 to May 15 and May 17 to July 10, respectively. Finally, it says that the new closing date for the current school year is on July 10, 2021.

The source of the message, however is still unknown, whether there is a ManCom (Management Committee) meeting of the DepEd is yet to be confirmed by the authorities. Earlier though, the DepEd through Dr. Diosdado San Antonio, the undersecretary in-charge for curriculum and instruction said that the agency is planning to extend the current school year and provide a “two-week summer break” before the start of school year 2021-2022. The proposal met criticisms from the teachers and the general public and even became a trending topic in social media.

Basas said that they have received several queries on the legitimacy of the message but could not confirm if it was really coming from a DepEd official as the text would claim. Thus, the group urged the DepEd to release official memorandum or statement so as not to further create confusion in the field. He said that there were reports that teachers were told to prepare for the two-week academic break for learners and in-service training for teachers and that classes will resume on March 22. The general instruction from school officials in the field still, was to wait for an official memorandum.

“Clearly, there are conflicting instructions. And we hope the DepEd would immediately clear this matter to prevent further confusion in the field,” Basas said emphasizing that both the learners and teachers need such break. “We believe that we should give our students a break from taxing academic activities and our teachers from stressful and physically exhausting tasks,” he added.

The TDC also asked the DepEd about its plans on the opening date of school year 2021-2022, according the group, the planned ‘two-week break’ between the two academic years “will not be acceptable.”

“Teachers are entitled to a two-month school break and if the DepEd will modify the scheduled end of current school year, they should also provide for a two-month vacation for our teachers who have been tirelessly working since June 1 of 2020,” Basas ended.

The TDC once again has formally asked the DepEd management for a dialogue to discuss this and other equally important matters. #

For details:
Benjo Basas, 09273356375
NEWS REALEASE
March 1, 2021

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[Video] #1 Reklamador | Ano ba ang ibig sabihin ng dissenting opinion? | HRonlinePH

#HumanRights #RightToDissent

Puro ka reklamo! Ikaw na kaya mag-presidente? Opps… Aral din muna. Alamin ano ang ibig sabihin ng Dissenting Opinion.

Some footage from:
iDefend Livestream
Radio Television Macalañang
Peoples Television
Manila Bulletin
CNN Philippines
Rappler
Senate of the Philippines

Some photos from:
Lilak
Maria Lim

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[Statement] Guevarra report to the UN deflects culpability, accountability from Duterte, shields him from justice | iDEFEND

#HumanRights #StopTheKillings

Guevarra report to the UN deflects culpability, accountability from Duterte, shields him from justice

File photo

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra reported to the United Nations Human Rights Council on Wednesday regarding his initial findings on the extrajudicial killing of drug suspects in the government’s war on drugs. Guevarra mainly highlighted police errors and operational breaches in anti-drug operations in Metro Manila, Bulacan, Pampanga and Cavite, including failure to follow protocol in processing crime scenes and lack of ballistic and paraffin examinations.

It audaciously glossed over the widescale failure to follow protocol and proper procedure by security forces and skipped mentioning the overall policy which directed these killings, then created the environment of impunity for the perpetration of these crimes, downgrading the systematic and brazen disregard for rule of law into individual lapses of judgement by a few bad elements in law enforcement.

Operation Double Barrel, launched by the national police at the prompting of President Duterte, obliterated the rule of law, targeted specific members of the Philippine population for extermination, and violated Constitutionally guaranteed human rights.

Guevarra’s report not only deflects accountability from the President but misrepresents summary executions in the Philippines as mere procedural failures, while maintaining the illusion that domestic mechanisms are intact. This despite the glaring lack of conviction and censure with the mounting death toll from the so-called war on drugs that has abated little in spite of the pandemic.

President Duterte repeatedly promised executive clemency to police should they be convicted of crimes in the conduct of the war on drugs; Duterte encouraged community residents to kill neighbors who use drugs; Duterte issued unverified narco-lists of alleged top drug lords, following which several named therein had been “neutralized” mostly by unknown gunmen.

In his 2020 State of the Nation address the president reiterated that the government will combat COVID19 “with the same fervor as our campaign against illegal drugs, criminality, insurgency…” indicating the continued overarching policy of heavy-handed, repressive measures against violators of local quarantines. According to Human Rights Watch killings went up 50 per cent during the lockdowns.

Now there are attempts to apply aforementioned Operation Double Barrel (Oplan Tokhang) against ‘left-leaning personalities and organizations’ in the northern provinces, sparking concerns of escalated EJKs and human rights violations if enforced. Despite Guevarra’s report of official failures and lapses in the Oplan’s operations, the policy is in full gear, and remains the central theme of Duterte’s governance.

