Category Archives: Uncategorized

[Statement] on the forceful taking of the lumad children and red-tagging of their counsel, Children’s Legal Bureau | ALG

#HumanRights #StopRedTagging

Statement of the Alternative Law Groups (ALG) on the forceful taking of the lumad children and red-tagging of their counsel, Children’s Legal Bureau

The Alternative Law Groups (ALG) strongly denounces the red-tagging of the Children’s Legal Bureau, Inc. (CLB), a member of the ALG, and the act of government agencies involved in seizing Lumad children in the University of San Carlos (USC) Talamban on Feb. 15, 2021.

The incident concerns members of the Lumad Bakwit School, children and their teachers alike, that were unlawfully arrested in the USC Talamban campus in Cebu City. This was conducted by the Philippine National Police (PNP), Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), and the Cebu City Department of Social Welfare and Services.

The PNP issued a statement alleging that the children were first “lured to enroll with communist front” and then brought to Cebu City to “undergo revolutionary training as future armed combatants.” They claimed it was a “rescue” operation for Lumad children studying in the Lumad Bakwit School. In truth, the children taken are refugees from militarized areas of Mindanao that are seeking education they do not have access to.

In a statement issued by the CLB, an ALG member that represents seven of the Lumad children, they have indicated that the forceful taking of the children were “unnecessary and uncalled for” because the children were not in a dangerous situation. They further added that greater prudence could have been practiced by the government agencies if the children’s best interest were put first. To add to this grave misconduct by the government, CLB was recently red-tagged in a public poster seen in Mandaue City, Cebu by a certain People for Peace Coalition-Central Visayas.

Chad Errol Booc, volunteer teacher for Math and Science with the Lumad Bakwit School, was among those arrested. Chad along with other indigenous leaders who have long-suffered from red-tagging are assailing the constitutionality of the Anti-Terror Law.

The ALG is alarmed by these incidents that further reinforce the fear of progressive organizations and indigenous peoples that the Anti-Terror Law will be used as a political tool to suppress human rights and other liberties.

The ALG stands by the CLB, the Lumad children and their parents, and the indigenous peoples community and advocates that walk with them. We call on the government to take actions so that the agencies concerned be held accountable. We also continue the call to junk terror law as it only further sows a culture of fear, violence, and impunity.

FreeLumad26

JunkTerrorLaw

SaveOurSchools


Alternative Law Groups
Ateneo Human Rights Center
BALAOD Mindanaw
Environmental Legal Assistance Center, Inc. – ELAC
ERDA Foundation, Inc.
Humanitarian Legal Assistance Foundation, Inc – HLAF
KAISAHAN
Legal Rights and Natural Resources Center
Process Foundation Panay,inc
Rainbow Rights Philippines
SALIGAN
Women’s Legal and Human Rights Bureau – WLB

https://web.facebook.com/TheAlternativeLawGroups/photos/a.806936606128956/1892271134262159/

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[Appeal] Open Letter to ASEAN on the situation in Myanmar

#HumanRights #Myanmar

Open Letter to ASEAN on the situation in Myanmar

Your Excellencies,

Re: ASEAN’s response to the military coup in Myanmar

As civil society organizations from the ASEAN region, we write to you urging you to use your unique position to influence the situation in Myanmar by taking immediate measures to ensure that the military respects people’s right to peaceful protests and to freedom of expression, that democracy is upheld, and the will of the people respected.

Following the Myanmar military’s illegal seizure of power on 1 February, Commander-in-Chief Senior General Min Aung Hlaing assumed all legislative, executive, and judicial powers under the newly-established State Administrative Council.

A non-violent pro-democracy movement has since grown nationwide, and the Myanmar authorities have responded by cracking down on fundamental freedoms. Hundreds of senior officials from the National League for Democracy (NLD), pro-democracy activists and human rights defenders have been arrested; mobile phone and Internet communications have been heavily restricted; highly repressive legislation, including a draft Cyber Security Bill and revisions to the Penal Code have been adopted; and restrictions on gatherings imposed.
The Myanmar security forces have also increasingly responded with force against peaceful protesters, using live munitions, water cannons and deploying armored vehicles in cities. Given the abuses committed in the past by the Myanmar military under the command of Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, including international crimes against the Rohingya and in other ethnic minority areas, we are seriously concerned about a potentially violent response from the authorities.

We would like to recall to your excellencies the principles of the ASEAN Charter, which includes adhering to the principles of democracy, the rule of law and good governance, as well as the respect for and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms. We also recall the recent UN Security Council statement supporting and encouraging regional organizations, in particular ASEAN, to address the situation in Myanmar.

We welcome the ASEAN Chairman’s statement on the situation in Myanmar, later echoed by the representatives of Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand to the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR). In addition, we are encouraged by the calls made by the leaders of Indonesia and Malaysia in seeking a special meeting of ASEAN’s foreign ministers to discuss the situation.

However, we urge you to go further by immediately using all diplomatic leverage at your disposal to ensure that the Myanmar military refrains from using violence and imposing further restrictions on freedom of expression and peaceful assembly, as well as to establish a comprehensive response that secures long-term democratic and human rights gains.

Recent developments in Myanmar are disastrous for its people, as well as the region as a whole. They create the potential for thousands of people to flee violence and persecution, as well as a volatile regional environment.

We firmly believe that it is not only crucial, but also in ASEAN’s best interests, to take a strong stance on these urgent and worrying developments. Failure to do so risks further damaging ASEAN’s reputation as an effective regional body that can meaningfully contribute to a strong and viable community of nations.

We draw strength from ASEAN’s productive engagements with Myanmar’s military in the past, most notably in response to the Cyclone Nargis crisis of 2008. We urge ASEAN to recognize that it can be equally helpful to the people of Myanmar today as it was then.

This is the perfect opportunity for ASEAN to demonstrate its political leverage and push for positive developments.

With this in mind, we urge ASEAN to:
• Immediately hold an urgent special meeting to call on the Myanmar military to adhere to the principles of the ASEAN Charter, including the principles of democracy, the rule of law, good governance, and respect for the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms by:
➢ Immediately and unconditionally releasing all those currently arbitrarily detained;
➢ Refraining from using violence against protesters and respecting people’s right to privacy and information, freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly;
➢ Allowing parliament to resume, and elected MPs to fulfil their mandate without impediment;
➢ Immediately restoring full access to the Internet and all forms of communications; and
➢ Immediately allowing all humanitarian aid and health support to resume unimpeded.

• Collaborate with the UN Security Council and UN Human Rights Council to immediately send a delegation to the country to monitor the situation and help negotiate a democratic and human rights-based solution.

• Use your position in UN fora, in particular at the UN Security Council and Human Rights Council, to support enhanced monitoring and reporting of the unfolding human rights crisis in Myanmar.

• Impose targeted financial sanctions on the military as an institution, including its businesses and its associates in a manner that respects human rights and gives due consideration to any negative socio-economic impact on the ordinary civilian population, as recommended by the UN Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar;

• Impose an embargo on the transfer or sale of military arms and equipment to Myanmar; and

• Use all diplomatic leverage and establish a comprehensive response to ensure long-term democratic and human rights change in the country, including by ensuring that:

➢ The Myanmar armed forces end all violations of international humanitarian and human rights law in ethnic minority and ceasefire areas, and that all civilians are protected;
➢ Myanmar guarantees the safe, voluntary and dignified return of displaced communities, including the Rohingya, by lifting all arbitrary and discriminatory restrictions on their access to citizenship, freedom of movement, and access to healthcare, education and livelihood opportunities;
➢ Myanmar fully cooperates with the IIMM and complies with the provisional measures ordered by the ICJ; and
➢ Institutional and constitutional changes are adopted that would bring the military under civilian control and ensure accountability for human rights violations.

