Category Archives: Statement

[Statement] Emerging stronger: New NUJP leaders call on fellow journalists to unite, resist attacks | NUJP

Emerging stronger: New NUJP leaders call on fellow journalists to unite, resist attacks
March 22, 2021

The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) has weathered a storm alongside colleagues in the profession but we still face rough seas ahead, if not rougher.

The systematic red-tagging of the NUJP, media outlets, and journalists has intensified in the past five years, endangering the lives of members of the press toiling hard to keep the people informed. Aside from being branded as enemies of the state, journalists have reported receiving threats telling them to stop being critical of government or be silenced.

This amid other attacks on press freedom including threats of closure and other forms of harassment that our colleagues from Rappler, ABS-CBN, and alternative media outfits have faced under the Duterte administration.

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[Statement] Hindi kailangang ibabad sa isang linggong virtual inset ang mga guro | TDC

#HumanRights #Teachers #COVID19ph

Hindi kailangang ibabad sa isang linggong virtual inset ang mga guro
(Sagot ng TDC sa opisyal na pahayag ng DepEd ngayong araw, Marso 16, 2021)

Sa kabila ng malawak na pagtutol mula sa hanay ng kaguruan, ipinilit pa rin ng DepEd Central Office ang paglulunsad ng in-service training (INSET) sa pamamagitan pagpapanood lamang sa YouTube Live sa lahat ng guro.

Malinaw ang intensiyon ng memorandum na nilagdaan ni Undersecretary Alain Pascua noong Marso 4, 2021 (DepEd OUA MEMO 00-03-21-0063), ito ay para sa lahat ng mga guro, hindi boluntaryo at panonoorin ng live sa iisang platform, ang YouTube.

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[Statement] Rights organisations call for release of activist Teresita Naul on her first anniversary in detention | civicus and omct

#HumanRights #RedTagging

Philippines: Rights organisations call for release of activist Teresita Naul on her first anniversary in detention

Ahead of human rights defender Teresita Naul’s first anniversary in detention on 15 March 2021, civil society alliance CIVICUS and the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) call for her immediate release.

Teresita Naul was arrested on 15 March 2020 in Lanao del Sur, on the southern island of Mindanao, by the national police and the Philippines Army (AFP) on fabricated charges of “kidnapping”, “destructive arson” and “serious illegal detention”. Police claim she is a member of the New People’s Army (NPA), an armed Communist rebel group responsible for an attack on the military in Agusan del Sur in December 2018, although there is evidence proving that she was in another part of the country on that day.

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[Statement] Profiling of lawyers is an assault to the administration of justice | NUJP

#HumanRights #RedTagging

Profiling of lawyers is an assault to the administration of justice

On March 12, 2021, a certain Police Lieutenant Fernando G. Calabria, Jr., Chief Intelligence Officer of Calbayog City Police Station wrote a letter to the Office of the Clerk of Court of the Calbayog City Hall of Justice “requesting” a list of lawyers representing supposed communist-terrorist group (CTG) personalities in court. The letter shows that the request is supposedly in compliance with the order of “PNP higher offices” to which the data will be submitted. Attached to the letter is a table of the data being requested from the clerk of court, to wit: “Legal Personality, Affiliations, Client (CTG Personality), Mode of Neutralization, Case Filed, and Status”.

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[Statement] AMRSP solidarity statement for Mayor Aquino’s death, Otto de Vries, bloody Sunday, and the Rural Missionaries of the Philippines

#HumanRights #Killings #RedTagging

AMRSP solidarity statement for Mayor Aquino’s death, Otto de Vries, bloody Sunday, and the Rural Missionaries of the Philippines

From AMRSP FB page

We hoped for peace, but no peace came. We hoped for a time of healing, but found only terror.’ – Jeremiah 8:15

What is happening in our land?

Violence continues to spiral uncontrollably and with such impunity in our beloved land. So much pain and anguish, hatred and division have afflicted our peoples and nation that we seem indifferent to these deadly events happening in our midst.

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[Statement] on the recent wave of attacks against lawyers and activists | Centerlaw

#HumanRights #Killings

Centerlaw statement on the recent wave of attacks against lawyers and activists

Bloodshed continues at the hands of the police and military, with the latest crackdown on activist groups resulting in the deaths of nine individuals in the CALABARZON region. This comes immediately in the wake of a public kill order made by the Chief Executive, with a call for the police and military to ignore human rights. The assault on members of the legal profession is likewise unrelenting with the attack on Atty. Angelo Karlo Guillen, counsel for one of the petitions against the Anti-Terror Law.