These, along with the government’s non-transparency in its so-called inquiry, the exclusion of families of victims of extrajudicial killings, the Commission on Human Rights and civil society, and most of all the deafening silence in the halls of justice for the more than 30, 000 cases of summary killings, betray the hollow efforts of the Justice department to escape international accountability.

Immediately, in light of the DOJ report, nothing less than the total revocation of Oplan Double Barrel, the prosecution of the perpetrators of extrajudicial killings, providing justice to victims’ families, and the overhaul of the national drug policy towards a rights-based and humane approach can indicate steps in the right direction.

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[Video] Scrap Terror Law! Defend our Spaces for Academic Freedom! Youth-led action | iDEFEND

#HumanRights #TerrorLaw

Scrap Terror Law! Defend our Spaces for Academic Freedom! Youth-led action

Youth-led action against the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020.
LIVE COVERAGE | In Defense of Human Rights and Dignity Movement

JOIN US!
Follow the links:

https://twitter.com/idefendhr​
https://www.youtube.com/iDEFENDph​
https://www.facebook.com/iDEFENDoffic…​

#EndTheAssault​ #ResistDictatorship​ #ScrapTerrorLaw​ #DefendOurSchools​ #ProtectDemocraticSpaces​ #StandForAcademicFreedom​

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[Video] Human Rights News Ngayon – EPISODE 24

#HumanRights #News

Human Rights News Ngayon – EPISODE 24

Mga balitang tungkol sa karapatang pantao na dapat malaman mo!

Bill laban sa diskriminasyon, pasado sa 2nd reading ng kongreso.
Lalaki, ibinaba sa sasakyan at pinagbabaril.
Pag-embasamo bago ang autopsy, bagong polisiya ng PNP?
Oral Arguments para sa ATL, tuloy bukas sa Korte Suprema!
Pamahalaang Lungsod ng QC, suportado ang Academic Freedom sa UP!

Sa ating Kamusta Ka, makikipagkwentuhan tayo sa mga lider-estudyante mula sa Akbayan Youth at We The Future PH sa gagawin nilang pagkilos sa February 2, laban sa ATL at campus repression ang militarization!

Makibalita sa Balitang Birus para sa latest CoViD news tungko sa mga bakuna, testing, at iba pang balitang pang-health!

Makibahagi sa ating Hiling Habilin, mga panawagan para sa pagsubaybay sa oral arguments sa Supreme Court kaugnay ng Anti-terror Law, at iba pa!

SEE LINKS:

FACEBOOK:
https://www.facebook.com/iDEFENDoffic…​

TWITTER:
https://www.twitter.com/iDEFENDhr​

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[Statement] on the forceful taking of the lumad children and red-tagging of their counsel, Children’s Legal Bureau | ALG

#HumanRights #StopRedTagging

Statement of the Alternative Law Groups (ALG) on the forceful taking of the lumad children and red-tagging of their counsel, Children’s Legal Bureau

The Alternative Law Groups (ALG) strongly denounces the red-tagging of the Children’s Legal Bureau, Inc. (CLB), a member of the ALG, and the act of government agencies involved in seizing Lumad children in the University of San Carlos (USC) Talamban on Feb. 15, 2021.

The incident concerns members of the Lumad Bakwit School, children and their teachers alike, that were unlawfully arrested in the USC Talamban campus in Cebu City. This was conducted by the Philippine National Police (PNP), Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), and the Cebu City Department of Social Welfare and Services.

The PNP issued a statement alleging that the children were first “lured to enroll with communist front” and then brought to Cebu City to “undergo revolutionary training as future armed combatants.” They claimed it was a “rescue” operation for Lumad children studying in the Lumad Bakwit School. In truth, the children taken are refugees from militarized areas of Mindanao that are seeking education they do not have access to.

In a statement issued by the CLB, an ALG member that represents seven of the Lumad children, they have indicated that the forceful taking of the children were “unnecessary and uncalled for” because the children were not in a dangerous situation. They further added that greater prudence could have been practiced by the government agencies if the children’s best interest were put first. To add to this grave misconduct by the government, CLB was recently red-tagged in a public poster seen in Mandaue City, Cebu by a certain People for Peace Coalition-Central Visayas.

Chad Errol Booc, volunteer teacher for Math and Science with the Lumad Bakwit School, was among those arrested. Chad along with other indigenous leaders who have long-suffered from red-tagging are assailing the constitutionality of the Anti-Terror Law.

The ALG is alarmed by these incidents that further reinforce the fear of progressive organizations and indigenous peoples that the Anti-Terror Law will be used as a political tool to suppress human rights and other liberties.

