Category Archives: Resources

[Off-the-shelf] Human Rights in Southeast Asia in Times of Pandemic -Forum-Asia

Human Rights in Southeast Asia in Times of Pandemic

ASEAN Member States have responded to COVID-19 with a wide number of measures, including the introduction of new laws, policies and practices. The authorities in Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, and the Philippines passed or invoked state emergency laws which gave governments sweeping powers. Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia, while not declaring a state of emergency, utilised existing laws and/or introduced specific, non-emergency legislation. Countries such as Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand have utilised contact tracing apps that act as surveillance over people’s movement. Most countries deployed military and police forces to implement movement restrictions and combat what they described as online falsehood or fake news under the pretext of safeguarding national security and countering COVID-19.

At the ASEAN regional level, the first official response to the COVID-19 Pandemic was on 15 February 2020, with the Chairman’s Statement titled ASEAN’s Collective Response to the Outbreak of the 2019 Coronavirus, on behalf of ASEAN’s heads of states and governments. The statement highlights the need to strengthen coordination of national and regional efforts in ensuring ASEAN’s readiness and responsive measures to mitigate and subsequently eliminate the threat of COVID-19. In addition, the statement provides that the people should be “rightly and thoroughly informed on the COVID-19 situation.”

Since then, several commitments were undertaken at the regional level, among them the adoption of the Hanoi Plan of Action on Strengthening ASEAN Economic Cooperation and Supply Chain Connectivity in Response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the statement made by the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) issued in early May to highlight the need to integrate “human rights values” within the response to the pandemic. However, questions have been posed by civil society organisations and the public on whether these commitments have been implemented in practice and in particular whether ASEAN is able to address the human rights situation on the ground.

Participants in the webinars and subsequent research have pointed to several trends in the ASEAN Member States policy on COVID-19. These include resort to a security-approaches as well as wide-scale use of surveillance, which have brought detrimental impact on civic space violations of human rights, including the right to liberty, freedom of expression and peaceful assembly and association.

Based on observations from webinar participants and FORUM-ASIA’s research, it is evidential that the ASEAN governments’ response to COVID-19 has accelerated the rise of authoritarianism and increased the use of military in further repressing democracy, human rights and civic space. Discriminatory treatment and at times violence towards has marginalised groups, including women, the homeless, people living in poverty, indigenous groups, and LGBTIQ further exacerbate public health risks of members of these groups.

Read more @www.forum-asia.org

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[Off-the-shelf] Booklet: Psychosocial Well-being for Human Rights Defenders in the Philippines -Forum Asia

Booklet: Psychosocial Well-being for Human Rights Defenders in the Philippines

The well-being of human rights defenders is a critical – but still often neglected – issue. Human rights defenders (HRDs) are particularly exposed to a number of different stressors. Unlike others, HRDs will generally have a higher exposure to stress and trauma, either directly or indirectly.

‘Psychosocial Well-being for Human Rights Defenders in the Philippines’ aims to provide HRDs with the basic knowledge to address their well-being individually, organisationally and as a movement.

The booklet also aims to serve as an advocacy tool to demonstrate the importance of well-being to decision makers – whether it be the heads of their organisations or donors – and call for well-being to be prioritised.

Safeguarding the psychosocial well-being of HRDs is critical for their health, and is essential for ensuring they are able to continue their work in the long term and build their resilience against the threats they face.

This booklet is an output document from the Psychosocial Well-being Workshop for HRDs held in the Philippines in 2019. The event was organised based on the recognition of the mounting threats and harassment HRDs endure and that take a toll on their psychosocial well-being.

Booklet: Psychosocial Well-being for Human Rights Defenders in the Philippines

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[Off-the-shelf] NOSTALGIYA  Antolohiya ng mga Tula -Ni Rene Boy Abiva

NOSTAGIYA

Antolohiya ng mga tula

Ni Rene Boy Abiva

https://www.academia.edu/43211090/NOSTALGIYA

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[Off-the-shelf] IN THE CLAWS OF TYRANNY: State of Workers’ Rights under Duterte Administration -CTUHR

IN THE CLAWS OF TYRANNY: State of Workers’ Rights under Duterte Administration

Genuine Change! Promise that is crystal clear for millions of Filipinos that prompted them to junk the common traditional politicians in 2016 and embraced Rodrigo Roa Duterte as the President of the Republic of the Philippines. His assumption to power earned him the attention of both critics and supporters all over the world.

