Category Archives: Featured Blogs

[Featured Blog] WE ARE NATURE by Rodne Calicha

we are nature

Rod Galicha2WE ARE NATURE as Rodne Calicha describes it, is a blogsite focused on the vital role and responsibility of human beings in maintaining the balance within the natural world. The crux of all the blog entries is the undeniable fact that persons are not separate environment itself. hence, the title – we are nature.

The Author

Rodne Galicha was born in June 2,1979 in San Fernando, Sibuyan Island, Romblon, Philippines, eldest son of government employee Nenita Romero Rodino of San Fernando, Romblon, and postman Rodrigo Galindez Galicha of Alcantara, Romblon. He is an environmentalist and human rights activist who is currently involved in climate justice, biodiversity conservation and natural resources conflict management.


[Featured blog last week] Carpe Diem: a call for individual and collective action

It was barely three months from June 21, 2011 when Darwin Mendiola started this blog “Carpe Diem.” Since then it has earned 1,200 plus hits which was a good sign for a new blogger who mainly focuses on topics of human rights.

Darwin Mendiola works with the Asian Federation Against Involuntary Disappearances (AFAD).  A regional level federation of human rights organizations that are working with the issues of enforced disappearances in Asia.

As Darwin described his blog…

“Carpe diem is a phrase from a Latin poem by Horace which means “seize the day”. Carpe is literally translated as “to pick, pluck, pluck off, cull, crop, gather”. Diem on the other hand simply connotes “day”. Roman poet Ovid used this phrase to mean “to enjoy, seize, use, and live”. For the author, this is about changing our attitude – by simply being critical, being involved and to express one’s thought. This is what this blog is trying to do – just to contribute in the understanding of the social realities by examining issues that affect our lives.

Carpe diem is a call for individual and collective action.”

Carpe Diem mainly contains Darwin’s reflections and opinions on human rights issues and other helpful information with HR interest.  His recent series of posts tackle on the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) concerns. You can read more of Carpe Diem through the URL address –

Consistent with one of the objectives of HRonlinePH to promote blogs and bloggers containing human rights related posts we had Carpe Diem last week and now we will have My Life is My Message by Anthony Gaupo as our featured blog of the week.

[Featured blog last week] Listen to the CRIES of the CHILDREN of ‘DESAPARECIDOS’

By Lenin Castillo

Unsilenced by SAD

Unsilenced by SAD

The is the official blog site of members of the Samahan ng mga Anak ng Desaparecidos (SAD). In this site all articles, literary pieces and even art works (video, painting, photos, etc) created by children of disappeared will be posted here as well as position papers and statements of the Families of Victims of Involuntary Disappearance.

The blog will reflect the in-depth thoughts and feelings of a son, daughter, sister, brother or any younger relative of the victim of the disappeared. This will show how we, the children understand the disappearance of our fathers.

[The article below best describes what SAD is.  The article is an excerpt from “City of Lost Parents: The SAD Story” written by Celia L. Sevilla posted in]


SAD or Samahan ng mga Anak ng mga Desaparecidos (Children of the Disappeared) was founded in 1990 by the Families of Victims of Involuntary Disappearance (FIND). The Welfare and Rehabilitation Committee if FIND recognized that the children as well as the younger siblings of victims of involuntary disappearance needed special attention and rehabilitation. To ensure that their needs are adequately addressed, these children were organized into a group which was then included in the six lines of work of FIND. Thus, SAD was born.

The objective for founding SAD was to provide the children with much-needed rehabilitation. In its early years, the focus of SAD was the attainment of this objective. Rehabilitation sessions and family conferences were conducted to help the children cope with their parents’ disappearance.


Gradually, as SAD evolved, it began to serve another purpose. The group became a very potent medium in projecting the issue of involuntary disappearance to the general public. It has since become an effective arm of FIND in the organization’s campaign against involuntary disappearance both locally and internationally.

In 1993, FIND together with Amnesty International (AI) launched a campaign against political killings and enforced disappearances. SAD actively took part in this activity, touring four European countries (Belgium, United Kingdom, Holland and Switzerland) to protest the killings and disappearances through stage plays.

[Next featured blog of the week: Carpe Diem by Darwin Mendiola.]

[Featured site]

Since 1982, Medical Action Group (MAG) is known to be a service-provider to victims of human rights violations.