CenterLaw once again condemns the culture of killing and violence that continues to thrive under the auspices of power. The series of violent attacks and arrests that took place within the span of a week is but a grim reminder of the larger pattern of impunity plaguing the country. They are repeated intrusions on fundamental liberties and civic spaces reserved for the healthy and constitutionally protected exercise of dissent. The unbridled use of violence in law enforcement operations is incompatible with the rule of law and has no place in Philippine legal order. What is more alarming is that procedural rules before the courts have been exploited to facilitate and lend legitimacy to the attacks.

CenterLaw calls on police officers and members of the armed forces to carry out their duties with full respect for legal processes and within the confines of the law. We repeat our demand for accountability for all past abuses and to put an end to the terror that has become so commonplace in our society. We also call on the Supreme Court to undertake its duty by promulgating rules aimed at safeguarding constitutional rights. Life and liberty are sacred. They must be protected at all times against any and all forms of threat and attack.

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[Statement] on the brazen attack on the life of the human rights lawyer, Atty. Angelo Karlo Guillen | CHR VI

#HumanRights #Killings

Statement on the brazen attack on the life of the human rights lawyer, Atty. Angelo Karlo Guillen | CHR VI

The Commission on Human Rights Region VI strongly condemns and denounces the brazen attempt on the life of Atty. Angelo Karlo Guillen by unknown assailants in the evening of March 3, 2021 along General Luna Street in Iloilo City.

The increasing number of violent attacks against lawyers deserves utmost attention and condemnation to the highest degree. Lawyers must never be subjected to attacks for merely performing their duties. Lawyers are essential for the attainment of justice and the rule of law. Regardless of who they represent, lawyers must be given enough freedom to freely exercise their profession without threats of attack and violence upon their person.

The Commission on Human Rights calls upon our Philippine National Police and other law enforcement officers to swiftly and effectively investigate this case and to bring the perpetrators to justice. We also urge the government to provide measures in order to safeguard the rights of the people against such attacks.

Atty. Jonnie L. Dabuco
CHR VI Director

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[Statement] Climate Justice Group calls on Duterte to take Paris Agreement seriously; PH vulnerable to destruction from climate change | PMCJ

#HumanRights #ClimateJustice

Climate Justice Group calls on Duterte to take Paris Agreement seriously; PH vulnerable to destruction from climate change

On February 24, 2021, President Rodrigo Duterte acknowledged the reality of the negative impact of climate change through his weekly national address, citing the rapid increase of flooding in multiple areas, “Noong una, ‘yong climate change medyo ano [sic] pa ako noon na parang ayaw ko maniwala. But ngayon, sobra talaga ang tubig na galing sa langit because of [sic] umiinit ho ang planeta”. In 2016, President Duterte refused to sign the Paris Treaty on behalf of the country citing the Philippines’ need to industrialize, before finally agreeing to sign it in 2017 after pressure from several climate justice groups.

It has been proven through scientific research that flooding comes as a consequence of industrial mining operations and deforestation, a fact that which President Duterte fails to acknowledge in his weekly address, concluding his statement on increased incidences of flooding in the country by stating that “there is only one thing really that can save this planet, it’s God. Maybe we should pray more, whatever the God.” Philippine Movement for Climate Justice’s National Coordinator Ian Rivera states that, “With this kind of thinking, and coming from a head of a country that is most vulnerable to climate change, will the Filipinos be saved from the impacts of the climate crisis? Prayer must always be supplemented by action—and for this anthropogenic climate crisis, what we need is a president who understands the science and the leadership it so requires for concrete efforts. The situation is still not hopeless.” He continues that the country may still reduce the negative effects of climate change, should the administration remain ambitious in following through with our Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) to the treaty, as well as “the moral charge to demand those actions from rich polluter countries”.

The Philippines remains one of the most vulnerable nations to the destructive effects of climate change. PMCJ calls on President Rodrigo Duterte and his administration to put climate justice at the forefront of the Philippine survival from the climate crisis. Through concretizing efforts towards an ambitious NDC, and upholding our country’s end of the Paris Agreement, it is possible to reverse the catastrophic effects of climate change, and achieve a global temperature of not more than 1.5 degrees c.

https://web.facebook.com/ClimateJusticePH/photos/a.153468781484242/1790241807806923/

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[Statement] Guevarra report to the UN deflects culpability, accountability from Duterte, shields him from justice | iDEFEND

#HumanRights #StopTheKillings

Guevarra report to the UN deflects culpability, accountability from Duterte, shields him from justice

File photo

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra reported to the United Nations Human Rights Council on Wednesday regarding his initial findings on the extrajudicial killing of drug suspects in the government’s war on drugs. Guevarra mainly highlighted police errors and operational breaches in anti-drug operations in Metro Manila, Bulacan, Pampanga and Cavite, including failure to follow protocol in processing crime scenes and lack of ballistic and paraffin examinations.