Gone are the promises that he will eliminate the illegal drug within three to six months to protect the children and the future of this country; address the problem of criminality and corruption; End all forms of contractualization of labour; release all political prisoners; pursue the peace talks by addressing the root cause of armed conflict to achieve a lasting peace. He did say that he will kill criminals and those involved in drugs.

Two years in office, what has been fulfilled zealously is the killings of poor drug dependents and peddlers, while drug problem persists unabated. The situation of the poor which he pledged to improve worsened, while he did not blame his immediate past regime, his administration took note of its corrupt practices as what critics considered as both exaction of elitist justice and revenge. Corruption runs deep in its own backyard, though unpopular appointees involved in alleged graft and corrupt practices are fired. Administration’s policy critics particularly over its aggressive pursuit of neoliberal economics, its alarming record of human rights violations are attacked in different fronts. Even Constitutional bodies like the Commission of Human Rights, Ombudsman that are not in sync into current policies are undermined, the latest of which is the Supreme Court,
paving the way for a complete tyrannical rule. The illusions of positive change are gone. Paradoxically, the President’s popularity though dove several notches is ably preserved albeit temporarily by its hardest core of supporters using the technology in astute way and their blind following as a sort of guaranteed ticket to longer years of political career.

The country now has a government whose reference for governance falls within the framework of strong-man rule, of rule by law, of admin-controlled Congress, of force and intimidation with no regard for the poor, a government worst than the past regimes, functioning along the interests of foreign dominant countries and corporations. A President who cursed the poor, and wished them died or killed. On the other end, this is administration that continues to shower the Armed Forces of the Philippines and Philippine National Police (AFP or PNP), with perks, higher pay and privileges despite evidenced-based accusations of human rights violations, consequently deepening the culture of
impunity.

Read more at:

http://ctuhr.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/TUHR-under-DU30.pdf

http://ctuhr.org/3476-2/

Follow CTUHR @
Website: ctuhr.org
Facebook: @ctuhrph

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[Off-the-shelf] 2017 Focus Report | Public policies for the protection of human rights defenders: Global trends and implementation challenges -Protection International

2017 Focus Report | Public policies for the protection of human rights defenders: Global trends and implementation challenges

2017 Focus Report | Public policies for the protection of human rights defenders: Global trends and implementation challenges

Protection International (PI) is glad to present its 2017 edition of its Focus Report, monitoring worldwide developments in the field of national protection mechanisms and public policies for the protection of human rights defenders (HRDs).

Since the publication of our seminal handbook Protection of human rights defenders: Best practices and lessons learnt (2011), the public debate regarding national public policies for HRD protection has evolved: initially only a handful of Latin American governments were addressing systematic attacks against HRDs through national protection mechanisms, and civil society organisations approached the issue with a lot of mistrust and scepticism. In recent years, it has become mainstream with the adoption of national laws and the emergence of draft bills in several countries of Latin America and Africa, while permeating the discussions on HRD protection in countries of Europe, Central and South-East Asia.

Many developments in this field of the HRD protection ecosystem also occurred since the publication of the last edition the Focus Report in 2014.

Read full article @protectioninternational.org

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[Off-the-shelf] An attack on one is an attack on all – UNESCO

An attack on one is an attack on all – UNESCO

Journalists take risks to uncover stories for the public – sometimes fatally. Most
visible internationally are war reporters, but the same risks often apply equally
to local journalists covering topics that someone finds threatening.

US journalist and filmmaker Sebastian Junger notes that on top of the many
reasons why journalists do what they do, “there is a sincere and noble concern about human suffering”, and the fact that “if you don’t uncover it and expose it and communicate it, this suffering will go on and on and on”.