Signatories:

  1. Alliance for Conflict Transformation
  2. ALTSEAN-Burma
  3. Arakan CSO network
  4. ASEAN Parliamentarians for Human Rights
  5. ASEAN SOGIE Caucus
  6. ASEAN Youth Forum
  7. Asia Justice and Rights
  8. Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA)
  9. Association of Human Rights Defenders and Promoters
  10. Athan
  11. Backpack Health Workers Team
  12. BALAOD Mindanaw
  13. Burma Medical Association
  14. Burmese Women’s Union
  15. Child Rights Coalition Asia
  16. Chin Human Rights Organization
  17. Commission for the Disappeared and Victims of Violence (KontraS)
  18. Cross Cultural Foundation
  19. Democracy, Peace and Women Organization
  20. Equality Myanmar
  21. Freedom and Labor Action Group
  22. Generation Wave
  23. Genuine People’s Servants
  24. Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict
  25. Human Rights Educators Network
  26. Human Rights Foundation of Monland
  27. Indonesia Legal Aid Foundation (YLBHI)
  28. Initiatives for International Dialogue
  29. Kachin Women’s Association Thailand
  30. Karen Affairs Committee
  31. Karen Environmental and Social Action Network
  32. Karen Grassroots Women Network
  33. Karen Human Rights Group
  34. Karen Peace Support Network
  35. Karen Refugee Committee
  36. Karen Rivers Watch
  37. Karen Student Network Group
  38. Karen Teacher Working Group
  39. Karen Women’s Organization
  40. Karenni Human Rights Group
  41. Karenni National Women’s Organization
  42. Karenni Refugee Committee
  43. Keng Tung Youth
  44. Let’s Help Each Other
  45. Maramagri Youth Network
  46. MARUAH
  47. Myanmar Civil Society Core Group on ASEAN
  48. Myanmar People Alliance
  49. Network for Human Rights Documentation – Burma
  50. Olive Organization
  51. Pa-O Women’s Union
  52. Pa-O Youth Organization
  53. Peace Institute
  54. People’s Empowerment Foundation
  55. Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates
  56. Progressive Voice
  57. Pusat KOMAS
  58. Shan MATA
  59. SHAPE-SEA
  60. Society for the Promotion of Human Rights (PROHAM)
  61. Southern Youth Group
  62. Task Force Detainees of the Philippines
  63. The Alliance of Independent Journalists
  64. The Seagull: Human Rights, Peace and Development
  65. Think Centre
  66. Thwee Community Development Network
  67. TRANSCEND Pilipinas
  68. Triangle Women
  69. Women’s League of Burma

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WINNERS of the 10th #HumanRights Pinduteros Choice Awards

WINNERS of the 10th #HumanRights Pinduteros Choice Awards

WEBSITE
KARAPATAN
https://www.karapatan.org/

CAMPAIGN
BLACK FRIDAY ONLINE PROTEST #NoToABSCBNShutdown
BY National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP)
https://bit.ly/33L3G0e

NETWORKS POST
Dapat maresolba ang mga problema sa modular learning at self-learning modules bago pa ito paggugulan ng malaking pondo

By Teachers Dignity Coalition (TDC)
https://bit.ly/3mMxnph

RIGHT UP
The coronavirus is the monstrous product of the present nefarious global system

by Jose Mario De Vega
https://bit.ly/3lNuT8T

FEATURED SITE
AHRC Online Legal Counseling Facebook page

By Ateneo Human Rights Center
https://bit.ly/33OSDTL

BLOGSITE
Minding Mindoro and Beyond (https://nanovio.blogspot.com/)

By Norman Novio

VIDEO
Lumabas Tayo! Lumaban Tayo!

By iDEFEND
https://bit.ly/3mNuyEq

OFF-THE-SHELF
Philippines: New report reveals deliberate killings of children during “war on drugs”

by OMCT and CLRDC, Philippines
https://bit.ly/2JWRXEH

EVENT
Human rights groups, grassroots activists and civil society organizations launch protest marking the anniversary of the declaration of martial law

By PAHRA and iDEFEND
https://bit.ly/2VFd4y4

Plus + SPECIAL PLAQUE OF APPRECIATION presented by PAHRA to LIKHANG MULAT

Photos by Jayneca Reyes

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[Video] Huwag Matakot Magpahayag! Fight misinformation and disinformation on human rights! -HRonlinePH.com

#HumanRights #FightMisinformation #FightDisInformation #Pindu10nayan! Huwag Matakot Magpahayag! Fight misinformation and disinformation on human rights! -HRonlinePH.com

Mga ka-HR-pinduteros!

Huwag Matakot Magpahayag! Fight misinformation and disinformation on human rights!
Join us as we launch our continuing campaign for the defense and promotion of freedom of expression, access to truthful information, and fight against misinformation and disinformation.

Together, we capacitate ourselves and amplify truth by Informing and inspiring people to take action for a meaningful change for all.

#WagMatakotMagpahayag

#FightMisinformation

#FightDisinformation

#Pindu10nayan!

PLS SUBSCRIBE AND HIT THE NOTIFICATION BELL. LIKE, COMMENT AND SHARE!

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[Press Release] DEPED, hinamon na ipatupad ang mga polisiyang pabor sa mga guro -TDC

#HumanRights #Teachers DEPED, hinamon na ipatupad ang mga polisiyang pabor sa mga guro

Kinilala ng Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC) ang bagong nilabas na memorandum ng DepEd Central Office hinggil sa ilang pagbabago sa pagpapatupad ng distance learning education. Ang Memorandum OUCI-2020-307 na may pamagat na SUGGESTED MEASURES TO FOSTER “ACADEMIC EASE” DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC na nilagdaan ni Undersecretary Diosdado San Antonio noong Oktubre 30 ay tugon umano ng ahensiya sa mga nakita nilang karanasan ng mga mag-aaral, magulang at guro sa pagpapatupad ng Basic Education Learning Continuity Plan (BE-LCP).

“Kinikilala namin ito sapagkat patunay lamang ito na may mga bagay na nalimutang ikunsidera ang DepEd sa pagpipilit nitong buksan ang school year 2020-2021. Nakita naman natin ang epekto sa lahat- bata, magulang guro, lahat sila ay may mga kinakaharap na mga pagsubok at hirap dahil sa pagpapatupad ng online at modular learning modalities ng DepEd,” ani Benjo Basas, National Chairperson ng TDC.

Ayon kay Basas, hindi umano makaagapay ang mga bata at magulang sa dalawang pangunahing pamamaraan ng pag-aaral ngayon. Maliban umano sa kakulangan sa mga gadgets at mahinang internet connectivity ay problema rin ang kakulangan o sadyang kawalan ng modules na ang mga guro umano ang siyang gumagawa ng paraan.

“Hindi madaling mag-aral sa mga ganitong kaparaanan, lalong hindi madaling magturo kung hindi sapat ang kagamitan at pangangailangan ng mga guro. Sa maraming pagkakataon pa nga, mga guro ang nagpupuno sa kakulangan ng sistema,” dagdag pa ni Basas.

Ilan sa mga pagbabagong ipatutupad ng DepEd ay ang pagpapalawig ng first quarter mula Nobyembre 28 hanggang Disyembre 12, paglulunsad ng in-service training (INSET) sa mga guro bago ang holiday break, pagbabawas ng mga gawain ng mag-aaral at maging ng mga self-learning modules sa mga susunod na quarters, pagtatalaga ng mga learning support aides (LSA) sa mga bata at pamilyang nahihirapan sa modular learning at ang pagbibigay-diin sa pagtuturo ng mga guro kaysa sa ibang gawain. Ayon pa rin sa memorandum, “Schools should put premium on the instructional tasks of teachers in their workload or assignments (e.g. teachers should not be burdened on printing and distribution of modules).”

Ayon pa sa TDC, maganda umano ang polisiyang ito upang matulungan ang mga guro na gumampan nang mas mabuti sa kanilang pagtuturo, subalit dapat umanong tiyakin ng DepEd na maipatutupad ito.

“No doubt, DepEd has many good policies gaya niyang sa working hours at itong work from home na default set-up sa AWA (alternative work arrangement). Then we have this latest one that says ‘teachers should not be burdened on printing and distribution of modules.’ Ang problema sa DepEd, kapag pabor sa mga guro ang polisiya ay hindi ito kayang ipatupad. Kaya sa huli, mga teacher pa rin ang kailangang mag-adjust o mag-suffer,” paliwanag ni Basas.

