KAUSWAGAN, Lanao del Norte – This town, one of the flashpoints of the renewed fighting between government forces and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front in 2008, turned 63 on Monday with a celebration marked by continued efforts of Christian and Muslim residents to transform their community into a peace sanctuary.
The charter day celebrations, highlighted by a grand parade participated in by people from both faiths and the “Hugyaw sa Kadagatan,” featuring dancing on colorful rafts towed around the Kauswagan Eco-Tourism Park near the town’s seaport, come on the heels of the launching over the weekend of the Sustainable Integrated Kauswagan Area Development and Peace Agenda.
ADFI president Benjamin Abadiano said their organization is committed to helping Kauswagan implement the development program, which involves alternative livelihood, peace and security, health, education, environment, infrastructure, and water development, among others, over the next five years.
The DENR has been tasked to review mining policy in the country on the heels of the landslide that left several people dead and over a dozen others missing in Sitio Panganason, Barangay King-King, Pantukan Compostela Valley.
The rare species, whose numbers have dwindled along with the loss of the country’s forests that are their natural habitats, was turned over to local authorities and eventually, to the Philippine Eagle Center in Davao City.
Instead of expressing appreciation to the indigenous Manobo, however, government officials took charge of the forest that the Manobo had been guarding against loggers and declared it a wildlife reserve. The remaining forest grove, which the Manobo consider their sacred grounds, was opened up to students and researchers that, in the community’s view, desecrated the place.
“People conveniently forgot na tribo ang nakahanap [nu’ng agila], at tribo ang nagbantay ng huling bahagi ng gubat na napaghanapan no’n,” recalled Dave De Vera, executive director of the Philippine Association for Intercultural Development (PAFID).
Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) on Sunday bewailed the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) resolution on the case of the alleged abduction and torture of Filipina-American activist Melissa Roxas, saying it “practically clears” the military of any wrongdoing.
“We are very disappointed with the report. This seems to be a departure from the investigation initiated by the former CHR chair. The resolution says that there is insufficient evidence to lay responsibility for Melissa’s abduction and torture on the AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines). This is despite Melissa’s credible and detailed testimony,” said Bayan secretary general Renato M. Reyes, Jr.
“The resolution is an embarrassment for the CHR. It’s also a great injustice after Melissa fully cooperated with the probe of the Commission. This tends to discourage victims seeking the CHR’s help,” he added.
Roxas, a member of Bayan’s United States chapter, was allegedly abducted in La Paz, Tarlac on May 19, 2009 along with John Edward Jandoc and Juanito Carabeo. She was held for several days and allegedly subjected to various forms of torture on allegations that she’s a member of the New People’s Army.
Kadalasan tuwing semana santa, sinasariwa natin ang buhay, kamatayan at muling pagkabuhay ni Hesukristo. Tinuring natin siyang napaka-“selfless” pagka’t inialay niya ang kanyang buhay para iangat ang buhay at dignidad lalo ng mahihirap at iligtas tayo mula sa “apoy ng impyerno” o “perdition”. Ano ba yung “apoy ng impiyerno” at “perdition” na tinatawag? Kung ihahalintulad natin iyon sa panahon ngayon, maaari ring sabihin na ang mga ito ay ang laganap na kahirapan at pangaapi na nararanasan lalo ng mga kapatid nating mardyinalisa. At ang buhay at kamatayan ni Hesukristo ay simbolo ng mga simpleng mamamayan at/o mga “Human Rights Defenders” na tinatawag na inapi ng estado at nagalay ng buhay sa pagsisilbi sa mga inaapi. Si Hesukristo nung panahon niya ay isang halimbawa ng isang HRD. Mas pinili niya na makiisa (hindi lang makisama) sa mga taong kinalimutan at inaabuso ng mga nasa kapangyarihan. Nag-organisa, nangaral siya at isiniwalat niya ang kabulukan ng sistema ng kanilang gobyerno at pati ng kanilang “simbahan”. At dahil dun, tinuring siyang kaaway! Siya ay tinugis, pinagtaksilan, pinahirapan at pinatay.
Patuloy siyang nabubuhay sa puso ng marami at marami din ang sumasabuhay sa kaniya na patuloy na nagsisilbi sa mamamayan lalo sa mga kapus-palad. Kahit na patuloy na nakakaranas ng panggapi, pangungutya, pagpapahirap at pagpatay ang mga HRD’s natin, sa kabila ng lahat, pinakita sa atin na kaya nating pagtagumpayan ang lahat ng iyan! Ayon kay Prof. Gerry Lanuza “Ipinakita sa atin ni Hesus na ang kamatayan, pang-aapi, at kahirapan ay kaya nating lagpasan at pagtagumpayan! Binigyan nya (Hesukristo) tayo ng panibagong bukas upang sa mas lalong matinding pakikibaka at pagsisilbi sa bayan na puspos ng pag-asa at pagmamahal!”