Read more @ [Off-the-shelf] An attack on one is an attack on all – UNESCO 250430E

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[Off the shelf] FES’s Study on Women Migrant Workers in the ASEAN Economic Community -MFA

FES’s Study on Women Migrant Workers in the ASEAN Economic Community -MFA

Migrant Forum in Asia’s FES’s study on “Women Migrant Workers in the ASEAN Economic Community”. The study was done in partnership with UN, ASEAN Secretariat, the Indonesian Ministry of Manpower and with the support of the Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT). To download the study, please click on the following link:

http://www.fes-asia.org/news/women-migrant-workers-in-the-asean-economic-community/

The study examined the intra-ASEAN migrant women’s labour mobility trends, access to and outcomes in labour markets, the contribution to ASEAN economies and high-growth sectors, and the challenges of social and economic inclusion.

The study revealed the increasing numbers of women among migrant workers as a constant trend in ASEAN which shows the significance of women’s economic role and contribution to ASEAN economies. However, these migrant women are found in low-skilled professions which represent a significant proportion of majority of migrant workers workforce in the region which raises questions about gender inequalities as women suffer from poor working conditions.

The study shows the benefits of progressive migration policies with a gender perspective on national and regional level. In the context of the ASEAN Economic Community, the study calls on governments to expand the focus to service sectors that are high employees of migrant women and to develop mechanisms for mutual recognition and regulation of labour in law wage/low skills.

The report also reviews the current migrant governance frameworks at national and regional level, providing actionable evidence-based policy recommendations to benefit from women’s labour mobility, provide fair and equitable migration opportunities for women, and enhance regional social and economic development.

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[Off-the-Shelf] Digital Security Helpline -accessnow.org

Digital Security Helpline

What is the Digital Security Helpline?

Access Now’s Digital Security Helpline works with individuals and organizations around the world to keep them safe online. If you’re at risk, we can help you improve your digital security practices to keep out of harm’s way. If you’re already under attack, we provide rapid-response emergency assistance.

Read more @www.accessnow.org

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[Off-the-Shelf] Incident response and Proactive services -CiviCERT

Incident response and Proactive services

CiviCERT will assist NGOs or other forms of civil society organizations in handling the technical and organizational aspects of incidents in connection with other CSIRTs. In particular, CiviCERT will provide assistance or advice with respect to the following aspects of incidents management:

Incident triage

Establish a secure communication channel with the reporter.
Investigating whether indeed an incident occurred.
Determining the extent of the incident.
Help gathering any extra forensic information needed.
Identifying the best partner or skill set needed to address the incident.

Read more @civicert.org

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[Off the shelf] Breaking the Silence and Unlocking Barriers for Human Rights Protection in ASEAN: A report on the performance of the ASEAN Human Rights Mechanisms in 2015

Breaking the Silence and Unlocking Barriers for Human Rights Protection in ASEAN: A report on the performance of the ASEAN Human Rights Mechanisms in 2015

ForumAsia Logo‘Breaking the Silence and Unlocking Barriers for Human Rights Protection in ASEAN’ is the sixth annual review of the performance of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) human rights mechanisms produced by the Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA) and the Solidarity for ASEAN People’s Advocacies – Task Force on ASEAN and Human Rights (SAPA TFAHR).

This report reviews both the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR), and the ASEAN Commission on the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Women and Children (ACWC), on how they have implemented activities in relation to their mandates, their engagement with civil society organisations (CSOs), achievements and shortcomings. It shares general expectations from CSOs and other stakeholders in their engagement with the AICHR and the ACWC. The report concludes with key findings of the assessment and proposes recommendations for improvement to the AICHR, the ACWC and the ASEAN overall.

Read full article @www.forum-asia.org

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[Off-the-shelf] Torture and the Right to Rehabilitation in the Philippines -IRCT

Torture and the Right to Rehabilitation in Philippines

Torture and rehab in the PH copySince the enactment of the Anti-Torture Act (Republic Act No. 9745) in 2009,
the Philippine government has taken significant steps towards improving the
legal structural framework for eradicating torture and supporting torture
victims. This includes the elaboration of a rehabilitation programme for victims
of torture and the establishment of a body to oversee the implementation
of all aspects of the Anti-Torture Act. Regrettably, very few of these promises
have become reality for rights holders on the ground.