Hinamon din ng TDC ang DepEd na ipagbawal ang physical reporting sa mga guro para gumampan sa mga gawaing hindi esensiyal gaya ng reproduction at sorting ng modules at iba pang mga gawaing maaari namang gampanan habang sila ay nasa bahay alinsunod sa mga nauna nang kautusan ng DepEd at CSC.

“Perhaps there is a need for a DepEd Memorandum or Order that will particularly and explicitly state that production and sorting of modules should not be done by teachers and prohibit field officials from requiring them to do such tasks. Yun naman ang sabi ng DepEd kahit sa Congressional hearings at budget deliberation eh. Patunayan nila na totoo ang kanilang sinasabi sa Kongreso at sa media at patunayan nila na handang-handa nga sa pagbubukas ng klase ang ahensiya,” pagtatapos ni Basas.

Isang buwan matapos ang pagbubukas ng klase noong Oktubre, nananatiling naghihintay ang TDC sa tugon ng DepEd sa kanilang kahilingan sa dayalogo. #

For details:
Benjo Basas, 09273356375
For teachers’ reactions from FB post:
https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=4120284984667851&id=136307986398924

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[From the web] Asian Network pushes stronger TNC regulations at the UN amidst pandemic -Focus on the Global South

#HumanRights #Trade Asian Network pushes stronger TNC regulations at the UN amidst pandemic

Amidst the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic, the negotiations towards a legally binding instrument on transnational corporations and other business enterprises and human rights commenced Monday, 26th of October in Geneva, with participation from States, business groups and civil society organizations enabled through various online platforms.

Following the mandate of UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) Resolution 26/9, States are negotiating at this 6th session of the open-ended intergovernmental working group the 2nd revised draft of the text prepared by Ecuador and released in August 2020. Six Asian States (China, India, Indonesia, Pakistan, Philippines and Vietnam) supported the resolution in 2014.

Civil society organizations have since 2014 been actively engaged, pushing and intervening in the process. They have put forward concrete proposals towards a robust international legally binding instrument that would address the gaps in international human rights law on holding transnational corporations accountable for human rights abuses. They have highlighted the need to put at the center of the talks, the rights of victims and the importance of strengthening mechanisms to ensure justice for rights holders.

Please click the link below to read more:

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[People]Journalism: Most Dangerous Job in the Philippines – by Fr. Shay Cullen

#HumanRights #PressFreedom Journalism: Most Dangerous Job in the Philippines
Shay Cullen
30 October 2020

If you are a truthful, honest journalist in the Philippines that writes and speaks the truth about injustice, political intrigues, and wrong-doing, you could be killed any day and any time by motorcycle-riding assassins. Last 14 September 2020, Jobert Bercasio was riding home on his motorcycle when assailants ambushed him and shot him five times, a hundred meters from the police station. He died on the spot.

Jobert was a reporter and commentator at the privately-run internet broadcaster Balangibog, in Sorsogon City, in the central Philippines. He commented and reported on local political, economic, and social issues and one hour before his murder he had posted a report on his Facebook page about illegal quarrying.

This 2 November, the UN International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists has one more slain journalist to add to its growing list. In the Philippines, impunity still reigns supreme as few suspects are caught and held accountable for numerous murders of journalists and human rights and land rights advocates. The suspects have been promised impunity.

Between the years 1991 and 2020, 85 journalists have been killed in the Philippines, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ). Impunity is common, few police or military are ever held accountable. It is almost impossible to identify the masterminds and the suspected godfathers behind the death squads. The dead journalists were mostly reporting on corruption, election-cheating, and human rights violations. Some were killed in combat zones, according to the CPJ.

The Philippines also suffered the world’s largest mass murder of journalists. The 2009 Maguindanao massacre of 32 journalists and 23 civilians took 10 years of a court battle to be resolved. They were ambushed, rounded up and machine-gunned to death, and buried in a mass grave. The Ampatuan clan was found responsible and after ten years, the leaders that were still alive in 2019 were sentenced to life in prison. This was a rare occurrence.

The survival of journalists and their families nowadays means writers and reporters have to be very circumspect in their reporting. While being truthful in their reports, they must not offend, harshly criticize, satirize offensively and never insult or accuse anybody in power. Death squads for hire are available and they will kill anybody for a few hundred dollars.

The team of two assassins gets a text with the name and photo of a person to be killed and they agree to be paid by courier. The mastermind is never known. They pull on extra-large face masks against coronavirus, wear dark sunglasses and baseball caps. They jump on their stolen motorcycle and riding-in-tandem, they go looking for their victim. They corner their prey and the assassin on the back shoots the person dead in broad daylight and they speed away. Very few are ever caught, some of the shooters are suspected to be former or present off-duty policemen or military.

The greatest caution is exercised by journalists since the grim warning given by President Rodrigo Duterte in 2016, “Just because you’re a journalist, you are not exempted from assassination, if you’re a son of a bitch. Freedom of expression cannot help you if you have done something wrong.”

A chilling warning indeed. What wrong a journalist would do to deserve being assassinated has never been explained. The most dangerous thing a journalist could do is to write or broadcast insulting or provocative comments. Even mild criticism of a powerful politician or business tycoon could call out the death squad and your days are numbered.

The freedom of speech to publish and satirize provocatively like the cartoonist in France would be impossible here if you were to live another day. The retaliation would be swift, immediate and fatal. Tolerance and restraint by journalists is best to avoid assassinations and bystanders getting killed. The freedom of speech is not absolute.

Strict libel laws in the Philippines make it almost impossible to criticize anyone. The latest anti-terrorist law makes the spreading of “Fake News” a serious crime. However, there are other ways for journalists to write, speak and publish the truth by research and stating the facts in a non-sensational, non-belligerent and accusatory way. They conduct challenging but polite interviews. But even the facts, presented in a factual balanced and respectful way, causes reaction. The truth hurts, they say, so authorities and tycoons warn journalists to keep a lid on it. Some do, many don’t. The well-known and awarded journalist Maria Ressa and the news website Rappler was heavily criticized by government officials and charges were brought against her and Rappler for displeasing the powers that be. Even ABS-CBN, a leading TV network, had its franchise chopped by Congress for similar reasons and the politicians said it was justified. ABS-CBS has devised a work around with another broadcasting company, ZOE Broadcasting Network, and is back on air.

Human rights and earth advocates and defenders have been killed in large numbers. According to research, there were 116 killings of human rights activists on Negros Island from July 1, 2016 to August 27, 2019. Most of the victims were farmers and leaders of farmers groups struggling to defend their land against land-grabbers and mining corporations. Last July 2020, 14 rights workers were assassinated in one week alone.

I share with you a poem in solidarity with all journalists that have suffered injustice and oppression.

The Truth Will Set You Free

“The truth will set you free,”
the great man said.
Who will tell it as it is, those who hide and cower?
Or the journalists brave and strong that risk the consequence of talking truth to power?
They bring upon themselves the anger and the story of the dead,
The jackboot on the door, the beating on the head,
The sudden death by assassins highly paid
by officials whose corruption is their evil stock and trade.
What journalist brave and true can endure the fear and pain,
of knowing that their life’s work could be useless and in vain?
We stand with all those, whose voices have been silenced, barred and blocked,
Innocent journalists, jailed and tortured and who suffer electric shock.
Let all who in safety and in true freedom live,
And have the power to tell the truth and can give
true testimony against evil and terrible wrong,
and with justice and the power of truth overcome the strong.

http://www.preda.org

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[People] Are Philippine ISPs Enabling Child Sexual Abuse Online? -Fr. Shay Cullen

#HumanRights #Children Are Philippine ISPs Enabling Child Sexual Abuse Online?

The handing down of a life sentence to American David Timothy Deakin, 53, by Pampanga-based Judge Irineo Pangilinan Jr. of the Regional Trial Court in Angeles City earlier this year is just an indication of the seriousness of the live-streaming and trafficking of children for child abuse.

Deakin is just one of thousands of child abusers in the Philippines live-streaming child abuse shows over the internet. Most of them are Filipino abusers, parents and relatives, pimps and traffickers earning money sent by courier by foreign pedophiles. They use the video camera on a cell phone connected to the internet.