Nawa’y sa Pasko ng Pagkabuhay ay ipagpaptuloy natin, at bagkus, mas umigting pa ang pagsisilbi natin sa ating mga kapatid hanggang makamit natin ang lipunang walang nangaapi at isang kinabukasan na siksik, liglig at umaapaw ang grasya.
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Foreign Affairs in 2007 sought the help of European Union member-states in solving the cases of extrajudicial killings in the country, a leaked cable released by whistleblower website Wikileaks showed.
The cable, made public Sunday and classified as For Official Use Only, confirmed the position taken by the Philippines after the international community, particularly the EU, expressed concern for the growing cases of such killings of activists, farmers, workers, union organizers, judges, and even journalists.
Umaga ng April 22, 2011, naalala ko pa Dr. Love. Pagkagising ko dumiretso ako sa CR, kinuha ang YOUtube ng toothpaste at aking sipilyo, tumingin ako sa salamin at nasabi ko sa sarili “Aba pang- FACEBOOK ang mukha ko ngayon a!”.
Naka-HAPPY face 🙂 ang araw sa labas habang nakikisama pa pati ang mga NETWORK ng mga ibon na nagtu- TWITTER , hindi kaya mating season? Na-SEARCH ko sa sarili. A TAG-araw na kasi.
Tapos habang nagtitimpla ng kape ay napa-YAHOO ako nang ma-DIGGS kong “Oo nga pala! Isang buwan na po sa online ang HRonlinePH! Aba Monthsary!” Umabot po ang HITS natin ng 4,500 nitong ika-isang buwan natin ng nakaraang April 22. Madami na rin po ang nag-BLOG-surf at nag-VISIT sa atin.
Kaya napangiti ako at parang GOOGLE lang na nakikipag-CHAT sa sarili. Na-LINK ko na ang dahilan, Kaya pala pakiramdam ko na on the blogSPOT ako that morning at no
WORDpresS can describe the feelings ay monthsary pala natin. Ang drama L.O.L!
Para nga akong baliw nung araw na iyon Dr. Love. Habang hinahalo ko ang kape asukal at tubig sa TUMBLR ay naka-SMILEY 🙂 ako. Sana mag-MULTIPLY pa ang mga good COMMENTS at nagpa-FOLLOW sa ‘tin online. Marami pa sanang ma-STUMBLE UPON na FRIENDSTERS.
Kaya Sunday nanaman, Easter, kaya isi-SHARE ng inyong Mokong na lingkod ang ilang mga kalokohang naiisip ko. Wala kayong choice, kaya sana LIKE nyo!
Para kanino ka bumabangon? The survey
Isang malawakang survey ang pinambuwiset natin sa umaga ng Easter ng ilang sikat na personalidad. Nagpanggap po ang inyong Mokong and the Gang na taga SWS. Hiniram natin ang isang sikat na tag-line ng commercial ng isang sikat na kape at itinanong natin sa kanila “Para kanino ka bumabangon?”
Heto po ang kanilang mga sagot…
PNoy: (Habang palabas ng kanyang Porsche, dito kasi siya natutulog) Ako bumabangon ako para…
1. Para Labanan ang kahirapan at kurapsiyon. Kung walang kurap, walang mahirap!
2. Para sa matuwid na daan. (kaya pala mahilig kasi siya sa kotse.)
3.Para sa Responsible Parenting Bill (O ha, o ha! Tinanong po natin kung OK lang sa kanyang ilabas natin ang sagot niyang ito, Ok lang daw hindi naman siya takot sa excommunication)
Mar: (Habang nakahiga sa kama sa tabi ni Corina) Bumabangon ako para sa
1. Country above SELF (parang ‘di maka-move on)
2. Palengke (naalala ko pa to a.)
3. Sunod na eleksiyon
Merci: (Nagulat nang mamulatang nasa tabi niya tayo habang pabangon sa pagkakatulog sa ibabaw ng mga papeles niya sa opisina) Ako bumabangon para sa
1. Mga kasong nakasampa sa opisina ko. Para naman mahigaan ko ulit at the end of the day. Paano ako makakahiga ulit kung hindi ako babangon? (ang talino, logical)
2. Plea Bargain Agreement. Pag dating diyan mahirap ang tutulog-tulog. (Sure na sure a!)
3. Babangon ako pero hindi ako bababa sa pwesto! Make that clear! (ang labo!)
Mr. and Mrs. Ligot: (Naabutan naming hindi pala napagkakatulog ang mag-asawa) kami bumabangon kami para sa
1. I invoke my right against self incrimination. Me too. (Sagot ng dalawa nang walang kagatol-gatol)
2. I invoke my right against self incrimination. Me too. (Sagot ulit nang walang kagatol-gatol)
3. I invoke my right against self incrimination. Me too. (Ang kulit niyo a! Kaya pala hindi makatulog kinakabisado niyo ‘yan gabi-gabi.)