The government security forces continue to obstruct identification of alleged
perpetrators among its ranks. Warrants of arrest of ranking army officers and
soldiers have not been served, which impedes the effective prosecution of
torturers and the government has neglected to investigate and pursue command
responsibility, which can be a strong tool against such obstruction. Despite the
filing of many well-documented torture cases, it was only in April 2016 that
the first perpetrator was convicted when police officer Jerick Dee Jimenez was
sentenced to a maximum of two years and one month imprisonment by a court
in Pampanga for the torture of Jerryme Corre. The court demanded that the
officer pay Jerryme Corre damages amounting to 100,000 pesos (approximately
USD $2,173). Another police officer faces the same charges but remains at large.

There have been significant technical challenges in translating the law into reality
at the local level. These partly relate to the devolved system of government in the
Philippines but also reflect problems with the lack of clearly defined ownership of
implementation of different aspects of the law and grossly insufficient budgetary
provisions. As an example, the rehabilitation programme for victims, which is a
model for global promising practice, has seen almost no actual implementation
at the local level. Most initiatives to implement this and other aspects of the law
are driven by NGOs and paid for by international donors.

For victims, pursuing justice is an uphill battle where lack of access to proper
evidence collection and strict evidentiary requirements on the victims to prove
what happened and who did it discourages their search for official recognition
of the wrongs done to them.

All of these challenges are compounded by the lack of effective oversight and
steering of the implementation of the law. The Oversight Committee headed
by the Commission on Human Rights that is designated to do this is still
to commence its function despite repeated calls from NGOs to get started.

During the past six years, the Philippines have enjoyed a political environment
that was, at least in rhetoric, favourable to the protection of human rights.
With the election of Rodrigo Duterte as the next President, the country is moving
into very different territory and it will be crucial to ensure that the state
institutions that are meant to guarantee the rights of individuals perform
their function effectively.

Click to read and download report PHILIPPINES REPORT

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.

[Off-the-shelf] Joint Civil Society Report on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment in the Philippines, submitted by the United Against Torture Coalition (UATC)

uatc logoThis Joint Civil Society Report on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment in the Philippines, submitted by the United Against Torture Coalition (UATC)- Philippines to the UN Committee against Torture (CAT) for its consideration during its deliberation of the report of the Government of the Philippines in its 57th Session on April 18- May 13, 2016.

http://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/treatybodyexternal/SessionDetails1.aspx?SessionID=1011&Lang=en

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[Off the shelf] 25 Tanong at Sagot hinggil sa Kalusugan at Karapatang Pantao -WHO

25 Tanong at Sagot hinggil sa Kalusugan at Karapatang Pantao

WHO
Gro Harlem Brundtland
Geneva, Hulyo 2002

Ang pagtatamasa ng pinakamataas na matatamong pamantayan sa kalusugan bilang pangunahing karapatan ng bawa’t tao ay nakapaloob sa Saligang Batas ng Pandaigdigang Organisasyon sa Kalusugan (World Health Organization o WHO) mahigit 50 taon na ang nakakaraan. Sa ating pang-araw-araw na gawain, sinisikap ng Pandaigdigang Organisasyon sa Kalusugan na ang karapatang ito ay matamasa ng bawa’t isa, na may partikular na pagbibigay pansin sa pinakamahihirap at sa mga nasa bulnerableng kalagayan.

Ang diskurso sa karapatang pantao ay nagbibigay sa atin ng balangkas na nakakapagbigay ng inspirasyon at makabuluhang giya para sa pag-aanalisa at pagkilos. Ang mekanismo sa karapatang pantao ng mga Nagkakaisang Bansa (United Nations) ay nagbibigay ng mga mahahalagang daan tungo sa papalaking pananagutan sa kalusugan.

Read full article @www.who.int

 

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[Off the shelf] Philippine Electoral Almanac Revised And Expanded

Philippine Electoral Almanac Revised And Expanded

electoral almanacIn light of the upcoming national and local elections, the Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office (PCDSPO) and the Presidential Museum and Library has published the newly-revised and expanded edition of the Philippine Electoral Almanac, a go-to resource of Philippine electoral history from pre-colonial period to the present. It is available for download on archive.org.

The almanac explores the political relationships between the Presidency, the Legislature, and the Filipino electorate. It features write-ups, maps, pie charts, bar graphs, and infographics.

For more related resources, visit the Presidential Museum and Library and Official Gazette of the Republic of the Philippines websites.