The ALG stands by the CLB, the Lumad children and their parents, and the indigenous peoples community and advocates that walk with them. We call on the government to take actions so that the agencies concerned be held accountable. We also continue the call to junk terror law as it only further sows a culture of fear, violence, and impunity.

FreeLumad26

JunkTerrorLaw

SaveOurSchools


Alternative Law Groups
Ateneo Human Rights Center
BALAOD Mindanaw
Environmental Legal Assistance Center, Inc. – ELAC
ERDA Foundation, Inc.
Humanitarian Legal Assistance Foundation, Inc – HLAF
KAISAHAN
Legal Rights and Natural Resources Center
Process Foundation Panay,inc
Rainbow Rights Philippines
SALIGAN
Women’s Legal and Human Rights Bureau – WLB

https://web.facebook.com/TheAlternativeLawGroups/photos/a.806936606128956/1892271134262159/

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[Statement] Anti-terror Act to kill EDSA-like People Power actions | PM

#HumanRights #TerrorLaw

Anti-terror Act to kill EDSA-like People Power actions

A moribund dictatorship finally ended in Edsa on February 25, 1986. That action was called people power – one which was hailed around the world as a bloodless, peaceful revolution. That was thirty-five years ago today, but absent celebrations during the past four years under the Duterte regime, that Edsa spirit has long been lost within the officialdom.

As to the disillusioned public, finding a reason to celebrate Edsa is as hard as finding new, competent post-Edsa leaders as the present regime has also failed their expectations.

Furthermore, it is needless to say that the Duterte regime is anti-Edsa. In fact, it was the failed #30YearsOfEdsa narrative that was utilized by the Marcos-Duterte troll-farms to discredit the so-called ‘yellow candidates’ during the 2016 and 2019 elections. That yellow-tagging narrative was proven effective during the last two elections. And now the shift to red-tagging, with the anti-terrorism law as the administration’s primary instrument.

Under RA 11479 or the anti-terrorism act of 2020 (ATA), it is not just the Edsa spirit that this regime aims to kill but the process itself. The ATA’s overbroad definition of terrorism clearly designates Edsa-like actions as an act of terror.

Had Edsa 86 happened today, Cardinal Sin would likely be charged with terrorist act for calling the people to swarm Edsa to protect renegade leaders such as Enrile and Ramos, while Cory Aquino who claimed the throne as well as protest leaders would also be charged with conspiring to commit a terrorist act. So as Gloria Arroyo during Edsa 2, and the Erap supporters in Edsa 3.

However, for this administration, that historic event that inspired similar political revolutions around the globe is now irrelevant and worse, illegal under the ATA. It is because under Duterte, public order is higher than social justice; punishment is better than freedom and due process.

Accordingly, in ecozones the ATA assumes the name of the Joint Industrial Peace Concerns Office (JIPCO), a detachment inside EPZAs that aims to insulate foreign investors from trade unions and other legitimate union activities. In schools it is open surveillance and red-tagging. In Cordillera there is now ‘tokhang’ which targets left-leaning activists. In Congress, it is the attempt to alter the 1987 Constitution.

Thirty-five years and counting and workers remain threatened with the same policies that sent throngs of people into Edsa to drive out a dictator. We are not seeing that kind of revolution happening today despite the severity of the current economic and leadership crises. But surely, people will get to recognize the fact that killing Edsa is not a mandate they have given to Duterte or to his heir apparent.

The Filipinos’ freedom and sovereignty shall never be surrendered.

PRESS STATEMENT
NAGKAISA Labor Coalition
25 February 2021
Ref: Atty. Sonny Matula
Chairperson

https://web.facebook.com/partidomanggagawa/photos/a.312183494322/10158889442199323/

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[From the web] EcoWaste Coalition Appeals to Senators to Keep Prohibition on Waste Incineration

#HumanRights #Environment

EcoWaste Coalition Appeals to Senators to Keep Prohibition on Waste Incineration

Photo by EcoWaste Coalition

The pollution watchdog EcoWaste Coalition calls on the country’s top legislators to safeguard public health and the environment by keeping intact the Clean Air and Solid Waste Management laws, particularly the ban on waste incineration, as the Philippines marks the 35th anniversary of the EDSA People Power Revolution.

“We are honoring the Filipino people whose bravery and dedication toppled the oppressive leadership of the late dictator, Ferdinand Marcos Sr.. After 35 years of EDSA revolution, our communities and environment are again threatened by the unjust political and social structures that favor transnational corporations and a few individuals,” said Aileen Lucero, National Coordinator of EcoWaste Coalition.