File photo by afterlives.blogspot.com
Ferdi: (Sumagot nang hindi tumayo at dumilat ang mga mata, niye!) Ako bumabangon para…
1. sa libingan ng mga bayani. Ayaw ako dalhin don, ako na mismo ang pupunta don. (Determinasyon)
2. para maka-attend sa unveiling ng Hall of Heroes ng AFP. (Honorable)
3. Sa mga avid supporters ko sa Congress. After this I’ll share my ill gotten blessings with all of you. (Thankful! Ang sabi pa niya hindi niya mumultuhin ang mga kumukontra kasi naman mas marami ang sumusuporta. Isa pa pinatawad na niya ang bayan sa pagpapabagsak sa kanya. ‘Yan ang bayani! )
Erap: (Habang nasa kama sa tabi ng hindi na pinayagang banggitin pa ang pangalan at address ng tirahan) Ako bumabangon para sa
1. Mahihirap. Erap para sa mahirap. (Consistent)
2. Sa mga mahal ko sa buhay. Ang dami nila kaya ako nagkaproblema sa tuhod kababangon ng kababangon para sa kanila.
3. Sa mga kaibigan, kapatid at mga kamag-anak. Pwede naman ngayon yun di ba? Di pa naman eleksiyon.
GMA: (Habang bumabangon mula sa pagkakahiga sa kama na puno ng pera) Ako bumabangon no para sa
1. Mga taga Pampangga no.
2. Sa pagsalag sa mga kaso ko no.
3. Saka na ako babangon para sa ating bansa pag Prime Minister na ko no.
Mikee: (Habang bumabangon mula sa garahe, dito daw siya natutulog. Ows?) Ako bumabangon para sa
1. Sa mga tricycle drivers at mga security guards
2. Sa aking milyones, kinita ko ‘yan sa pagdadrive ng tricycle, di niyo lang alam dahil sinikreto ko.
3. Sa pagsalag sa tax evasion case. ‘yan nalaman niyo na sikreto ko. (Kala mo lang wala, pero meron! Meron! Meron!)
Lacson: (Habang bumabangon mula sa pagkalugmok at pagtatago) bumabangon ako para
1. Sa senado, dami ko atang naiwang trabaho.
2. Sa RH Bill (O ha! Mahusay sa pagpili ng isyu.)
3. Sa mga nakatulong at kumupkop sa ‘kin noong nagtatago ako. (Secret daw kung sino-sino sila at mahirap na magbanggit baka may magtampo pag nakalimutan)
Willie: (Inangat ang ulong nakasubsob sa lamesa habang nasa tapat ng laptop, dito na kasi siya nakatulog) Ako bumabangon ako para sa
1. Twitter, minomonitor ko ang mga twits nila Lea Salongga, Jim Paredes, Tuesday Vargas atbp mga ka-industriya kong balak kong idemanda… soon
2. Wiwing wiwee, siyempre paggising mo wee-wee ka no. (habang kumakanta ng “I love you, mahal na mahal kita, yan ang pag-ibig ko…”)
3. Paghahanda sa pagbabalik ko sa TV. Pracrice ako everyday na hindi maging bastos. Hirap ata non.
Lucio Tan: (Habang bumabangon sa pagkakahiga sa kamang ginto, sa kwartong sinlaki ng Naia sa isang lugar na amoy fortune tobacco) Ako bangon para sa
1. Aga gising salo biyaya
2. Mangagawa ng PAL basta hindi PALEA,tanggal ko sila… soon
3. Para migay pera. Share para paborable negosyo.
Baldoz: (Habang bumabangon mula sa loob ng bulldozer, dito na daw natutulog)
1. Sa pagsalo sa ipapasang biyaya (parang may kaparehas?)
2. sa mga mangagawa, hindi na kasama ang mga matatanggal sa PAL. Nagdesisyon na ko diba? (para talagang may kapareha?)
3. sa mga pagsasaayos ng polisiyang paborable sa bansa.
Mga biktima ng Landslide sa Mining village sa Compostella Valley: (Habang bumabangon sa guho) Bumabangon kami para sa
1. para maging modelo ng trahedya sa mining area
2. para sa magbigay bababala sa iba pang probisyang minimina
3. para multuhin ang Mining company (hihihi nakakatakot)
Resulta ng survey: Ang mga sumusunod ang napatunayan ng survey na ito…
1. Hindi pala sila bumabangon para magkape
2. Hindi pala sila bumabangon para magsipilyo o maghilamos
3. Bumabangon pala ang mga sikat na personalidad sa kabila ng kanilang mga isyung hinaharap.
4. Pati pala ang mga patay ay kayang bumangon sa pagkalugmok.
Sa mga kasagutang ating nahita- minumungkahi natin na mainam gamitin silang mga modelo sa patalastas ng sikat na kape. Ang survey na ito ay gawa-gawa lamang. Ang mapikon talo. Ang maniwala mokong!