It audaciously glossed over the widescale failure to follow protocol and proper procedure by security forces and skipped mentioning the overall policy which directed these killings, then created the environment of impunity for the perpetration of these crimes, downgrading the systematic and brazen disregard for rule of law into individual lapses of judgement by a few bad elements in law enforcement.

Operation Double Barrel, launched by the national police at the prompting of President Duterte, obliterated the rule of law, targeted specific members of the Philippine population for extermination, and violated Constitutionally guaranteed human rights.

Guevarra’s report not only deflects accountability from the President but misrepresents summary executions in the Philippines as mere procedural failures, while maintaining the illusion that domestic mechanisms are intact. This despite the glaring lack of conviction and censure with the mounting death toll from the so-called war on drugs that has abated little in spite of the pandemic.

President Duterte repeatedly promised executive clemency to police should they be convicted of crimes in the conduct of the war on drugs; Duterte encouraged community residents to kill neighbors who use drugs; Duterte issued unverified narco-lists of alleged top drug lords, following which several named therein had been “neutralized” mostly by unknown gunmen.

In his 2020 State of the Nation address the president reiterated that the government will combat COVID19 “with the same fervor as our campaign against illegal drugs, criminality, insurgency…” indicating the continued overarching policy of heavy-handed, repressive measures against violators of local quarantines. According to Human Rights Watch killings went up 50 per cent during the lockdowns.

Now there are attempts to apply aforementioned Operation Double Barrel (Oplan Tokhang) against ‘left-leaning personalities and organizations’ in the northern provinces, sparking concerns of escalated EJKs and human rights violations if enforced. Despite Guevarra’s report of official failures and lapses in the Oplan’s operations, the policy is in full gear, and remains the central theme of Duterte’s governance.

These, along with the government’s non-transparency in its so-called inquiry, the exclusion of families of victims of extrajudicial killings, the Commission on Human Rights and civil society, and most of all the deafening silence in the halls of justice for the more than 30, 000 cases of summary killings, betray the hollow efforts of the Justice department to escape international accountability.

Immediately, in light of the DOJ report, nothing less than the total revocation of Oplan Double Barrel, the prosecution of the perpetrators of extrajudicial killings, providing justice to victims’ families, and the overhaul of the national drug policy towards a rights-based and humane approach can indicate steps in the right direction.

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[Statement] Anti-terror Act to kill EDSA-like People Power actions | PM

#HumanRights #TerrorLaw

Anti-terror Act to kill EDSA-like People Power actions

A moribund dictatorship finally ended in Edsa on February 25, 1986. That action was called people power – one which was hailed around the world as a bloodless, peaceful revolution. That was thirty-five years ago today, but absent celebrations during the past four years under the Duterte regime, that Edsa spirit has long been lost within the officialdom.

As to the disillusioned public, finding a reason to celebrate Edsa is as hard as finding new, competent post-Edsa leaders as the present regime has also failed their expectations.

Furthermore, it is needless to say that the Duterte regime is anti-Edsa. In fact, it was the failed #30YearsOfEdsa narrative that was utilized by the Marcos-Duterte troll-farms to discredit the so-called ‘yellow candidates’ during the 2016 and 2019 elections. That yellow-tagging narrative was proven effective during the last two elections. And now the shift to red-tagging, with the anti-terrorism law as the administration’s primary instrument.

Under RA 11479 or the anti-terrorism act of 2020 (ATA), it is not just the Edsa spirit that this regime aims to kill but the process itself. The ATA’s overbroad definition of terrorism clearly designates Edsa-like actions as an act of terror.

Had Edsa 86 happened today, Cardinal Sin would likely be charged with terrorist act for calling the people to swarm Edsa to protect renegade leaders such as Enrile and Ramos, while Cory Aquino who claimed the throne as well as protest leaders would also be charged with conspiring to commit a terrorist act. So as Gloria Arroyo during Edsa 2, and the Erap supporters in Edsa 3.

However, for this administration, that historic event that inspired similar political revolutions around the globe is now irrelevant and worse, illegal under the ATA. It is because under Duterte, public order is higher than social justice; punishment is better than freedom and due process.

Accordingly, in ecozones the ATA assumes the name of the Joint Industrial Peace Concerns Office (JIPCO), a detachment inside EPZAs that aims to insulate foreign investors from trade unions and other legitimate union activities. In schools it is open surveillance and red-tagging. In Cordillera there is now ‘tokhang’ which targets left-leaning activists. In Congress, it is the attempt to alter the 1987 Constitution.

