Author Archives: Human Rights Online Philippines

[Statement] Stop the Unmitigated Public Fund Hemorrhage ! | ASSERT

#HumanRights #Teachers

Stop the Unmitigated Public Fund Hemorrhage !

Restore our Hard-earned Taxpayers’ Contributions to their Originally Intended
People Beneficiaries !

So summarize the calls of our teacher representatives from the Action and Solidarity for the Empowerment of Teachers (assert) for the judicious use of scarce public resources who troop to the Department of Education at ULTRA Pasig today, October 27 to present to Secretary Leonor Briones the 1446 first batch of public school teachers who either tested positive and/or died of COVID from March16, 2020 when Proclamation 929 placed the entire Luzon and parts of Visayas and Mindanao under state of calamity due to the pandemic.

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[Event] #CourageON: The shrinking spaces for indigenous women in the Philippines | Lilak

#HumanRights #IndigenousPeoples #Women

The shrinking spaces for indigenous women in the Philippines

Seventh episode of the “#CourageON: Tumindig, Makialam, Kumilos” community show, where we discuss the plight of indigenous women from different parts of the Philippines and indigenous peoples’ rights advocates.

As October marks National Indigenous Peoples Month, we take this opportunity to hear the stories and experiences of indigenous women. What are the unique challenges that indigenous women face during the pandemic? What can we do to provide more support to them?

Titled “#CourageON: The shrinking spaces for indigenous women in the Philippines,” the seventh episode of the community show features panel discussions with indigenous women and indigenous peoples’ rights advocates. It discusses struggles on the ground and possible ways we can help provide more opportunities for indigenous women to grow their skills and protect their rights.

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[Event] Youth Against Destructive Mining: Cultural Night 2021 | ATM

#HumanRights #Mining

ATM Youth Network invites you to watch the event “Youth Against Destructive Mining: Cultural Night 2021” at 8PM, October 26, 2021

The cultural night will provide an avenue for participants and relative networks to share each others’ sentiments with regards to mining in a fruitful yet informational entertainment event.

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[From the web] DOJ’s review of the drug war’s extrajudicial executions veils truth on Duterte’s central policy of killing | iDEFEND

#HumanRights #Killings

DOJ’s review of the drug war’s extrajudicial executions veils truth on Duterte’s central policy of killing

Back in April 2019, the Supreme Court ordered the Solicitor General to release to petitioners, all records of extrajudicial killings related to the government’s war on drugs. It turned down the appeal of the Solicitor General to keep the files with the government for reasons of national security. The petitioners-FLAG and CENTERLAW, should have received the records of at least five thousand cases of killings during police operations. The petitioners have also asked the Supreme Court to declare the war on drugs unconstitutional. The PNP and the Solicitor General eventually sent copies of what CENTERLAW described as “rubbish” documents, mostly unrelated to the drug war.

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[Statement] Philippines: Government review a woefully insufficient response to victims of “war on drugs” | AI

#HumanRights #Killings

Philippines: Government review a woefully insufficient response to victims of “war on drugs”

The Philippine’s Department of Justice’s (DOJ) recently released matrix – containing limited information from its review of a mere 52 cases among thousands of deaths during police anti-drug operations – is another deeply disappointing indicator of the continuing lack of accountability for the thousands of unlawful killings and other crimes under international law, and human rights violations committed under the so-called “war on drugs”. The review is woefully inadequate, fails to meet international standards, and is a distressingly belated effort for the thousands of families in their grueling quest for justice. Amnesty International remains concerned that the Philippine authorities, including DOJ’s current review, continue to show no meaningful progress toward ensuring access to justice and reparations for victims, nor provides a clear commitment to end its bloody crackdown on illicit drugs.

This investigation by the DOJ comes amid further domestic and international demands for accountability for crimes under international law and human rights violations committed as part of the “war on drugs” launched by the Duterte administration in 2016. On 15 September 2021, the pre-trial chamber of the International Criminal Court (ICC) announced that it has authorized the Office of the Prosecutor to open an investigation into crimes against humanity in the context of the drug war and also those in Davao City by the alleged Davao Death Squad from 2011 to 2016. The UN Human Rights Council, while falling short of mandating an investigative mechanism, recently provided a grim update on the country’s human rights situation as part of the High Commissioner for Human Rights’ report in September this year. Moreover, within the country itself, there are increasing calls from civil society and the public for candidates in the upcoming May 2022 national elections to condemn and propose more humane and human rights-compliant alternatives to address the health and human rights impacts of the use and sale of drugs.