——————————————————– Mokong Quote of the day…
Mensahe ni Benigno S. Aquino III,Pangulo ng Pilipinas Sa sambayananng Pilipino Sa panahon ng Kuwaresma, 2011
“Ang pagbuhos ng mga biyaya at mabuting balita sa ating bansa ay patunay na tama ang tinatahak nating landas. Hangga’t pinapantayan natin ng sipag ang ating mga dasal, hangga’t sama-sama tayong pumapasan sa ating bayan, hangga’t nakatuon tayo sa kapakanan ng nakakarami kaysa sarili, wala ni anumang kalbaryo, wala ni sinumang Herodes ang makakapigil sa atin tungo sa pagbabagong inaasam.” Sipi mula sa http://www.gov.ph.
The Mokong translations…
“Ang pagbuhos ng mga isyu at masasamang balita hinggil sa karapatang pantao sa bansa ay patunay na kadudaduda kung tama nga ang tinatahak nating landas. Hangga’t sa kabila ng sipag at mga dasal, hangga’t tayong mahihirap lang ang pumapasan sa ating bayan, hangga’t nakatuon tayo sa kapakanan ng nakakarami sila nama’y nananatiling makasarili, wala ni anumang kalbaryo, wala ni sinumang Herodes ang makakaawat sa atin igiit ang pagbabagong inaasam.” Sipi mula sa http://www.mokong.ph
The Mokong ways…
Maraming salamat po mga ka-Mokong at ka-Mokang sa inyong pagtityaga. Hanggang sa sunod na Linggo, Aksiyon Bente 24 sa Bandilang totoo, dahil dito ang mga balita ay hindi totoo.
Ito ang inyong mokong na lingkod na nagsasabing “Mokongs and mokangs of the world unite! We have nothing to loooooose coz we have nothing at all!”
It has all the elements of the Easter story, courage, self- sacrifice, betrayal, punishment, humiliation and a love for another for which there is no reward but only punishment. It is a story of betrayal of the most serious kind wherein parents sent their two children into harms way and traumatized them for the rest of their lives. They were delivered to captivity, torture, spiritual and emotional death. For some children, it ends in physical death, when they resist abuse they are murdered.
The story of Marcel and Angelica is about betrayal but also resistance and resurrection. Here is a story of a brave courageous 16 year old who took every risk to go against her abusive parents and endure their anger and punishment, rejection and humiliation to try to save her younger 14 year old sister Angelica from a similar fate as she herself endured sex slavery.
Marcel was sold to foreigners who are willing to pay anything to abuse children and her sister was now sold also. It was too much for Marcel, she summed up the courage and bravely sought to rescue her sister and endure all the anger and rejection heaped on her. But she succeeded and her sister was saved and brought into the protection of the children’s home and the foreign pedophile sex tourist arrested. But then the judge took the side of her abusive parents and then ordered the child to be returned to the parents and the abuser. The child witness was forced to withdraw her complaint of abuse, the charges were then dismissed and the pedophile escaped. It appears that justice was denied and evil thriumphed. But it’s not over yet.
And so it appears that evil overcomes goodness. Holy week, with Black Saturday and Holy Friday are always with us.
Human rights advocates, social workers working for justice, activists protesting against mining, child abuse and corruption are beaten, betrayed, arrested and killed. In Midsalip, Mindanao, the community holding a picket line to prevent mining machinery from ravaging their lands, have been beaten, brutalized and murdered. They, like Jesus, bravely spoke out and stood against the forces of evil and showed their love of the community and died for their neighbors and to protect the environment.
I wrote recently how innocent children in Zamboanga, were taken bound, gagged and tortured to death, the youngest 12 years old. Children are made in the image of God, Jesus taught us that great truth, and the most important of all in the Kingdom of God are the children. (Matt 18; 1-8) The abusers are best thrown in to the ocean with a stone around there neck, he said. He established the rights of the child. They were ignored for centuries and only in our generation are they officially recognized by the Convention of the Rights of the Child and have protection and help.
But they need much more as children are under assault and more are abducted and abused as ever before. Thousands are sold into labor camps, trafficked to brothels and abused by parents in their own families by the thousands.
We need every true Christian to experience a spiritual resurrection from apathy and indifference, fear and inaction. They are called from the grave to live a full life and to speak out for justice and human rights. They are filled with the power of the resurrection and enabled to challenge man-made-misery and the injustice that abuses and oppresses the poor and the children. They believe in the power of love, and they inspire more people to emerge from the grave of silence and ignorance into the light to proclaim freedom for the innocent.
They are the resurrected, they are the people emerging from the death like state caused by apathy and indifference. They roll aside the great stones that block the path to life and equality and they give voice to the truth. Can we not strive to be a person like this? No greater love can anyone have than to give his life for his friend, Jesus said. All our neighbors are friends. We can live for others and give our lives for those in greatest need. There is no better way to live a full life.
In observance of the Lenten Season we are posting again a portion of the statement released by Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA) during the launching of the CAT Alert campaign three years ago. Here it goes…
Photo from The Passion of Christ
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.
Martyrdom of St. Stephen
This was humanity’s betrayal of Christ which ended up in the nailing on the cross. Indeed, He was a torture victim.
Photo from The Passion of Christ
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.