The US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) was able to intercept the live-streaming images sent out by Deakin and many more abusers sent through the Internet Service Providers like PLDT/Smart and Globe Telecoms. International law enforcement agencies and child protection non-government organizations are sending to Philippine law enforcement officials a stream of information about the child abuse videos and pictures they intercept and detect on the internet. There are so many it overwhelms the Philippine police.

Allegedly, the telecommunication corporations allow the images and videos to pass unhindered through their servers enabling the sexual abuse of children online. If so, they have a lot to answer for but they are not being challenged or questioned enough as to why they do not obey the Anti-Child Pornography Law of 2009 otherwise known as Republic Act 9775 and install the effective, state-of-the art software to block the child abuse and pornography such as PhotoDNA and VideoDNA artificial intelligence-driven software that detects child pornography and live-streaming. Here is my reply to a PLDT/Smart e-mail saying that they are trying to comply with the law.

“Thank you for your letter and I understand the need for the public relations response to my latest challenge with the article “International Day of the Girl” for the telecommunication corporations to stop, block and filter child pornography and online sexual abuse of children passing through the PLDT /Smart servers. This also applies to Globe Telecom.

It is clear from this evidence as reported by international law enforcement agencies and NGOs that there are no efficient software solutions installed by PLDT/Smart (and Globe) on their servers. Otherwise there would be a big drop in reported cases.

We at the Preda Foundation (www.preda.org) have many child victims in care and recovery referred by government social workers, NGOs and police. The children are healed and empowered and fight for justice and together with Preda, they win convictions. In 2019, 20 child rapists were given life sentences. In 2020, 10 children won convictions so far. Every conviction is a big victory.

Not only have some been abused online, but their rapists have likely viewed child porn. Some Filipino child abusers are only 10 and 12 years old and the victims five and six years old. The latest in Subic town was a gang rape by three boys 10 and 12 years old who likely viewed child pornography online and the victim was only six years old.

If the PLDT/Smart and Globe are truly concerned, they will act and spend for the high-tech, effective software available and save and protect children instead of making excuses and paying small fines for non-compliance allegedly in collusion with some officials in the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC).

The public relations excuses by the telecommunication corporations have all been said before and the old claim of blocking 2,900 sites is ridiculous. Is that daily or weekly? That same number has been used months ago and if PLDT/Smart is really blocking child porn and stopping the live streaming of child sexual abuse daily, it should be at least 10,000 or 20,000 sites intercepted and blocked in the last six months.

But the PLDT/Smart number stays the same. It seems fake. The technicians never seem to find any more such sites and say they depend on the Department of Justice to find such sites when in fact the law says the corporation’s ISPs must install the software to actively intercept and block them.

We are also campaigning worldwide for PLDT/Smart and Globe and other corporations to get the latest most effective Artificial Intelligence-driven software like PhotoDNA and VideoDNA and similar high-tech solutions. This software is state-of-art and automatically detects child porn and automatically blocks it without anybody prying into any personal communications of any person which PLDT/Smart claim is a conflict in the law and a reason PLDT/Smart does not have filters to block child pornography and live streaming of child abuse.

Such a claim is null and void, devoid of reason as the software does not look at anything but the pornography. PLDT/Smart must do this under the law RA 9775 since 2009 and seem to claim they are above this law. They are allegedly enablers of the child abuse online. Millions of images of child rape and abuse have since passed through the PLDT/Smart and Globe ISPs servers in this country. By dereliction of duty and by association in crimes, they can be held liable. This country is a hot spot for child abuse and has become a fairyland paradise for paedophiles.”

When the telecommunication media moguls are compelled by public opinion and a responsible, child-friendly government to obey the law, they should announce what software they have installed. They must name the official who is responsible for it and they must be transparent to the national and international law enforcement agencies and experts of the international community protecting children. It is they that are monitoring the internet for child pornography and can see and verify that such state-of-the -art software really is installed and acknowledge that it is working. Anything less is just talk, empty statements, fake claims of compliance while using totally redundant and obsolete software that cannot effectively block the flood of child pornography.

Globe Telecom has also a serious obligation to install the software and protect children. Apparently, they have not done so sufficiently or else there would not be so many children being abused online. We all have the obligation to report any suspected abuse. We need to be alert of children that are distressed and come to their aid.

http://www.preda.org

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[From the web] Labor group urges DOLE and DTI to allow more worker involvement in safeguarding workplace from COVID-19 -BMP

Labor group urges DOLE and DTI to allow more worker involvement in safeguarding workplace from COVID-19

Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP) admonished the return-to-work guidelines released last April 30 by the DOLE and DTI for not having enough teeth in ensuring the health and safety of workers eager to recover their livelihoods.

DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez and Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello released the Interim Guidelines on Workplace Prevention and Control of COVID-19 with the professed aim to assist private companies that are allowed to operate during the ECQ and GCQ in developing health protocols and standards in light of the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Repeating the IATF’s recommendation to implement alternative work arrangements, these guidelines also encouraged disinfection processes, distribution and usage of PPE’s among workers, isolation areas for workers with symptoms, and monthly health reports submitted to DOLE regional offices. Workers are also discouraged from engaging in conversation, as well as prolonged face to face interaction.

BMP President Luke Espiritu said “most of these guidelines provide effective measures to prevent COVID-19 from entering the workplace. However, it is crucial to ask how DOLE and DTI will be able to ensure strict employer compliance when the guidelines stop short of establishing penalties for companies who refuse or do not comply?”

“If there’s anything that we can learn from the DOLE’s experience of administering the COVID-19 Adjustment Measures Program (CAMP) during the ECQ, it’s that the DOLE cannot rely on the ‘goodwill’ of employers in ensuring the safety and welfare of workers. How many Filipino workers have not received CAMP because their employers did not reach out to the DOLE and apply? DOLE relied on the voluntary application of employers as the sole machinery to administer CAMP to the workers. This resulted in the exclusion of millions of workers from being CAMP beneficiaries. It would be very unconscionable for the DOLE to trust employers to comply with these new return-to-work guidelines given their recent track record,” Espiritu added.

Espiritu bared that the solution to ensure the health and safety of both managements and workers going back to work is more worker involvement in planning and implementing safety guidelines.

“This is the same prescription BMP gave to Secretary Bello for CAMP. Allow unions and the rest of organized labor to share in the responsibility of safeguarding their workplaces from COVID-19. The track record of labor organizations during the ECQ is far superior to that of capitalists. They have organized relief operations and coordinated with communities to pressure government to properly distribute sufficient aid. The spirit of bayanihan, which the Duterte Administration is fond of peddling, is genuinely exemplified not in our politicians or employers, but in the activities of workers. They can surely enforce the return-to-work guidelines much better and more efficiently than their bosses because it is they who are more affected by the crisis” Espiritu bared.

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[Campaign] Cast COVID-19 Away! Donation Drive – iDEFEND and PAHRA

CALL FOR SOLIDARITY!

CAST COVID19 AWAY!
CIRCLES OF ACTION AND SOLIDARITY –
#TulongSulongTayo

Donation drive para sa mga informal sectors at mahihirap na komunidad sa gitna ng COVID19ph crisis.

CP Numbers: Globe: 09277631500; 09060068901; Smart 09084452291
Email: COVID19HRVSULAT@gmail.com
Facebook: In Defense of Human Rights and Dignity Movement

Apektado tayong lahat ng COVID-19 crisis, ngunit mas marami sa mga komunidad at kapwa nating Pilipino na mahirap ang dumadanas nang matinding kakapusan. Sa pagkain, sa medical na pangangailangan at iba pa.

Kaya naman sa maliit nating maiiambag at anumang maitutulong ngayon, sa pagpalo sa ikalawang Linggo ng “Enhanced Quarantine”, ay minabuti ng iDEFEND na ilunsad ang CAST COVID19 AWAY! (CIRCLES OF ACTION AND SOLIDARITY) – Donation drive.

Layuning makatulong manlang tayong makapag-abot ng pantawid buhay sa mahaba-haba pang krisis at pagtitiis ng ating mga kababayan. Habang kinakalampag natin ang pagkilos ng mga kinauukulan, tayo ay mananawagan ng pagkakaisa, pagmamalasakit, pagkilos para sa kapwa…

Dahil higit sa lahat nasa pagsasama-sama at pag-aambagan ang lakas natin upang harapin ang krisis na ito.