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[Right-Up] A Review and Commentaries on The Early Duterte Presidency in the Philippines by Professor Mark R. Thompson | by Jose Mario De Vega

#HumanRights #Politics

A Review and Commentaries on The Early Duterte Presidency in the Philippines by Professor Mark R. Thompson

This article of Professor Thompson published in 2016 by Journal of Current Southeast Asian Affairs aims to give a critical analysis of what the Duterte administration will be like. I could say that he is indeed a visionary and early on he clearly saw accurately how brutal and hideous the said regime would be.

Rodrigo R. Duterte has “stuck to his guns” in carrying out his campaign pledge to launch a violent anti-drug campaign. He fulfilled his promise of making the sharks at the Manila Bay fat due to the vicious, relentless, organized, simultaneous and nefarious brutal “War on Drugs” in a national scale. This is the upgraded version of the Davao model or template of mass murder.

Duterte’s electoral victory is an irony, by virtue of the fact that “six years of political stability and high growth under the relatively liberal and supposedly reformist administration of President Benigno “Noynoy” S. Aquino, III.”

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[People] Pedophiles Abuse Children while Court of Appeals Sleeps | by Fr. Shay Cullen

#HumanRights #Children

Pedophiles Abuse Children while Court of Appeals Sleeps
Shay Cullen
22 October 2021

The recent decision of the Department of Education (DepEd) to dismiss for Grave Misconduct from the teaching profession Franco N. Aranas, a teacher in New Cabalan High School, Olongapo City should have been a swift decision to protect children and see justice done. However, it has taken almost three years before the decision was made to dismiss the abusive teacher who sexually abused his students. Yet this teacher, Franco N. Aranas, while found guilty for Grave Misconduct by the DepEd’s Regional Director, May B. Eclar, can continue teaching in the same school until the dismissal from service is confirmed by Secretary Leonor Briones of the DepEd. We earnestly hope that Secretary Briones acts speedily to confirm the decision of the Regional Director to protect children and see justice is done. The DepEd must not harbor a child abuser among its ranks.

What is wrong with the system where it is clear justice delayed is justice denied, a system that favors the sex abusers and ignores traumatized children? It casts a dark shadow over the institutions. The teacher was accused of sexually abusing three minor students, one 14 and two 15 respectively, in the Sunshine Lodge near the Victory Liner station in Olongapo City on two separate occasions in June and August 2018. This place ought to be investigated for enabling human trafficking and child abuse, violations of law.

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[Statement] BIDA BIDA SA SAYA | SPARK

#HumanRights #Workers

BEEAST EMPLOYERS

BIDA BIDA SA SAYA

Kamakailan lamang inilabas ng Forbes Magazine ang listahan nila ng ‘di umano world’s “best employers” para sa taong 2021. Sa 750 na mga kumpanya, iba’t ibang higanteng korporasyon ang napabilang dito kagaya na lang ng Samsung Electronics, IBM, Microsoft, Amazon, at Apple na limang nangungunang employers sa nasabing listahan. Kabilang rin sa naturang listahan ang binansagang “3 Philippine blue chips” Jollibee Food Corporation sa pwestong 256th habang ang Ayala Corp. ay nasa 487th at Aboitiz Equity Ventures naman sa 665th.

Habang ang mga kumpanyang ito ay humahalakhak sa tuwa ay marami pa ring empleyado mula sa Jollibee Foods Corporation ang patuloy na nagdurusa base na rin sa kanilang mabigat na karanasan sa kanilang pagtatrabaho sa dambuhalang kumpanyang ito. Ang karaniwang hinaing ng mga empleyado rito ay ang labis na trabaho ngunit kakarampot na sahod at ang hindi natatapos na kontraktwalisasyon na siyang lubid-sakal sa mga trabahador ng JFC.

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[Event] Launching of the ATM Mining Hell Week

#HumanRights #Environment

Launching of the ATM Mining Hell Week

Every March and September, Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM) embarks on a Mining Hell Week (MHW) to surface the issues surrounding destructive large-scale mining and its impact on mining-affected communities.

The March MHW is to denounce the continued implementation of the flawed Philippine Mining Act, while the September MHW is to counter the narrative of the mining industry led by the Chamber of Mines of the Philippines (COMP) to entice more investors and companies to dig minerals in the Philippines.

This September 2021, the COMP did not organize a mining conference. Nevertheless, ATM deems it crucial to counter the pro-mining stance of the Duterte regime and the agenda of the COMP in the coming elections. ATM will challenge the proposed continuity of exploiting the country’s natural resources at the expense of nature and marginalized communities.