Read more @malacanang.gov.ph

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[Off-the-shelf] Focus Policy Review: Understanding Land Grabbing, Land Rights in the 21st Century by focusweb.org

Focus Policy Review: Understanding Land Grabbing, Land Rights in the 21st Century
Optimized-PolicyReview2015_Understanding Land Rights_Land Grabbing_21stCentury_cover.png
28 August 2015

Issues or problems associated with land have become more multi-layered in the 21st century.  In particular in the Philippine setting, a number of “pro-poor” land laws were enacted after the Marcos dictatorship. These laws were products of social movements’ struggles and mass movement assertions on land rights in a democratic set-up. The 1987 Constitution has a very strong social justice component, which recognizes the rights of farmers/peasants to land, of fisherfolk to traditional fishing ground, and of indigenous peoples (IPs) to ancestral lands.

focusweb_logo

One of these laws, which should have helped fulfill the farmers right to land, has turned into an arena for struggle. It has now taken 27 years for the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program, one of the longest running agrarian reform programs under a democratic form of government, to be implemented. CARP was crafted according to the ideals and interests of landless tillers and agrarian reform advocates, but ended up as a law plugged with provisions upholding landed elite interests dominating Philippine Congress. Farmers and fishers do not just have to contend with an agrarian reform program that has not been completed and is found most wanting almost three decades now, but complicating their situation, not only those who work on lands that have been targeted for agrarian reform coverage but even those who have been issued CLOAs and titles, is the phenomenon called land grabbing.

In this special, double edition of Focus Policy Review, this is one of the main themes discussed. It is critical for farmers and advocates of land rights as well as the general public to understand how and why land grabbing is happening to make a more effective, strategic campaigning to address and stop it. As the lead article underscores, “land grabbing…have almost always been framed within the themes of economic investment, human rights, and governance. Underpinning these themes is the issue of power…” because land grabbing is a political issue with economic goals.  We need to know the basics about land grabbing—the who, what, where, and how—in order to grasp the complexities of the issue.

Read full resource material @focusweb.org

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[Off the shelf] Squatters of Capital: Regimes of Dispossession and the production of subaltern sites in urban land conflicts in the Philippines by Christopher John “CJ” Chanco

Squatters of Capital: Regimes of Dispossession and the production of subaltern sites in
urban land conflicts in the Philippines
by Christopher John “CJ” Chanco

Squatters of Capital- Regimes of Dispossession and the production of subaltern sites in
Read full paper @www.academia.edu

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[Resources] Asian HRDs Portal -asianhrds.forum-asia.org

Asian HRDs Portal

AHRD portal

We are delighted to re-introduce our new Portal which was initially launched during the 6TH Asian Regional Human Rights Defenders Forum (AHRDF6) in December last year in Manila, Philippines, and during the 28th UNHRC session in Geneva this March.

Based on the primary reviews of the Portal and the practical advices from our members and partners, final touches have been added to it. We wanted to bring everything about human rights defenders (HRDs) in Asia into one place so that fellow HRDs as well as the general public would be able to access easily its content, maximise the use of its resources and online materials, interact with us and provide feedback, and learn more about “Who HRDs are” and their situation on the ground.

One of the integral parts of the Portal is the “Stories from the Fields” where we find defenders’ experiences of asserting their roles against recurring negative perception and/or labelling as problem-makers, traitors, terrorists, etc.. “Stories from the Field” is personal… it talks about one’s journey in the struggle for human rights and dignity… it describes about concrete cases and how HRDs venture facing them bravely.

Another important part in the Portal is “Cases of HRDs” where we monitor daily violations against HRDs into our database. Their cases are shared in the Portal. Sources of information are mainly from FORUM-ASIA’s members and partners, daily media monitoring, Special Rapporteur on HRDs’ communication report and Secretary General’s annual report on reprisals. With this, we encourage our members to send us cases of HRDs.

There is much more information to read about, such as Resources and Campaign of HRDs. The list of resources is extensive in nature – from protection and security for HRDs or financial resource to some visual Multimedia resource such as short documentaries. Furthermore, we share the UN Declaration on HRDs translated into various Asian languages for your reference and use.

Needless to say, over the next few weeks there are bound to be teething problems. We ask you to bear with us and share your ideas for improvement.