Thirty-five years and counting and workers remain threatened with the same policies that sent throngs of people into Edsa to drive out a dictator. We are not seeing that kind of revolution happening today despite the severity of the current economic and leadership crises. But surely, people will get to recognize the fact that killing Edsa is not a mandate they have given to Duterte or to his heir apparent.

The Filipinos’ freedom and sovereignty shall never be surrendered.

PRESS STATEMENT
NAGKAISA Labor Coalition
25 February 2021
Ref: Atty. Sonny Matula
Chairperson

https://web.facebook.com/partidomanggagawa/photos/a.312183494322/10158889442199323/

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[Statement] OPLAN TOKHANG against “left-leaning” personalities – a Cordillera variant of EJK | LILAK

#HumanRights #IndigenousPeoples

OPLAN TOKHANG against “left-leaning” personalities – a Cordillera variant of EJK | LILAK (Purple Action for Indigenous Women’s Rights) Statement

Poster by LILAK

At the beginning of the Oplan Tokhang in Duterte’s War on Drugs, LILAK along with the human rights community, have already feared that this same violent strategy will be extended to activists, journalists, and human rights defenders. Unfortunately, our fears have been proven right.

More than 27,000 people were killed in this Oplan Tokhang. Nanlaban daw. Now, with the Resolution issued by the Police Regional Office in Cordillera (RLECC-CAR Res 04 s2021), enjoining the members of law enforcement agencies to ‘conduct TOKHANG to known left-leaning personalities in the government, media and other entities” – we fear that the same acts of violence, and impunity, will be committed, as Oplan Tokhang is most notorious for. With red-tagging done in the most irresponsible way by the National Task Force ELCAC, the fear of “nanlaban” as a justification of killings of so-called “left-leaning” entities is very real.

As it is, even without this new variant of Oplan Tokhang, indigenous peoples have been suffering deaths, arrests, and torture from the government. The country has been notorious for having the most number of killings of land rights and indigenous leaders, in the whole world. Recently, we have seen the trumped up charges against Windel Bolinget, chair of Cordillera Peoples Alliance, with a shoot to kill order “’pag nanlaban”. The 9 Tumandok leaders in Panay were killed with police claiming they were resisting arrest. The Tumandok leaders were allegedly members of the New Peoples Army. Two Aeta leaders have been arrested and filed charges of “terrorism’, as they were fleeing from their community, during a cross-fire between the military and members of NPA.

LILAK calls for a serious review and withdrawal of this resolution by the Cordillera government. We are already witnessing so much deaths and violence from the Duterte administration.

Stop the Killings!
Break the impunity.

IPLivesMatter #ScrapTerrorLaw #DefundNTFELCAC

Contact:
LILAK (Purple Action for Indigenous Women’s Rights)
judy a. pasimio – 09175268341

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[Statement] Time for a full reckoning with historical injustices in the Philippines-iDEFEND

#HumanRights #SocialJustice

Time for a full reckoning with historical injustices in the Philippines-iDEFEND

iDEFEND statement on the occasion of world social justice day

The superior virtue, said the late Senator and human rights lawyer Jose “Ka Pepe” Diokno, is not to receive justice, it is to fight relentlessly for it.

These words ring especially loud today on the occasion of the World Day of Social Justice–an international day recognizing the need to promote social justice, including the efforts to tackle poverty, exclusion, gender equality, unemployment, human rights, and social protections– as we reflect upon the continuing struggle for the realization of social justice and life with dignity.

The UN General Assembly Resolution declaring this special occasion stressed that “social development and social justice cannot be attained in the absence of peace and security or in the absence of respect for all human rights and fundamental freedoms.”

There is no false dichotomy between development and human rights. The people’s aspirations for a life of dignity rests on the fulfilment of all human rights- civil and political, economic, social and cultural rights.

Our Constitution spelled out our common goal and purpose as sovereign Filipino people the building of a just and humane society …our ideals and aspirations, promote the common good, conserve and develop our patrimony, and secure to ourselves and our posterity the blessings of independence and democracy under the rule of law and a regime of truth, justice, freedom, love, equality, and peace.”

Read full statement @https://idefend.ph

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[Statement] Philippine General Should Answer for ‘Red-Tagging’ -HRW

#HumanRights #NoToRedTagging

Philippine General Should Answer for ‘Red-Tagging’
Long-Overdue Investigation of Deadly Practice

By Phil Robertson

The Armed Forces of the Philippines surprisingly announced this week that it was investigating Lt. Gen. Antonio Parlade, Jr. after he accused a journalist of “aiding terrorists by spreading lies.” The military’s provost marshal was tapped to lead the investigation.