Photo from The Passion of Christ
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.
Lenin Salas, torture victim. Photo by AHRC
This is happening to any Juan, Pedro, and Maria in their quest to protect integrity and dignity as individuals or communities in the Philippines.
PICOP 6, abducted, tortured, killed, disappeared. Photo by FIND
On 11-12 April 2011, CICC member organizations from 11 countries within the Asia region met in The Philippines for a two-day meeting to discuss strategies to strengthen national and regional campaigns for the ratification and implementation of the Rome Statute – the founding treaty of the International Criminal Court (ICC). Participants adopted a set of key recommendations addressed to Asian governments, ASEAN, SAARC, the ICC, the Coalition Secretariat and its members, as well as other international organizations.
“Meeting in the Philippines last week, several Coalition members called on Asian governments and other relevant stakeholders to support justice for the most serious crimes by joining the International Criminal Court (ICC), the world’s first global, permanent, independent criminal court with jurisdiction over crimes against humanity, genocide and war crimes. From 11-12 April 2011, civil society organizations from 11 countries within the Asia region met in Quezon City, the Philippines, to set up strategies to advance support for justice and accountability throughout the region, one of the most under-represented regions at the ICC.
Participants adopted final recommendations addressed to Asian governments, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), the ICC, the Coalition Secretariat and its members, as well as other international organizations. They called on Asian governments to support justice and accountability in the region and insisted on the role that regional organizations, such as ASEAN and SAARC, can play in this process. NGOs also highlighted the need to take necessary measures to move forward with the implementation of the Rome Statute in domestic legislations.
“States must step up their efforts and commit themselves toward ending Asia’s under-representation in the ICC,” says Evelyn Serrano, the Coalition’s Regional Coordinator for Asia-Pacific. “We call on Asian governments to support the fight against impunity, and in particular urge the Philippines and Malaysia to turn their words into action and honor their public commitment to promptly join the ICC,” she adds.
The Philippines and Malaysia appear to be on the verge of joining the Court. In March 2011, the Malaysian government announced publicly that the Cabinet has approved accession to the Rome Statute but still needs to take the final step of depositing the accession instrument at the United Nations. All the relevant agencies within the Philippines’ Executive Branch have also endorsed ratification of the Rome Statute, and on 7 March 2011, President H.E. Benigno Aquino III announced that he had transmitted the ICC documents to the Senate for its approval, which is the final step to complete the process.
Currently, only seven Asian states — Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Japan, Republic of Korea, Mongolia, and Timor-Leste —are ICC members. With additional Asian member states, the under-represented Asia region will have a much stronger voice at the ICC and will be able to participate in a more meaningful manner, especially in the annual Assembly of States Parties (ASP) – the ICC’s governing body – where states nominate and elect different officials as will be the case in the upcoming 2011 December elections for new judges and a new chief prosecutor, among other positions.
Participants noted that human rights violations have plagued the region over the past decades and that, in some cases, these violations continue to occur. Joining the ICC thus represents a strong deterrent effect that will contribute toward the prevention of future gross human rights violations in the Asia region, and ultimately contribute to the global fight against impunity.
Background: The ICC is the world’s first permanent international court to prosecute war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide. There are currently 114 ICC states parties to the Rome Statute, the Court’s founding treaty. Central to the Court’s mandate is the principle of complementarity, which holds that the Court will only intervene if national legal systems are unable or unwilling to investigate and prosecute perpetrators of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. There are currently six active investigations before the Court: the Central African Republic; the Democratic Republic of the Congo; Darfur, the Sudan; Kenya; Libya; and Uganda. The ICC has publicly issued 15 arrest warrants and nine summonses to appear. Three trials are ongoing. The Office of the Prosecutor has made public that it is examining at least nine situations on four continents, including Afghanistan, Colombia, Côte d’Ivoire, Georgia, Guinea, Honduras, Republic of Korea, Nigeria, and Palestine.
The Coalition for the International Criminal Court includes 2,500 civil society organizations in 150 different countries working in partnership to strengthen international cooperation with the ICC; ensure that the Court is fair, effective and independent; make justice both visible and universal; and advance stronger national laws that deliver justice to victims of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide.
To read the final recommendations and see the full list of signatories, see:
“ Country representatives of member organizations of the Coalition for the International Criminal Court, gathered in Manila for a Regional Strategy Meeting for Asia on 11-13 April 2011, applaud the decision by President Benigno Simeon C. Aquino III to transmit the instrument of ratification of the Rome Statute to the Philippine Senate.
Yap Swee Seng of Forum-Asia File Photo source: hrday.ouk.edu.tw
“As part of a global movement to end impunity, we welcome the President’s decision,” says Mr Yap Swee-Seng, the executive director of the Bangkok-based Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (Forum-Asia). “This is a historic moment long in coming. The Philippines signed the Rome Statute way back in December 2000, and yet it has taken more than a decade for that signed treaty to get to the next stage in the constitutional process of ratification, namely, the vote by the Philippine Senate.”