From the martial law period until now, the Philippines still counts as one of the deadliest countries in Asia for land and environmental defenders especially when it comes to fighting for the rights of nature against corporations who pollute the environment.

According to Lucero, one of the recent injustices against nature was the push by the House of Representatives in promoting incineration under the guise of waste-to-energy (WTE) facilities, and the vicious attempt to repeal specific provisions in the Clean Air Act, Ecological Solid Waste Management Act and other relevant laws.

Last year, with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and the declaration of a climate emergency by the House of Representatives, several environment groups, including the EcoWaste Coalition, made the urgent call for policies in mitigating the waste and climate crisis. The declaration urged local governments and government bodies to adopt policies to mitigate climate change.

The groups also asked the government to disallow the funding of dirty energy projects by corporations that greatly contribute to environmental crises and disasters which endanger the health of citizens due to the release of poisonous chemicals such as dioxins and furans.

“This year, as the country continues to battle COVID-19, it is also of utmost importance to use environmentally safe measures in dealing with waste to protect public health and the environment which is obviously not through waste-to-energy incineration,” added Lucero.

“Moreover as we commemorate the EDSA Revolution, we also call on the members of the Senate to set a high moral leadership and put into action the virtues of democracy and love for our country. We need to stop sacrificing our communities and it will start by scrapping the Waste-to-Energy Bill,” further added Lucero.

According to a factsheet by GAIA Asia Pacific, while marketed in the guise of advancing renewable energy, WTE incineration is not an environmentally sustainable form of energy source and waste management solution. It is a known fact that when burning of waste happens, toxic substances are released which undeniably compromise the health and safety of individuals, the factsheet said.

“It is really very important in calling on the government to scrap this proposal on waste-to-energy (WTE) incineration and to show its sincerity for the sake of the health and well-being of the people. Our lawmakers should instead uphold our existing environmental laws and approve the green laws pending in the 18th Congress, including the passage of the National Single-Use Plastics Ban as well as ordinances that would hold culprits accountable of polluting practices,” Lucero ended.


EcoWaste Coalition
78-A Masigla Extension, Barangay Central, 1100 Quezon City, Philippines
Phone: +632-82944807 E-Mail: info@ecowastecoalition.org
Website: http://www.ecowastecoalition.org, http://ecowastecoalition.blogspot.com

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[Statement] OPLAN TOKHANG against “left-leaning” personalities – a Cordillera variant of EJK | LILAK

#HumanRights #IndigenousPeoples

OPLAN TOKHANG against “left-leaning” personalities – a Cordillera variant of EJK | LILAK (Purple Action for Indigenous Women’s Rights) Statement

Poster by LILAK

At the beginning of the Oplan Tokhang in Duterte’s War on Drugs, LILAK along with the human rights community, have already feared that this same violent strategy will be extended to activists, journalists, and human rights defenders. Unfortunately, our fears have been proven right.

More than 27,000 people were killed in this Oplan Tokhang. Nanlaban daw. Now, with the Resolution issued by the Police Regional Office in Cordillera (RLECC-CAR Res 04 s2021), enjoining the members of law enforcement agencies to ‘conduct TOKHANG to known left-leaning personalities in the government, media and other entities” – we fear that the same acts of violence, and impunity, will be committed, as Oplan Tokhang is most notorious for. With red-tagging done in the most irresponsible way by the National Task Force ELCAC, the fear of “nanlaban” as a justification of killings of so-called “left-leaning” entities is very real.

As it is, even without this new variant of Oplan Tokhang, indigenous peoples have been suffering deaths, arrests, and torture from the government. The country has been notorious for having the most number of killings of land rights and indigenous leaders, in the whole world. Recently, we have seen the trumped up charges against Windel Bolinget, chair of Cordillera Peoples Alliance, with a shoot to kill order “’pag nanlaban”. The 9 Tumandok leaders in Panay were killed with police claiming they were resisting arrest. The Tumandok leaders were allegedly members of the New Peoples Army. Two Aeta leaders have been arrested and filed charges of “terrorism’, as they were fleeing from their community, during a cross-fire between the military and members of NPA.

LILAK calls for a serious review and withdrawal of this resolution by the Cordillera government. We are already witnessing so much deaths and violence from the Duterte administration.

Stop the Killings!
Break the impunity.

IPLivesMatter #ScrapTerrorLaw #DefundNTFELCAC

Contact:
LILAK (Purple Action for Indigenous Women’s Rights)
judy a. pasimio – 09175268341

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[Video] Human Rights News Ngayon – EPISODE 23 – January 25,2021

#HumanRights #TerrorLaw

Human Rights News Ngayon – EPISODE 23 – January 25,2021

Mga balitang tungkol sa karapatang pantao na dapat malaman mo!

