Category Archives: Uncategorized

[Statement] Atrasado at barat na umento ang handog ng Gobyernong Aquino -TDC

Atrasado at barat na umento ang handog ng Gobyernong Aquino
(Nagkakaisang pahayag ng Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC) at ATING GURO Partylist)
Nobyembre 10, 2015

Nagpapasalamat tayo at binasag na ng Malakanyang kahapon ang pananahimik nito sa usapin ng umento
sa suweldo sa mga guro at kawani sa taong 2016. Subalit, dismayado naman tayo sa panukalang nais
nilang ipasa ng Kongreso.

TDC

Sa House Bill 6268 o SSL 2015, tila limos at hindi umento ang ibibigay ng pamahalaang Aquino sa
mga guro kawani. Ito ang kanyang pamaskong handog, ang kanyang iiwanang alaala bago siya tuluyang
magpaalam sa gobyerno sa susunod na taon.

BARAT at kuripot ang pamahalaan na nkatakdang magbigay lamang ng kabuuang umentong P2, 205 sa
entry-level position nating mga guro, ang salary grade 11. Ang malupit, hahatiin pa ito sa apat
na hulog. Sa suma total, lampas P500 lamang ang nakatakdang umento kada taon mula 2016 hanggang
2019.

ATRASADO na tila baga pinasasabik pa tayo sa umentong kanilang ibibigiay at pinaghintay muna tayo
ng halos anim na taon. Oo, halos anim na taon. Sapagkat mula nang maupo sa puwesto ang
pamahalaang Aquino ay hindi ito nagsulong ng pagsasabatas ng umento sa suweldo ng mga guro at
kawani. Ang mga adjustments noong 2011 at 2012 ay iniuutos ng SSL-3, batas na minana pa ni Aquino
sa lagi niyang sinisising pamahalaang Arroyo.

Umento sa panahon ni Pangulong Arroyo

Ayaw man nating ikumpara, hindi natin maiiwasang maalala ang panahon ni Gloria. Sa SSL-3 noong
2009, lubhang sumama ang loob natin sapagkat napakaliit ng umento sa ating mga nasa mababang
bracket sa salary scale. Halimbawa ang laborer (SG-1) at clerk (SG-3) ay dinagdagan lamang ng 30%
sa kanilang sahod. Samantala tayong mga guro at nurses (SG-11) ay 54% lamang ang umento at sa
principals (SG-19) ay 66% lamang.

Kung ikukumpara natin ito sa mga matataas na posisyon ay lampasong-lampaso tayo. Halimabawa sa
mga schools division superintendents (SG-26) ay 116% ang umento, sa regional directors (SG-28) ay
nasa 134% at sa assistant secretaries naman (SG-29) ay nasa 138%. Samantala ang sahod ng Pangulo
(SG-33) ay umabot sa 72% ang dagdag. Ganito trinato ng Arroyo administration ang mga guro at
kawani. Lubhang ibinaba ang mga dati nang mabababa at itinaas ang mga dati nang nasa taas. At ang
masaklap pa nito, ito’y matapos pa ang halos anim na taong wage-freeze mula July 2001 hanggang
July 2007.

Ang tugon ni Pangulong Aquino

Nabigyan ng pagkakataon ang Aquino administration na iayos ang salary scheme ng government
employees at bigyan ng mas mataas na pagkilala ang mabababang empleyado sa pamamagitan ng mas
mataas ding komepnsasyon. Pero ang nangyari ay lalo nila itong ginulo at lalo pang binusabos ang
dati nang maliliit. Sa nasabing panukalang SSL 2015 ang laborer (SG-1) ay magkakaroon lamang ng
23% na umento at 20% naman sa clerk (SG-3). Samantala tayong mga guro at nurses (SG-11) ay
napakaliit na 12% lamang ang umento at sa ating mga principals (SG-19) ay magkakaroon lamang ng
34% na dagdag.

Kung ikukumpara natin ito sa mga matataas na posisyon ay lampasong-lampaso pa rin tayo sa plano
ng DBM at ng Pangulo. Halimbawa sa mga schools division superintendents (SG-26) ay 85% ang
nakatakdang umento, sa regional directors (SG-28) ay nasa 103% at sa assistant secretaries (SG-
29) ay 112%. Samantala ang sahod ng Pangulo (SG-33) ay aabot sa 223%. Ganito rin trinato ng
Aquino administration ang mga guro at kawani. Lubhang ibinaba ang mga dati nang mabababa at
itinaas ang mga dati nang nasa taas. At ang masaklap pa nito, ito’y mangyayari pa sa pagtatapos
ng kanyang termino.

Aquino at Arroyo, walang piang-inaba!