MAG continues to provide a holistic rehabilitative service, which includes but not limited to medical and psychosocial services, to documented torture survivors particularly political detainees and prisoners in the country. This is concurrent to regular jail visitation of MAG staff. The beneficiaries also include immediate relatives of torture victims.

MAG pioneers its work on medical documentation as part of “quick response team” or QRT by documenting alleged cases of torture and providing necessary health and medical services to victims of arbitrary arrest and detention. MAG has been assisting victim/survivor of human rights violations by providing medical records and documentation to the court for prosecution of alleged perpetrators and measures to protect the victim/survivor. It is a well-known fact that persons deprived of their liberty are subjected to torture before they were brought to a judicial authority. Hence the need of necessary protection to the arrested person during this stage is considered to be crucial to prevent torture. Indeed, MAG has developed its credibility from this line of work and formed a vast and reliable network of support groups, organizations, institutions and individuals to provide support to its programs and services.

On victims’ medical and psychological aspects, the interventions are proved to be effective.  The formation of support group system is crucial in establishing network regarding health and social welfare needs of victims as well as their relatives. The support group composed of victims’ relatives, friends and colleagues as well as groups of human rights defenders creates a sense of belonging, provides emotional support, initiates capabilities for self-management when it comes to decision-making in facing life after detention and trial, and makes it possible to vindicate the victims.

Through the combination of documentation, welfare assistance, rehabilitation, networking and lobby work, MAG has been able to influence a number of policies for the protection and defense of human rights in the country and access to justice in particular the campaign for the enactment of the Anti-Torture Act of 2009 (Republic Act No. 9745) and popularization of the Manual on the Effective Investigation and Documentation of Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment or Punishment otherwise known as the Istanbul Protocol in medical documentation of cases of torture.

The documentation work of MAG has resulted in some extent “fine-tuning” of the Implementing Rules and Regulations of the Anti-Torture Act i.e. Section 12, Right to Physical, Medical and Psychological Examination by facilitating a dialogue with concerned government agencies about documented cases where persons deprived of their liberty were not afforded prompt and regular access to a lawyer and an independent doctor from the outset of their detention, and victims’ right to request a second medical opinion by a doctor of his/her choice were violated.

MAG in 2009 facilitated the submission of the Joint Civil Society Report on the implementation of the UN Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, to the UN Committee Against Torture 42nd session, 27 April to 15 May 2009. Followed by Joint Civil Society Follow-up Report on the Progress of the Implementation by the Philippines of the United Nations Committee Against Torture Concluding Observations last August 2010.

MAG is currently disseminating information of the United Nations Committee Against Torture (CAT) Concluding Observations and Recommendations to the Philippine government and also involve in education campaign on popularization of the Anti-Torture Act.

Every year, MAG also conducts social and recreational activities for victims of torture and their relatives as part of their rehabilitation. On the commemoration of the International Day of Support for Victims of Torture and during Christmas season dubbed as “Paskuhan sa Kampo” (Christmas in Jail) are few of these activities where we mobilizes government agencies, civil society organizations, friends, concerned individuals and specialists.

For more information about MAG, please visit

[Featured blog] The hands (in the keys) that meddles in the life of other people – KAMPAY

[The week for “KAMPAY” as our featured blog will end today.  Katulad ng nakagawian, we will introduce another fellow blogger that will be featured for a week and that is Maximum Exposure by Germaine Trittle Leonin.  KAMPAY may sound very informal but most of the time, using unique words like this is a blogger’s way of attracting attention and way of expressing their identity. Try reading Olegs’ posts (Author of KAMPAY) and you’ll know what he wants to convey.  Unlike the other posts we did for our featured blogs, this time we asked Olegs to write something about his own blog para maiba naman…ECjr]

The hands (in the keys) that meddles in the life of other people 

by Rapha-el ‘Olegs’ Olegario

This blogsite is about my commentaries about the different social issues, particularly human rights issues, that hounds the Philippines. It is written in Filipino to be able to reach out to online Filipino masses.

“Liberators does not exist… People liberate themselves” With this phrase from El Che, no individual or so-called leader can ever release the toiling Filipino masses from the bondage of oppression. Only through solidarity, collective action and a common vision of a better tomorrow that we can build a society devoid of foreign and national-bourgeoisie control.

