Category Archives: Blog

[Blog] What should be in PNoy’s Bucket List? by Darwin Mendiola

[Reflection] What should be in PNoy’s Bucket List?.
by Darwin Mendiola, CARPE DIEM

Happy 2015 to everyone!

I believe this New Year gives all of us a resurgence of hope and energy towards the possibility for change.

As a tradition, some people used to make a New Year’s resolution to make a promise to do an act of self-improvement or something significant for the new year.

Darwin 2

I am not really into making New Year’s Resolution. The closest I get is just to come up with a to-do list everyday. Not that I don’t live my days before by fulfilling my personal goals and plans, and that I was just caught up in a flurry of day-to-day activities. However, as my work and personal interest involve advocating for human rights, I feel the need to commit myself more to blog about human rights this year.

That’s why I have prepared a bucket list not for myself but to the Philippine government to remind them how important human rights issues are that need to be immediately addressed.

Here are the 10 wishes in my Bucket List on Human Rights for President Benigno Aquino III (PNoy) to act this year 2015:

Read full article @dars0357.wordpress.com

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[Featured post] Bonifacio, indeed, Ang Unang Pangulo by Angelica Carballo

Bonifacio, indeed, Ang Unang Pangulo by Angelica Carballo

Vote for this article for the 5th HR Pinduteros’ choice awards…

Finally, after days of planning and scheming how to get an extra nanny to help us babysit the kids (Leica, Boris, and Boni), my mother came over last Sunday so Buck and I wasted no time and went to Greenhills pronto to watch Bonifacio: Ang Unang Pangulo. Here’s our take on the film.

featured post

The movie was almost what we need to relive and finally give justice to a great hero. It was almost epic, it almost achieved greatness, it almost justified Andres Bonifacio. Almost.

There are many high points. Robin Padilla is the perfect Andres Bonifacio, given his real-life grit and passion, his flame and fervor which gave his portrayal a flavor you can almost taste. I like it that he was not insecure about his scars, and a true revolutionary is proud of his scars. The problem is the director and the script.

Teka, high points muna: My personal favorite was the Tejeros Convention. I almost cheered when Robin/Andres stood up and challenged the frightened Tirona to a duel. I wished he pulled that trigger on Tirona’s head. Yes, Robin was effective in that scene.

High point: from a feminist perspective, Vina’s Oryang deserves accolades. Out of all the Bonifacio movies I’ve watched, this movie gave her the depiction she rightfully deserves: Oryang was not just  Andres’ wife, Oryang was a partner that equals his courage, leadership, and vision for a free and better country. Vina also grew as an actress, and I never anticipated that I will like her in this movie. At some point, Vina’s portrayal of Oryang made me want to be like her. This is one of the movie’s victory, and dito pa lang, sulit ang pinambili ko ng ticket.

Read full article @akcarballo.wordpress.com

via Bonifacio, indeed, Ang Unang Pangulo.

Human Rights Online Philippines does not hold copyright over these materials. Author/s and original source/s of information are retained including the URL contained within the tagline and byline of the articles, news information, photos etc.

[Blog] The Mockery and Barbarism of Iran’s “Judiciary” by Jose Mario De Vega

The Mockery and Barbarism of Iran’s “Judiciary”
by Jose Mario De Vega

I refer to “Iran: Death Sentence for Facebook Posts”, the Human Rights Watch, December 2nd with regard to the “imminent risk of execution” of a 30-year-old man for “insulting the prophet”.

Mario De Vega

I concur with the Human Rights Watch’s position that “Iran’s judiciary should vacate the death sentence of a 30-year-old man who faces imminent execution for Facebook posts linked to his account.”

Eric Goldstein, the deputy Middle East and North Africa director said that:

“It is simply shocking that anyone should face the gallows simply because of Internet postings that are deemed to be crude, offensive, or insulting…”

“Iran should urgently revise its penal code to eliminate provisions that criminalize peaceful free expression, especially when they punish its exercise with death.”

As narrated by the said report:

“On November 24, 2014, Iran’s Supreme Court upheld a criminal court ruling sentencing Soheil Arabi to hang. The court transferred his file to the judiciary’s implementation unit, opening the way for his execution.

“A Tehran criminal court had convicted him in August of sabb al-nabbi, or “insulting the prophet,” referring to the Prophet Muhammad, which carries the death penalty. Arabi’s legal team has asked the judiciary to suspend the death sentence and review the case.

“Nastaran Naimi, Arabi’s wife, told Human Rights Watch that intelligence agents linked with Iran’s Revolutionary Guards arrested her and her husband at their home in Tehran in November 2013. They soon released her but transferred her husband to a special section of Evin prison that the Revolutionary Guards control, where they kept him in solitary confinement for two months, subjected him to long interrogation sessions, and prevented him from meeting his lawyer, she said. They later transferred Arabi to Ward 350 of Evin prison.”

Commentaries:

Did the so-called “supreme court” put into consideration the vital fact that the accused were kept in solitary confinement?

Putting or placing a detainee in solitary confinement is not allowed under international law.
Such practice is a grave violation of the International Declaration of Human Rights and the United Nations Convention against Torture.

I say that it is a violation of the Convention against torture, because isolating an individual detainee from the rest is a form of mental and psychological torture.

Worst, the bastard Iranian so-called Revolutionary Guards did so, in two brutal months.

Is the so-called court aware that the accused were subjected to long interrogation sessions?

Is the so-called court has any idea that besides the fact that the accused were placed in solitary confinement, subjected to long interrogation hours, he was also deliberately denied seeing and conferring with his lawyer?

All of these acts are violations of the constitutional, civil and international rights of the accused.

Base on all these violations to the rights of Arabi, he, as a matter of right is entitle to an acquittal!

Yet, the bloody idiotic and bastard court, instead of doing that not only affirmed the judgment of the lower court, worst it even inserted another offense or crime to the prejudice of Arabi.

Grave Abuse of Discretion

Vahid Moshkhani, the lawyer of Arabi, told Human Rights Watch “that instead of upholding or overruling the lower court verdict, the Supreme Court unlawfully added the charge of efsad-e fel arz, or “sowing corruption of earth,” to Arabi’s case. In addition to carrying a possible death sentence, the charge also forecloses the possibility of amnesty, he said.”

Commentaries:

It is a basic principle in criminal law, in all judicial trials, wherein said jurisdiction subscribe to the universal standard of justice and equity that a court which call itself a supreme court can only affirm or deny the judgment or ruling made by a lower court.

Said superior court, if it is truly fair and conforms to the international practice has no power whatsoever to change or modify or add up the allegation or the charge originally subject of the indictment to the prejudice of the accused.

Further, it has also no power to increase the penalty or punishment.

To illustrate:

If A were charged originally for the crime of acts of lasciviousness (example: touching the breast of a woman by-stander), he on appeal cannot be charge by the higher court by the crime of rape.

Acts of lasciviousness is a lesser offense, while rape is a capital crime.

It is a well-entrenched rule in criminal law that the accused is only mandated to answer or reply to the allegation as stated or stipulated in the original complaint.

To answer another charge or accusation not included in the original complaint will be a violation of the constitutional right of the accused to know the nature and the cause of the accusation against him or her.

The bias and incompetence of the so-called supreme court of Iran

Moshkani, Arabi’s defense counsel said that the Supreme Court “rejected his client’s defense that he had not written many of the Facebook posts and that he was merely sharing others’ views on the social media site.”

The question here is:

Is the mere act of sharing others’ views on the social media site enough for the authorities to arrest this man and charged him of “insulting the prophet”?

What kind of fucking “law” is this?

However, Iran does have that fucking “law”!

Article 263 of the revised Islamic Penal Code expressly “provides that a person who “insults the Prophet” while drunk or by quoting others, among other acts, will be subjected to 74 lashes and not sentenced to death.”

Nonetheless, when the lower court handed its judgment, which was reviewed by the Human Rights Watch, said court “relied on Arabi’s confessions and “available images and printouts” attributed to his Facebook page, and concluded that his actions “constitute clear proof” that he insulted the Prophet Muhammad and should be sentenced to death.”

Commentaries:

This is outrageous!

Art. 263 is clearly a blasphemy law which has no right to exist in any democratic and modern criminal statutes.

In the words of Robert Green Ingersoll:

“All laws defining and punishing blasphemy were passed by impudent bigots, and should be at once repealed by honest men.

“An infinite God ought to be able to protect himself, without going in partnership with State Legislatures.”

The Question of “sowing corruption of earth”

Comment/Question:

What the fuck is that?

It is a basic rule in law, specifically in Statutory Construction that if a law is so vague and so bloody ambiguous, that law carries no force or effect whatsoever for being so pervasive and plenary.

The Iranian authorities instead of sentencing Arabi to death should have acquitted or at least discharged him!

Jose Mario Dolor De Vega

Philosophy and Social Science lecturer
Unibersidad de Manila

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.

Human Rights Online Philippines does not hold copyright over these materials. Author/s and original source/s of information are retained including the URL contained within the tagline and byline of the articles, news information, photos etc.

[Blog] 10 Human Rights Issues ng 2014 –No. 9 Kalikasan at karapatang pantao -Mokong Perspektib

10 Human Rights Issues ng 2014 –No. 9 Kalikasan at karapatang pantao.

Vote for this article for the 5th HR Pinduteros’ choice awards…

Photo Screen-grab from KAISA UP Diliman FB page

Photo Screen-grab from KAISA UP Diliman FB page

“man’s environment, the natural and the man-made, are essential to his well-being and to the enjoyment of basic human rights–even the right to life itself.” UN

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Bilang pagpapatuloy ng ating Mokong year-ender wrap up mula sa http://mokongperspektib.wordpress.com/2014/12/26/10-human-rights-issues-ng-2014-no-10-climate-justice-campaign-yolanda-rehabilitation-etc/ , pumunta naman tayo sa ika-9 na pwesto para sa pinaka-tinangkilik na kampanya ng mga mambabasa ng HRonlinePH.com para sa taong 2014 ay ang “#HUGATREE ON EARTH DAY 2014” ng Philippine Misereor Partnership, Inc. (PMPI).

HugATree Photo by PMPI

“The idea is very simple. Supporters of the cause will just post online a picture of themselves hugging a tree. They could post it on Facebook, on their own blog, on Twitter, or wherever so long as it can be seen by the public online. To generate bandwagon effect and to monitor the success of the campaign, we will use the hashtag #HUGaTree.

It is optional for the poster to explain why he/she is participating in the campaign, why he/she chose a particular location or tree, or anything that could add hype to the campaign. It is highly encouraged that the members of our network explicitly connect their explanation to mining, sustainable agriculture or climate change.