Sa suma total, walang pinagkaiba ang dalawang pangulo kung pag-uusapan ang pagtrato sa ating mga
guro. Atrasado, mabagal at paghihintayin tayo nang napakatagal para sa kakarampot na umentong
kanilang ibibigay. Samantala, kung ikaw ay nasa mataas na posisyon, aba’y bongga ang iyong umento
at hihigit pa sa isandaang porsiyento.

P10, 000 Umento ang Dapat!

Ang inilalaban nating umento sa sahod ay lampas sa nominal increase, bagkus ito ay nasa prinsipyo
ng salary upgrading. Sapagkat simula noong SSL-1 ng 1989 ay malaking pagkakamali na ang
paglalagay sa ating posisyon sa pinakamababang propesyunal sa gobyerno. Ayon nga sa rekomendasyon
ng Kongreso noong 1991, dapat na itaas sa salary grade 17 ang ating posisyon. At noon namang
2008, sa panukalang SB 2408 ng Senado, muli silang nagkaisa na dapat bigyan ng karagdagang
kompensasyon ang mga guro at kawani ng DepEd upang maitama ang napakatagal nang pagkakamali at
makabayad sa malaon nang pagkakautang ang gobyerno sa ating mga guro.

Ito ang batayan ng ating P10, 000 umento na ipinaglalaban. Ang P10, 000 na lampas dapat sa
iginagawad ng SSL-3 at maging ng SSL 2015. Anumang pagbabago o umento sa sahod ay dapat tayong
pagkalooban ng karagdagang kompensasyon sa halagang P10, 000.

Kalampagin ang gobyerno!

Sa huling mga buwan ng Aquino administration ay kailangan nating ipahayag ang ating pagkadismaya.
Singilin sila sa kanilang pangako ng magandang buhay, matapat na pamamahala at matuwid na daan.
Sapagkat ang mga ito ay nananatiling pangako lamang hanggang ngayon. Ang umento na ibibigay sa
taon ng halalan ay maaaring may pulitikal na motibo at layuning pasikatin ang mga manok ng
Malakanyang. Subalit hindi na tayo maniniwala sa mga pangako. Huwag nating ihalal ang mga naging
kasangkapan ng administrasyong Aquino sa patuloy na pagpapababa sa kalagayan ng mga guro at
kawani sa loob ng anim na taon nilang panunungkulan. #

Reference:
Benjo Basas, 0927-3356375/ 09205740241
TDC National Chairperson/ Ating Guro Partylist First Nominee

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[Press Release] Medical doctors presses for right to rehabilitation of victims of torture -MAG

Medical doctors presses for right to rehabilitation of victims of torture

Photo by MAG

Photo by MAG

Around eighty (80) medical doctors across the country gathered today in the Scientific Conference on the Management and Rehabilitation of Torture Victims on November 11-12, 2015 at the Ciudad Christia Resort, in San Mateo, Rizal.

mag logo new

The conference also entitled, Mainstreaming Human Rights in Health Care, is being organized by the Medical Action Group (MAG) http://magph.org/ and the Department of Health (DOH). This will highlight current initiatives being implemented in the Philippines to promote right to rehabilitation of torture victims (survivors).

Attending the conference are city and municipal health officers who has an essential role in preventing torture by effective medical documentation of torture cases and they are among the first persons to come into contact with a torture victim or survivor after alleged torture incident.

“There is a need to raise awareness and level of knowledge of doctors in government service on Republic Act No. 9745 otherwise known as the Anti-Torture Law http://www.congress.gov.ph/download/ra_14/RA09745.pdf. The law details what constitute torture and ill treatment, the doctors’ legal obligations specifically the documentation and medical reporting of alleged victims of torture or ill treatment, and the mechanics of effective referral among agencies concerned in the daunting task of holistic rehabilitation,” said Dr. Criselda G. Abesamis, Director IV, DOH Health Facility Development Bureau.

DOH Assistant Secretary Gerardo Bayugo stressed in order to ensure effective redress for victims of torture entails the duty to provide rehabilitation for victims through institutionalization of the use of the Istanbul Protocol or the UN Manual on the Effective Investigation and Documentation of Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment http://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Publications/training8Rev1en.pdf, develop protocol in the treatment of torture victims based on the Istanbul Protocol particularly through effective implementation of the DOH Administrative Order No. 2013-0008 http://www.doh.gov.ph/ Guidelines for the implementation of Section 19 of the Implementing Rules and Regulations of the Anti-Torture Law, upgrade of laboratory facilities of the DOH and other health facilities, and ensure effective referral mechanism.

“Despite the country has the Anti-Torture Law but we have cases and first-hand experiences uncovering its limitation and flaw which undermines the right of the survivors to medical care and rehabilitation,” Dr. Marie Therese C. Galang, MAG Chairperson added.

Galang concluded this conference which will tackle the growing challenges on rehabilitation confronting the torture survivors is significant on our part to learn from experiences of medical doctors in their day to day work in the treatment of torture survivors and in promoting right to rehabilitation of victims of torture.