”That the Philippines will hopefully join the ICC under an Aquino presidency holds a symbolic power that will boost the Philippines’ commitment to human dignity, and will help us convince other Asian countries to follow in the noble path on which the Philippines has now embarked,” Mr. Yap continued.
Another participant in the strategy meeting, Mr Bhatara Ibnu Reza of Imparsial (The Indonesian Human Rights Monitor) says the representatives of the Coalition member organizations have worked with human rights victims in their own countries and “are aware that President Aquino has first-hand knowledge of the human costs of state coercion and abuse, having borne the agony of his father’s detention when the Philippines was under martial law – through solitary confinement, a death sentence under a kangaroo court, exile and execution on the airport tarmac upon his return. We are aware of the resounding electoral mandate that he received during the presidential elections of May 2010.”
Raul Pangalangan by PCICC
PCICC co-chairs Dr Raul Pangalangan and Dr Aurora Parong, updated the Asia CICC network on the plans of the Philippine Senate. In anticipation of the transmittal of the ratification papers, the chair of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, Senator Loren Legarda, has announced the plan to create a sub-committee to be headed by Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago to facilitate the deliberations of the Senate.
The closing statement of the Regional Strategy Meeting for Asia called on Philippine President Benigno Simeon C. Aquino III to transmit forthwith the Rome Statute to the Philippine Senate, and to bring the moral weight of his office and his resounding electoral mandate to complete the country’s membership in the International Criminal Court. …”
[RE: AHRC-UAC-063-2011: PHILIPPINES: Torture of a 17-year-old boy at the Women and Children Desk at a police station]
PHILIPPINES: Hearing for administrative case on policemen who tortured a boy set for April 25
SPECIAL REPORT: Torture in the Philippines & the unfulfilled promise of the 1987 Constitution
The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) writes to inform you that the People’s Law Enforcement Board (PLEB) in Kidapawan City, a quasi-judicial body who will hear the administrative case on five police officers, including a police commander, for torturing a 17-year-old boy, is set to be heard on April 25, 2011.
In our previous appeal (AHRC-UAC-063-2011), we have mentioned that Jhon Paul Nerio had been tortured in the police custody after his arrest on December 11, 2010. We have also sent Urgent Appeal letters to the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) and the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) in Manila on March 15 asking them to investigate.
On the same day, Ms. Persida Rueda-Acosta, chief of the PAO, endorsed the AHRC’s appeal letter to Mr. Orlando Dano, the Officer-in-Charge of the PAO’s District Office in Kidapawan City, giving him ten days to submit a report on what action they have taken. The PAO lawyers contacted the victim, Jhon Paul Nerio; and his parents, Pablito and Onyx, to appear at the PAO office where they had given testimonies.
On March 28, 2011, the victim, his parents and the PAO, filed criminal case at the City Prosecutor’s Office, “for violation of Republic Act 7610, or the Special Protection of Children Against Child Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination” and for an administrative case at the People’s Law Enforcement Board (PLEB), for “for abuse of authority, police brutality and violation of their sworn duties and responsibilities”.
On April 1, the AHRC has written to Mr. Orlando Dano “urging him to also prosecute the policemen involve for violation of the Anti-Torture Act of 2009” when it learned that the charges he had filed did not include torture. The AHRC argued that “the alleged act of the policemen involve, as the victim described in his sworn statement of the complaint, clearly falls as violation as defined by the Anti-Torture Act”.
On March 30, all the five police officers had received the subpoena from Fernando Cubero, chairperson of the PLEB in Kidapawan City, “giving the respondents five (5) days to file answer under OATH in six (6) copies to the Board”. The respondents, through P/Superintendent Alexander Tagum, Company Commander of the Cotabato Provincial Public Safety Company, had filed a “Motion for the extension of submission of answer”.
In an Open Letter on April 14, the AHRC has already expressed concern as to how the PLEB is handling the administrative case (Admin Case No. 11-02) at the early stage.
The AHRC questioned the credibility and impartiality of P/Supt. Tagum when he filed the motion for extension on behalf of the respondents, particularly P/Insp. Joan Resurreccion; the lack of justification in delaying the proceedings and the failure of the PLEB to immediately request for Preventive Suspension on the policemen involve.
In the subpoena that the PLEB has sent to the policemen, it has required the five policemen involved “to appear and be present at the hearing” of the case on April 25, 2011. The AHRC urges interested persons and groups who are concern in this case to be present at and to observe the hearing. The details are below:
Complainant: Jhon Paul Nerio
Office hearing the case: People’s Law Enforcement Board (PLEB), Kidapawan City
The Complaint: Registered as (Admin Case No. 11-02) for abuse of authority, police brutality and violation of their sworn duties and responsibilities
1. P/Insp. Joan Resurreccion
2. P03 Renato Servidad
3. P02 Aileen Jauod
4. P02 Bembol Malaluan
5. P02 Jovan Mapandi
Date and venue of the hearing: April 25, 2011 at 2pm, at the Association of Barangay Captains (ABC) Hall, Kidapawan City.