However, blogging is just a tool. It is just one of the tools used to educate the netizens about the reality, and hopefully stimulate action that can influence change in the society. I recognize the limited capacity that a blog can do but does not substitute it to the good old fashioned integration, mass actions and community organizing against poverty and the corrupt system. Still, I also recognize the proven facts about the impact of blogging in building awareness through the internet. Since we all live in a global village, through the net we can show our solidarity with people around the world who shares and support the struggle for national liberation and equality of rights for all.

KAMPAY! is my first blogsite. After attending the The Asia Foundation‘s (TAF) training about Digital Activism, I understand the potentialities of the latest technologies in building social awareness especially in the internet where interactions and transactions are now conducted. KAMPAY! Stands for “Kamay (Sa pindutan) na nangingialam ng buhay ng may buhay”. It literally translates the hands (in the keys) that meddles in the life of other people. Though malicious as may sound, I would like to convey that in this certain times that we should take a stand. Neutrality will make matters worse and everyone is engaged in the struggle for emancipation.

You may contact me through email. For gmail its: For yahoo! its: To know more you can add me in Facebook or twitter and simply type “olegs87”.

[Featured blog] AFAD: Evisioning a world without desaparecidos

The right to the truth relating to enforced disappearances or missing persons is recognized in international human rights instruments such as Article 32 of the Protocol I to the Geneva Conventions that establishes “the right of families to know the fate of their [disappeared] relative.” and Article 24 of the 2006 International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance that states that:

“Each victim has the right to know the truth regarding the circumstances of the enforced disappearance, the progress and results of the investigation and the fate of the disappeared person. Each State Party shall take appropriate measures in this regard.”

AFAD or the Asian Federation Against Involuntary Disappearances was founded on June 4, 1998 in Manila, Philippines. It is a federation of human rights organizations that works directly on the issue of involuntary disappearances in Asia.

“It was established based on the common phenomena of enforced or involuntary disappearances in many Asian countries and the imperative of regional and international solidarity in order to strongly respond to the problem. The perpetrators, being agents of states, are so powerful that an equally strong response is needed to effect a huge impact. Since it is a violation of a number of basic human rights, civil and political as well as economic and social, enforced disappearance is the cruelest form of human rights violation. A Federation, whose own strength is drawn from the intrinsic strength of its member-organizations, is imperative in order to respond to the needs of the families of the disappeared. It intends to facilitate their empowerment which is necessary for the realization of a world without desaparecidos.” –

The Federation’s secretariat which is based here in the Philippines is the author of  It contains their news releases, statements, position papers, videos, trainings and other relevant information about their campaigns.

AFAD, who gave its concrete contribution to the adoption of a new international treaty which recognizes the right to truth and the right not to be subjected to enforced disappearances, adheres to and promotes the ratification of the United Nations Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance. AFAD likewise adheres to the principles of gender equality, care for the environment and nature and non-discrimination.

AFAD is one of the lead organizations that campaign and lobby for the Philippine ratification of the said convention and a domestic law criminalizing enforced disappearance in the country.

To know more about AFAD and their advocacy, visit their blog @ or their website @ You can also follow them at facebook and twitter.

Our next featured blog of the week is KAMPAY! Kamay (sa pindutan) na nangingialam ng buhay ng may buhay. –ECJr.

[Featured blog of the week] “Dekonztruktschon”…by breaking things into smaller parts in order to understand how each part makes the whole.

The blog’s German-sounding name has indeed caught my attention and I started reveling in its contents.

Dekonztruktschon”, clearly implies the English word deconstruction which according to Wikipedia ( is a term that French philosopher Jacques Derrida introduced in 1967. In one of Derrida’s writings he defined- deconstruction, “the effort to take this limitless context into account, to pay the sharpest and broadest attention possible to context, and thus to an incessant movement of recontextualization.”

Rodrigo Rivera

The author Rodrigo Rivera however simply describes his blog site as his way of looking at things by breaking them into smaller parts in order to understand how each part makes the whole and then putting them again together as a new construction.  As he said, “it is simply a way of thinking, of knowing and of understanding about things and events in our society.”

A neophyte blogger as he humbly describes himself, Rod as his colleagues fondly called him, started “Dekonztruktschon” in May 23, 2010.  He’s been blogging way back in 2009 through his other blog sites.  Rod, a former youth leader, a community organizer, a political activist, a journalist and now a blogger wants to share his thoughts and ideas in able to inspire others.

