It once again the time of the year to make ourselves loudly heard in support of torture survivors and their families, publicly denouncing the use of torture and to demand that concrete steps be taken by government to put polices against torture in place and establish a culture of prevention in the Philippines.
Our overarching message for the June 26 UN International Day in Support of Victims of Torture 2011 is Freedom from Torture, not Free to Torture!
Our core messages are:
1. Torture continues to be routinely practiced in the Philippines in spite of the enactment of the Anti-Torture Act of 2009 and the serious claims of the policing sector and state security establishments to be officially against its use.
2. There is a disjoint between policy and practice in the policing and state security sectors.
3. The flawed Philippine criminal justice system continues to buttress a culture of impunity by shielding perpetrators from accountability and to frustrate victims and their families from accessing justice and restitution.
BASTA Run Against Torture 5 (BRAT V)
We will be holding our flagship activity, the BASTA Run Against Torture for the fifth time. In behalf of the UATC Steering Committee, we would like to invite all UATC members to this public event during which we will join hands with other groups and government institutions to call for the promotion, protection and the fulfillment of the right not to be tortured. Parallel BRAT V’s will be held in other parts of the Philippines such as the Central Luzon BRAT V organized by the Kilusan Para sa Pambansang Demokrasya (KPD).
The UATC Steering Committee is also encouraging more parallel BRAT V’s to be organized and held elsewhere by UATC member organizations or groups in solidarity with the freedom from torture cause. Should any organization be interested to spearhead another BRAT to be held simultaneously with the others, the UATC Steering Committee will be most obliging to assist.
Please find attached the UATC’s Public Statement for the June 26 UN International Day in Support of Victims of Torture. For all those who will join our coaltion’s flagship event, we would appreciate an advanced confirmation so that we can plan ahead more efficiently.
You will find below the relevant information regarding the BRAT V in Quezon City. Should you have any questions regarding the event, please do not hesitate to contact Budit Carlos of BALAY Rehabilitation Center, the UATC’s current secretariat, at 426-3825, 921-6301 or 0920-8654033.
BRAT V intends to unify the call of various stakeholders from civil society and government for decision makers to take concrete and effective steps to address the routine use of torture not just through the implementation of the Anti-Torture Act of 2009 but also through complementary structural changes such as ensuring that the policy and practice of the police and security sector correspond and that the criminal justice system becomes facilitative to torture survivors seeking justice. The objectives of the run will be:
1. 1. To urge the government to effectively implement the Anti-Torture Act of 2009 in the Philippines
2. 2. To urge key persons and agencies to take concrete and effective steps in order to see that the Routine use of torture in the Philippines is discontinued by addressing the disjoint between policy and practice in policing and state security sectors.
To direct government’s attention to the flawed criminal justice system that deters victims from accessing reparation and shields perpetrators from accountability.
To urge the Senate to promptly ratify the Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture
Freedom from Torture, not Free to Torture!
Policies must connect with practices on the ground. Justice and restitution must be accessible to those who were forced to endure the horrific experience of torture. The use of torture must cease to be commonplace. Freedom from torture, not free to torture!
United Against Torture Coalition (spearheaded by AIPh, Balay, TFDP, MAG (First Aid), PAHRA, FIND) in collaboration with the Kilusan para sa Pambansang Demokrasya (KPD)
Other supporting organizations
Department of the Interior and Local Government
Department of Justice
Philippine National Police Human Rights Affairs Office
Armed Forces of the Philippines Human Rights Office
Commission of Human Rights
· All participants will assemble at the front of the Department of the Interior and Local Government on the 24th of June at around 630 am – 700 am
· The run will start at 700 am sharp
o Most runners will be wearing activity shirts to be provided by the organizers (shirt designs finalized and will be picked up by printer June 18)
o All organizations joining the run will only be allowed to carry 1 flag each
§ Pre-Frontline – BALAY Vehicle with AIPh sound system for announcements and music
§ Front line – leaders (CSO, DILG, DOJ, CHR, PNP, AFP) carrying the activity tarp
§ 2nd liners – organizational flag bearers (colors)
§ 1st Block – UATC
§ 2nd Block – DILG
§ 3rd Block- DOJ
§ 4th Block – CHR
§ 5th Block – PNP
§ 6th Block- AFP
· 1st line – runners carrying ‘STOP TORTURE’ tarps
· 2nd line – runners carrying PNP, AFP, DILG, DOJ, CHRP tarps
· 3 line onwards – runners
· Route (left side of the road)): DILG front – northbound EDSA – East Avenue– front of Quezon City Hall – Elliptical Road-Philcoa, Commonwealth-Commission on Human Rights grounds (final destination).
· Short program
· CHR Representative
· DILG Representative
· DOJ representative
· AFP representative
· PNP Representative
· CSO leaders
Brief soft launching of freedom from torture materials and short cultural performance
· Closing will be done by the Emcee
- [Off the shelf] Anti-Torture Act of 2009 Digest by Balay Rehabilitation Center (hronlineph.wordpress.com)
- [Featured site] www.magph.org (hronlineph.wordpress.com)
- [Event] Join us in a Worldwide prayer for all victims of torture on June 25 – www.tfdp.net (hronlineph.wordpress.com)
- [Statement] Personal Statement by Melissa Roxas CHR Resolution Only Serves To Maintain and Perpetuate Impunity (hronlineph.wordpress.com)
- [In the news]’The Butcher’ faces torture raps – INQUIRER.net, Philippine News for Filipinos (hronlineph.wordpress.com)