Makibalita!
Alas-4 ng hapon!

PNP, ‘di sinunod ang DOJ, pinalaya ang 9 na pulis na sangkot sa pagkakapaslang sa mga ahente ng AFP intel sa Sulu.
Koko Pimentel, nakalusot din sa kasong quarantine breach!
PNP crime lab chief na sinabing negatibo sa paraffin test and 7 sa 9 na katutubong napaslang ng CIDG sa Tumanduk, sibak sa pwesto!
Oral arguments sa Korte Suprema ng Anti-Terror Law, kasado na sa sa ika-2 ng Pebrero.
China, pinahintulutan ang Chinese coast guard na paputukan ang anumang sasakyang pandagat na papasok sa mga inaangking teritoryo!

Sa ating Kamusta Ka, makikipagkwentuhan tayo sa mga lider-estudyante tungkol sa UP-DND Accord abrogation at nakaamba din na PUP DND Accord termination.

Makibalita sa Balitang Birus para sa latest CoViD news!

Alamin ang reak ng mga Pare at Mare sa tanong na:
“Ano ba ang mga problema sa basta-bastang pagpasok ng PNP at AFP sa mga unibersidad?”

Makibahagi sa ating Hiling Habilin, mga panawagan para sa pagsubaybay sa oral arguments sa Supreme Court kaugnay ng Anti-terror Law, at iba pa!

SEE LINKS:

FACEBOOK:
https://www.facebook.com/iDEFENDoffic…​

TWITTER:
https://www.twitter.com/iDEFENDhr​

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[Off-the-shelf] Activists and Journalists Targeted as Draconian Anti-Terror Law Challenged in the Philippines -CIVICUS Monitor

#HumanRights #TerrorLaw

Activists and Journalists Targeted as Draconian Anti-Terror Law Challenged in the Philippines

Screen grabbed from CIVICUS Monitor website

Philippines’ civic space rating was downgraded by the CIVICUS Monitor in early December 2020 from ‘obstructed’ to ‘repressed’. The rating change was driven by attacks on human rights defenders and journalists, the vilification and criminalisation of activists, the assault on press freedom, and the passage of new draconian anti-terror law.

On 15th December 2020, the office of the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) prosecutor said there was a “reasonable basis” to believe that crimes against humanity were committed during Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs.

In January 2021, Investigate PH, a group of individuals and civil society groups, formally launched an independent international probe into the human rights situation in the Philippines. Organised by US-based International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines (ICHRP), the group is composed of representatives from various lawyers’ and faith-based groups, as well as trade unions in the United States, Canada and Australia. It said it would release three reports to be submitted to the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC). The first two reports will be released for upcoming UNHRC sessions in March and July 2021. The group will also submit findings to the International Criminal Court (ICC).

In recent months, human rights defenders, trade unions and journalists have been arrested on fabricated charges or killed. The Department of National Defence terminated a decades-old agreement that prohibits state forces from entering University of the Philippines’ campuses without prior notice to school officials while security forces raided an indigenous Lumad school in Cebu City. Civil society groups are challenging the draconian anti-terror law in the Supreme Court.

Read full report @https://monitor.civicus.org

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[Statement] Time for a full reckoning with historical injustices in the Philippines-iDEFEND

#HumanRights #SocialJustice

Time for a full reckoning with historical injustices in the Philippines-iDEFEND

iDEFEND statement on the occasion of world social justice day

The superior virtue, said the late Senator and human rights lawyer Jose “Ka Pepe” Diokno, is not to receive justice, it is to fight relentlessly for it.

These words ring especially loud today on the occasion of the World Day of Social Justice–an international day recognizing the need to promote social justice, including the efforts to tackle poverty, exclusion, gender equality, unemployment, human rights, and social protections– as we reflect upon the continuing struggle for the realization of social justice and life with dignity.

The UN General Assembly Resolution declaring this special occasion stressed that “social development and social justice cannot be attained in the absence of peace and security or in the absence of respect for all human rights and fundamental freedoms.”

There is no false dichotomy between development and human rights. The people’s aspirations for a life of dignity rests on the fulfilment of all human rights- civil and political, economic, social and cultural rights.

Our Constitution spelled out our common goal and purpose as sovereign Filipino people the building of a just and humane society …our ideals and aspirations, promote the common good, conserve and develop our patrimony, and secure to ourselves and our posterity the blessings of independence and democracy under the rule of law and a regime of truth, justice, freedom, love, equality, and peace.”