April 20-22: Uploading of individual pictures in support of the campaign”

Ang pag-hits ng mga posts tungkol sa envi at HR ay manipestasyon nga kaya na sa “subconscious” ng mga mambabasa ay umiiral ang matinding pagpapahalaga sa kalikasan? Ito ba ay dinudulot lamang ng sunod-sunod na environmental disaster na dinadanas sa ating bansa? Kung ano paman, ang mahalaga ay naiuugnay na ang kalikasan at karapatang pantao.

Kung anupaman ang mahalaga ay wala namang nahigad sa mga nag-#HugATree. Wala nga ba?

Read full article @mokongperspektib.wordpress.com

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.

Human Rights Online Philippines does not hold copyright over these materials. Author/s and original source/s of information are retained including the URL contained within the tagline and byline of the articles, news information, photos etc.

[Blog] Yes, it is good to be online. But we can still do it better offline -HRonlinePH.com

Yes, it is good to be online. But we can still do it better offline

Presented during the 4th HR Pinduteros Choice Awards night, December 1, 2014, Conspiracy Bar and Garden Cafe.

I BELIEVE we have all acknowledged that the internet plays a crucial tactical role in advancing our advocacies.

We are in fact dazzled by the viral hype surrounding our online campaign and that of others.

Photo by Take back The Tech

Photo by Take back The Tech


It is really good to look at the metrics and see how it is shooting up with all the hits, likes and comments we are receiving. The analytics has its own value to show us our own trends.

But the question remains to be answered is this: Are we really faring up in the battle of information? Or is internet organizing our only means to reach out a wider population or even our own families, friends and networks? Do we really believe that in one click of the mouse, we can spark a social revolution?

Lest we forget as history attests that social change is always improbable, unpredictable, and sometimes spontaneous.

Only real-life action is the only way to achieve a genuine social transformation. Clicking a link can never replace our voice in the streets. Nor can we rely on social media alone to get people off their screens.

Yes, it is good to be online. But we can still do it better offline.
To inform, to inspire and to mobilize people for change virtually can never outdo the way we do it in an interfaced and personal way.

We are human beings after all with all the potentials to change and to change the world.

Presented by Darwin Mendiola, member of the HRonlinePH.com team

[Blog] 10 Human Rights Issues ng 2014 –No. 10 Climate Justice Campaign, Yolanda, Rehabilitation etc. -Mokong Perspektib

10 Human Rights Issues ng 2014 –No. 10 Climate Justice Campaign, Yolanda, Rehabilitation etc..

10 HR issue 2014 copyMakikiuso lang ang inyong mokong na lingkod sa paglalabas ng mala-year-ender post. Sinubukan kong i-wrap-up ang mga kaganapan ng buong taon. Isang #Throwback series ng mga isyu ng nagdaang taon batay sa hits na tinanggap mula sa mga mambabasa ng HRonlinePH.com.

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Nitong nakaraang ika-1 ng Disyembre ay pinarangalan ang mga pinakatinangkilik na kampanya na inilathala sa HRonlinePH.com sa pamamagitan ika-apat na “Human Rights Pinduteros Choice Awards” na ginanap sa Conspiracy Bar and Garden Café sa Quezon City.

Bagamat pinutakti ng napakaraming isyu ang 2014, ang ating pagtutuunan ng pansin ay ang 10 lamang na ang batayan ay ang hits na nakuha sa HRonlinePH.com stats ng wordpress. At tumatalakay sa human rights.

No.10- Climate Justice Campaign, Yolanda, Rehabilitation etc.

Hindi nakamove-on ang isang ito na nuong 2013 pa ay sing-init na ng bulkang Mayon na parang anumang oras ay puputok. Hustisya sa Klima-karapatang pantao.

Niyanig ang ating bansa ni Yolanda, kaya naman maging ang lahat ng isyu ay dumulo sa huling buwan ng 2013 sa panawagan para sa hustisya at tulong para sa laksa-laksang nabiktima.

Read full article @mokongperspektib.wordpress.com

Follow Mokong Perspektib in facebook

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.

Human Rights Online Philippines does not hold copyright over these materials. Author/s and original source/s of information are retained including the URL contained within the tagline and byline of the articles, news information, photos etc.

[Tula] Pasko ba? ni Vonn Adlawan

Pasko ba?
by Vonn Adlawan

Vote for this article for the 5th HR Pinduteros’ choice awards…

Pasko ba by Von Adlawanvon adlawan

Pasko ba?
mga ilaw sa lansangan
ibat- ibang kulay
ngunit tila iisa ang kulay
ng paparaming pulubi
sa kalsada, parke, palengke

Pasko na ba?
taun- taon may galak
christmass bunos, 13th month pay
para sa noche buena
ngunit sa kontrktwal na manggagawa
pangamba, ligalig, kaba!

Sa susunod na taon tanggalan na!
6 months lang kasi ang kontrata
maghahanap, maghahagilap sa kalsada
baka sakaling may pa kontrata!
walang pambiling pagkain, gatas, bigas
Pasko ba talaga?

Bakit pasko?
pasko ba matatawag
ang pagtaas ng MRT- LRT?
itinaon ng Pamahalaan sa bakasyon
dagdag na pasanin
dagdag na gastusin!

Inaprobahan ng korte
ang hiling ni Pemberton
na isuspende muna ang hearing
sa kaso nyang murder
ipinagdidiwang ni Pemberton ang balita!
Nagluluksa ang sambayanan sa makita!

sapat ba ang noche buena
mga paputok, ilaw, pagkain?
upang pasko’y matatawag na maligaya?
ilan taon, buwan, araw pa ang bibilangin,
upang ang pasko at bagong taon natin
hustisya sa sinapupunan ay maisisilang?

December 23, 2014
12nn

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.

Human Rights Online Philippines does not hold copyright over these materials. Author/s and original source/s of information are retained including the URL contained within the tagline and byline of the articles, news information, photos etc.

4th HR Pinduteros Choice Awards winners, Pasasalamat atbp.

Pagkilala at Pasasalamat
sa lahat ng mga indibidwal at organisasyon na naging
bahagi ng matagumpay na 4th HR Pinduteros Choice Awards
ng HRONLINEPH.COM bilang pagbubukas ng isang lingong pagdiriwang ng
anibersdaryo ng Pandaigdigang Deklarasyon ng Karapatang Pantao

HR pinduteros choice teaser copy

Emil, Shine and Ron. Photo by Abdel Disangcopan

Emil, Shine and Ron. Photo by Abdel Disangcopan

Ika-1 ng Disyembre 2014, sa Conspiracy Bar and Garden Cafe, Quezon City.

Sa lahat po ng mga naging nominado at pinarangalan, ito po ay pagkilala sa iyong napakahalagang kontribusyon sa pagpapalaganap ng kultura ng karapatang pantao sa pamamagitan ng internet. Kayo po ang nagpapatunay na ang modernong teknolohiya ay magagamit para makapagmumulat, makapagbigay inspirasyon at makapagpakilos sa mga karaniwang mamamayan para sa tunay na pagbabago.

Ang mga nagwagi ng 4th Pinduteros Choice Awards:

citraminaworkersweb34th Pinduteros Choice Awards for HR Campaign
[PETITION] TELL PHILIPPINES’ SEAFOOD GIANT CITRA MINA TO RESPECT THE HUMAN RIGHTS OF THEIR WORKERS! BY SAMAHANG UNITED WORKERS OF CITRA MINA GROUP OF COMPANIES UNION

ATM4th Pinduteros Choice Awards for HR Website
ALYANSA TIGIL MINA (ATM) alyansatigilmina.net

EDEL4th Pinduteros Choice Awards for HR BlogSite
LIFE ACCORDING TO EDEL NI EDEL  kuyaedel.wordpress.com

NAGKAISA May 1 2013 Rally Photo by PhilRights4th Pinduteros Choice Awards HR Networks Post
[PRESS RELEASE] LABOR GROUPS DEMAND CLAMP DOWN ON MANPOWER COOPS -NAGKAISA

Mario De Vega4th Pinduteros Choice Awards HR Pinduteros Post
ANG CHED MEMORANDUM BLG. 20 BILANG AKTO NG PAGTATAKSIL SA BANSA AT HAKBANG NG PAGPATAY SA KALULUWA NG MGA MAMAMAYANG PILIPINO. BY JOSE MARIO DE VEGA

isyu sa Calumpit Bridge4th Pinduteros Choice Awards HR Event
BAKIT ANG ISYU SA CALUMPIT BRIDGE AY ISYU NG KARAPATAN NG MGA RIDERS AT KARAPATANG PANTAO? BY LYNDON PANGAN

Mga Anak Ng Sabangan4th Pinduteros Choice Awards HR Video
MGA ANAK NG SABANGAN -BY BENITO MOLINO

Youth4FOI4th Pinduteros Choice Awards HR Featured Site
YOUTH FOR FOI youth4foi.blogspot.com

Tampakan Forum protest at SMI office in Makati. Photo by Romel De Vera

Tampakan Forum protest at SMI office in Makati. Photo by Romel De Vera

4th Pinduteros Choice Awards HR Photo
IN COMMEMORATION OF VICTIMS OF KILLINGS AND HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS IN TAMPAKAN BY ROMMEL DE VERA

Cover b copy4th Pinduteros Choice Awards HR Off-The-Shelf
“TORTURE IMPUNITY, AN ANALYSIS OF THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE ANTI-TORTURE LAW IN THE PHILIPPINES” -UATC

Impacts of 4ps4th Pinduteros Choice Awards HR Off-The-Shelf
THE IMPACT OF PHILIPPINES’ CONDITIONAL CASH TRANSFER PROGRAM ON CONSUMPTION BY MELBA V. TUTOR

Sa Mga Nominado (click link)

Sa aming EMCEEs na sina Emil Tapnio, Sunshine Serrano at Ron De Vera.

Photo by Take back The Tech

Photo by Take back The Tech

Sa lahat po ng dumalo sa ating matagyumpay na aktibidad, lubos po ang aming pasasalamat sa inyong pagtangkilik at pagsuporta sa amin bilang katuwang ninyo sa inyong mga adbokasiya at layunin. Kayo po ang tunay naming sandigan.

Photo by Edel Garingan

Photo by Edel Garingan

Photo by FOI youth initiative

Photo by FOI youth initiative

Photo by FOI youth initiative

Photo by FOI youth initiative

Photo by Justice for Citra Mina FB

Photo by Justice for Citra Mina FB

Photo by Take back The Tech

Photo by Take back The Tech

Photo by Take back The Tech

Photo by Take back The Tech

Photo by Take back The Tech

Photo by Take back The Tech

Photo by Take back The Tech

Photo by Take back The Tech

Photo by Take back The Tech

Photo by Take back The Tech

Photo by Take back The Tech

Photo by Take back The Tech

Kay Tao Aves na siyang nagbigay ng awitin para sa atin.