Urgent Appeals Programme
Asian Human Rights Commission (email@example.com)
Visit our new website with more features at http://www.humanrights.asia.
Asian Human Rights Commission
#701A Westley Square,
48 Hoi Yuen Road, Kwun Tong, Kowloon,
Tel: +(852) – 2698-6339
Fax: +(852) – 2698-6367
Sto. Rosario Parish Church, P. del Rosario St. Photo source: Cebucity.org
The Archdiocese of Cebu will hold a Mass for Workers on May 1 as a tribute toPope John Paul II on the day of his beatification at the Sto. Rosario Parish Church, P. del Rosario St., at 2:00 in the afternoon.
All workers are invited and are encouraged to bring their tools which will be blessed during this mass.
The Mass for Workers will be officiated by Cebu Vicar General and Visayas Clergy Discernment Group Convenor Msgr. Cayetano Gelbolingo, PA, and concelebrated by Fr. Dondon Aquino.
SUGA, an Alliance of Cebu Electric Consumers, formed as a response of lay people to the problems of electric company workers and electric consumers, lauds theArchbishop of Cebu for giving his blessing for this mass.
Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma, in a forum on Church’s Social Teachings on Human Labor referring to Pope John Paul II’s encyclical on labor said that, “The dignity of work depends on the dignity of the workers…”
In this light, the May 1mass will be offered for the intention that the rights of workers be respected.
The public is encouraged to join the mass, to be in solidarity with the workers, as exhorted by Pope John Paul II who said, “There is a need for solidarity movements among and with the workers. The church is firmly committed to this cause, in fidelity to Christ, and to be truly the church of the poor.”
For inquiries, please text or call the Secretariat at mobile landline # (032) 582-1085 or email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For Reference: Ms. Armi Cornea SUGA Convenor Tel. No. 582-1085
BANGKOK, Thailand — Rowena Paraan is a veteran reporter of many of the country’s upheavals in recent history.
But even she breaks down in tears when she recounts how she first gathered 140 relatives of the 32 journalists who were killed in the infamous November 23, 2009 massacre in Ampatuan, Maguindanao.
The gathering on January 2009 in Palawan was the first time that relatives of the 32 massacre victims were assembled in one room. Paraan, secretary general of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines, called for the meeting to sort out misunderstandings between the relatives regarding the multiple murder cases filed against the Ampatuan clan and their supporters.
“At first, I thought I would just referee the group. But because it was their first time together, I asked them how they were doing and it came pouring out. By the time the sixth wife started talking about her husband, I couldn’t stop crying,” she recounted.
Less than 2 years later, the gruesome incident continues to shock. On Nov. 23, 2009, armed men kidnapped and brutally killed 58 people in a hilly portion of Ampatuan town in Maguindanao province and buried the bodies in shallow graves.
One veteran reporter who witnessed the investigation said the graves looked like a layer cake “with cars, bodies and dirt piled one on top of the other.”
At least 32 of the 58 victims were journalists sent to cover the filing of the certificate of candidacy of gubernatorial candidate Esmael Mangudadatu. Others were supporters of the Mangudadatus or were just motorists mistakenly identified as part of the Mangudadatu convoy.
Most of those killed were based in General Santos City, and majority worked for Mindanao-based publications.
Paraan said she joined 4 separate fact-finding missions to the massacre site from November to December of 2009. She said one of the most arduous tasks in the early part of the mission was identifying the bodies, meeting the families and establishing a body count in the massacre.
As a result, she witnessed firsthand the shock and trauma of relatives of the massacre victims.
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.
Government Peace Panel Head Marvic Leonen welcomes the MILF Peace Panel Dialogues with Non-Moro Civil Society (CSO) and considers these consultation processes as complementary to the efforts of government in also conducting consultations. “We hope that through these open dialogues, the people will have the time to reflect on the issues and form their own informed opinion and their own position that is supportive of the whole peace process”, Leonen said during an informal gathering of peace advocates in General Santos City last April 14, 2011. He also hopes that the dialogues on the draft MILF comprehensive compact would reach Manila and develop into a national discourse. That process will eventually help in gauging the support of politicians, big business, and other groups representing “Manila’s interests” on the substantial issues of the talks such as resource sharing, governance and territory, and the relationship of the proposed Bangsamoro sub-state with the national government.
During the said meeting, the Mindanao Peoples Caucus also submitted to Leonen the results of the IP-Moro consultations that it has spearheaded over the last six months in order to address the concerns of the indigenous peoples on the ancestral domain aspect of the negotiation. Among the proposals of the Teduray, Talaandig-Higaonon, Arumanen, Matigsalog, Subanen, T’boli, and the Dulangan Manobo tribes include their demand to institutionalize dialogue among Moro and indigenous peoples leaders at the grassroots concerning the GPH-MILF peace talks, reaffirmation of the traditional agreements, and recognition of their native title rights and self-governance and such other rights under the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act (IPRA).