Read full statement @https://idefend.ph

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[Press Release] Youth decries DepEd ‘heartless’ distance learning proposal -SPARK

#HumanRights #Education

Youth decries DepEd ‘heartless’ distance learning proposal

A campus group slammed the Department of Education (DepEd) for its suggestion that the summer break in the school year be shortened to two weeks to make way for adjustments in the distance learning academic calendar.

DepEd undersecretary Diosdado San Antonio had made the comments in an interview on 24 Oras, while also explaining that the matter was still up for discussion.
But Samahan ng Progresibong Kabataan (SPARK), an activist youth organization, called the proposal “stupid”; claiming that it would only further turn learning under the COVID-19 pandemic into a privilege.

“We strongly doubt that the solution to the problem of inaccessible online classes, is to simply hold more online classes,” Justin Dizon, SPARK spokesperson for senior and junior high students, said in a statement.

“After months of students, teachers, workers, and parents calling for a pause to the academic year, the fact that DepEd comes up with the solution of extending the year just proves how little they care about their constituents or how much they know of its impacts,” he added.

SPARK pointed to the case of Susan Collano, DepEd’s regional director for Catanduanes, brushing off a student’s suicide as further proof that the department did not care about learning or students’ welfare.

Collano had questioned whether the suicide of a 10-year-old Grade 4 student was really linked to the pressure of completing modules, despite the original Facebook poster clearly stating it to be the case.

“Collano’s heartless attitude aligns perfectly with that of [DepEd Secretary Leonor] Briones’ last year, when she called for the public not to link the spate of student suicides to online learning,” Dizon pointed out.

“Instead of addressing the issue by creating policies that made online learning free, more accessible and less stressful, they prefer to wash the blood off their hands. Education officials must ponder on the thirty-four lives they have struck down,” he added.

The group further demanded that no efforts to return to a “normal” setup must be made without the safety of students being the primary consideration as COVID cases now stand at 559,288 with 2,40 new infections.

“No matter where Briones is pulling her 50% numbers from, throwing students back into schools right now would simply be asking them to get infected with COVID-19,” the activist explained.

“All students must first be vaccinated. Schools and their environments should first be retrofitted in order to ensure the safety of the students, teachers, and workers–and all without charging the students a single centavo,” he warned.

SPARK has launched multiple campaigns regarding distance learning, including multiple calls for a nationwide academic break in the wake of the failure of the distance learning scheme.

They continue to push for key reforms in the education sector’s “new normal” to adapt to the changing environment.

NoStudentLeftBehind

Press Release
February 21, 2021
Samahan ng Progresibong Kabataan (SPARK)
Ref. Justin Dizon

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[Press Release] “Uber drivers are workers”: Riders group welcomes British SC decision on gig workers -Kagulong

#HumanRights #Workers

“Uber drivers are workers”: Riders group welcomes British SC decision on gig workers

The riders’ group Kapatiran sa Dalawang Gulong (Kagulong) greeted with enthusiasm the British Supreme Court’s decision declaring Uber drivers as workers. The landmark decision has finally settled a legal battle between the giant ride-hailing up and two of its workers who brought the issue before the courts in 2016 on whether they should be treated as workers of the company or self-employed.

Uber is also facing similar complaints in many other countries.

The Court said as reported in British newspapers, Uber drivers are workers “the moment they log-on until they log-off the Uber app.” Therefore, as workers, they are entitled to at least the minimum wage, holiday pay, and other benefits due for regular workers.

“Nakasisiya ang desisyon para sa aming mga manggagawang riders. Sa wakas ay mayroon nang jurisprudence sa isyung ito ng mga tinatawag na gig economy workers na maaring paghalawan ng mga korte ng iba’t-ibang bansa katulad ng Pilipinas,” stated Kagulong spokesman Robert Perillo.

Perillo, who is also the President of the Bulacan Motorcycle Riders Confederation (BMRF), said many of their members are working as riders/drivers in many app-based logistics services, thus, the legal resolution on their employment status is the first important step in promoting and protecting the gig economy workers’ basic rights and better working conditions.

According to BBC news, the court considered several elements in its judgement:
 Uber set the fare which meant that they dictated how much drivers could earn
 Uber set the contract terms and drivers had no say in them
 Request for rides is constrained by Uber who can penalize drivers if they reject too many rides
 Uber monitors a driver’s service through the star rating and has the capacity to terminate the relationship if after repeated warnings this does not improve

As an organized rights-based riding community, Kagulong has been receiving complaints from fellow riders working in different companies. Common among these complaints, similar to what the Court has resolved, is their imposed status as “independent contractors,” and the way hailing app exercises control over the performance of their jobs.