Pls share.

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[In the news] No-endo bill na pinasa ng Kongreso, pinuna dahil ‘mahina’ -ABS-CBN news

Ikinadismaya ng ilang labor groups ang hindi pagdaan sa bicameral proceedings sa Kongreso ng panukalang security of tenure na layon daw wakasan ang ilegal na kontraktuwalisasyon.

Ito ay matapos kanselahin ang pagtalakay nitong umaga ng Miyerkoles dahil tinanggap na umano ng Kamara ang bersiyon ng Senado ng panukala.

Ikinadismaya ito ni Trade Union Congress of the Philippines party-list Rep. Raymond Mendoza.

“A bit disappointed, yes, on the process, and we could’ve enhanced it from the version in the House,” aniya.

Tingin ng grupong Sentro ng mga Nagkakaisa at Progresibong Manggagawa (SENTRO) na taktika ito ng Kongreso para mailusot ang mahinang bersiyon ng panukala.

“Malinaw na malinaw, niloloko ng Congress ang workers. It will not solve the problem of ‘endo’ (end of contract) at ‘yung pangako ng pangulo ay nakapako pa din,” ani Josua Mata.

Read more @news.abs-cbn.com

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[Statement] A Joint Statement by Youth for Human Rights and Democracy (Y4HRD) and Young Filipino Advocates of Critical Thinking (yFACTph)

AN EXCEPTION TURNED GENERAL RULE: A Joint Statement by Youth for Human Rights and Democracy (Y4HRD) and Young Filipino Advocates of Critical Thinking (yFACTph)

We, the Youth for Human Rights and Democracy (Y4HRD) and the Young Filipino Advocates of Critical Thinking (yFACTph), express our utter dismay for yet another extension of military rule in Mindanao. It must be noted that the so-called grounds for the declaration of martial law in Mindanao have long been non-existent; assuming it actually did exist in the first place. We must also be reminded that for a declaration of Martial Law to be valid and justifiable, a real threat or an actual rebellion must first exist.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines, in many of its statements, recommended the extension of martial law in Mindanao to combat “lurking threats of terrorism.”

We reiterate our position that the extension of military rule in Mindanao is not only unnecessary, but also cruel and arbitrary in itself. The presence of the military in the region only creates an atmosphere of intimidation and fear. The people of Marawi, the thousands of displaced people, the indigenous people who are targets of human rights violations, and the neighboring provinces in Mindanao deserve peace and stability made possible by a civilian government.

The government must stop making martial law the general rule. It must remain an exception – only to be declared in extraordinary circumstances warranted by the Philippine Constitution. This, if the government still believes in the Rule of Law.

#NoToMartialLawExtension
#YoungDefendersPH

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Thanks and Congrats to the 6th #HumanRights Pinduteros Choice Awards Winners

Thanks and Congrats to the 6th #HumanRights Pinduteros Choice Awards Winners

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6th #HumanRights Pinduteros Choice Awards Winners

The Digital Museum of Martial Law in the Philippines (martiallaw.ph) the 6th #HumanRights Pinduteros Choice For HR Website

The Digital Museum of Martial Law in the Philippines (martiallaw.ph) the 6th #HumanRights Pinduteros Choice For HR Website

HR Pinduteros Choice for HR Blog

rodgalicha.com the 6th HR Pinduteros Choice for HR Blog

rodgalicha.com the 6th HR Pinduteros Choice for HR Blog

HR Pinduteros Choice for HR Online Campaign

Urgent Appeal by TFDP is the 6th HR Pinduteros Choice for HR Online campaign

Urgent Appeal by TFDP is the 6th HR Pinduteros Choice for HR Online campaign

HR Pinduteros Choice for HR Event

Active Vista by DAKILA is the 6th HR Pinduteros Choice for HR Event

Active Vista by DAKILA is the 6th HR Pinduteros Choice for HR Event

HR Pinduteros Choice for HR Networks Post

Statement by PM is the 6th HR Pinduteros Choice for HR Networks Post

Statement by PM is the 6th HR Pinduteros Choice for HR Networks Post

HR Pinduteros Choice for HR Pinduteros Post

Ilitaw by Greg Bituin is the 6th HR Pinduteros Choice for HR Pinduteros Post

Ilitaw by Greg Bituin is the 6th HR Pinduteros Choice for HR Pinduteros Post

HR Pinduteros Choice for HR Featured Site

The Digital Museum of Martial Law in the Philippines (martiallaw.ph) is the 6th HR Pinduteros Choice for HR Featured Site

The Digital Museum of Martial Law in the Philippines (martiallaw.ph) is the 6th HR Pinduteros Choice for HR Featured Site

 

HR Pinduteros Choice for HR Video

Martial Law Chronicles is the 6th HR Pinduteros Choice for HR Video

Martial Law Chronicles is the 6th HR Pinduteros Choice for HR Video

HR Pinduteros Choice for HR Off-the-shelf

UATC is the 6th HR Pinduteros Choice for HR Off-the-shelf

UATC is the 6th HR Pinduteros Choice for HR Off-the-shelf

[From the web] Anti-Torture Coalition denounces Marcos burial like a “thief in the night”-UATC

Anti-Torture Coalition denounces Marcos burial like a “thief in the night”

uatc logoA network of civil society organizations which advocate for the eradication of torture and ill treatment in the Philippines has likened the  sudden manner of the burial of the late deposed  dictator Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani (LnmB) today as a “thief in the night.”

The United against Torture Coalition (UATC) said that the swiftness of the Marcos’s internment tend to belie the claim of the dictator’s family and their supporters that there is a popular support for the decision to bury him in the LnmB.

“Once again, the public was caught by surprise just like the time when the entire country was placed by Marcos under martial law. That kind of  stealth is characteristic of a thief who strikes in the dead of night when the victims are unaware,” the UATC spokesperson, Kaloy Anasarias, said.

Read full article @balayph.net

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[From the web] The left currents in the Philippines and the Duterte presidency -by ROUSSET Pierre

The left currents in the Philippines and the Duterte presidency
Sunday 25 September 2016, by ROUSSET Pierre

The election to the presidency of Rodrigo Duterte revealed and amplified the crisis of the political system in the Philippines, opening a period of uncertainty which is still far from over. Before and after the elections of May 9, 2016, the various forces of the left had to take a position regarding a marginal candidate whose victory seemed for a long time inconceivable, but who received massive popular support, to the point of completely transforming the electoral contest. In fact, the future of the left is to a large extent being determined today.

The new president has a discourse (crudely) marking a cleavage and he cultivates political ambivalence. For some currents (especially the Communist Party of the Philippines, CPP, Mao-Stalinist) Duterte may “fall to the left.” For others, he is already falling to the right by resorting to extrajudicial executions in his “war on drugs” and brandishing the spectre of martial law. All of them, however, are trying to advance their causes by taking advantage of the campaign promises of the elected candidate, of a chaotic domestic situation and of real opportunities such as the commitment to the peace negotiations in a country marked by armed conflicts that have lasted for fifty years.

Read full article @www.europe-solidaire.org

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[Press Release] Sanlakas, environmental advocates challenge presidentiables: Unite with the People to end coal!

Sanlakas, environmental advocates challenge presidentiables: Unite with the People to end coal!

sanlakas-logo2With the national elections happening in less than three weeks, and just three days before the Earth Day Celebration, environmental advocates, communities from coal-affected areas and members of civil society issued a challenge to presidential candidates, urging them to reveal their position on the continued use of coal as an energy source and to profess their agenda on energy transformation if elected.

Led by Sanlakas Partylist, along with other members of civil society, faith organisations and sectoral groups comprising the Power for People Campaign Network, the “War on Coal” challenge was issued in a press conference held Tuesday, April 19 in the Quezon Memorial Circle, Quezon City.

The press conference featured the “Green Avengers,” RE Man and Kapitan Pilipinas, leading the leaders from different sectors in the chant: “United, we stand. Phase out and end coal!”