Photo by Take back The Tech

Photo by Take back The Tech

Sa mga panauhing nagbigay ng lightning Talks.

Photo by Take back The Tech

Photo by Take back The Tech

Photo by Take back The Tech

Photo by Take back The Tech

Photo by Take back The Tech

Photo by Take back The Tech

Photo by Take back The Tech

Photo by Take back The Tech

Photo by Take back The Tech

Photo by Take back The Tech

Sa amin pong mga sponsors, hindi po maisasakatuparan ang aming mga gawain kung hindi po sa inyong pagtitiwala at suporta. Ito po ay patunay kung tayo’y magtutulungan, marami po tayong magagawa. Kayo po ang aming kaagapay.

2 x 5 c copyEvent Partners:

FMAFoundation for Media Alternatives (FMA)

SHOTLISTShotList Films, The Toy Project

Event Sponsors:

PMCJ LOGO NEW
Philippine Movement for Climate Justice (PMCJ)

TFDP logo small
Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP)

atm-logo
Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM)

At sa lahat po ng mga followers and readers ng HRONLINE.COM, maraming salamat po sa patuloy ninyong pagbisita sa aming blogsite upang maglike, magcomment at magshare. Kayo po ang dahilan upang kami ay nagpapatuloy.

[Blog] The Barbarism, Intolerance and Backwardness of Aceh’s Islamic “law” by Jose Mario De Vega

The Barbarism, Intolerance and Backwardness of Aceh’s Islamic “law”

I refer to Antonio Zambardino’s In Pictures: New Islamic law in Indonesia, Aljazeera, December 3rd with regard to the Indonesian province of Aceh’s Islamic law which those fanatics there intends to extend to some 90, 000 non-Muslims.

Mario De Vega

I joined the various Human Rights organization on their contention and concern with regard to this issue.

According to the Aljazeera report:

“Muslims and non-Muslims alike are now subject to strict Islamic law in the conservative province of Aceh.

“It is the only one of Indonesia’s 34 provinces to impose Islamic law in the most populous Muslim-majority nation in the world, with a population of about 250 million people.

“Aceh province implemented Islamic law in 2001, but in September the religious “penal code” was extended to everyone, now applying to some 90,000 non-Muslims who live there.

“Offences not previously regulated such as adultery, homosexual acts, and sex outside marriage are now punishable with sentences handed down by Islamic courts, including public flogging. Buying or carrying alcoholic beverages could result in 10 strokes of the cane, 10 months in prison, or a maximum fine of 100 grams in gold.”

Commentaries:

I condemn on behalf of Humanity, the powers that be on that Indonesian province of Aceh for their barbarism, religious intolerance and backwardness.

It is my firm view that the Islamic law that they imposed in 2001 is a grave violation, not only of international law, but also of their very own constitution.

Now, those religious bastards and fanatics there had become even more fanatical and undeniably intolerant.

Who the hell are they to extend the application of their so-called “law” to the non-Muslims?

The province of Aceh does not belong to one race or one religious group or one bunch or type of people, but it belongs to the whole of the Acehnese people.

Indonesia is a democratic and secular country, albeit the most populous Muslim country in the world.

I hope, the idiots there in Aceh did not forget that Aceh is a mere province of Indonesia, it is not Indonesia itself.

Hence, despite the fact that locally they won the election, still they have no right whatsoever to impose their “law” especially if the same is a direct contravention and gravely violates the fundamental law of the land.

I concur with the expressed concern of Amnesty International over the said “law” and I also agree with them on their call “for an end to caning in Aceh, saying it goes against international laws on torture and human rights, as well as Indonesia’s own constitution.”

It is my fervent view that for a law to be constitutional, said statute must have “a secular legislative purpose,” it must have principal effects which neither advance nor inhibit religion, and it must not foster “an excessive government entanglement with religion.”

The Islamic “law” of Aceh is indisputably a grave violation of the Indonesian constitution.

Consider another report, “Women’s tight pants sprayed with paint, cut in Aceh”, Free Malaysia Today, December 5 wherein it highlighted there the list of the human rights violations being committed by the religious authorities to the people of Aceh.

According to the said report:

“…women in some parts of West Aceh were humiliated further when Shariah police cut their tight jeans and pants and forced them to wear loose-fitting attire in their bid to enforce the law.

“According to the Jakarta Post, the West Aceh regency administration even stockpiled some 7,000 long skirts to be given away to women caught wearing the offensively tight pants.

“The law also prohibits clothes vendors from selling jeans and slacks to women.”

Adding insult to injury, “West Aceh Regent Ramli M S, the man behind the controversial regulation, even instructed government agency personnel to refrain from serving women who came to their offices in “un-Islamic” attire.”

What the hell does he mean by “un-Islamic attire”?

This idiot was even quoted in BBC news, wherein he said that:

“We’re not stopping women from wearing trousers. What’s prohibited are tight trousers and jeans.

“If they have to wear trousers, the trousers must cover their ankles and be worn under loose, long skirts.”

Questions:

Who the hell is this Ramli creature to impose what clothes women must wear?

Who the fuck is these bastards that they go around the streets of Aceh painting and cutting the tight jeans of women?

Who the hell are these freaks and scum-bugs who have the gulls to even extend their so-called “law” to those people who are non-Muslims?

What is the source of their right to do it?

Who the hell are they to prohibit women from straddling motorcycles as it is deemed “improper” in Islam?

I am wondering, during the time of their prophet, do they already have motorcycles then?

What Islam or kind or type or branch of Islam are they referring to?

I do not know whether this moron is aware or not, but what he and his bastard cohorts’ actions is a bastardization and prostitution of the Indonesian constitution.

Their nefarious acts are unconstitutional by virtue of the inescapable fact that instead of advancing the democratic ideals of the highest law, what it did is to attack humanism and sponsor intolerance.

The basis of the said “law” is fanaticism, barbarism and religious supremacy.

The Aceh “law” is a grave attack on the secularism of the constitution and the diversity of the whole people of Indonesia.

Further, said “law” contravenes the separation of the church and state clause of the constitution.

The Lemon Test

In the case of Lemon v. Kurtzman, 91 S. Ct. 2105 (1971), the US Supreme Court “established the three part test for determining if an action of government violates First Amendment’s separation of church and state.”

They are the following:

1.   The government action must have a secular purpose;

2.   Its primary purpose must not be to inhibit or to advance religion;

3.   There must be no excessive entanglement between government and religion.

It is my vehement stand that a true blue democratic and secular government has no right to set up a church or a mosque or a temple or whatever religious place of worship.

Said government cannot “pass laws which aid one religion, aid all religions, or prefer one religion over another.”

Further, said government cannot force nor influence a person to go to or to remain away from church or mosques or temple or whatever place of worship against his will or force him or her or the whole of the people to profess a belief or disbelief in any religion.

Finally, no government can statutorily force a person “to profess a belief or disbelief in any religion.”

No government can pass or impose or enact laws or impose requirements “which aid all religions as against non-believers”, and neither can said government pass laws which seeks “to aid those religions based on a belief in the existence of God as against those religions founded on different beliefs.”

I am calling the attention of the newly elected President of Indonesia, Mr. Jokowi, Sir, this is what you have stated during your Inaugural Address to the nation:

“My administration will ensure that every person in the motherland feels the presence of their government. I am certain that the nation will be stronger if state institutions (lembaga negara) do their work according to the people’s mandate, as written in the Constitution.

“To the fishermen, laborers, farmers, bakso (meatball) vendors, street vendors, drivers, academics, teachers, military, police, entrepreneurs, and professionals, I urge you to work hard, gotong royong, because this is the historic moment for us all to move together, to work, work, and work.

“We want to be present among other independent nations with dignity, with pride. We want to build our own civilization, we want to become a creative nation, a nation that contributes nobility to the world’s civilization.”

Sir, I certainly believe, without the slightest iota of doubt that the people of Aceh, needs your help! Please do something before those utterly religious bastards and fanatical freaks turn your beautiful province of Aceh into a haven for the Taliban, the ISIS and the ISIL and of course, your very own, Jemaah Islamiya!

Jose Mario Dolor De Vega

Philosophy and Social Science lecturer
Unibersidad de Manila

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[Blog] The Barbarism and Inhumanity of the Indonesian police’s “virginity tests” by Jose Mario De Vega

The Barbarism and Inhumanity of the Indonesian police’s “virginity tests”
by Jose Mario De Vega

I refer to RT Question More, “Indonesia still performs ‘virginity tests’ on female police job applicants – HRW”, November 18th.

This is with regard to the barbaric practice still being committed by the police authorities in Indonesia subjecting prospective female applicants to a so-called “virginity tests”.

Mario De Vega

The whole damned thing is absolutely barbaric and said practice is undeniably inhumane to the very core!

I overwhelmingly concur with to the stern and firm contention of the Human Rights Watch that “Indonesia’s practice of subjecting would-be female police officers to ‘virginity tests’ is “discriminatory and a form of gender-based violence,” that has to be stopped.”

The associate women’s rights director at Human Rights Watch, Nisha Varia, in a statement said that:

“Police authorities in Jakarta need to immediately and unequivocally abolish the test, and then make certain that all police recruiting stations nationwide stop administering it…”

According to the report:

“The watchdog interviewed female police officers in six Indonesian cities to find out if women applying for a job in law enforcement still have to undergo virginity tests, despite previous promises by police officials to abolish the practice.

“The video with the interviews is now posted on the Human Rights Watchdog official YouTube feed. The women, hiding their faces from cameras and concealing their names, say they had to go through the pain and humiliation of the ‘two-finger test’, which HRW describes as an archaic and discredited practice.”

Commentaries:

I condemn on behalf of humanity the Indonesian police for their barbarism and backwardness in instituting and implementing this utterly ridiculous, outrageous and super idiotic practice.

I am also equally condemning the Indonesian government for allowing their stupid and mediaeval police authorities to carry out this farce of abuse and inhumanity.

This rubbish derogatory act is an act of degrading and dehumanizing women!

The so-called “virginity tests” is nothing but a vulgar display of power of an utterly parochial and primitive “authority”. Its aim is nothing more than to remind women that society is control by men, that it is patriarchal and that they are merely at the mercy and whim of men.

Ultimately, the aim of the said barbaric practice is nothing more but to exploit, discipline and place women to their “proper place” in society!

This is all rubbish, a farce and a complete nonsense!

It is my firm view and so held that besides exploiting women, the said heinous act is also a sexual violence against women!

Consider the testimony given by a 19-year old victim as recorded by the HRW:

“I don’t want to remember those bad experiences. It was humiliating. Why should we take off our clothes in front of strangers? Yes, [the virginity testers] were women, but they were total strangers. It was discriminatory. It is not necessary. I think it should be stopped.”