“Ngayong may batas na maari nang pagbasehan, wala nang dahilan ang ating mga ahensya tulad ng DOLE na sabihing hindi maaring harapin ang ilang isyu na nakahapag dito tulad ng reklamo ng mga manggagawa sa Food Panda na hindi pa hinaharap ng management sa dayalogo,” explained Perillo.

Kagulong called on riders/drivers from different companies to welcome this decision and organize themselves into union or workers’ associations to be able to defend their rights and secure better working conditions in the gig economy.

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[Video] #DefendUP: Livestream discussion on the UP-DND Accord Termination

#HumanRights #DefendUP

Livestream discussion on the UP-DND Accord Termination
Jan. 21, 2021

JOIN US!
Follow the links:

FACEBOOK:
https://www.facebook.com/iDEFENDoffic…​

TWITTER:
https://www.twitter.com/iDEFENDhr​

Resource Speakers:
Ms. Sonia Soto
Signatory to the Soto-Enrile Accord
Journalist / Founding Chairperson of Kaisa Ka Women’s Movement

Ms. Patricia Daloria
UP Baguio / We The Future PH / Bahaghari

Ms. Precy Dagooc
Youth for Nationalism and Democracy

Mr. RJ Naguit
Akbayan Youth

Ms. Rose Trajano
Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates

Dr. Nymia Pimentel – Simbulan
UP-Manila Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, Chairperson of Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA)
UP CSWCD Faculty Members’ Statement on the unilateral abrogation of UP-DND Accord

Youth Summit Unity Statement to be read by We the Future PH

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[Appeal] Open Letter to ASEAN on the situation in Myanmar

#HumanRights #Myanmar

Open Letter to ASEAN on the situation in Myanmar

Your Excellencies,

Re: ASEAN’s response to the military coup in Myanmar

As civil society organizations from the ASEAN region, we write to you urging you to use your unique position to influence the situation in Myanmar by taking immediate measures to ensure that the military respects people’s right to peaceful protests and to freedom of expression, that democracy is upheld, and the will of the people respected.

Following the Myanmar military’s illegal seizure of power on 1 February, Commander-in-Chief Senior General Min Aung Hlaing assumed all legislative, executive, and judicial powers under the newly-established State Administrative Council.

A non-violent pro-democracy movement has since grown nationwide, and the Myanmar authorities have responded by cracking down on fundamental freedoms. Hundreds of senior officials from the National League for Democracy (NLD), pro-democracy activists and human rights defenders have been arrested; mobile phone and Internet communications have been heavily restricted; highly repressive legislation, including a draft Cyber Security Bill and revisions to the Penal Code have been adopted; and restrictions on gatherings imposed.
The Myanmar security forces have also increasingly responded with force against peaceful protesters, using live munitions, water cannons and deploying armored vehicles in cities. Given the abuses committed in the past by the Myanmar military under the command of Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, including international crimes against the Rohingya and in other ethnic minority areas, we are seriously concerned about a potentially violent response from the authorities.

We would like to recall to your excellencies the principles of the ASEAN Charter, which includes adhering to the principles of democracy, the rule of law and good governance, as well as the respect for and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms. We also recall the recent UN Security Council statement supporting and encouraging regional organizations, in particular ASEAN, to address the situation in Myanmar.

We welcome the ASEAN Chairman’s statement on the situation in Myanmar, later echoed by the representatives of Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand to the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR). In addition, we are encouraged by the calls made by the leaders of Indonesia and Malaysia in seeking a special meeting of ASEAN’s foreign ministers to discuss the situation.

However, we urge you to go further by immediately using all diplomatic leverage at your disposal to ensure that the Myanmar military refrains from using violence and imposing further restrictions on freedom of expression and peaceful assembly, as well as to establish a comprehensive response that secures long-term democratic and human rights gains.

Recent developments in Myanmar are disastrous for its people, as well as the region as a whole. They create the potential for thousands of people to flee violence and persecution, as well as a volatile regional environment.

We firmly believe that it is not only crucial, but also in ASEAN’s best interests, to take a strong stance on these urgent and worrying developments. Failure to do so risks further damaging ASEAN’s reputation as an effective regional body that can meaningfully contribute to a strong and viable community of nations.

We draw strength from ASEAN’s productive engagements with Myanmar’s military in the past, most notably in response to the Cyclone Nargis crisis of 2008. We urge ASEAN to recognize that it can be equally helpful to the people of Myanmar today as it was then.

This is the perfect opportunity for ASEAN to demonstrate its political leverage and push for positive developments.