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[From the web] Philippines Loses Staunch Rights Defender | Human Rights Watch

#HumanRights #ChitoGascon

Philippines Loses Staunch Rights Defender | Human Rights Watch

Philippines Loses Staunch Rights Defender
Chito Gascon Led Commission on Human Rights During Trying Years
By Carlos H. Conde
Senior Philippines Researcher
Human Rights Watch

The Philippines has lost a beloved human rights defender. Jose Luis Martin Gascon, known to all as “Chito,” who had chaired the governmental Commission on Human Rights since 2015, died October 9 from complications due to Covid-19, his family said. He was 57.

Friends and allies in the human rights movement mourned Gascon’s passing. “The country lost a dedicated public servant who never cowered in fear in asserting people’s rights and civil liberties,” said Fides Lim, spokesperson of Kapatid, a group advocating for the rights of political prisoners. “Amid the challenges faced by the CHR … he carried on with dignity, strength and courage,” said Jacqueline Ann de Guia, Gascon’s colleague at the commission. Even the military, often the target of commission investigations, paid its respects.

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[People] Children are the Most Important of All- Jesus | by Fr. Shay Cullen

#HumanRights #Children

Children are the Most Important of All- Jesus | by Fr. Shay Cullen
10 October 2021

The attention of most adults is primarily focused on what they consider to be the most important reality in the world- themselves, especially many clerics. Yet there is one overriding unassailable truth that stands above all else in the teaching of the founder of Christianity, Jesus of Nazareth.

The truth that 2.382 billion Christians, including 1.329 billion Roman Catholics, have supposedly bound themselves to accept and obey is that children are the most important in the Kingdom of God. To accept, recognize and affirm a child with that exalted status and dignity is to accept Jesus himself.

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[From the web] Opinion: Duterte is worried about the ICC. He should be. | by Carlos Conde

#HumanRights #Killings

Opinion: Duterte is worried about the ICC. He should be. | by Carlos H. Conde

Clarita Alia remains anguished, nearly 20 years after I first heard her express her grief.

“His name was Danilo Lugay,” she told me over the phone recently from Davao City, in the southern Philippines. Police killed Lugay in September 2020 during a drug raid; a news report of the killing said he had fought back and police officers shot him. Lugay, 28, was the grandchild of Alia’s sister Naneth.

Alia’s voice cracked as she described what happened — the same pained voice that I heard when I interviewed her in 2002 for a report on the killing of her sons Richard, Christopher and Bobby, all teenagers. Assailants later murdered a fourth son, Fernando, in 2007. This unimaginable family tragedy gave Alia, a vegetable vendor who lives in a slum community, the label of poster mother for the city’s bloody “war on drugs,” in which police use extrajudicial executions instead of prosecutions as a primary method of punishing criminal suspects.

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[From the web] Congratulations, Maria and Rappler. You have made the country proud | LnM

#HumanRights #PressFreedom

Congratulations, Maria and Rappler. You have made the country proud

Laban ng Masa joins the country in celebrating Maria Ressa’s being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, along with Russian journalist Dimitry Muratov. Maria and the news and opinion outlet she headed up, Rappler, have been in the forefront of the defense of freedom of the press. For continuing to expose the crimes of the Duterte regime, Ressa and Rappler were subjected to legal persecution and attempts at political annihilation and economic asphyxiation by the administration.

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[Statement] On the passing of CHR Chair Gascon | PMCJ

#HumanRights #ChitoGascon

𝐒𝐓𝐀𝐓𝐄𝐌𝐄𝐍𝐓 𝐎𝐍 𝐓𝐇𝐄 𝐏𝐀𝐒𝐒𝐈𝐍𝐆 𝐎𝐅 𝐂𝐇𝐑 𝐂𝐇𝐀𝐈𝐑 𝐆𝐀𝐒𝐂𝐎𝐍

The Philippine Movement for Climate Justice mourns the passing of Commission for Human Rights Chair Jose Luis Martin “Chito” Gascon, who was a steady ally in the fight for Climate Justice and Human Rights.

Chito led his inquiry into the effects of climate change to human rights through discussions with petitioners and victims of Climate Catastrophe in the Philippines, as well as scientists and experts on climate change.

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[Statement] Passage of UN Human Rights Council (HRC) Resolution recognizing the right to a safe, healthy and sustainable environment | ATM

#HumanRights #Environment

Passage of UN Human Rights Council (HRC) Resolution recognizing the right to a safe, healthy and sustainable environment

Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM) welcomes the recent passage of the UN Human Rights Council recognizing the right to a safe, health and sustainable environment, in Geneva.
While the resolution is not binding to all member-states, this sends a strong message to all countries on the urgency of addressing climate change impacts and listening to the demands of the most vulnerable countries as we face greater risks especially in the midst of this pandemic.