The so-called “virginity tests” includes the pain and humiliation of the so-called “two-finger test”.

In short, in order for the Indonesian women to become a member of the police force, she must first be fingered.

What the fuck!

This is sickening to the out most!

Let us consider the idiotic “logic” used by the sick and bastard police authorities in justifying this barbarism and dehumanization.

According to the national police’s official website, it is posted there that undergoing the said test is a requirement.

Further, “in addition to the medical and physical tests, women who want to be policewomen [sic] must also undergo virginity tests… So all women who want to become policewomen should keep their virginity.”

Commentaries:

I am wondering, what the hell does the said test got to do with the position or job of being a policewoman?

Are the Indonesian police implying that if a women is not fingered or no longer a virgin, she will not be a good police woman?

This is totally absurd and completely stupid!

It is my contention that the hymen of a woman has nothing to do on how she will discharge the burden of her function.

I am wondering does it occur to those bastards that there is a big chance and great probability that the very act that they are committing may lead to the shattering of those women’s hymen?

Are they aware that their very act may lead to the devirginification of those women that they wanted to be virgin?

The Associate Press quoted the Indonesian police spokesman Maj. Gen. Ronny Sompie who “urged people not “respond negatively” to the tests, explaining that they are done to ensure the applicants do not have sexually-transmitted diseases…”

As this idiot stated:

“All of this is done in a professional manner and did not harm the applicants…”

Comment:

This bastard does not know what the hell he is talking about.

I am wondering, if he’s daughter wanted to be a policewoman, will he allow his own daughter to subject herself to the so-called “virginity test”?

Will he allow her to take off her clothes, in front of strangers, who shall perform or administer the said test?

Will he allow her to undergo the so-called “two-finger test”?

I wonder what would be the answer of this idiot!

August 25th, last year, I had already condemned the education official of Sumatra with regard to their bastard proposal of virginity tests for teenage schoolgirls.

I am inviting the public to read my article, “Virginity and Morals”, published by the Human Rights Online Philippines.

Said barbaric proposal caused an uproar and country-wide protest, now I am wondering, how come Indonesia instead of learning from the said episode has become even worst. Then, it was the school children, now it is the prospective police woman! I am wondering who would be their next target — come the new year?

This is a shame!

As I’ve stated then:

“What does virginity got to do with education? Whether or not, a woman is virgin or not is immaterial, her right to education must not be denied!

“The law, whether local or international did not stipulate that education are exclusive for the pure and the innocent! The law does not distinguished; hence that idiotic so-called head of education district has no right to make a distinction!

“Education is a basic human and universal right and it is available to all regardless of their station and background in life!

“A woman may be chaste or already deflowered, but it is my firm view that her morality and sense of decency cannot be reduced solely by her hymen.

“Morality and ethics are not mere physical features, they are in truth and in fact, internal attributes; their source are from the individual’s inner character!”

I call upon the government of Indonesia, specifically to their newly sworn president, Mr. Joko Widodo to intervene and tell that bastard and idiotic national police director to cease and desist from instituting, implementing and carrying out that so-called “virginity tests”.

Mr. President as you yourself said during your Inaugural Address:

“We want to be present among other independent nations with dignity, with pride. We want to build our own civilization, we want to become a creative nation, a nation that contributes nobility to the world’s civilization.”

Jose Mario Dolor De Vega

Philosophy and Social Science lecturer
Unibersidad de Manila

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.

Human Rights Online Philippines does not hold copyright over these materials. Author/s and original source/s of information are retained including the URL contained within the tagline and byline of the articles, news information, photos etc.

[Blog] To Kiss is to Love, to Love is to Protest: Kissing to Resist State Moral Policing by Jose Mario De Vega

To Kiss is to Love, to Love is to Protest: Kissing to Resist State Moral Policing
by Jose Mario De Vega

I refer to “Kiss of Love: Delhi students take a stand against moral policing, Hindustan Times, New Delhi, November 09th with regard to the bold, brave and unorthodox stand being undertaken by the students of India in resisting and defying the state, the moral police and various conservative section of their nation.

They aptly and appropriately titled their protest action as Kiss of Love.

Mario De Vega

According to Wikipedia:

“The Kiss of Love protest “is a non-violent protest against moral policing which started in Kerala and later spread to other parts of India.

“The movement began when a Facebook page called ‘Kiss of love’ asked the youth across Kerala to participate in a protest against moral policing on November 2, 2014, at Marine Drive, Cochin.

“The movement received widespread support with more than 120,000 ‘Likes’ for the Facebook page.”

I overwhelmingly concur with one of the organizers of the event, Pankhuree Zaheer, who said that:

“We must not forget that our main aim is to speak out against moral policing and the propaganda of love jihad. Attacks on us have increased in the recent past. If they are entering our streets our universities and pubs, we will enter their space.”

In another interview, reported by Tony Tharakan, “’Kiss of Love’ protests rattle Modi’s conservative India”, Reuters, Nov. 10th, the 26-year-old research scholar stated emphatically that:

“It’s not about just kissing… It’s about … inter-caste marriages, inter-religious marriages, live-in relationships.”

It is my firm view that the government (of Mr. Modi) has no right to appoint and/or to encourage self-appointed moral guardians (his bastard gang of Hindu radicals and conservatives) who are forcing traditional mores, culture and beliefs on people with different outlook in life.

Consider the mindset of these so-called moral freaks and moral police, a creature by the name of Devendra Upadhyay, who opposed the said event, stated that:

“This is against our traditions.

“We have nothing against modernity but don’t kiss on the streets. If the Supreme Court has said that there is nothing wrong in kissing in public, we don’t agree with it. This is wrong…”

Commentaries:

This idiot said that they are not against modernity, but immediately warned the people not to kiss on the streets, well, what kind of modernity is that?

In his futile effort to appear as a modernist, this moron has betrayed his true color and that is, he declared to the whole of India and the rest of the world that he is indeed a conservative and backward freak.

Another point that I wish to highlight is the cold arrogance and ignorance of this bastard freak!
Who the hell is he or they to say that even if the highest court of the land had already declared that there is nothing wrong in kissing in public, they don’t agree and it is wrong.

So, what this creature is telling the whole world is that — Indian’s Supreme Court is wrong in its landmark judgment, ruling that “that kissing in public is not an obscene act and no criminal proceedings can be initiated, for kissing in public.”

Is that it?

Who the hell are they any way?

If these bastard creatures are not respecting the ruling of the highest court of the land, then what the hell is the purpose of the Constitution?

If they are not respecting the Court, then what is the point in having a democratic government?

According further to the Reuters report, Mr. Modi “has not yet commented on the protests. But a spokesman for the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, affiliated to his party”, said that:

“Our Indian culture does not permit us displaying such kinds of affection in public spaces.”

Commentaries:

To that stupid spokesman, hey idiot, India is a democratic government that believes and subscribed to those basic universal principles of republican values, such as freedom of expression, freedom of beliefs, freedom of the press, freedom to petition the government for redress, etc. hence, notwithstanding the fact that I respect your culture, yet it is my fervent and unequivocal contention that the same is under the provision of the fundamental law which is no other than the Constitution.

The provision of the Constitution and the various international treaties that your government has entered into, such as the International Declaration of Human Rights is more and much powerful than your culture.

Now, if you certainly wish to fight for the superiority and majesty of your culture, my humble suggestion is to ask your government to amend your secular constitution; make it a religious (Hindu) one and correspondingly — get the fuck out of the international community.

Why? Because every time, those lovers, kissers, protesters and activists of modernity, humanism and secularism goes out to protest and your government, with your so-called moral police, stupid police and bunch of thugs and gangsters connive and unite with each other to rough them up, harass them, arrest them and stop their constitutional and human right to express themselves in public — you are all violating your own constitution and international laws, bastardizing your own institutions and making your country a laughing stock before the eyes of the whole world!

The government (whatever its form) has no right to tell people how the hell are they going to live and lead their lives, so long as those people does not harm any body and they are not violating the law.

The government has no right to impose their brand or type of morality to the people.

The government has no right to tell the people when to kiss, where to kiss and what or whom to kiss.

My love affair is mine and they have no right whatsoever to enter or intrude into my life.

Sex, morality and art can never ever be legislated!

What the hell is wrong in kissing in public, anyway?

Why it is that India is so against the public display of affection?

Why is it that they are against this very intimate act of lovers or couples in the public sphere?

They are so against this, yet I am wondering why up to now they are not doing enough to arrest the high rate of rape in the country?

Such a bloody irony!

Shame!

In defense of the Kiss

If kissing in public is wrong, then so be it, I would rather end up in jail than miss the chance to kiss my love and dear ones, whether in private place or in public sphere!

If kissing in public is wrong, then so be it! I would rather err on the name of love, rather than be right in keeping a backward culture and following a stupid conservative government!

Finally, if kissing in public is criminal, then so be it! I would rather be a “criminal”, rather than a bastard fool and a conservative bloody freak.

In the words of Faith Hill:

It’ s the way you love me

It’s a feeling like this

It’s centrifugal motion

It’s perpetual bliss

It’s that pivotal moment

It’s, ah, impossible

This kiss, this kiss

Unstoppable

This kiss, this kiss…

Jose Mario Dolor De Vega

Philosophy and Social Science lecturer
Unibersidad de Manila

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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[Blog] Utak Pulburang Rasista ni Jose Mario De Vega

Utak Pulburang Rasista
ni Jose Mario De Vega

Vote for this article for the 5th HR Pinduteros’ choice awards…

Ang akdang ito ay tugon hinggil sa artikulong “‘Binay: Kulay-mahirap, asal-mahirap’—Trillanes” ni Rigoberto Tiglao na lumabas sa The Manila Times noong ika-28 ng Oktubre, na may kinalaman sa balahura at magaspang na pananalitang binitawan ni Senador Trillanes laban kay Bise Presidente Binay.

Mario De Vega

Sang-ayon ako kay Ginoong Tiglao ng kanyang sinabi na:

“There’s nothing like a man’s huge ego pricked for him to reveal his true colors. Trillanes was so livid he blurted out his repressed world-view. He was mad waiting outside the gates of an agro-tourism park he was insisting was Vice President Jejomar Binay’s, and barked: “Kulay-mahirap si Binay, asal-mahirap.”

“Those terms are really a bit difficult to translate in its nuances, and the best I could do would be:

“He’s got not only a poor-man’s skin color, but a poor-man’s behavior.”

“Translated, that’s certainly shocking. If Trillanes were in some other nation and said a similar thing, he’d be booted out of office in a week’s time for a racist, bigoted remark.”

Anyare?

Ayun, binira ng ating mga kababayan ang senador na ito sa social media!