The conference press the government that effective rehabilitation services and programs are established in the country and are accessible to all torture victims and survivors, as government’s obligation under the UN Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.

Press release
November 11, 2015

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[Press Release] Labor group joins #RememberHaiyan, calls for justice amid disasters, worsening climate crisis -CTUHR

Labor group joins #RememberHaiyan, calls for justice amid disasters, worsening climate crisis

The Center for Trade Union and Human Rights joined the Filipinos and the world in remembering the tragedy brought by super typhoon Haiyan on its second year commemoration last November 8.

CTUHR logo

“Two years after super typhoon Haiyan ravaged central Philippines, communities, especially of the poor and workers, are still unable to fully recover because of inept rehabilitation efforts by the government and poverty. Worse, we continue to face the same danger of super typhoons and long droughts because of climate change,” said Daisy Arago, Executve Director of CTUHR.

Last November 5, CTUHR co-organized the first Philippine Environmental Conference with the theme “Confronting the Climate Crisis” wherein the People’s Climate Platform was presented.

According to the group, workers are among the groups at high risk to the adverse impact of climate change as workers lose jobs and sources of income when big disasters happen.

“In the context of prevalent contractualization, low wages, high commodity prices and very low unionization rate, workers are pushed further to deeper poverty when climate-related disasters happen,” Arago added.

In Southern Leyte, hundreds of workers in Philphos are still unable to go back to work because the company is not yet fully operational. Banana workers in plantations in Compostela Valley hit by typhoon Bopha (Pablo) in 2012, also lost work days that lasted for months because of massive devastation.

Arago also cited CTUHR’s study that revealed the women workers are urban poor are subject to more suffering and financial pressure because of repeated typhoons and flood. Communities inundated by typhoon Ketsana (Ondoy) in 2009 were again inundated by floods brought about by prolonged monsoon rains in 2011 and 2014.

“Since women are often employed in informal or contractual jobs plus women have been relegated to do household work and responsibilities, women workers and urban poor feel more pressure and burden during calamities compared to male counterparts,” Arago said.

The group stressed that if the climate crisis the world is facing will not be resolved, another Haiyan, Pablo or Ondoy is bound to happen which spells more tragedy to the working poor especially in high risk countries like the Philippines.

“Climate change is an issue of the poor and the workers. It is ultimately an issue of social justice.” Arago said.

The group reiterated that vulnerable marginalized communities must have increased capacity to adapt to climate change which can only happen if neoliberal policies that attack basic rights and humane living standards are abandoned.

“As we remember Haiyan and its impact to poor, we also call an end to the climate crisis. We must fight our right to development at the same time transform economies toward societies that are sustainable and just.” Arago added.

RELEASE
7 November 2015

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[Press Release] Green groups sue DENR and mining bureau -ATM

Green groups sue DENR and mining bureau

An environmental group from the town of Sta. Cruz in Zambales recently filed a case against DENR officials, demanding the resumption of suspension orders against mining companies operating in the area.

atm-logo

Local people’s organization Concerned Citizens of Sta. Cruz Zambales (CCOS) is awaiting the decision of the Court of Appeals after it filed a case of Mandamus and Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) against officials of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) last June 9, 2015.

The respondents of the cases are DENR Secretary Ramon Paje, MGB Director Leo Jasareno and MGB Region III acting Director Atty. Danilo Uykieng.

The cases filed against the government officials demand the resumption of suspension of LnL Archipelago Minerals, Inc. (LAMI), Eramin Minerals Inc. (EMI) and BenguetCorp Nickels Mines Inc. (BNMI) after the 90 days temporary lifting of the companies’ suspension orders.

“It has been over a month since the 90 days temporary lifting of BNMI, LAMI and EMI’s suspension orders ended and the mining companies have failed to meet their obligations.” said Dr. Ben Molino, Chairperson of CCOS.

“We see no reasons why these mining companies continue to operate in Sta. Cruz, Zambales and we don’t see any efforts from DENR and MGB to stop them. We will not sit here and watch as they continue to destroy our environment and the livelihoods of the people with impunity. We demand actions from the respective government offices right now!” asserted Molino.

In July 15, 2014, BNMI, LAMI, EMI and Zambales Diversified Metals Corp. were suspended upon the recommendation of MGB Multi-Disciplinary Team (MDT) due to findings of violations to mining procedures and policies and environmental destruction.

However, in December 3, 2014, DENR Region 3 issued an ore transport permit justifying the move as a necessary step for the companies to rehabilitate and compensate the affected communities to prevent disaster while the suspension orders are still in effect.

In February 10 and 20, 2015, DENR Region III issued a temporary lifting of the suspension orders of BNMI, LAMI and EMI subject to compliance of certain conditions within 90 days.