Rodrigo Rivera teaches communication in a university in Manila.  He describes himself as a communication expert. He is also a trainer and consultant by profession.  He earned his Master of Arts in Communication at Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila (PLM). He is now studying doctoral degree in Communication at the University of the Philippines (UP).

“I need an outlet what goes in my head can be externalized, and then objectivized at the moment and internalized by others as well. As I interest myself in understanding the whole, I take it by parts, break the whole and piece them together in reinvented form. That is deconstruction,” Rod said. ECjr

Read on…

[Blogger] The Marcos question: What makes a hero? – Dekonztruktschon

by Rod Rivera

April 11, Malacanang, was in qualms to agree in giving the former Philippine President Ferdinand E. Marcos a space in the heroes hall. The reason is that he was awarded a medal of valor for his honorable military service, by President Diosdado Macapagal. Likewise, PNoy ordered Vice President Jejomar Binay to come up with a recommendation whether to allow the former president burial at the Libingan ng mga bayani.

April 20, just a week after, the lower house is pushing House Resolution 204, backed up by 190 strong liberal party members to favor the burial of the late president whose waxed body is in a mausoleum in his ancestral house. Representative Salvador Escudero of the 3rd district of Sorsogon justifies the move that despite Marcos was ousted he has served the country well.

Columnist Godofredo Roperos writes up on the Marcos question as a gleam of national political reconciliation that requires political wisdom and understanding of our political memory and history. On the other hand, political groups do not find any value and denounce giving the ‘dictator’ a heroes burial, as they remember the historical pain and agony of those who fought for democracy under the Marcos’ martial rule.

The question on Marcos’s burial in the Libingan ng mga Bayani brings more questions to challenge the political memory, values and social moral and nationalist spirit of the Filipino people. All these are symbolic acts. From Saussure’s semiotic traditions, what those questions bring attacks our views about our identity as people.

Every culture has heroes, and these heroes are representations of the identity and the ideals of one’s culture. The values that we share, our precepts that guide our norms and social behavior become embodied in the traits and characteristics of our heroes. As Geert Hofsteede informs, our culture is manifested in our symbols, heroes, rituals and values, and at the deeper structures of our culture is our identity as a nation as group of people sharing common national interest.

A hero to represent the Filipino nation or its culture cannot be legislated and it never has been. The academics with their rich understanding of our history, culture and nation, play an important role in appraising, appreciating and recognizing what counts heroic and who should be entitled to the abstract social symbol of a ‘hero’. Laws may grant honor to a hero, or honor to anyone, but laws should not turn anybody to a hero for a hero is a people’s expression.

However, the National Heroes committee, as formed by former President Fidel V. Ramos, arrived at some criteria for confirming a national heroes title. The committee declares that “1) heroes have concept of nation and they aspire and struggle for the nation’s freedom; 2) they have define and contribute to a system or life of freedom and order for a nation; and 3) they contribute to the quality of life and destiny of nation (Corpuz, 1993, in NHC document pp. 2-3).

The National Heroes committee extends this criteria with three other measures, stating that a hero: “1) is a part of the people’s expression; 2) thinks of the future and defines the future of generations; and 3) the choice of hero involves not only the recounting of an episode or events in history, but of the entire process that made the particular person a hero” (Lagmay, 1995, in NHC document p. 3).

True, Marcos was awarded a medal of valor, but that was just an episode in his life and outside the decades long struggle of the Filipino people against suppression of their basic rights and freedom. True, he built grand infrastructures that are visible and usable till now, but that is his duty as the country’s leader. True, he placed the country in the economic map of Asia, but it is also true that his family accumulated ill-gotten wealth from the nation’s coffers.

Laying his remains in the Libingan ng mga Bayani is a symbolic act to entitle Marcos a hero, whereas he falls shorts of the criteria to be entitled with such. Apparently, for a common kababayan of Marcos who voted for him several times even though she’s aware of how the dictator manipulated the country and suppressed the people’s freedom, my mother, a genuine Ilocana, would like Marcos’ remains to be kept where is now that is where he was from.

It is incredulous to think that burial of the former president in the Libingan ng mga Bayani would bring national political reconciliation. What is to be reconciled anyway between the Marcoses and the forgiving Filipino people. Is it not enough to be considered a symbolic act of reconciliation to allow them back and elect them in public offices?  Whatever issue between the Aquinos and the Marcoses there is, it is not a national interest. That is out of the Marcos question as a dictator to deserve hero’s burial in the graveyard of martyrs.