Una sa lahat, ibig kong ipahayag sa ating mga kababayan na ang manunulat na ito ay hindi tagasuporta ni Binay. Katunayan, direkta kong sinasabi na sa aking paningin ay pareho lamang na payaso at ungas sina Trillanes at Binay.

Sang-ayon ako sa ginagawang hakbang ng Senado, particular ng Blue Ribbon Committee (at ng sub-committee nito) sa kanilang pag-iimbestiga nang mga katiwaliang kinasasangkutan ng angkang Binay.

Ngunit, pinanghahawakan ko din na upang maipakita na ito ay totoo at sinsero, magalang kong iminumungkahi sa nasabing komite na dapat ay imbestigahan nila lahat ng mga nilalang at personalidad na damay at sangkot sa korapsyon at katiwalian sa buong pamahalaan — kung sino man sila, maging sino man sila, sila man ay alyado o hindi at maging sila man ay taga-administrasyon o taga-oposisyon.

Ang ultimong layunin ng munting sanaysay na ito ay upang kondenahin ang diskriminasyon at bangkaroteng salita ni Trillanes na sinabi niya sa nasabing panayam.

Ano ang ibig niyang sabihin sa pagiging asal-mahirap?

Ano ang kaibahan nito sa asal-mayaman?

Ano ang kaibahan ng mga ito sa asal-hayop?

Ibig ko ding direktang itanong, sa “butihing” senador: ano ang pakahulugan nya sa tinuran niyang kulay-mahirap?

Komentaryo:

Bilang isang pilosopo, akademiko at humanista, pinanghahawakan kong hindi lamang salaula, kundi lantarang kalapastanganan ang kahulugan ng mga magagaspang na pananalitang namutawi sa mabahong bunganga ng nasabing “mambabatas”.

Pinanghahawakan kong salaula ang nasabing mga kataga, sapagkat sa aking paningin, akala mo ba kung siya ay mangusap ay galing siya sa mayaman at pamosong angkan. Akala mo siya ay kabilang sa mga alta de sosyedad, gayong batid naman ng buong bayan na siya ay nagmula sa isa lamang payak na pamilya.

Bigla ko tuloy naalala ang matabil na personalidad at matapobreng karakter ni Donya De De Victorina!

Kahit sabihin pa na siya halimbawa ay galing sa nakaririwasang angkan — matuwid at makatwiran ba na bitawan niya ang gayong mga pananalita?

Isang malaking hindi! Sa aking paningin, mga bobo’t-mangmang lamang ang sasagot ng oo.

Ang nasabing senador ay isang utak-pulburang rasista!

Siya ay isang matapobreng nilalang na wala namang karapatang magmataas.

Marahil ay nalilimutan niya na siya ay isa lamang na lingkod-bayan at utang niya ang lahat ng kung anuman siya sa ngayon sa ating mga mamamayan at kababayan — na ang napakalaking bahagi o bahagdan ay nagmula sa mga mahihirap, mga naghihikahos at mga maralita!

Kung siya ay nag-iisip, naiisip kaya niya ngayon ang isipin, sintimyento at saloobin ng ating mga kababayan?

Sa usapin ng kulay-mahirap

Kung makapagsalita ang senador na ito, akala mo ba siya ay isang ilustradong burgis na mestisong bangus, gayong ang totoo ay lumamang lamang siya ng isang ligo sa taong kanyang pinatutungkulan!

Ang mga patutsada at pautot ng mokong na ito ay mga salitang nakabatay sa diskriminasyon at rasismo!

Kasumpa-sumpa at karima-rimarim!

Totoo na si Binay ay maitim, ngunit hindi ba’t si Trillanes ay “luminaw” o pumusyaw lamang ng bahagya gawa ng siya ay kayumanggi?

Kung tawaging ko kaya siyang senador kopiko (with creamer) o bansagang senator Brownie; ano kaya ang kanyang mararamdaman?

Dapat ko pa bang ipaalala sa senador na ito na ang ating mga ninuno, ang ating lahi ay nagmula sa mga Ita, Negrito at Baluga?

Tugisin natin lahat ng mga magnanakaw, dayukdok at walang-hiya sa ating lipunan at sa buong pamahalaan, ngunit tukuyin natin ang mga hayop na mga ito hindi batay sa kulay ng kanilang mga balat o kasarian o estado sa katatayuan sa buhay, kundi batay sa kanilang kawalanghiyaan o kawalang karakter!

Ang isang masamang tao ay masama, hindi batay sa mga bagay na ito, kundi dahil sa kawalan nila ng katwiran, rasyonalidad at dignidad — walang kinalaman dito ang kulay ng kanilang mga balat!

Ang magnanakaw ay magnanakaw hindi dahil sa siya ay negro o tisoy, kundi ang hayop na ito ay magnanakaw dahil sa siya ay masama, walang-hiya, walang-modo, itim ang buto at walang kaluluwa!

IBAGSAK ANG RASISMO AT LAHAT NG URI NG DISKRIMINASYON!

TUGUSIN, TUKUYIN AT PAGBAYARIN LAHAT NG MGA MASASAMA (SILA MAN AY MAITIM O MAPUTI O KAYUMANGGI) AT MAGNANAKAW (SILA MAN AY MAYAMAN O MAHIRAP/ASAL-HAYOP O NAGPAPANGGAP NA TAO) SA PAMAHALAAN!!!

Jose Mario Dolor De Vega

Propesor ng Pilosopiya at Agham-Panlipunan
Unibersidad de Manila

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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[Blog] The Right to Privacy: FB and the third division of the SC by Jose Mario De Vega

The Right to Privacy: FB and the third division of the SC
by Jose Mario De Vega

Section 2. The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures of whatever nature and for any purpose shall be inviolable, and no search warrant or warrant of arrest shall issue except upon probable cause to be determined personally by the judge after examination under oath or affirmation of the complainant and the witnesses he may produce, and particularly describing the place to be searched and the persons or things to be seized.
Section 3. (1) The privacy of communication and correspondence shall be inviolable except upon lawful order of the court, or when public safety or order requires otherwise, as prescribed by law.

Mario De Vega

(2) Any evidence obtained in violation of this or the preceding section shall be inadmissible for any purpose in any proceeding. (Article 3, The 1987 Philippine Constitution)

Does it mean that because “nothing is ever private on Facebook”, any creature or bastard or stalker or hacker for that matter can just go to our profile to stalked, peeped, looked, stared and worst, hacked, took and download our private and personal pictures, data and information as against our consent and permission?

I do not think so!

It is widely accepted that “the most frequently quoted statement by a Supreme Court justice on the subject of privacy comes in Justice Brandeis’s dissent” in Olmstead v. U. S. (1928) wherein he stated unequivocally that:

“The makers of our Constitution understood the need to secure conditions favorable to the pursuit of happiness, and the protections guaranteed by this are much broader in scope, and include the right to life and an inviolate personality — the right to be left alone — the most comprehensive of rights and the right most valued by civilized men. The principle underlying the Fourth and Fifth Amendments is protection against invasions of the sanctities of a man’s home and privacies of life. This is a recognition of the significance of man’s spiritual nature, his feelings, and his intellect.”

I refer to Tara Quismundo’s “SC: Privacy laws do not apply on Facebook photos freely uploaded by Internet users”, PDI, October 23rd with regard to the high court’s Third Division ruling that denied “a petition for habeas data filed by parents of two high school students of St. Theresa’s College (STC) Cebu, citing the protection of their Facebook photos that school officials found objectionable.”

A petition for Habeas data is a remedy provided to “any person whose right to privacy in life, liberty or security is violated or threatened” through the “gathering, collecting or storing of data or information regarding the person family, home and correspondence of the aggrieved party.”

According to the said report:

“The Facebook photos, which showed the students drinking and smoking in a bar, and wearing just undergarments on a street, prompted school officials to ban five students from marching in their graduation rites in March 2012. The photos were uploaded by one of their friends.”

Commentaries:

I cannot understand why the hell the school decided to ban said students from marching on their graduation?

Those students drunk and smoked in a bar and wore undergarments on a street — not inside the bloody school!

Those students posted the said pictures at their own FaceBook page. They did not spread it to the public, so my issue with the bloody school is: what the fuck is your problem with that?

Perhaps the bloody school will retort and say: Hey, Mister, those students that you are defending is our students.

My reply: so what? Yes, they are your students, but do you still have your academic, parental, institutional and religious power or control over them — the very moment they get out of your bloody premises?

Yes, I perfectly understand that while inside your school, those girls must observed and followed all of your conservative and myopic rules and regulations, but outside your ground — who the hell are you to tell them how the hell are they going to live and lead their lives?

It is on this note that I am condemning the lower court and so as the third division of the Supreme Court in ruling in favor of the said school!

It is my fervent and firm view that what the SC did is a stupid ruling that clearly destroys the constitutional guarantee protecting the right of privacy of the people.

Originally, in every act that an individual will do will affect two spheres or domains, namely the public and the private. Now, due to the advent of modern technology, I will argue that there is a third area which is the virtual domain.

My ultimate point is that, no matter how powerful the state or government is, it has no right whatsoever to penetrate, invade and enter the private sphere of the human acts. That zone of privacy must be respected at all cost.

In the critical words of Professor Paul Kurtz:

“Society should respect the right of an individual to control his or her personal life. The zones of privacy that society should not intrude upon without good reasons are a person’s body, possessions, beliefs, values, actions, and associations, insofar as these pertains to his or her own private sphere of interest and conduct.”

The right to privacy is a right guaranteed by the Constitution as a protection against governmental intrusion.

To quote Justice Marshall in Stanley v Georgia:

“Whatever may be the justifications for other statutes regulating obscenity, we do not think they reach into the privacy of one’s own home. If the First Amendment means anything, it means that a State has no business telling a man, sitting alone in his own house, what books he may read or what films he may watch. Our whole constitutional heritage rebels at the thought of giving government the power to control men’s minds.”

Comment:

To reiterate the government and so as the school and other institutions have no right to tell people how the hell they are going to live and lead their lives.

For as Justice Kennedy reaffirmed in broad terms the Constitution’s protection for privacy:

“These matters, involving the most intimate and personal choices a person may make in a lifetime, choices central to personal dignity and autonomy, are central to the liberty protected by the Fourteenth Amendment. At the heart of liberty is the right to define one’s own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life….The petitioners are entitled to respect for their private lives. The State cannot demean their existence or control their destiny by making their private sexual conduct a crime. Their right to liberty under the Due Process Clause gives them the full right to engage in their conduct without intervention of the government. ‘It is a promise of the Constitution that there is a realm of personal liberty which the government may not enter.’”

In my view, the court, in the case under discussion has committed an irreparable damage and injury to the private rights of those students. Instead of simply accepting just like that the assertion of the school that they just saw the said pictures subject of this issue, the court should have ordered the court a quo to investigate further the truth with regard to that specific claim.