“As part of the commitment agreed upon in the Paris Climate Talks last December 2015 – which will be signed this week on Earth Day, April 22 – the Philippines is set to contribute to keeping the global average temperature at 1.5 degrees, through various means including full decarbonization,” said Sanlakas Secretary-General Atty. Aaron Pedrosa.

“In spite of our position as a leader in the campaign for climate justice internationally, the Philippines seems to be left behind in terms of shifting away from fossil fuels, particularly coal. Far from steering the country from coal, the Government is locking us in further dependence on coal.,” he added.

Pedrosa cited Batangas, Cebu and Ozamis, three of the prospective areas for new coal plants, as the most recent battlegrounds in the fight against coal, saying: “Despite growing opposition from host communities and stakeholders, the Government remains undeterred in its blitzkrieg of new coal plants even as red flags have been raised not only over health and environment impacts but also the Government’s Paris commitment in combating worsening climate change impacts.”

At present, an additional 27 coal-fired power plants were greenlit by the Aquino administration with 118 coal mining permits in the pipeline, to the dismay of environmental groups who have continually lobbied to shift from dirty energy towards a renewable energy path.

“The Renewable Energy Act of 2009 has explicitly mandated energy transformation, supposedly increasing the share of renewable energy in the power mix from 34% in 2009, but at present in 2016, renewable energy in the mix has even decreased by 5%,” said Gerry Arances, Executive Director for the Center for Energy, Ecology and Development.

“Based on this current trajectory, our present dependence on coal will increase from 39% to 50% in 2021, with renewable energy will drastically decrease to 24% in the same year,” Arances added.

As energy transformation away from coal and fossil fuel sources has proved to be a key solution to the climate crisis, large countries like the European Union, China and states governments from the USA have started to phase out coal. This is in total contradiction to the energy policies pursued by the government.

Batangas City Councilor and mayoralty bet Kristina Balmes, representing grassroots communities affected by coal power plant projects, insisted that the Aquino government and those vying for the position of president base their positions and platforms on the cry of those suffering from the adverse effects of coal.

“We know that big money comes from coal corporations funding local and national candidates to ensure that their interests will be secured in the coming elections, making the shift to cleaner energy difficult and costly for politicians. The plight of the coal-affected communities throughout the country should be persuasion enough for any political aspirant to support the call to end coal and transition to renewable. We urge all candidates to heed the call.” said Balmes.

“Now is the time for the presidentiables to choose their side: whether they will choose to continue the Aquino administration’s path of condemning millions and millions of Filipinos to a life of poverty and destruction brought about by coal, or they will side with the Filipino people in shifting towards a cleaner, more sustainable renewable energy path,” Pedrosa concluded.

******************

For more information, contact Arvin Buenaagua through email at vin.buenaagua@gmail.com, or via phone: 0915 352 3951.

 

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[Statement] Celebrate Our Pride, Pursue With Our Struggle! -True Colors Coalition

TCC joins Pride March
Celebrate Our Pride,
Pursue With Our Struggle!

True Colors Coalition is one with our brothers and sisters in the community in celebrating our colorful lives and continuous struggle for acceptance, equality, and freedom. We will once again show the Filipino nation that the LGBT people is and always an integral part of the whole society’s quest to exercise our rights to live free from any forms of discrimination and in upholding our human dignity. Let us always be reminded of how we have been, for the longest time, fighting to erase the stigma and stereotyping on our sector.

Tru colors

We should also not forget that many of our ancestors in the community have devoted their lives so we can have what we are enjoying right now as a sector. It was never that easy. However, we are still constantly being challenged to keep on striving for our interest and well-being. That is why, TCC vows to continue to hold on to our reason for being – pursue our struggle and do not let anyone take away what our ancestors have accomplished. We know you are all one with us on this.

Today, while we march with you, we look back in the history of our bravery, and strength in unity.

Like what happened on the eve of June 28, 1969, when our brothers and sisters stood up and fought [for the first time] against the discrimination and violence done to our community, we must take our responsibility and task in the society to stand up and put forward our issues alongside the people’s issues. Let us continue to give fully our fair share in the nation’s development. The people’s struggle is our struggle.

Our existence is no less than the others. But that is not how we are experiencing it every single day. This march must be an instrument of our community to bring every LGBT together and address our issues as one community, just like how we did it on our quest for justice for our sister, Jennifer Laude. We still have a lot to do; our partial victory proves that we have to work harder and double our efforts for our issues and concerns.

Let the lessons of the past be always remembered. Our present and future generations should always be reminded of our great history of struggle. More than a celebration, let us take advantage of this as a tool for our efforts to strengthen our unity with the marginalized and oppressed to break free. We must take pride in saying that we may be diverse but we are united in struggling for our rights and the validity of our existence. ###

*About the PubMat: TCC offers our participation in the Pride March to remember the whole quest for justice for Jennifer Laude and our community’s partial victory, especially to the trans community, last December 1.

STATEMENT
December 5, 2015
Reference: Jhay De Jesus, Spokesperson (09167171398)

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[Press Release] Filipino Youth in fear of a Possible Doomsday with a No Deal Scenario in Paris, held a Funeral March at the Climate Justice Rally -DAKILA

Filipino Youth in fear of a Possible Doomsday with a No Deal Scenario in Paris,
held a Funeral March at the Climate Justice Rally

Photo by DAKILA

Photo by DAKILA

Thousands of Filipinos marched for climate justice today, March 28, and converged at the Quezon City Memorial Circle. Broad groups of social movements, religious groups, trade unions, farmers, urban poor and NGOs took part in the Climate March carrying climate related issues – energy transformation; right to food, land and water; justice and reparations for affected people; protecting our common home (from Laudato Si); jobs and just transition; and carbon emissions reduction.


For the artist-activist group Dakila, the climate march is crucial in ensuring that the world listens to the voice of the Filipino youth who fears for their very own survival when no deal is sealed at the COP21 in Paris. Youth members of Dakila, differing from the general festive theme of the assembly, held a funeral march carrying with them images of their own gravestone inscribed with their own epitaph. Inscribed in their gravestones are their own photos, date of birth and their projected death in 2025.

According to Dakila spokesperson and Climate Revolution Campaigner, Stephanie Tan, “The global warming forecasts warned that in 2025, global temperatures are projected to increase by 2% if nothing is done to prevent global warming. This will result to sea level rise, warming of the oceans, intense heat waves, unpredictable weather patterns that will affect lives, livelihood and our way of life. The Earth has came close to a tipping point and if we don’t act on this now, the survival of humanity is at stake.”

Renee Karunugan, Communications Director of Dakila and dubbed by The Guardian as one of the young climate campaigners to watch out for at the COP21, has been tracking the negotiations. “Many countries in the ASEAN region are vulnerable to climate change. The Philippines, for example, has been experiencing extreme weather events that claim thousands of lives every year. The success or failure of Paris will largely depend on how much countries are willing to commit. This is an issue mostly of developed countries who want to commit — but not too much, just enough to say they have signed an agreement to act on the climate crisis.” Renee said.

Renee further added, “But this is not the time to commit half-heartedly, this is the time to commit to the strongest actions we can do to solve the climate crisis. Sure, there are already climate impacts which we can no longer solve but deciding to act today will lessen other potential, graver impacts we have to face in the future. For developing countries, climate change is a matter of survival. A failure of a strong commitment in Paris means taking away our right to live.”

Last year, in commemoration of the 1st anniversary of the landfall of Typhoon Haiyan in Tacloban, Dakila joined the 40 day, 1,000 kilometer Climate Walk from Kilometer Zero Luneta in Manila to Ground Zero Tacloban with former Climate Change Commissioner, Yeb Saño. This year, two Dakila members, musician Nityalila and visual artist AG Saño, have also joined the People’s Pilgrimage for the Planet, which traveled by foot from Rome, Italy to Paris, France in time for the COP21. The pilgrimage reached Paris today.

Nityalila said, “The epic journey that started last year from Kilometer Zero Manila to Ground Zero Tacloban and this year from Rome, Italy to Paris, France, ended today. We have taken thousands of steps to reach this destination. We see this as our symbolic pledge to be more vigilant about our individual and collective carbon footprint, to participate more in the global conversations on climate change, and to remember that a small step today in the right direction will make waves in the future.”