The big question is whether this action is a one-off, or whether pressure against the military’s use of red-baiting tactics may finally be having an impact.

The journalist in question, Tetch Torres-Tupas of the Philippine Daily Inquirer, had earlier reported on a petition before the Supreme Court that contained allegations that soldiers tortured members of an Indigenous community. Activists and fellow journalists took Parlade’s tirade as a threat to Tupas.

This is not the first time Parlade has courted controversy. As both a government spokesman for an anti-communist task force and commander of the military’s Southern Luzon Command, Parlade has in recent months been on a “red-tagging” spree, publicly accusing leftist activists but also journalists and celebrities of being either members or supporters of the New People’s Army communist insurgency.

Communist-baiting has long been part of the government’s counterinsurgency campaign, and over the years has been linked to many killings. The deadly practice has continued to the present. The United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights found in a June 2020 report that “red-tagging” in the Philippines has “posed a serious threat to civil society and freedom of expression.”

The problem does not start and stop with Parlade. President Rodrigo Duterte has frequently used “red tagging” to attack leftist critics of his administration. In November, Duterte singled out Congressman Carlos Zarate as a communist. In previous public statements, other Duterte administration officials likewise “red-tagged” their critics.

“Red-tagging” constricts further the increasingly diminished democratic space in the Philippines, where activists, rights lawyers, journalists, and even ordinary Filipinos on social media are under threat. The military’s investigation into Parlade should be both thorough and impartial, and this should be the start of larger efforts to hold to account all government officials who give a wink and a nod to extrajudicial killings by their “red-tagging.”

Phil Robertson
Deputy Asia Director
Human Rights Watch
@ReapRoy

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[Statement] Climate Justice group calls for a People’s NDC – Equitable and Just but Ambitious -PMCJ

#HumanRights #ClimateJustice

Climate Justice group calls for a People’s NDC – Equitable and Just but Ambitious

From PMCJ FB Page

A 75% mitigation target to reduce the country’s Greenhouse Gas Emissions (GHG) from the previous 70% had recently been advanced by the Climate Change Commission in the latest version of the NDC as part of the country’s contribution to global climate change efforts. While this increase in ambition is indeed a welcome change, the failure to deliver the Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) on the December 31 deadline stymies the Philippine Government leadership in challenging other countries to be ambitious in their share towards fulfilling the global effort against the climate catastrophe.

The current NDC stirs more questions than provide the blueprint towards Philippine resiliency, sustainable and equitable growth, and the drive to rally rich countries including developing countries to be clear and ambitious in their targets. Submitted only on the 29th of January 2021, the overall targets lack backup from the targets of mitigation per sector. Forestry, for example, which is undoubtedly an integral element in any climate change mitigation strategy, was not included. Transport and the Energy Sector, the sectors that contribute the most in increasing the GHG emissions are equivocal in its targets while agriculture, which remains not to commit to mitigation targets continue to accommodate GHG emitting crop production for exports reneging on the priorities for food self-sufficiency and production for domestic consumption. The updated Policies and Measures (PAMS) list did not contain any significantly different changes raised during the December 29 consultation, in which this poses as a constant concern as National Government agencies continue to lack in engagement with civil society groups and vulnerable sectors–an action that must be fulfilled under the mandatory policies of RA 9729.

While the proposed increase in ambition, as presented in the January 29 document, signifies that National Government seems to be willing to commit a larger amount of effort towards ensuring the country’s global commitment to stabilize the climate, it is alarming that the country’s unconditional target had only modestly increased from a questionable 2% to 2.33%–which almost makes the change negligible. An unambitious unconditional target of any country, like the Philippines, with a known potential of domestic mitigation capacity will hamper the global realization of the Paris Agreement. These lack of scientific basis, miniscule changes to the country’s unconditional targets then bring up the question of the Philippines leadership in demanding climate justice to rich polluter countries and rally the international community to become ambitious of its targets. Can the Philippine government substantiate the basis of the unconditional commitment? Is this how the government values the importance of domestic mitigation targets in a country that is most vulnerable to climate change? How can the climate vulnerable sectors be sure that the National Government is committed to ensuring that the country will be relieved from both the current and future climate impacts

Finally, while the NDC is also an important negotiating instrument for technology, finance and ambitious targets, the Philippine Movement for Climate Justice Climate Justice calls on to the President Duterte Government, the Climate Change Commission, the Department of Finance to avoid the mistakes of a NDC submission that is hasty, ill prepared, and lacking the needed consultative process particularly with the CSOs and vulnerable sectors. An NDC that lacks the scientific basis will fail us in achieving climate justice and the much-needed reparation for the Philippines based on equity and fairness which is important in achieving just transition and a modern economy for the workers and the toiling people.