The court should have remanded the case to the lower court and ordered the same to investigate fully and pinpoint specifically who were those bastard culprits who invaded the private lives of these teenagers!

Imagine the utterly preposterous scenario, somebody took some of your private pictures against your will, without your consent and worst, without your knowledge, then those bastards (whoever the hell they are) had shown it to your boss, the school, your parents, boyfriend/girlfriend, etc. and now, you shall be penalize for that?

This is the heights of shame and the ultimate travesty of justice!

The fact that some nefarious creatures had taken your photo without your consent makes you already a victim of a cyber crime and the fact that your picture were used to punished and penalized you makes you a victim for the second time around!

Talked about adding insult to an injury and double black eyes — to the maximum!!!

The said ruling of the court is idiotic and invasive of the rights of the people.

Why? Because this ruling of the court will lead to a dangerous tendency and it will make a sinister precedent.

It is like an invitation to all hackers and virtual criminals to enter the private lives of people on the cyberspace, because as the court claimed “nothing is ever private on Facebook.”

So, if ever a hacker is caught violating the right of another, the latter can interpose the defense that: it is not I who downloaded the same by another friend of mine.

I totally agree with lawyer JJ Disini when he said that “the Supreme Court decision is scary since it creeps into the very nature of online privacy.”

He further said that “Facebook already allows users to customize privacy settings to public, friends only, custom or even completely private.”

According to him, the “privacy settings are there “precisely to control the flow of information.””

I concur with him that this ruling of the court is creepy, dangerous and sinister.

As reported by ANC, “SC junks case of Cebu students banned from graduation rites due to ‘bikini photos’”, October 25th:

“The Supreme Court is saying that even if you attempt to limit the privacy and set the privacy, as long as another person can see it, you no longer have the right to privacy on those things you have posted.”

Comment:

What the hell is this?

Further, he stated in a DZMM interview that:

“Does this mean that all your friends have the right to show all your photos with other people including school officials? Because that is what happened. Ano na ngayon ang right to privacy mo?”

“They are saying that in a social network, if you have 100 friends and your friends have 200 friends, you are essentially sharing your information to 300 friends. It is the same with email. If I email you, does that mean you can forward that to all those in your address book?”

This is judicial stupidity at its worst!

Further, it seems to me that the court is slightly implying that the whole thing is the fault of Mark Zuckerburg!

Why?

Check this out:

“We cannot afford protection to persons if they themselves did nothing to place the matter within the confines of their private zone. [Online] users must be mindful enough to learn the use of privacy tools, to use them if they desire to keep the information private, and to keep track of changes in the available privacy settings, such as those of Facebook, especially because Facebook is notorious for changing these settings and the site’s layout often.”

Comment:

Will it change the court’s ruling if the private pictures were taken, let say from Twitter or Instagram or other social networking sites?

To quote the words of Professor A. C. Grayling:

“No human rights convention is complete without an article that defends privacy, for the excellent reason that privacy is an indispensable adjunct of the minimum that individuals require for a chance to build good lives. One aspect of its importance is that it gives people a measure of control over the front they offer others, and the amount of information that others have about them, concerning matters that are personal, intimate, eccentric or constitutive of the individual’s inner life…But the foremost reason for privacy is that it is crucial for personal autonomy and psychological well-being.”

Suggestion:

I humbly suggest to the parents of those aggrieved students to file a motion for reconsideration to the Supreme Court en banc to review this fiasco and shameful ruling of its third division!

Jose Mario Dolor De Vega

Philosophy and Social Science lecturer
Unibersidad de Manila

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[Blog] The Killing of Jennifer is the Central Issue not her sexuality and gender: the VFA as a symbol of National Shame by Jose Mario De Vega

The Killing of Jennifer is the Central Issue not her sexuality and gender: the VFA as a symbol of National Shame
by Jose Mario De Vega

I refer to Rina Jimenez-David’s “Tangential issues”, At Large, PDI, October 17th with regard to the gruesome and barbaric killing of Jennifer (aka Jeffrey) Laude, “a transgender individual, in a motel room in Olongapo City allegedly by an American Marine taking part in war games here, is the “nature” of Jennifer and whether she was plying the “world’s oldest profession” or was merely out for a good time.””

Mario De Vega

I’m my view, the most tangential and substantive issue is not whether “she was a “trannie” in a land where there is still considerable social and legal discrimination against gays” or because in order for her, “to earn money to put a sibling through school and pay for other expenses, she was engaged in prostitution”, rather is it her gruesome and horrible killing.

The killing of a helpless human being: That is the central issue!

Indeed, Ms. David is absolutely correct in her contention that:

“Of course, it’s irrelevant and immaterial whether Jennifer was a prostitute or simply a good-time gal. She did not deserve to die simply because she was not “fully” a woman, in the same way that women (and men) engaged in the flesh trade cannot be raped, beaten up, or killed simply because they failed to satisfy their customers.”

Yet, instead of seeing it that way, her murder and death has only shown the apathy, the idiocy, the bigotry and the mental discrimination still running on the minds of some people of this country.

Again, to quote Ms. David:

“But her being transgender has trained a light as well on the realities of life for those whose sexuality and sexual orientation lie beyond the pale. Certainly appalling are comments that Filipinos are raising too much fuss about Jennifer’s killing, as if the death of a transgender person deserves less outrage and pain than the murder of a “normal” woman or man. Or that a prostitute’s life is not worth grieving or agonizing over, as if human rights apply only to those living righteous lives.”

I am wondering, what if it is a Filipino man who killed an American transgender, or if it is an American transgender that killed a Filipino woman, will there be a change to their moronic charges and idiotic comments?

To me, the fact remains and that fact is “that murder is murder, whether committed by a Filipino or an American, and must be prosecuted with the full force of the law.”

It is on this juncture that I am condemning to the utmost, some of our countrymen for their discrimination, bigotry, idiocy and even their colonial mentality.

As a Humanist, I don’t give a damn whether the one who violated the law is a man or a woman, “in between” or a transgender; that fact that he or she violated the law is enough for the said felon to be brought to the bar of justice.

In the same vein, I also don’t give a damn whether the offender is a local citizen or a foreigner, if they violated the law, hence they must answer — whoever the hell they are, whatever the hell they are!

On Humanity

As I’ve stated in one article, “Everyone deserves love”, The Star Malaysia, August 3, 2011:

“Transgenders are our fellow human beings; the only difference is that we are certain of our sexual orientation and gender affiliation.

“They also deserve to be loved and cherished. It is their inherent natural human right to love and be loved, regardless and irrespective of their abnormalities, deformities and physiological-sexual limitations.

“The dichotomy of the individual and that of society has long been settled by both sociology and anthropology. The presence of varied elements is precisely one of the key ingredients for society to grow and develop.

“Such a society would undeniably be vibrant, humane, accommodative to change and refreshingly adaptive to the prevailing circumstances.”

I am sad and it is with a heavy heart on my part to state that this bastard country is not that tolerant and open when it comes to the those people that belongs to the LGBT community!

This society is inhumane and discriminative!

That should not be the case, by virtue of the fact that the equal protection clause of the Constitution is anti-sexism, anti-discrimination, anti-racism and against all forms of cruelty. It is a document of justice, equality and fairness.

Yet, sad but true, such is not the case!

Shame!!!!

On the Question of the VFA and EDCA

I overwhelmingly concur with Professor Walden Bello that the presence of the US military to our country is dangerous to our people’s welfare.

As he stated categorically in his article, Afterthoughts, Fatal encounters: Jennifer meets US Marine Corps, PDI, October 20th:

“When we opposed the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) and the so-called Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA), one of our key reasons was to prevent our civilian population from again becoming collateral damage as victims of rape, murder, and hate crimes, as many of them were prior to the withdrawal of the big US bases in 1992.

“The rape of Nicole by another US Marine, Daniel Smith, in 2005 confirmed our worst fears. Now an even more brutal crime has taken place. No doubt there will be apologists who will say that the Nicole and Jennifer cases are “isolated incidents,” that these are outweighed by the benefits of the presence of American troops, as Senator Antonio Trillanes IV is supposed to have claimed. Such assertions are increasingly hollow, especially since Washington is not committed to defending our territories in the West Philippine Sea in the first place, since it says it won’t intervene in sovereignty disputes in the Spratlys.

“To prevent future incidents, some have proposed tighter regulation of shore leave or more intensive instruction of American troops on the “rules of engagement” with the civilian population. But again, why be satisfied with these half measures when those troops don’t need to be here in the first place since they do not promote our national security.”

On the implementation of the VFA

In my view, only a moron, or worst an extreme idiot of the lowest order will failed miserably to see that this so-called agreement between the Philippines and the United States of America is not only a lopsided agreement but undeniably a continuation and perpetuation of US colonization of this utterly damned and super stupid country.

As Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago emphatically stated:

“We are a stillborn state because our umbilical cord from the US has never been cut…”
The VFA is not only a failure, but a shame to us all

It is a basic rule of criminal procedure that jurisdiction includes custody, now base on that bullshit agreement, it states there that while the Philippines has jurisdiction over erring US officers, Article V, Paragraph 6 of the VFA states:

“The custody of any United States personnel over whom the Philippines is to exercise jurisdiction shall immediately reside with the United States military authorities, if they so request.”

This is not only a “gross inequality” but a bastardization of the sovereignty and dignity of the whole country.

Again to quote Senator Santiago:

“If the Philippines has primary jurisdiction, then it follows that the Philippines should have custody. But this logic is spurned by the VFA…”

This is a shame!!!

Jose Mario Dolor De Vega

Philosophy and Social Science lecturer
Unibersidad de Manila

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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[Blog] TEN FACTS that People should know about LGBTQ and Hate Crime in the Philippines By Darwin Mendiola

TEN FACTS that People should know about LGBTQ and Hate Crime in the Philippines
By Darwin Mendiola
Visit dars0357.wordpress.com
The recent murder of a 26 year old Filipino transgender woman named Jennifer Laude by a U.S. Marine once again ignited public protest and renewed a call for wider recognition and better protection of the rights of lesbians, gays, bisexuals, trans-genders and queers in the Philippines.

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As a human rights advocate, I firmly stand on the spirit and letter of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights that recognizes that (Article 1) “all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights” and that (Article 2) “everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms without discrimination.”

I wrote this article not to get into the nitty-gritty of the case but to simply share these important facts about LGBTQ and Hate Crime for the information of everyone.

This is a product of online research and not solely of my opinion.

But I strongly believe that sharing these Ten Facts that People should know about LGBTQ and Hate Crime can contribute to further promotion and protection of human rights.