“However, our real destination is not Paris but as what Yeb Saño said, the hearts and minds of the people. We bring to the COP21, stories of how climate change affects real people, and world leaders meeting for the COP21 should know that whatever action they take will affect millions of lives in developing countries like the Philippines”, Nityalila added.

Dakila’s symbolic gesture at the March for Climate Justice registers the fear of Filipino youth for a possible doomsday scenario in 2025. The chilling effect of the projections in 2025 prompted vulnerable sectors like the youth to fear the death of their future. “What will happen to us? At an age when we are just building our lives, we will be faced with catastrophic challenges beyond our control”, said Floyd Tiogangco, a 20-year-old fresh graduate who participated in the funeral march. Floyd will just be 30 years old in 2025. “I am afraid that in 10 years, all that I have worked for will be wasted. They say the Philippines is extremely vulnerable in the ravage of climate change. I live in a low-lying area where an increase in the sea level will bring floods that will wash away my home.”

Climate Reality leader and Dakila’s Campaigns Director, Micheline Rama, who has come to Paris to join the global actions for climate justice shared, “Two years after super typhoon Haiyan wreaked havoc in the poorest regions of the Philippines, the conscious global unity pushing for climate justice — instead of charity — has been waning. In the Herculean task of forgetting the things tragically lost, the trudge for international accountability via a fair, equitable, and binding global agreement on climate change by 2015 must remain afloat in everyone’s minds. This can only be achieved through constantly reminding our current world leaders of the plight of disaster-vulnerable countries, of the many lives and livelihoods permanently marred by the negative effects of climate change.”

“ A flutter of a butterfly’s wings on one part of the planet may cause a tsunami on the other. When former world leaders did not bat an eyelash about scientists’ warnings about climate change years ago, they allowed for unimaginable consequences, which lashed more at developing countries with little capacity to avert disasters” Rama warned.

As a creative campaigning organization Dakila has been involved in the fight for climate justice since 2009 together with international organization Oxfam. It has gathered celebrity and artist advocates in creating awareness on climate change and its impacts. Among its roster of celebrity advocates are Up Dharma Down vocalist Armi Millare; pop culture icon Lourd de Veyra; internet celebrity Ramon Bautista; fashion designer and London-based musician Kate Torralba; rockstars Buhawi Meneses of Parokya ni Edgar, Ebe Dancel, Aia de Leon and Rico Blanco; Asia’s Got Talent hosts Marc Nelson and Rovilson Fernandez; celebrity chef and socialite Stephanie Zubiri; Kiko Machine cartoonist Manix Abrera; rapper Gloc 9; jewelry designer Joyce Makitalo; filmmakers Jim Libiran, Dante Garcia, Tara Illenberger and Ditsi Carolino; actors Ronnie Lazaro, Tuesday Varga, Ping Medina and Alessandra de Rossi; photographers Veejay Villafranca and Raffy Lerma; and former beauty queen Miriam Quiambao.

“By engaging celebrities, artists, lifestyle influencers, Dakila has been building an arena where art meets science, film meets social reality, where public discourse on how we can bring solutions to climate change are welcome, where we can be catalysts of change.” Rama added.
One of the Philippines top musician and Dakila Vice-President, said “We can no longer deny the impacts of climate change to our people. Climate change is not just about the environment. It is ultimately about people. We can no longer count the amount of losses and damages we have incurred because of climate change and we are seeking for justice. Climate change has stripped our people of their dignities and rights. It is only fitting that those who have caused climate change must be held responsible for their actions.”

“This convergence of civil society, youth, students and teachers, government, religious groups, artists and individuals for the March for Climate Justice, only shows that the Philippines clamor for climate justice.” Cabangon added.

The funeral march staged by Dakila ended at the Quezon City Memorial Circle where members laid down the mock up tombstones with their epitaphs, lighted candles and offered flowers to symbolize their grief over the grave situation of the future of their generation. A eulogy was read. It mentioned the phrases, “In loving memory of our future, in loving memory of our planet, in loving memory of humanity.”

Dakila spokesperson Stephanie Tan, in ending, said, “Our dramatic depiction of this doomsday scenario expresses our message of grief that we have come to this point in time where our very future is threatened by climate change. But it also expresses our collective anger and passion that we will not succumb to a future that sows fear to our people every time a typhoon hits our land. We refuse to accept that suffering from devastation is a fact of life. We refuse to surrender the dignity of life of our people. We refuse to yield powerless against climate change. A better world is possible.”

“We are a nation of heroes. We are those who refuse to suffer another Haiyan, and other catastrophic effects of Climate Change. We need to fundamentally change the way we live and the way the system works in our planet. We are waging a Climate Revolution.” ##

http://www.climaterevolution.ph
http://www.dakila.org.ph

PRESS RELEASE
Dakila
28 November 2015
Press Contact: Rash 09178638055

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[Statement] Protect all rights of all migrant workers! call to ASEAN to fulfill the promise for a truly people-centered ASEAN community! -OUTRIGHT

PROTECT ALL RIGHTS OF ALL MIGRANT WORKERS!
CALL TO ASEAN TO FULFILL THE PROMISE FOR A TRULY PEOPLE-CENTERED ASEAN COMMUNITY!

OutRight Action International, together with the undersigned organizations call on ASEAN leaders meeting in Malaysia for the 27th ASEAN Summit, to address the concerns of migrant worker particularly protecting LGTQ migrant workers from violence and discrimination.

OUTRIGHT

ASEAN states have previously pledged in the 2007 ASEAN charter and the 2012 human rights declaration to protect all migrant workers and marginalized groups. Furthermore as signatories to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, ASEAN states have pledged to protect the right of everyone, everywhere.

When ASEAN governments launch the ASEAN Community and Post-2015 ASEAN Vision during the 27th ASEAN Summit in Malaysia, they will be committing to a ten year plan, until 2025, for a politically cohesive, economically integrated, socially responsible, and a truly people-oriented, people-centred and rules-based ASEANi. This summit is an opportunity for them to reaffirm these principles and take concrete steps to protect this vulnerable group.

To ensure that ASEAN lives up to its stated goals, OutRight Action International and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) groups challenge the ASEAN Member-States to prioritize legislative reforms and to implement people-inclusive regional and national plans that address the issues of groups and sectors that fall between the cracks of policies, programs and services of government and of mainstream groups and sectors.
ASEAN governments have acknowledged the huge contributions of ASEAN migrant workersii to the national economies of ASEAN member states. Yet, because of disagreements between sending and receiving countries in ASEAN, there is:
• No agreement in the ASEAN Committee on Migrant Workers (ACMW) on protection mechanisms for migrant workers, and
• No ASEAN standard on labor protections, which subjects migrant workers to different laws and regulations in each ASEAN country.

Without these protections, all migrant workers are vulnerable to human rights violations. Those at greatest risk are migrant workers who experience a variety of forms of discrimination on grounds of gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, race, or religion. They have little to no bargaining power. LGBT migrant workers are among the most vulnerable groups, because they are stigmatized. They face multiple forms of discrimination and abuse, which makes them one of the most crucial groups to protect within broader migrant worker communities.

Like other migrant workers, LGBT migrant workers primarily leave and seek work outside their country for economic reasons. Their remittances support their families and their economies back home. The ASEAN Post-2015 vision and plans of action must address the concerns of all ASEAN migrant workers, including ASEAN LGBT migrant workers.

The initial investigation of OutRight Action International showed that LGBT migrant workers experience high levels of abuse and discrimination because of who they are and are experiencing ill-treatment that has little to do with their work performance.

Generally speaking, LGBT migrant workers travel from the Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Myanmar and Cambodia to Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei to seek employment. Once there, they are vulnerable to being unfairly targeted because of laws in these countries that prohibit homosexuality, cross-dressing and gender non-conforming behaviours. In other words, LGBT migrant workers who look different are subject to mistreatment because they appear different.