Read more of Rod Rivera’s writings visit Dekonztruktschon.

[Blogger] The urban way to displace the already homeless – Dekonztruktschon

by Rod Rivera

If it is not demolition, when a dialogue doesn’t work, the alternative to uproot the homeless from their informal settlement is burning down their shanties to ashes. In the urbanizing metro every inch of space counts as an asset to have economic use. The land becomes more valuable than people.

The problem of internal migration, population growth and poor distribution of economic opportunities attribute to the increase of informal settlers in metropolitan Manila. Many of these informal settlers migrated into the urban area in hope that they can live a better life with a decent job. They left their provinces because they find life there to be too difficult. They sold their properties to find their selves propertyless in the cities. As the migration continues, it congests the already burgeoning urban population.

Because these people can not afford to pay the rent, lease or buy a house, their only option is to settle in vacated and long unused spaces, and even those places that are inhabitable because of the high risks to human lives. They peg their shanties by the canals, on top of mountains of waste or under the bridge if they could not find a habitable place to live. Some others find the cold comfort of the streets, condemned buildings, carts, on ceilings of waiting sheds, over and under shrubs in public parks.

Two years ago, around a hundred families, in our community were forced to leave their homes, to give way to the construction of a district hospital in the area. The place, known as ‘looban’  to the community,  had been their home for more than 40 years. By the law, they deserve the right to settle there. While some left even before the place was demolished, negotiations brought them to an agreement of being paid 20,000 per family which they spent them to collectively get a lot in the south.

There was excitement first, because they finally will have a property that they can call their own. Those who moved to the relocation came back, to rent a room because the place is too far from their livelihood. Others became displaced, sleeping in the cold streets. Now, the ones who have money are buying their lots little by little at a lower price.

Only one holds the mother title, while the displaced contributed much in buying the land. Since they can not pay the other dues to have the lot titled to them, they opt to sell their property.  It is unfortunate that the  one holding the mother title is not an informal settler, but simply a wealthy man, who watches the people from his ivory tower. It is more saddening to know that these people who dwelled together in the same area could not stand strong as a collective.

In some other cases, fire works to clear an area filled with informal settlers. This is inhumane, but very much convenient for any interested party. It takes off the people not only of their dwelling place, but also of their dignity to live a life they choose. Well, from the beginning there was no dignity in living as an informal settler, because the right to decent life begins in a dignified abode.

Today, a fire at the 5th alarm broke out in Guadalupe, damaging 9 million peso worth of properties, injuring 9 people, and displacing, burned down around 900 houses that provides some dwelling to 2,700 families. The place may be indeed fire prone, because the materials and structures of the shanties there are usually wood. No one from the community’s resident would like to burn their house on fire, no one of them would also like to continue living in a place where their life security is at risk and their dignity is at the dearth.

It is ironic that in the bustling prime city of Makati, there are still these people who clump into place where their lives are at risk. It is a contradiction that this place sits between a funeral chapel that gives the dead a very comfortable space to lie down, and a seminary where the holy finds peace in their soft beds. But, the residents of this community, 2,700 families sardined in 900 houses. How many of them are loyalists to the political dynasty, that they can not be moved to somewhere else that will give them a dignified life?

There is a saying that if there is smoke there is fire. This place has been on fire for so many times.  What keeps them to stay in this high risk area should be understood so that proper actions can be taken. They are not to be removed like weeds burned in the fields, if that is the intent. They need a home, the area is the only one they know of , because there are probably no better options offered to them.

If these people are given a chance to a decent housing not far from their livelihood, surely they would leave the place. They will not wait for a demolition or another fire. Let’s take the example of the Catholic Church’s effort to provide the homeless a decent dwelling.

Let’s examine what Gawad Kalinga has been doing or Habitat for Humanity. Let’s go back to the intention of building tenements and bliss. Let’s look at what Singapore has done to use the small space it has, yet still give a chance for space to live in for everyone. Let’s look at our policies and our government’s budget allocation. Let’s examine the numbers of homeless people, their proximity from their employment. Let’s look at giving the people more job opportunities wherever they may be in the country.

There are so many things to be done, and standing away and just looking at the situation of the many homeless in our society will not do anything further. Strategic decisions and actions with long-term implications are needed to change the quality of life of the majority of our people.