#1 According to 2011 study of the United Nations, LGBTQ people are becoming increasingly vulnerable to crimes because of their sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI).
This first ever United Nations report on the human rights of LGBTQ people provides details on how around the world people are continuously being discriminated and have endured hate-motivated violence, because of their real or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity. The report identifies homophobia, biphobia and transphobia as the major motivations for hate crimes against LGBT people.

Reference: http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/hrcouncil/docs/19session/A.HRC.19.41_English.pdf

#2 Still, 76 plus countries around the world considered homosexuality illegal.
According to the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA), there are at least 99 people around the world who are currently in prison for allegedly violating laws that punish those who are born gay, lesbian or bisexual. While at least 148 other people are awaiting trial on charges related to homosexuality.

Reference: http://76crimes.com/76-countries-where-homosexuality-is-illegal/

#3 As a response to the alarming global situation, the United Nations Human Rights Council has passed this year a landmark resolution condemning violence and discrimination against LGBTQ people.
The resolution states that the world needs to take a fundamental step forward by reaffirming one of the Human Rights’ key principles – that is everyone is equal in dignity and rights. It encourages all UN states-members to take necessary legal, legislative and judicial measures to address human rights violations against LGBTQ.

Reference: http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2014/09/26/un-human-rights-council-passes-landmark-lgbt-rights-resolution/

#4 Even the Catholic Church is now considering reviewing its conservative stance on homosexuality as Pope Francis called on the Church to welcome gays and lesbians in the community, who “must be accepted with respect, compassion and sensitivity.”

Pope Francis reiterated this call on the Church during the Catholic Synod or the meeting of All Bishops to tackle a number of controversial issues facing the Catholic Church, including how to respond to changing families and how to better communicate Catholic doctrine. Pope Francis’s famous “Who am I to judge?” position has made him the “Man of the Year 2014” for LGBTQ.

Reference: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-29677779

#5 The United States of America is one of the countries that recognizes and addresses the issue of Hate Crimes.
President Barack Obama signed in 2009 the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, which expands the existing United States federal hate crime law to gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability. In fact, the first hate crime laws in the United States were passed after the American Civil War, beginning with the Civil Rights Act of 1871, to combat the growing number of racially motivated crimes.

Reference: http://www.bilerico.com/2009/10/obama_signs_matthew_shepardjames_byrd_hate_crimes.php

#6 In the Philippines, a study backed by the UN has found that LGBTQ people have become more accepted in the Philippines.

The Filipino public seems to take a rather an open and tolerable view of the gay community, at least judging from popular media and the widespread use of gay lingo. But according to Ladlad, one of the LGBTQ groups in the Philippines. discrimination against LGBTQ still persists and they are becoming increasingly vulnerable to hate crimes. The UN study found hate crimes remained a big threat among the LGBTQ community in the Philippines. It cited that there were at least 28 LGBT people reported killings killed in the first half of 2011.

Reference: http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2014/05/12/un-study-finds-gays-increasingly-accepted-in-phillipines-but-hate-crimes-remain-a-threat

#7 The Commission on Human Rights performs a function of a Gender Ombud.
The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) announced in 2013 that the Commission will look into cases of hate crimes against Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals, and Transgenders (LGBTs) across the country which hopefully lead to a better prosecution and investigation of hate crimes.

Reference: http://www.rappler.com/nation/35553-chr-document-hate-crimes-lgbts

#8 Hate Crime is not yet a distinct crime in the Philippines.

LGBTQ groups claimed that violence against LGBTQ people is not treated as a hate crime. There is no specific mechanism that helps identify hate crime victims or makes use of the sexual orientation and gender identity of the person as the aggravating circumstance for the commission of the crime. It is not even investigated as such and just merely considered as a common crime against any person and/ or property. LGBTQ groups lament the absence of an anti-Hate Crime law in the Philippines. The fact that there are no basic figures and statistics on Hate Crimes shows that the government has not considered as such in past years.

References: https://ph.news.yahoo.com/blogs/the-inbox/lgbt-hate-crimes-rise-024938543.html

#9 Just recently, Sen. Bam Aquino filed the Senate Bill No. 2122 or the Anti-Discrimination Act of 2014, which seeks to combat discrimination of any forms. The bill seeks to prohibit and penalize discrimination on the basis of ethnicity, race, religion or belief, gender, sexual orientation, civil status, HIV status and other medical condition, among others. Among the acts that will be prohibited are inflicting stigma; denial of political civil, and cultural rights; denial of right to education such as refusal to admit or expulsion and imposition of sanctions or penalties; denial of right to work; denial of access to goods and services; denial of right to organize; inflicting hard on health and well-being; engaging in profiling; abuses by state and non-state actors; and detention and confinement. Under the bill, any act of discrimination shall be fined from P100,000 to P500,000 and an imprisonment of up to 12 years. A similar bill was filed by Rep. Teddy Casino of Bayan Muna, last June 26 which aimed to pioneer a House probe on the growing numbers of hate crimes in the country.

Reference: http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/383705/news/nation/stiffer-penalties-for-hate-crimes-vs-lgbts-pushed-after-transgender-s-killing

#10 Quezon City, Philippines’ largest city has approved ordinance that bans anti-gay discrimination.
The ordinance is the first of its kind in the Philippines expands the 2003 City Resolution which only centered on discrimination of homosexuals in terms of employment.

The new city-wide ordinance makes it mandatory to educate employers and educators around the city on the rights of LGBTQ.

It prohibits and provides sanctions on any violations of LGBTQ’s rights on equal access to job opportunities, delivery of goods or services, insurance, and accommodation in Quezon City.

Under the new ordinance, establishments will be directed to designate a comfort room that can be used by all genders, regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity or expression.

Reference: http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2014/10/02/philippines-quezon-city-passes-law-banning-anti-gay-discrimination/

While immediate focus should be on resolving the significant rise of alleged Hate Crime, much attention should also be given to any forms of discrimination against LGBTQ community.

Though, crime prevention is primary a government’s responsibility, prevention of any forms of discrimination is everyone’s business. It is about time for all of us to get out of the jury box with all our biases and prejudices. It must begin from us. For all we know recognition comes respect and respect begets responsibility which entails accountability.

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[Blog] Turkey’s attack on Secularism By Jose Mario De Vega

Turkey’s attack on Secularism

I refer to “Turkey imposes ban on piercings, tattoos in all schools” by RT Question More, September 28, 2014.

According to the said report:

“Turkey’s government has banned all school pupils nationwide from having tattoos or body piercings in a new dress code deemed oppressive and unenforceable, according to the law’s critics.

“While tattoos are not widespread among older generations, they have seen a surge in popularity amongst the young and secular sectors of society.

“The measure, imposed by the government and published in the Official Gazette on Saturday, also prohibited a number of other things such as dyeing hair, wearing makeup and moustaches and beards for boys, according to local media reports.”

Said government measure means that “students could be punished through reprimands, suspension or expulsion.” However, “if a student fails to get a tattoo removed the punishment is not yet clear.”

Mario De Vega

Commentaries:

I condemn this latest attack by Turkey’s powers that be on the secular fabric of their society. Previous to this, a measure was set that permitted the wearing of “Muslim headscarves in schools.”

I overwhelmingly concur with the critics of the government on their denunciation that these twin set of measures is undeniably “corrosive of Turkey’s secular ideals.”

Indeed, there is a reasonable ground to believe that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s “recent moves constitute steps towards the Islamisation of the country.”

I would to ask, what the hell is wrong with dyeing one’s hair? What the hell is wrong with wearing makeup? What is the problem with moustaches and beards for boys?

What the hell is the point or the purpose behind all of these measures and prohibition?

I have nothing against Islam, but if Turkey is true to what it proclaimed and says to the world that it is a secular country, then they must not only observe, but respect the vital principles of secularism and democracy.

On the Question of the Muslim headscarves in schools

The government has no right to impose to the student to wear the headscarves in school, in the same vein that the same government has no right to ban the same.

To impose to the people what the hell are they going to dress is a violation of their rights, in the same vein that to ban or to restrict what they intend to sport on or wear will also negate and impinge on their human rights!

If the people want to wear the veil, then so be it.

If the people did not want to wear the same, then let it be also, but to impose otherwise or to ban whatever they want is not within the power of the government that calls itself secular and democratic.

My view on this whole controversy is this: those women (whether they are Muslim, Sikh, Christian, Jew, etc.) who wants to wear that veil (or whatever headdress), then let them do so, so long as no one is forcing them to do so!

In the same vein, those women do not want to wear that (whatever headdress is that), then so be it. Again, so long, as long it is their will and no one is forcing or compelling them not to do so
It is my firm belief that the government has no right to legislate and regulate how the hell should or must women dress up!

The government does not own them, but rather they owned the government and so as their bodies!

The government exists to protect the rights of the people, not to trample and violate those rights, because the very moment the government does so, it loses it reason behind its existence!

On the Question of those people who says: Leave Turkey Alone

Answer: if Turkey truly wants to be a legitimate member of the international community, then they have to somehow follow and conform to the universal standard of norms and civilized conduct.

If they do not want, then I say to them: stop dreaming of becoming a full-pledged member of the European Union, because base on your unreasonable measures and oppressive prohibitions, I strong doubt if the EU will ever grant you full membership! So get real and stop your series of irrational acts!

On the Question of the Ban on tattoos or body piercings in a new dress code

I would like to reiterate and strongly stresses that the same is not only absurd and idiotic, but incontestably oppressive!

The immediate question there is: how the hell the authorities are going to enforce the said measure?

I agree with the Head of the Education Workers Union, Veli Demir when he said that “it was unenforceable because tattoos cannot just be taken off like an item of clothing.”

This is what he stated, as quoted by AFP:

“What is going to happen to those (pupils) who already have tattoos? This is not a decision that a reasonable person can take. It is a decision taken without careful thought…”

I completely agree with Mr. Veli Demir that this is an unreasonable decision that we’re undertaken by an irrational powers that be or mindless authority.

Indeed, said measures were decided without careful thought!

As he categorically expressed:

“It is a decision taken by an oppressive mindset. Education is all about contributing to a child’s development and protecting them…”

I am supporting their decision of appealing the said measure before “the Council of State over the dress code as it is against the Constitution, the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and decisions of the European Court of Human Rights.”

On the Question of tattoo and body piercing

The said report also highlighted that Mr. Erdogan “has expressed distaste for tattoos in general”. He even asked a young footballer, Berk Yildiz, in July to remove his and questioning: “why do you harm your body?”

Comment:

Mr. Erdogan, your body is yours and my body is mine. Whatever the hell I wanted to do to with my body, so long as I am not hurting anyone is my business and none of yours. You personally do not want tattoos and body piercing, that is your right, but to use your public position to impose your will is not right, because it will violate the constitution that guarantees the right of the people to our/their bodies and persons.

As the American would say: Mind your fucking business and don’t tread on me!!!