ATM believes that the Philippine government must immediately pass domestic laws and national policies that will subscribe and fulfill this mandate. It is necessary to recall that the 1987 Philippine Constitution already recognizes this under Article 2, Section 16 which states “The State shall protect and advance the right of the people to a balanced and healthful ecology in accord with the rhythm and harmony of nature”.

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[Statement] Pagpupugay at pasasalamat sa buhay na inialay sa pagtatanggol ng karapatang pantao | iDEFEND

#HumanRights #ChitoGascon

Pagpupugay at pasasalamat sa buhay na inialay sa pagtatanggol ng karapatang pantao

Nagluluksa ang iDEFEND kabilang ang komunidad ng mga human rights defenders sa biglang pagyao ng Chairperson ng Commission on Human Rights of the Philippines na si José Luis Martín C. Gascón. Kilala bilang Chair Chito, saksi ang iDEFEND sa kanyang dakilang buhay at paninindigan para sa kalayaan, demokrasya at karapatang pantao. Nakakadalo siya sa ating general assembly upang makipagtalakayan sa mga usapin ng ating bansa at himukin ang ibayong pagkilos, pagharap sa mga pagsubok at pagkakaisa.

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[Press Release] KWENTO NATIN ‘TO: Catch these events and be inspired in reclaiming the stories of our nation as we near the 2022 elections | ACTIVE VISTA

#HumanRights #AVFest2021

KWENTO NATIN ‘TO: Catch these events and be inspired in reclaiming the stories of our nation as we near the 2022 elections

With the theme Kwento Natin ‘To: Reclaiming the Stories of our Nation, human rights organization DAKILA jam-packed the Active Vista International Human Rights Festival (AVIHRF) 2021 with events, forums, and film screenings that tell the stories — real and imagined — of our fellow Filipinos. One of the festival’s forums, Press in Distress: Will Independent Journalism Survive in SEA?, also witnessed a historical moment when speaker Maria Ressa, Rappler CEO and president, received the news of her being the first-ever Filipino to win the Nobel Peace Prize live during the forum.

As the national elections draw near — when warring narratives try to fill our consciousness — DAKILA and Active Vista shall continue to bring forward events on the last two days of the festival that will contribute to shaping and reclaiming the narrative of our nation come the 2022 elections.

So as the festival closes on October 10, invite your friends and family members! We’ve got an epic line-up of relevant events to fill your weekend!

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[Statement] CHR spokesperson, Atty. Jacqueline Ann de Guia, on the passing of CHR Chairperson Chito Gascon

#HumanRights #ChitoGascon

Statement of CHR spokesperson, Atty. Jacqueline Ann de Guia, on the passing of CHR Chairperson Chito Gascon

It is with deepest sorrow that we announce the passing of Chairperson Jose Luis Martin “Chito” Gascon. He passed away early this Saturday morning, 9 October 2021, due to Covid-19 complications. He was 57.

At a time of unprecedented human rights challenges, Chair Chito courageously and steadfastly upheld the constitutional mandate of the Commission. Amidst the unrelenting attacks against the institution and to him personally, he was unwavering and unflinching in fighting for the universal values of freedom, truth, and justice that are essential in the pursuit of human rights. He was undaunting in the fight for human rights, rule of law, and democracy out of deep reverence to the equal rights and dignity of all.

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[Press Release] ATING GURO to file Nomination for Partylist Elections

#HumanRights #Teachers

ATING GURO to file Nomination for Partylist Elections

Teachers’ group ATING GURO Partylist will file its certificate of nomination as well as the individual CONA of its nominees today, October 7.

This despite the Comelec’s initial denial of their petition for accreditation to allow them to participate in next year’s partylist elections. On June 25, the Comelec Second Division dismissed the instant petition filed by the party for two grounds, first that the petition signed by the party’s Public Information Officer (PIO) designated by the party’s governing board as certified by its Chairperson and Secretary-General. And that the party failed to prove that majority of its members belong to the sector it wishes to represent- teachers, active and retired, public and private and their dependents.

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[Press Release] Low wages, attacks on workers rights, hinder fulfillment of decent work agenda | EILER

#HumanRights #Workers

Low wages, attacks on workers rights, hinder fulfillment of decent work agenda – EILER

The country still lags behind on the Decent Work Agenda, according to Labor NGO Ecumenical Institute for Labor Education and Research (EILER).

As the domestic employment crisis deepens, more and more workers are forced to engage in irregular, precarious or intermittent employment with lower wages. Widespread joblosses, rampant contractualization, and inadequate decent job opportunities with living wages, are worsened by the militaristic pandemic response and intensified repression against trade union and human rights.

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