For Inquiries :
Martina Herras
PMCJ Media and Communications
0956 938 3319

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[Statement] Stand for Our Rights! Defend Academic Freedom! -Youth Unity Statement

#HumanRights #AcademicFreedom

Stand for our rights! Defend Academic Freedom!

Youth Unity Statement

Photo from Youth Network

In many parts of the world, youth and students are in the midst of fighting for their people’s rights by upholding justice, democracy, equality and fairness. In Thailand, students are at the forefront of the struggle to end the military junta and bring back democracy. In Hong Kong young people are protesting against the encroachment of the Chinese government in the autonomous region. Many young people were at the heart of recent Black Lives Matter protests as well as the famous Climate Strike that highlighted a push back against fossil fuels in a bid to halt a global climate emergency.

Here in the Philippines, we have a long history of the youth’s involvement in anti-colonialism, nation building, and fighting for our rights. Our national heroes, like Jose Rizal, Gat Andres Bonifacio, Apolinario Mabini among others were at the prime of their youth during the Spanish
revolt.

During the Marcos dictatorship, the youth led the First Quarter Storm, a series of massive protest demonstrations from different universities all over the country. FQS protesters were calling for accountability for Marcos’s huge and unjust spending during the elections, growing debt from the IMF resulting in peso devaluation and severe inflation.

Decades passed, and our country still faces issues of repression and economic inequality. As we face the current crisis of this pandemic and the continuing tyrannical character of the Duterte administration, many have taken a stand including our sector. We have been vocal with our call for transparency and accountability in the government, a concrete response plan on the COVID-19 pandemic, opposition in the continuing attacks on academic freedom, and other societal concerns.

SAFE SPACES NOW!

The Filipino youth firmly believe that schools should remain a safe haven for the students and all members of the youth sector. Schools should serve as cradles to the young mind for excellence and heart for service of the students, not a venue for the police and the military to threaten, intimidate, and suppress the academic freedom of educational institutions in the country.

DEFEND ACADEMIC FREEDOM

Duterte’s authoritarian rule and repressive policies have no place in our schools!

We vehemently oppose all forms of curtailment of student’s rights and welfare such as the slew of red-tagging of students and other known critics, creating a list of red tagged schools, the unilateral abrogation of the UP-DND Accord,the threat to abrogate the PUP-DND Accord. All this serves to threaten and intimidate the youth for voicing out their legitimate concerns about the country and the well-being of its people. We likewise call all our school administrators to make a united stand and defend the grounds of our educational institutions to protect the rights and welfare of its students and to uphold the academic freedom of all schools, colleges, and universities in the country.

SCRAP TERROR LAW

On February 2, we will witness a significant event in our country with the oral arguments for the petition against the Anti Terror Law taking place after months of being delayed.

The Terror Law, which was hastily passed in the middle of a pandemic, only reflects the kind of priorities this government has — his authoritarian agenda above all else.

The Terror Law is not only a betrayal of our democracy; it is a betrayal of our history, a betrayal of our heroes and martyrs, and an insult to the legacy of the Katipunan. We are against anything or anyone that endangers the safety and well-being of the Filipino people.

Despite being composed of a majority appointed by the president, we place our faith in the wisdom of the Constitution and will hold the Justices of our Supreme Court accountable to act as impartial judges who will uphold and protect its integrity. We remind them that the people, especially the youth, are watching the proceeding closely.

Likewise, we call on our fellow young people and every concerned citizen to unite and support all efforts to junk the Terror Law at the Supreme Court. Let us remain vigilant and take care of each other during these trying times.

Hindi tayo titigil; may Pag-asa pa. #JunkTerrorLaw #UpholdTheConstitution

We The Future PH

Akbayan Youth

Youth for Nationalism and Democracy

Youth Resist

Student Council Alliance of the Philippines

Kaisa-Ka Youth

Teatrong Bayan

Laban PUP

UP Alyansa

UP Eduk SC

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[Statement] Anti-terrorism law is retribution for defending human rights -PAHRA/iDEFEND

#HumanRights #ScrapTerrorLaw

Anti-terrorism law is retribution for defending human rights

Photo from PAHRA

We gather today with dozens of petitioners against the Anti-Terrorism Law to push back yet another despotic attempt of the Duterte government to obliterate our democracy, silence our voices, and return us to authoritarian rule. We are here to challenge the government before the Supreme Court in order to protect what is left of our hard-fought freedoms and eroding liberties. Each one of us is fighting for our very lives.