With this in mind, we urge ASEAN to:
• Immediately hold an urgent special meeting to call on the Myanmar military to adhere to the principles of the ASEAN Charter, including the principles of democracy, the rule of law, good governance, and respect for the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms by:
➢ Immediately and unconditionally releasing all those currently arbitrarily detained;
➢ Refraining from using violence against protesters and respecting people’s right to privacy and information, freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly;
➢ Allowing parliament to resume, and elected MPs to fulfil their mandate without impediment;
➢ Immediately restoring full access to the Internet and all forms of communications; and
➢ Immediately allowing all humanitarian aid and health support to resume unimpeded.

• Collaborate with the UN Security Council and UN Human Rights Council to immediately send a delegation to the country to monitor the situation and help negotiate a democratic and human rights-based solution.

• Use your position in UN fora, in particular at the UN Security Council and Human Rights Council, to support enhanced monitoring and reporting of the unfolding human rights crisis in Myanmar.

• Impose targeted financial sanctions on the military as an institution, including its businesses and its associates in a manner that respects human rights and gives due consideration to any negative socio-economic impact on the ordinary civilian population, as recommended by the UN Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar;

• Impose an embargo on the transfer or sale of military arms and equipment to Myanmar; and

• Use all diplomatic leverage and establish a comprehensive response to ensure long-term democratic and human rights change in the country, including by ensuring that:

➢ The Myanmar armed forces end all violations of international humanitarian and human rights law in ethnic minority and ceasefire areas, and that all civilians are protected;
➢ Myanmar guarantees the safe, voluntary and dignified return of displaced communities, including the Rohingya, by lifting all arbitrary and discriminatory restrictions on their access to citizenship, freedom of movement, and access to healthcare, education and livelihood opportunities;
➢ Myanmar fully cooperates with the IIMM and complies with the provisional measures ordered by the ICJ; and
➢ Institutional and constitutional changes are adopted that would bring the military under civilian control and ensure accountability for human rights violations.

Signatories:

  1. Alliance for Conflict Transformation
  2. ALTSEAN-Burma
  3. Arakan CSO network
  4. ASEAN Parliamentarians for Human Rights
  5. ASEAN SOGIE Caucus
  6. ASEAN Youth Forum
  7. Asia Justice and Rights
  8. Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA)
  9. Association of Human Rights Defenders and Promoters
  10. Athan
  11. Backpack Health Workers Team
  12. BALAOD Mindanaw
  13. Burma Medical Association
  14. Burmese Women’s Union
  15. Child Rights Coalition Asia
  16. Chin Human Rights Organization
  17. Commission for the Disappeared and Victims of Violence (KontraS)
  18. Cross Cultural Foundation
  19. Democracy, Peace and Women Organization
  20. Equality Myanmar
  21. Freedom and Labor Action Group
  22. Generation Wave
  23. Genuine People’s Servants
  24. Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict
  25. Human Rights Educators Network
  26. Human Rights Foundation of Monland
  27. Indonesia Legal Aid Foundation (YLBHI)
  28. Initiatives for International Dialogue
  29. Kachin Women’s Association Thailand
  30. Karen Affairs Committee
  31. Karen Environmental and Social Action Network
  32. Karen Grassroots Women Network
  33. Karen Human Rights Group
  34. Karen Peace Support Network
  35. Karen Refugee Committee
  36. Karen Rivers Watch
  37. Karen Student Network Group
  38. Karen Teacher Working Group
  39. Karen Women’s Organization
  40. Karenni Human Rights Group
  41. Karenni National Women’s Organization
  42. Karenni Refugee Committee
  43. Keng Tung Youth
  44. Let’s Help Each Other
  45. Maramagri Youth Network
  46. MARUAH
  47. Myanmar Civil Society Core Group on ASEAN
  48. Myanmar People Alliance
  49. Network for Human Rights Documentation – Burma
  50. Olive Organization
  51. Pa-O Women’s Union
  52. Pa-O Youth Organization
  53. Peace Institute
  54. People’s Empowerment Foundation
  55. Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates
  56. Progressive Voice
  57. Pusat KOMAS
  58. Shan MATA
  59. SHAPE-SEA
  60. Society for the Promotion of Human Rights (PROHAM)
  61. Southern Youth Group
  62. Task Force Detainees of the Philippines
  63. The Alliance of Independent Journalists
  64. The Seagull: Human Rights, Peace and Development
  65. Think Centre
  66. Thwee Community Development Network
  67. TRANSCEND Pilipinas
  68. Triangle Women
  69. Women’s League of Burma

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