Please explore our dynamic Portal at: http://asianhrds.forum-asia.org/. While at it, you can also sign up for a monthly webzine which offers digest of update pertaining HRDs in Asia. Don’t forget to subscribe it.

Thank you.

Human Rights Defenders Programme Team
FORUM-ASIA

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[Resources] EDCA is negotiated subservience by Roland G. Simbulan

EDCA is negotiated subservience
by Roland G. Simbulan
Professor 12 in Development Studies and Public Management
University of the Philippines & Vice Chair, Center for People’s Empowerment in Governance(CenPeg)

(Statement before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee chaired by Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago, Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement, Philippine Senate, December 1, 2014)

Madame Chair, I respectfully thank the Foreign Relations Committee for inviting us – the Center for People Empowerment in Governance or CenPeg-  to give our views on the controversial Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA). CenPeg is a policy research and policy-advocacy think tank on issues of governance including Philippine foreign policy. I am currently the Vice Chair of the Board of Directors of CenPeg. I have authored 7 books and  written at least 27 articles in scholarly journals here and abroad on Philippine-U.S. relations, U.S. military presence in Asia and the Pacific, and security agreements.

Madame Chair, I will immediately address the four topics that you have identified to be discussed in this public hearing on EDCA:

1. DOES EDCA NEED TO BE CONCURRED BY THE SENATE?

The EDCA needs to be concurred by the Senate, given the constitutional requirement that any treaty or international agreement that will allow foreign troops, foreign military facilities and foreign military bases on Philippine soil should be submitted to the Senate to be concurred by 2/3 of the members of the Senate. This provision is as clear as
day, despite the fact that the proponents claim that it merely implements provisions of the mother treaties such as the 1951 Mutual Defense Treaty(MDT) and the 1999 Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA). But, how can EDCA be a mere implementing executive agreement when it includes specific new provisions that rightfully belong to a new treaty? We should not let this trick pass. For this may be used as a precedent for future controversial executive agreements which in fact are new treaties on the grounds that they are mere implementing agreements of previous treaties. From the text of EDCA, it is clear that U.S. troops are to be deployed and U.S. military facilities will be constructed – with
the assistance of U.S. defense contractors – INSIDE Philippine military camps in any part of the country. From the provisions of EDCA, even the jurisdiction of national and international courts will have to be waived in relations to disputes arising from the
implementation of EDCA. These are just some provisions that rightfully belong to a new treaty that need the concurrence of the Senate.

2. IS EDCA NECESSARY?

The EDCA enhances the revival of the Cold War in the region in the context of the United States’ Asia Pivot. The Cold War has long ended. Proponents of EDCA promote the usual misconception that U.S. forces will come to our rescue in the worst case scenario should a shooting war over the Spratlys erupt between China and the Philippines. There is no guarantee for such U.S. support in either the MDT, the VFA or the EDCA. In 1975, Henry Kissinger clarified that the Spratlys are not included nor recognized by the U.S. as part of the coverage of ” Philippine Metropolitan territory” under the Mutual Defense Treaty.

Gone are the days when small nations were used as pawns of the big military powers. So let us not allow this to happen again to us through the EDCA. Trade and economic competition under the globalization regime has become the means for nations even the big powers, to deal with each other.

3. IS EDCA BENEFICIAL?

EDCA will only enhance the isolation of the Philippines from the fast growing regional economic growth centers of Asia. We will forfeit our national interests if we focus on again allowing foreign military forces to be stationed on our territory and to use our territory again, as a launching pad and springboard for U.S. interventionary wars. I recall that, when I visited Vietnam’s War Museum in Ho Chi Minh City last year, a section of the Museum mentions the Philippines as a “satellite country” of the United States which not only  sent “mercenary troops” paid by the U.S. to fight the Vietnamese people, but the Museum mentions that ” the Philippines allowed U.S. military forces at Clark Air Base and Subic Naval Base to launch bombing attacks and military blockades against the Vietnamese people” who heroically resisted and eventually defeated U.S. military intervention in their country. Did we then realize that that situation jeopardized our security as EDCA now jeopardizes it because of the enemies of the United States all over the world which will target U.S. military forces in any part of the world?