Why are we fighting for our lives? Should not government be protecting us? Far from it- the government plots, schemes, conspires to put a noose around our necks while forcing us to stand on the jagged blades of its incompetence, corruption, lies and abuse.

Whichever way we move, we risk death.

That is how the Anti-Terrorism Law is shrouding our people. As our public officials bury us deeper into poverty, hunger and debt, our means and spaces for petition, to seek assistance, to demand change have steadily diminished. In their place, Congress enacted intimidation, persecution and fear. In their place, Duterte enforced deadly REPRISALS.

Last year Human Rights Watch reported that killings went up by 50% during the pandemic, while we are still under various lockdowns. Earlier the UN Human Rights Office reported “that between 2015 and 2019, at least 248 human rights defenders, legal professionals, journalists and trade unionists have been killed in relation to their work”. The Philippines remains the most dangerous for environmental and land rights defenders.

With the new law these figures can only be expected to worsen, as the Anti-Terrorism Law removed most remaining obstacles to the wholesale decimation of dissent. It has trained Duterte’s militarist, sexist and violent governance to target everyone who disagrees with his policies, or questions his actions. Far from addressing terrorism, it is meant to punish the people for their activism, their boundless search for better lives.

The Duterte appointed justices of the Supreme Court may rule against our petition. However, far from being cowed, we continue to stand and PROTEST. We raise our fists in DEFIANCE. And we MARCH. Together and united in solidarity, we will DEFEND and RECLAIM our rights, our dignity, our future.

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[Statement] Uphold Academic Freedom, Defend Our Rights and Welfare, Reclaim our Democratic Spaces -YND

#HumanRights #AcademicFreedom

Uphold Academic Freedom, Defend Our
Rights and Welfare, Reclaim our Democratic Spaces

Photo from YND FB page

Today, we remember that 50 years ago students, in solidarity with the Filipino people, resolved to defend democracy against the Marcos dictatorship and its autocratic policies in what was known as the Diliman Commune.

We draw inspiration from their bravery and their sacrifice. Now, we are faced with the far-reaching impact of the unilateral abrogation of the UP – DND Accord and the anti-terror law on the young of today.

The terror law, which broadly and vaguely defines terrorism, empowers the AFP to arrest and detain an individual up to 24 days without due process of the law. Meanwhile, 38 universities were red-tagged and accused by the AFP and PNP as recruitment grounds of rebels and communists.

Campuses are hotbed not of communists but of critical thinking, democratic discourse, debate and yes, protest. Only by nurturing, rather than stifling and stunting, academic freedom will the full potential of the youth as bearers of the future be realized. Let us continue to foster and nurture democracy in the midst of tyranny.

Stand For Our Rights!
Defend Academic Freedom!
Scrap Anti Terror Law!

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[Statement] Fair and Just Promotion System Will Avert Cheating -TDC

#HumanRights #Teachers

Fair and Just Promotion System Will Avert Cheating
(Statement on Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian’s ‘ready-made research for sale’ expose)

Cheating is stealing. And as we go up the ladder, the wider and deeper the impact on our nation, and therefore the culpability of perpetrators, gravest. TDC condemns this deplorable dishonesty that puts the integrity of our system in question. Falsification of academic achievements is never acceptable.

The broader implication of these misdeeds is that this frightening culture of cheating favors the unscrupulous and incompetent. We are actually installing the worst people possible in key positions, putting Philippine education in the sad state it is right now in. We can do without this kind of individuals.

It is easy to see that some of the guilty ones may have felt that cheating was the only way to level the playing field and get back what has been stolen from them in the first place. Still, we cannot excuse them.

And then there are those who do it out of sheer greed, the rest of us be damned. These individuals must be pursued and dealt with according to law.

Parallel to this, the Department of Education (DepEd) must demonstrate sincerity and resolve in ensuring a fair and credible promotion system. One that is not blinded by mere theses or other “academic achievements.”

Picture this: As the greedy and dishonest go on frenzy over high paying positions, oft times cannibalizing each other, the hard working, talented and honest teachers labor their lives away for decades, with no hope of ever getting the promotion they so very well deserve. Who loses here the most but the Filipino people?

If the DepEd therefore, is serious about its duties both to the Filipino people and our beloved teachers, let them provide all teachers honest-to-goodness, no-nonsense trainings. Let the DepEd access the best minds in both the private and public sectors. We can take a look at the best performing systems in the ASEAN region and learn from them.