According to Leonen the GPH Panel will bring attention on the IP’s concerns as stated in their position paper and that “we will propose to our counterpart in the MILF panel that this becomes one of the working papers that we will refer to in the course of the negotiations”. Leonen also said that the panels “will take these into consideration as we proceed in negotiating a political settlement with the MILF”.
The government peace panel also announced that they are looking at a one-year period within which to accomplish their task of coming up with a peace agreement. For the Mindanao Peoples Caucus and its allied peace networks, the next coming months will be critical and it is imperative that CSOs will be able to align their efforts to prepare and inform the communities, develop consensus among various stakeholders and generate a massive public support for the outcome of the negotiations. Civil society organizations need to work doubly hard in the next 12 months given this optimistic timetable from the government peace panel.
by Families of Victims of Involuntary Disappearance (FIND)
“…let justice flow like a stream, and righteousness like a river that never goes dry.” (Amos, 5:24)
Every Holy Wednesday, members of the Families of Victims of Involuntary Disappearance (FIND) gather at the Bantayog ng mga Desaparecido at the Redemptorist Church grounds in Baclaran, Paranaque City, for their annual Lenten activity dubbed Kalbaryo ng Kawalan ng Katarungan.
Not unlike the injustice of the arrest, trial and crucifixion of Jesus Christ, the multiple violations of human rights of the disappeared and their families is an endless calvary of injustice.
Indeed, despite the steadfast struggle for justice in and out of court of the families of victims of enforced disappearance, justice remains elusive.
Since 1999 FIND has supported eight cases involving 24 victims of enforced disappearance. Lamentably, only the accused in the kidnapping and illegal detention of six sub-contractual workers of the Paper Industries Corporation of the Philippines (PICOP) has been convicted and imprisoned.
The six log haulers were illegally arrested on 14 October 2000 in Sta. Maria, Trento, Agusan del Sur. Based on the testimony of an eyewitness, they were heavily tortured, subsequently killed, and their bodies burned by soldiers belonging to the 62nd Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army. The other soldiers implicated by the eyewitness are now the subject of a multiple murder case filed on 12 April 2010 by the families of the victims before the Office of the Provincial Prosecutor in Prosperidad, Agusan del Sur. Sadly, up to this day, the families still await the resolution of the preliminary investigation.
Most of the desaparecidos could have suffered the same fate as that of the six workers. Escaped victims Raymond and Reynaldo Manalo in the amparo case that they filed before the Court of Appeals in October 2007attested to the inhuman atrocities suffered by secretly detained persons in military camps.
These human rights violations are an affront to human dignity and must end. The entry into force of the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance on 23 December 2011 is a strong signal from the international community of its commitment to end enforced disappearances worldwide, a move that the Philippines under the Aquino III administration must likewise affirm by signing and ratifying the said Convention and enacting a domestic law penalizing enforced disappearance as such international human rights instrument mandates.
The government must show its political will to render justice to victims and their families by encouraging witnesses including perpetrators from law enforcement and security forces to tell the truth about these disappearances. Without truth and justice, the calvary of the victims and their families will remain unabated.
Calling their version Kalbaryo ng PALEA,which started outside the Baclaran Church, the PAL Employees Association (PALEA) members lamented their plight and fight against layoffs and contractualization.
Dramatizing the problems that confront them, protesters carried a makeshift cross as colleagues wearing the masks of Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa, Labor SecretaryRosalinda Baldoz, and former Acting Labor Secretary Romeo Lagman whipped them.
Another who wore a mask depicting Lucio Tan kicked the employees who carrying the crosses. In another scene, their President Benigno Aquino placed crowns of thorns on the heads of the PAL employees.
“The threat of mass layoff and labor contractualization are heavy crosses for PAL employees to bear”,said Gerry Rivera, PALEA president and vice chair of Partido ng Manggagawa (PM).
By VERA Files
(Conclusion of the article “DOJ to reopen ‘cold’ cases of extrajudicial killings”)
BAGUIO CITY—It has been almost six years since her husband was killed along a lonely stretch of highway in Ilocos Sur, but Florence “Dom-an” Macagne Manegdeg refuses to end her quest for justice.
“Mabigat sa akin na hindi umuusad ang kaso (It’s a burden for me that this case is not moving forward). Others may consider it a cold case, but for me, it will always be a hot case,” Manegdeg said.
A health worker and flutist, Manegdeg was many miles away from the Philippines when her husband Pepe was killed in San Esteban town on the night of Nov. 28, 2005.
Pepe was waiting for a ride along the national highway in Barangay Apatot, hoping to be in Manila in time to fetch Manegdeg, then working in Hong Kong, who was arriving at 5 a.m. the next day. He never got on that bus; he was shot around 10 p.m., his body bearing 22 gunshot wounds.
The Ilocos police later tagged a member of the Army, Capt. Joel Castro of the 50th Infantry Battalion, as the main suspect. The provincial prosecutor initially said Castro was accompanied by five other men during the attack, but he dismissed the case in 2007, citing the retraction made by the lone witness.