Jose Mario Dolor De Vega

Philosophy and Social Science lecturer
Unibersidad de Manila and Polytechnic University of the Philippines

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[Blog] Can NMM be an effective monitoring body? By Darwin Mendiola

Can NMM be an effective monitoring body?
October 14, 2014
By Darwin Mendiola

Human rights violations particularly extra-legal killings (ELKs), enforced disappearances (EDs) and torture continue to occur in the country with total impunity.

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Until now, not a single person has been brought to justice. Even in high-profile cases which have been swiftly investigated, they only ended up in imposing of administrative sanctions against suspected perpetrators rather than filing of criminal charges.

The establishment of a National Monitoring Mechanism (NMM) could have been a significant step towards the effective prevention of these heinous offenses and breaking through the prevailing climate of impunity by finding resolutions to all these crimes.

In fact, it was one of the positive developments that the Philippine government cited in its report for the Universal Periodic Review in 2010. It even received huge international supports for funding and technical assistance.

However, after more than three years the creation of such body remains stalled and has only devolved into a mere mechanism of consultation and discussion on human rights issues instead of moving forward by ensuring that remedies are available to victims and their families as well as guaranteeing that impunity is addressed.

The Commission on Human Rights of the Philippines (CHRP) as the national human rights institution is tasked to convene the relevant government agencies and non-government organizations to revive the effort of establishing an effective monitoring body.

But its creation was eventually overshadowed by issuance of the Administrative Order No. 35 series of 2012 creating the Inter-Agency Committee on Extra Judicial Killings (ELKs), Enforced Disappearances (EDs), Torture and other Grave Violation of the Right to Life, Liberty and Security of Persons under the Department of Justice.

To make the NMM relevant, there is a need to resolve its complementation with AO 35 in order to avoid duplicating the function of monitoring the progress of specific cases and to provide the kind of information needed to push a criminal case involving an EJK, ED or torture to its resolution.

While the different stakeholders agreed that the NMM can still be a case-based monitoring mechanism to help identify the obstacles to pursuing accountability through our seemingly ineffective criminal justice system, but it should evolve into a more programmatic approach that includes human rights promotion and prevention of such violations and the provision of different services to victims and their families. The NMM can also provide an avenue for the substantive role of civil society and a significant degree of victim participation in the monitoring process.

However, this dilemma may have pushed the the CHRP to look the other way than just merely focusing its attention to the three major human rights violations (e.i. ELKs, EDs and Torture). For the CHRP, the NMM should be a comprehensive monitoring mechanism of determining government compliance with international human rights treaties in the government’s functions, systems and processes with the end in view of harmonizing them with the standards and principles of human rights and recommending appropriate measures and actions.

What the CHRP is trying to do is simply to extend its functions as the institutional human rights monitoring body to the NMM rather than making the NMM a unique body with specific goals and priorities.

While it is true that civil and political rights violations are related or caused by violations of other fundamental rights such as Economic, Cultural and Social Rights, but addressing these cases will require specific attentions and approaches especially in providing victims of such violations with adequate means of apportioning responsibility.

How the NMM can be an effective monitoring body with a specific or broader mandate, will really depend on how the stakeholders especially the state security forces are committed to work with due diligence.

Because in the end, the families of the victims are the ones who are left waiting with uncertainty, while they have not given up on their search for the missing, whether dead or alive, and seeking justice for those who were tortured and ill-treated.

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[Blog] Pagpupugay at Pasasalamat Sa mga Bayani at Martir ng Batas Militar: A Review By Darwin Mendiola

Pagpupugay at Pasasalamat Sa mga Bayani at Martir ng Batas Militar: A Review
By Darwin Mendiola

Heroes are made not born.

They are those who let no obstacle prevent them from pursuing the values they have chosen. Some simply happened to find themselves at a crossroads, confronted with the turbulent events of their time but chose to take a path less traveled and even offering their own lives.

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One needs not to be extraordinary to do heroic deed. Any Juan dela Cruz, Maria or Jose – workers, farmers, fisherfolks, students, professionals, church people, informal settlers or street hawkers can make a big difference.
But there are many of them who remain anonymous until now. They are the NAMELESS —whose deeds are not known to many. Remembering them may not be enough. But reliving their legacies in us is one way to honor them.

And this is what the Task Force Detainees of the Philippines together with the NAMELESS HEROES AND MARTYRS, INC. and the DAKILA Collectives admirably did when they paid tribute to the HEROES and MARTYRS of MARTIAL LAW on September 30, 2014 at the Aldaba Recital Hall, University of the Philippines-Diliman.

The event brought together Martial Law heroes and the new generation of human rights defenders to commemorate the 42nd Anniversary of the Declaration of Martial Law through a matinee of songs, dances and theatrical play under the brilliant direction of UP Prof. Apolonio Chua.

The songs of protest like Batingaw, Sangandaan, Patak ng Ulan at Huling Awit were once again resonated on the stage by Color It Red vocalist Cooky Chua and the progressive labour theater group, Teatro Pabrika to awaken in the audience the Filipino spirit of patriotism.

May Tibak At May Tibak and Buhay Na Inalay Sa Bayan from LEAN: The Musical which run deep into our Filipino consciousness and stir intense emotions were given new life through the creative dance performances of the Collective Arts of Students and Thespians (CAST) from University of Makati by efficaciously translating the sufferings and struggle of the Filipino people under Martial law into series of movement and dramatic expression.

But what makes the event different from the previous commemorations is that it set the stage for the Reader’s theatre where excerpts from selected literatures were read by character roles with no needs for costumes and props for the audience to relive the social upheavals of that time that gave rise to popular discontent and resistance.

Tutubi, Tutubi ‘Wag Kang Magpahuli sa Mamang Salbahe (Dragonfly, Dragonfly, Don’t Allow Yourself to Get Caught by a Bad Guy) by Palanca awardee Jun Cruz Reyes, gives a satirical account of the irrationality of the power structure and how a high school student’s curiosity has turned into a conviction of joining the underground movement.

The “Written to Myself During a Fit of Depression” by former political prisoner, Doris Baffrey, a letter she wrote for herself relates her traumatic experiences while languishing in jail for almost five years which left a thick scar or welt on her very existence in the same way that many survivors of martial-law were plagued by intense, recurring nightmares. Ms. Baffrey was implicated in the PICC bombing during the American Society of Travel Agents Convention in 1980.

A more vivid account of torture was best described in the poem, TORTYUR- Sa mga Kuko ng Karimlan written by another Palanca awardee and political activist, Levy Balgos dela Cruz which shows how torture is being used as a form of punishment until it breaks the person’s will to live.

The agony of a wife who has to pretend as a cousin of her husband in order to claim his remains after he was summarily executed by the military is given a human face and heart in the play, Buwan at Baril by Chris Millado.
The family memoir, ‘Subversive Lives’ by the Quimpos reminds us of the personal costs at best illuminates an on-going struggle mediated by familial experiences and the sacrifices of those who joined the movement.

We owe it to those who stood and fought against the dictator in order for freedom and democracy to live. Their sacrifices and love for country are the reasons why the “selfie” generation today have the freedom to click and post whatever they want in social media. But lest we forget that the responsibility to make the country freer, humane and just now rests on our shoulders.

Salute to the Unsung Heroes of Martial Law!
Kudos to the Task Force Detainees of the Philippines!
Never Again to Martial Law!

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[Blog] Death Penalty is no laughing matter By Darwin Mendiola

Death Penalty is no laughing matter
By Darwin Mendiola

Once a comedian, always a COMEDIAN.

Sen. Tito Sotto III once again was trying to be funny even he is not.

The good senator, who became the enemy number 1 of women’s group for taking a pro-life stance against the controversial Reproductive Health (RH) Law, is now pushing for the revival of the death penalty.

Darwin 2

If before, he wanted to silence the netizens by inserting the libel provision in the highly contentious Anti- Cyber Crime Law, he now wants to silence suspected criminals for good.

In his privilege speech as Acting Senate Minority Leader last Tuesday, Sen. Sotto made a renewed call to the government to revive the death penalty in order to end illegal drug abuse. This was his mercurial response over the killing of actress Cherry Pie Picache’s mother which he believed is a wicked work of those who are no doubt under the influence of drugs.

In fact, he already filed a bill early this year to its effect which is now pending before the Committee on Constitutional Amendments, Revision of Codes and Laws as well as the Committee on Justice and Human Rights.

In order to make a point, he made use of the country’s tourism slogan as reference to describe the criminal situation in the country by mockingly saying that “Criminals have more fun in the Philippines.”

However, what Sen. Sotto didn’t seem to know or simply refuse to accept is that the devil is in the details.

The imposition of capital punishment is not a quick fix solution to the problem of the rising criminality. To legally kill a person as the ultimate form of punishment for killing someone is simply to continue the cycle of violence. Killing even if legal or judicial, is no justice at all.

In the country like the Philippines where the criminal justice system is far from ideal, the possibility that a wrongly convicted person could be put to death for a crime he did not commit is too high to risk. It is irreparable.

Even international criminal experts see no clear deterrent effect of death penalty against criminality and believe that the real keys in fighting crime are in the quality of law enforcement and the active cooperation of the community to the police, rather than making the penalty harsher.

What makes Sen. Sotto even funnier is his ignorance with the fact that when the Philippines abolished the death penalty in 1987 and 2006, it gained international recognition as the only country in Asia to do so and has become the champion of human rights in the region.

We do not live anymore in the days of Hammurabi where “eye for an eye” is a golden rule.
The death penalty is a senseless, barbaric form of state-aided revenge which has no place in a civilized society.

So why do we have to be uncivilized again, Mr. Senator? And that is no laughing matter.

Read more @http://dars0357.wordpress.com/

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[Literary] We never learn! by Von Adlawan

We never learn!
by Von Adlawan

September 21, 1972
It might be just a number
or a routine of ordinary day
but for others a stained in their diary!

That day for activist was rare
’cause- street is sanctuary
of voiceless protest,
becoming a spark creating fire!

That day for laborers
initiated baptism of fire
unity becomes power
La tondenia saw the fire!

Urban poor gathered spear
Parola armor has geared
With Holy Father’s blessing
The priest has embarked in plain!

Student activists created
streets as source of wisdom,
truncheon and water canon
their butter and bread!

Student leaders defined
their leadership for the masses
Makamasa, Makabayan….
a platform defined by surged of time

Lean has stood up!
contending Marco’s Brilliance
NDs has rejoiced with pride
Lean has to give the price!

Now the fascism has gone,
In wax covered with glass
democracy so thought to lived
and freedom has in grave!

To commemorate once again
This 21st of September
is just like a story, being retold
the moral and lesson we forget!

(A poem dedicated for he unsung heroes against State suppression in Martial law time)

von adlawan

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