OutRight Action International has learned that LGBT migrant workers are subjected to verbal abuse, humiliation, and even physical violence. Many have to suffer discrimination on a daily basis and are forced to remain silent. ASEAN leaders have not committed to labor protection standards and have no policies in place to prohibit discrimination and violence against migrant workers, including when this happens on grounds of sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression.
LGBT people who migrate for employment reasons provide much needed services. ASEAN communities rely heavily on LGBT migrant workers, among others for domestic work, hairstyling, beauty salon services, construction work, plantation labor, cleaning, cooking and serving in food establishments.
NGOs and civil society organizations (CSOs) that are set up to assist migrant workers in sending countries do
not have the training to address the needs of LGBT migrant workers. This is the same scenario where LGBT migrant worker are not receiving help from their Embassies in the receiving country. They have no access to complaint mechanisms, and if they do manage to file a complaint, NGOs and CSOs that are supposed to assist migrant workers in that process are often not fully equipped to provide LGBT migrant workers with services and assistance they would provide to other migrant workers.

There is no psychosocial support and no counselling for LGBT issues, such as isolation and fear of being exposed, denigrated and harmed. Like other migrant workers, who experience discrimination and violence from their employers or in their places of work, LGBT migrant workers are reluctant to report violations for fear of retaliation, such as losing their jobs or not getting paid.

For instance, a lesbian domestic worker was verbally abused by her employer because she wore men’s clothing. Her employment ended up being terminated earlier than her contract stipulated. She had no recourse to challenge the violation. A gay manager of a fast food restaurant reported that being forced to constantly live in fear of his sexual orientation being discovered was so stressful that he could not renew his contract, although his job performance earned him a promotion. Three lesbians with masculine gender expression were routinely questioned about their appearance, even though their job performance was good. Of the three, only one was able to continue working, on the condition that she change her clothing to appear feminine. Forced gender conformity amounts to mental abuse and causes suffering. It prevents LGBT migrant workers the right to work and the right to freedom to express one’s self.

OutRight Action International calls on ASEAN leaders to:
1. Ratify the International Labor Organization (ILO) standards on migrant workers and the Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and their Families.
2. Enact laws and bilateral agreements between sending and receiving countries to ensure the rights of migrant workers will be protected in both countries.
3. Ensure safe and accessible reporting procedures for LGBT migrant workers who experience violence and discrimination and ensure investigation of these complaints.
4. Include LGBT migrant worker issues and needs in the programs and services offered by sending and receiving countries, such as information provision related to LGBT issues, counselling, regulation of employment agencies, welfare centers, integration assistance, emergency shelter, legal and medical services.
5. Ensure that their Embassies in receiving countries are knowledgeable to the issues and respectful of the rights of LGBT persons, including that they will provide the same quality of service and assistance to LGBT migrant worker as to other migrant workers.
6. Provide state funding and resources for the training and implementation of LGBT sensitive services by government agencies, NGOs and CSOs that work with migrant workers and on migrant worker issues.
7. Prohibit discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression.
8. Improve working conditions for LGBT migrant workers by
• Amending and repealing discriminatory laws that are used to criminalize persons on the basis of their sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression, and
• Denounce public statements and media messages that vilify LGBT persons and incite prejudice, discrimination and violence.

i http://www.asean.org/news/asean-­‐secretariat-­‐news/item/asean-­‐community-­‐vision-­‐2025-­‐2
ii http://www.colorado.edu/news/releases/2015/01/22/money-­‐sent-­‐home-­‐migrant-­‐workers-­‐major-­‐economic-­‐boost-­‐developing-­‐nations#sthash.bMhNJ5He.dpuf

ENDORSED BY:
All Women’s Action Society (AWAM) – Malaysia
Arus Pelangi – Indonesia
ASEAN Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity/Expression Caucus (ASC)
ASEAN Youth Forum
Asia – Africa Solidarity Indonesia
Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM ASIA)
Association of Women Lawyers (AWL) – Malaysia
CamASEAN Youth’s Future (CamASEAN) – Cambodia
Colors Rainbow – Myanmar
Focus on Global South
FOCUS Philippines
Joint Action Group for Gender Equality
Justice for Sister – Malaysia
KAKAMMPI (Association of Overseas Filipino Workers and their Families) – Philippines
May Thida Aung (Ms.), PhD student, IHRP, Mahidol University – Thailand
North – South Initiative
Perak Women For Women (PWW) – Malaysia
Persatuan Kesedaran Komuniti Selangor (EMPOWER) – Malaysia
Project SEVANA South-East Asia
Sayoni – Singapore
Sisters in Islam (SIS) – Malaysia
South East Asian Committee for Advocacy (SEACA)
Urgent Action Fund for Women’s Human Rights
Women’s Aid Organisation (WAO) – Malaysia
Women’s Centre for Change (WCC) – Malaysia

gcristobal@outrightinternational.org

GING CRISTOBAL
Project Coordinator, Asia & Pacific Islands Region

OutRight Action International
80 Maiden Lane, Suite 1505, New York, NY 10038 USA
Fax: +1.212.430.6060 Twitter: @OutRightIntl YouTube: LGBTHumanRights
Website: ww.outrightinternational.org FaceBook https://www.facebook.com/outrightintl

Contact information in the Philippines:
Mobile: +63.917.557.0405 | Skype: gcristobal-iglhrc

Unfold your COURAGE everyday! Watch & download for free “COURAGE UNFOLDS”
a video of Asian LGBT activism and the Yogyakarta Principles
(Burmese, Khmer, Mongolian, Chinese subtitles) http://vimeo.com/22813403

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[Literary] Empty Basket?! by Kalayaan

Empty Basket?!
by Kalayaan

from the margin

This is Earth- life bearing planet in universe
Which can only sustain life forms and hone?
this our home, shaped like a spherical dome
where our ancestors from million years was born;
lived in harmony with among other creatures

traversing seas that connects huge continent
Flowing Nile River overflowed with jaded fishes
human civilization was born in caves and stones
Hid and hone in the rocky corals in sea floors
thickly cemented turtles and crabs afloat

Forest lands that shelter small and tiny species crawl
swamps and ponds formed from sprinkled mist
aged trunks of forest in Negros and Cordillera region
Monkey eating eagles used to soar high from tree tops
Where freedom sought to reach a longest mile

Where are the tiny birds that used to sing in mango tree?
We used to see those in sketchy streets in Limay, Bataan
It was before they install Coal plants, a huge chimney
where fly ashes covered by smoke the whole town and city,
they made all these in the name of progress and development

We cut trees in order to build furniture for the first world,
Logging has stormed our mountains and turned it into wasteland
We are so generous to give up our defenses from typhoons
We exchanged hope with hauling tons of our sovereign lands
Then we recite our national anthem with candor and pride?

Nothing beats how human being catches water in dikes
In energy technology, we were able to send light to every house
Streets are no longer empty dark ditch of the night
all this free of any charges from waters and seas
human intellect harnessed nature to serve mankind!

Lo’, how corporations transformed empty streets and houses?
of piled up hunted haven of unpaid bills from electricity?
Malls build like mushrooms grow in heart of the City
That even threatened to cut the pine trees in Baguio City
They cleaned up old legend trees for highways

We boast our big dam that catches water into energy bin
We use taxes to invite Spanish blood of foreign origin
To use this dam, and forget the ancestral land of Lumads
Militarized Lumads has to flee for their lives from stray bullets
Mindanao our food basket, are we so glad?

The haven you called is now plantation economy
of first class, pine- apple, palm oil, banana, asparagus
which will be delivered into the plates of abroad
this thousands deal of hectares of land is dedicated
to feed Filipino people of amount of huge poverty!

Our seas and waters are playground of big fishing ships
who plundered marine resources and left us with garbage
they substitute our internal waters from which we own
into international waters free for all traders and financiers!
an empty basket was left for fisher folk in their daily throng!

It is long overdue the call for people to stand for what is right
private profit is here to plunder and extract wealth to its might
clean energy in coal plants claims – will become burial grounds!
not unit we stand as one, marching for our sovereign rights
reclaiming life, environment and future away from insatiable elites!

(For November 28, world march for climate justice!)

All submissions are republished and redistributed in the same way that it was originally published online and sent to us. We may edit submission in a way that does not alter or change the original material.

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