Geographically, we are part of the regional growth center with ASEAN countries, China, Japan and South Korea. EDCA will allow the unlimited prepositioning of U.S. troops, facilities and war materiel in any part of the Philippines, and “rent-free,  at no cost to the United States”. As a consequence,  we will be dragged as an accessory to the United States’ international conflicts, its wars of intervention, aggression, against other countries who are not our enemies. We will be abdicating from the fruits of this growth center if we play into the hands of the U.S.’ Asia Pivot to re-militarize the region instead of focusing on trade, investments and economic relations.

4. IS EDCA PRACTICAL?

The EDCA enhances U.S. intervention in the Philippines with the regular presence of foreign troops all-year round, thus overturning this Senate’s historic rejection of the U.S. bases presence in 1991, and the Senate Resolution in 2009 which called for the abrogation of the VFA – the basis of EDCA – should the U.S. refuse to a bilateral review of the VFA to amend its onerous provisions.  And if the proponents of EDCA continue to insist that this is just a mere implementation of previous existing treaties,  then, by all means, let us abrogate the roots of these sell-outs – the MDT and the VFA –  which have transformed our country into a forward base for U.S. interventionary forces of what the renowned American scholar Noam Chomsky calls  the “No. 1 Terrorist State” in the world today.

The Philippine Constitution, we believe,  incorporated the stringent requirement for this kind of agreement be submitted to the Senate for concurrence so that that our nation will never again compromise our tenets of sovereignty, peace and self-determination for
ourselves and our neighbors, by hosting foreign military forces such as those of the United States which were used for aggression and intervention against smaller states and peoples seeking self-determination.

Agreements like EDCA are patently one-sided or onerous and it is a clear cut case of negotiated subservience. So why do we agree to them and accept and inflict upon ourselves  this kind of negotiated subservience? Even the Department of Foreign Affairs, in its Note
Verbale to the U.S. Embassy (No. 06-0103) dated January 17, 2006 on the implementation of the EDCA’s mother treaty-the VFA- in connection with the issue of custody of Daniel Smith, wrote:

“In addition, while aware of the differences between the Agreement and similar agreements entered into by the United States, the Philippine Government is seriously concerned over the patent disparity in the treatment of U.S. military personnel in other countries on the
issue of custody in criminal cases.” So, what did we do about this? We inflicted on ourselves a graver form of subservience – the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA).

SADISTA TALAGA TAYO SA ATING SARILI.

Thank you, Madame Chair, for this honor of inviting us to your committee to present our views on this controversial issue that needs to be addressed from the perspective of our national interests and national security.

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[Resources] Asia HRDs Portal -FORUM-ASIA

About Asia HRDs Portal and HRD Department of FORUM-ASIA

AHRD portal

The “Asia HRDs Portal” is an initiative of FORUM-ASIA, developed with the aim to increase public awareness on the situation faced by HRDs in Asia. Information gathered in this Portal illustrates reality of human rights defenders’ (HRDs) situations – threats they face with their daily lives because of the work they do. The Portal also provides online campaign tools, case database, and resource materials for the general public as well as for human rights defenders themselves.

ForumAsia Logo

FORUM-ASIA’s HRD Department is a protection measure for HRDs in Asia. In December 2001, FORUM-ASIA organized a consultation with the United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General on human rights defenders, Ms. Hina Jilani, in Bangkok, Thailand. FORUM-ASIA’s Department on HRDs emerged as a concrete follow-up to the consultation and the recommendations from the consultation. FORUM-ASIA established the HRD Department within its Secretariat which focuses on protection, advocacy and capacity-building for human rights defenders in Asia and beyond.

Visit the portal @asianhrds.forum-asia.org

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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.

[Resources] Aurora, the Philippines: land deals and development at a price – video -www.theguardian.com

Aurora, the Philippines: land deals and development at a price – video

the GUARDIAN video on APECO

Aurora’s governor says the development of a Pacific eco zone will bring benefits to this poor region of the Philippines. But locals wonder how long construction jobs will last, and what impact the development of a port, tourist haven and trading hub will have on livelihoods and the environment. ‘We are fighting for our seas and ancestral lands,’ says one fisherman

Watch video @www.theguardian.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.

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