[Blogger] K-12 Challenge to Philippine Tertiary Education – Dekonztruktschon

The length of the road and time walking to school can be bearable, what is not bearable is the poor education they get to keep them poorer even after they get their diplomas. Photo source:


by Rod Rivera

In simple terms, K-12 is a necessity to align Philippine Basic Education Curriculum to that of the global standards, by adding two years of senior high school to the current four year secondary education, and another year for mandated kindergarten. This as planned will push through the coming school year.

While many have touted on its impact to the basic education curriculum, to the economy, and to our bid in synchronizing our educational system to world standards, rare is the discussion on its impact to tertiary education. The urgent challenge that administrators need to think about is how to cushion the impact of this new cycle to enrolment. But of high  importance is the evaluation and re-engineering of the curriculum to address the changes in the cycle.

Starting next school year, the DepEd will implement the system to incoming grade one students. Based on the briefer that Department of Education posted online, the incoming high school will also be the first beneficiary of the free 2-year senior high school education which is designed to enable them to obtain the employable skills with their diploma. This scenario means that colleges and universities will face a lag in enrolment for two academic years between 2016-2018.

Implications of K12 Implementation

The aims of the enhanced K12 or K -6-4-2 have positive implications to improve the education that every Filipino student should get. College educators could attest to the fact of the lack of preparation that high school graduates receive when they enter college. Because basic education is free in the Philippines, this should not actually harm the many poor families in the country. What should everyone be aware about is the implementation of those aims to assure quality education.

The government should take every course available to guarantee that it meets the reported needs of the Department education for rooms, teachers, facilities and trainings. It should ensure that education gets its recommended 6% budget allocation as the UNESCO sees it fit.

The government will require completion of the 12 year basic education cycle on entry to college by AY 2018-2019. The urgent challenge then should be an opportunity for colleges and universities to innovate and reinvent while addressing the impact on student enrolment. Since, the rationale for implementing the K12 system cycle is to align our standards of education to that of what is globally accepted, then higher education institutions will have to take a proactive stance to this change.

The Philippine economy is much dependent on international labor and the remittance of migrant workers. Everyone just seem to want a job abroad, but with the Bologna Accord to be in full swing starting 2010, the chances for the Filipino workers to integrate in international labor becomes lean, particularly in Europe and North America.

This is a situation that should also be addressed, and this becomes an opportunity for colleges and universities to offer prebaccalaureate programs to provide students additional years of education. These programs that will be offered should guarantee students employable competencies or entrepreneurial know-how that can ensure them livelihood if they wish not to pursue a college degree.

(See table

A proactive strategy that private colleges and universities will have to do is to give the last three batches of graduates from the old education cycle options to take a pre-baccalaureate, international baccalaureate, or associate degrees for two years before they take the four-year degree course. In this attempt, general education teachers will have to design academic programs and reengineer their existing programs for the change.

Apparently, private higher education institutions are oblivious of what to do, because the Commission on Higher Education has not laid its plans yet or provided the HEIs an outline of the college education curriculum. The DepEd Secretary, Br. Armin Luistro, FSC, secretary says that one impact of K12 implementation is higher enrolment because the subjects will be downsized and some others will have to be taken in High School.

This projection contradicts what K12 is supposed to provide Filipino students in terms of giving them the education that is comparable to global standards. A college graduate from the Philippines  is short of qualifications in other countries because of the 10 year cycle we have for basic education. Our degree programs in colleges are almost patterned to world standards. Hence, cutting down on the subjects or reducing the length of college education will result to the same dilemma.

There may be subjects that will be taken in high school from the present college curriculum. The challenge now is to offer more vital subjects for the the college students, advancing their knowledge skills to be better off when they start their career. The expected impact of K12 on HEIs willl be probably felt four years from now, but as informed individuals the academe has to set its course action by now.

With strategic actions from HEIs the impact of K12 implementation will be cushioned. Now, what teachers from the basic and secondary education should be reflecting about is how to make these 12 years of education meaningful and fruitful. The hopes of those kids who walk a long road to get some education should never be failed in those longer years of travails.

HRonlinePH featured blog of the week:DEKONZTRUKTSCHON

Author: Rod Rivera
Description: This blog attempts to contribute to human understanding of their life realities by examining things in their social world with a different lense – deconstruction for reconstruction of knowledge.