It is long overdue that the DepEd fulfilled the now half-a-century old Magna Carta for Public School Teachers. The law provides for a workload conducive for teachers’ academic growth, a paid study leave for them, and a favorable merit system, among other benefits. Let the department, therefore, make into reality the professional growth and upward mobility of our teachers as etched in law. And let it be for all teachers from the big cities, all the way to the far-flung areas around the country.

For details:
Benjo Basas, National Chairperson
0927-3356375

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[Statement] 𝚁𝚎𝚜𝚒𝚜𝚝 𝚌𝚊𝚖𝚙𝚞𝚜 𝚖𝚒𝚕𝚒𝚝𝚊𝚛𝚒𝚣𝚊𝚝𝚒𝚘𝚗, 𝚍𝚎𝚏𝚎𝚗𝚍 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚛𝚒𝚐𝚑𝚝 𝚝𝚘 𝚙𝚛𝚘𝚝𝚎𝚜𝚝 -𝖪𝖨𝖫𝖴𝖲𝖠𝖭

#HumanRights #DefendUP

“𝚁𝚎𝚜𝚒𝚜𝚝 𝚌𝚊𝚖𝚙𝚞𝚜 𝚖𝚒𝚕𝚒𝚝𝚊𝚛𝚒𝚣𝚊𝚝𝚒𝚘𝚗, 𝚍𝚎𝚏𝚎𝚗𝚍 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚛𝚒𝚐𝚑𝚝 𝚝𝚘 𝚙𝚛𝚘𝚝𝚎𝚜𝚝” 𝖪𝖨𝖫𝖴𝖲𝖠𝖭 𝗌𝗍𝖺𝗍𝖾𝗆𝖾𝗇𝗍 𝗈𝗇 𝗍𝗁𝖾 𝖴𝖯-𝖣𝖭𝖣 𝖠𝖼𝖼𝗈𝗋𝖽

The unilateral and without basis UP – DND abrogation is the latest attempt to shrink spaces of democratic discourse. Though worded differently, its sinister aim to crush the right to dissent is shockingly clear.

This move by the DND is meant to convey a message not only to the youth but to academic institutions as well which have been a venue for discourse, pursuing learning in all its aspects in the context of academic freedom, to conform to the regime’s policies and its vision for the country’s youth regardless of its Marcosian undertones.

Already, Polytechnic University of the Philippines’ Prudente -Ramos Accord is in danger of suffering the same fate as the UP-DND Accord.

Yes, by doing away with protocol, as drafted under the accord, we fear that rights abuse and lack of accountability will not be far behind, even if thinly cloaked in upholding ‘peace and order’ against perceived enemies of the state.

This deepening authoritarian rule by Duterte administration aims to remove academic freedom for youth and students who have been at the forefront of protests in the past months.

The youth, along with other ‘woke’ citizens have taken the government to task for the inept management of the ongoing economic crisis as well as the pandemic, especially abuse of power and privilege.

Such actions have dealt a blow in terms of public trust and confidence. Unfortunately, this regime does not welcome criticism nor suggestions.

We need to protect the remaining spaces and strengthen people’s voices for change, especially since it is ultimately the people’s collective well- being that government must represent and reflect.

Stay safe not silent.
Stand up against tyranny, Defend democracy

ResistTyranny

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[Statement] on the unilateral termination of DND of its accord with UP -CHR

#HumanRights #DefendUP

Statement of the Commission on Human Rights on the unilateral termination of the Department of National Defense (DND) of its accord with the University of the Philippines (UP)

The UP-DND Accord is more than an agreement limiting the entry of State forces in any of the UP campuses. Seen from a history of abuse of power since the dictatorship, it serves as an assurance that the freedom to express dissent, to protest, and the exercise of academic freedom will be respected by the government, particularly by the police and military.

For more than three decades, this Accord has served to protect the University’s students, faculty, and employees from arbitrary, capricious repressions of protected rights.

However, at this time, when human rights violations continue to abound, the unilateral termination of DND of the said Accord with UP serves to cast further doubts on its intent and aggravates the climate of distrust towards the government.

The UP-DND Accord does not place UP beyond the reach of the rule of law. The University continues to exist as a subject of valid restrictions inasmuch as it is guaranteed freedoms. No one is and should ever be above the law.

DND should have appealed to good judgment in expressing concerns to UP and finding ways to move forward, instead of immediately abrogating the Accord, in pursuit of the best interest of all.

The DND, with whom UP entered into the subject agreement, is in charge of the Armed Forces, whose mandate is different from that of the PNP. The primary concern of DND is to secure the State from external and internal threats. Maintaining peace and order is within the ambit of the Philippine National Police.

Read complete statement @chr.gov.ph

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