[Featured Blog] Man is by nature a political animal.-Aristotle –

“Politics for breakfast”: speak for itself.

It is a blog that offers several views ranging from illegitimate debts, corruption, economic issues and social realities to share with others while eating breakfast.

James Matthew Miraflor, the author and the first blogger who responded to our call for submission of blogs is not your typical blogger.

He has been blogging for four years or more. So rather than writing about his life, James is taking  his own free time to give us a broader perspective on and understanding about his areas of knowledge- economic issues. The point to take from all this: James knows what he is talking about, and he is not afraid to share his thoughts.

Read on…


Watch-out for our next featured blog of the week.

HROnlinePH Featured HR Blog of the week: CAT Alert!

Blog Title: CAT Alert! Cannot Allow Torture Philippines URL: email address:

Article 5 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that “No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.”

CAT Alert Press Launch

It was in March 25, 2009 when members of the Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA) formally launched CAT Alert Campaign.

CAT Alert! as they coined it, aims to popularize PAHRA’s freedom from torture advocacy through the utilization of the internet particularly for the promotion and information dissemination and sharing of the right to be free from torture through blogging and social networking.

CAT Alert is in its third year of advocacy blogging. It suggests a way of alerting the public and the Committee Against Torture (CAT) of the United Nations (UN) or UNCAT in any situation or violation of torture. It stands for Cannot Allow Torture and it can be found in

Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP), a member of PAHRA is its moderator and admin.

PAHRA is a national alliance of non-government organizations (NGOs) and people’s organizations (POs) advocating for the promotion and defense of human rights.

Below is PAHRA’s statement released in March 25, 2009 during the launching of CAT Alert!

Click image for’s coverage of CAT Alert press launch



Let us assert our common humanity… We Cannot Allow Torture in any way

Since time immemorial, torture has been humanity’s option for clinging to power and in suppressing truth. This happened to St. Stephen, the first martyr of the Church, during his stoning to death.

This was humanity’s betrayal of Christ which ended up in the nailing on the cross. Indeed, He was a torture victim. Being sold for thirty pieces of silver; tried in public to denounce the supremacy of God over Ceasar; scourged at the pillar to test the vulnerability of the Son of God; crowned with thorns to disgrace the very sanctity of His Father.

Torture was a method perpetrated with presumed regularity within the very procedures in the implementation of the law of man. Today, this is still happening. This is happening to any Juan, Pedro, and Maria in their quest to protect integrity and dignity as individuals or communities in the Philippines.

Based on internationally recognized human rights norms, “torture is any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person.” Such action is called torture when done during the process of investigation or with the consent of public official or any person acting in an official capacity on any of the three grounds:

• Done to extract information or confession on the victim or a third person;
• A form of punishment for an act committed or suspected to have been committed;
• A way of intimidation or coercion based on discrimination.

Victims of human rights violations, particularly those who are ‘salvaged’ or extra-judicially killed bore marks of tortures. Families of “desaparecidos” bear the anguish and pain in search of their loved ones amid constant prodding of the powers-that-be to accept accusations alleging victims as communists, terrorists, and enemies of the State.

Poor patients particularly indigenous peoples are subjected to hospital detention for being unable to pay bills on time. Or worse, denied access to health services for being poor.

Standard operating procedures during arrest are coupled with physical assault to extract confession. Detention facilities are pictures of degrading and inhuman condition. These are the images of torture, degrading and inhuman conditions of our times.

In this time of Lent, we in the Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA), a coalition of human rights organizations and institutions in the Philippines, call for REPENTANCE of sins and the abrogation of torture as a firm resolve.

Torture wounds not only the flesh but the personhood of individuals and families. It strikes at the very foundation of our morality and our dream of a just society. It carries a dehumanizing effect and unrelenting attack on our dignity.

We call for the immediate passage of the ANTI-TORTURE (note: ATL was passed in November 2009) and ANTI-ENFORCED DISAPPEARANCE bills in Congress. We call on the Government to ratify the Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture (OPCAT). These are necessary and effective ways of preventing further human rights violations – avenues by which justice may be served; fear and impunity may be diminished. These are necessary measures in protecting and celebrating human life, rights and dignity.

Let us assert our common humanity… we Cannot Allow Torture in any way

(Every week HROnlinePh will feature advocacy blogs and sites for human rights)