Among the conditions are the construction of an alternative mine haulage road, resolution of the alleged coastal destruction brought about by the mining operation, full payment of claims for compensation for damages to fishponds, sediment flux monitoring to determine the effectiveness of siltation and erosion control measures, full rehabilitation of adversely affected river systems, and progressive rehabilitation of inactive mining areas.

“So far, we have seen no construction and rehabilitation of whatsoever kind. The affected communities have not yet been compensated. Our river systems are as worse as ever, nickel laterite pollution reached the sea, and yet here they are still operating.” said Molino.

Meanwhile, national environmental organization Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM), a partner and supporter of CCOS, called on DENR and MGB to “fulfil their obligations to the people of Zambales” and “implement the suspension order the soonest possible time.”

“BNMI, LAMI and EMI’s failure to meet their obligations is proof that these mining companies have no regard with their commitments to make amends for the destruction their operations have brought in Zambales.” said Jaybee Garganera, National Coordinator of Alyansa Tigil Mina.

“Unfortunately, DENR, MGB national office and MGB Region 3have failed to hold the companies accountable, and their inadequate action in this case proves the government offices’ inability to effectively regulate mining operation.” he added.

ATM also asserted that the government was supposed to have already improved the governance and regulation of mining operations with Executive Order 79, but the alliance claims that enforcement of the policy has been unsatisfactory in general.

“We demand for DENR, MGB national office and MGB Region 3 to implement the suspension orders of the three (3) mining companies and compel them to pay for the destruction their operations caused in Zambales. It is high time that they step up their game and be true to their mandate of protecting the environment.” Garganera concluded.

###

AlyansaTigil Mina is an alliance of mining-affected communities and their support groups of POs and and other civil society organizations who oppose the aggressive promotion of large-scale mining in the Philippines. The alliance is currently pushing for a moratorium on mining, revocation of EO 270-A, repeal of the Mining Act of 1995, and passage of the AMMB.

For more information:
Dr. Benito Molino, CCOS Chairperson, 0916.372.71.84 <ben696molino@yahoo.com>
Jaybee Garganera, ATM National Coordinator (0917) 549.82.18 <nc@alyansatigilmina.net>
Check Zabala, ATM Media and Communications Officer, 0927.623.5066 <checkzab@gmail.com>

ATM Press Release
18 June 2015

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[Press Release] Iloilo Cyclists as Modern Day Heroes, Rode for a Human Trafficking Free Philippines -DAKILA

Iloilo Cyclists as Modern Day Heroes, Rode for Freedom on Independence Day
Pedal Power for a Human Trafficking Free Philippines

In line of the celebration of Independence Day, DAKILA, in partnership with Centralian Cruisers Cycling Club (C4) gathered cyclists and advocates for the Independence Day Freedom Ride in Iloilo City.

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Iloilo hosted the 117th celebration of Independence Day in the historic town of Sta. Barbara, where the Philippine Flag was first raised outside Luzon by the revolutionary government of Visayas and became the base of the revolutionary forces against Spanish colonizers led by General Martin Delgado.

The event which is a part of Dakila’s ‘Stop. Look. Listen’ campaign in support of the Anti-Trafficking efforts benchmarks the campaign against human trafficking and the promotion of road sharing by organizing a bike tour that would run around Iloilo’s six district plazas and will start at Iloilo’s Provincial Capitol Grounds.

This year, Iloilo celebrates its 117th year of freedom since the official surrender of the Spanish government in 1898. Back in the colonial rule, Iloilo had served as a home for old Spanish families and was even awarded ‘La Muy Leal Y Noble Ciuded de Iloilo’, the most loyal and noble of the cities in the Philippines.

“We believe that while it is important to celebrate our freedom from colonial rule, it is also important for us to realize that many Filipinos are still enslaved. We want to celebrate our 117th year of independence by continuing the fight for the freedom of others,” Allyn May Canja, spokesperson of Dakila-Iloilo said.

According to the United Nation’s International Labour Organization (ILO), there is an estimate of 21 million victims of modern slavery to count. Asia in particular shares half of the estimates of ILO because of the number of its population, working force and its poor labor conditions. In the Philippines, hotspots for human trafficking include the NCR Region, Tarlac, Laguna, Batangas, Samar, Cebu, Maguindanao, Zamboanga and Iloilo.

“Human trafficking is a serious problem especially in our country because we offer cheap labor. A lot of times we only see women being trafficked for sexual exploitation but in fact, human trafficking can happen to both men and women and for different reasons other than sexual exploitation, such as forced labor. There are even cases of professionals such as doctors who experienced being trafficked,”Canja added.

The first Independence Day Freedom Ride in Iloilo last 2013 gathered cyclists and advocates to share a road that leads to a Philippines that is free from any form of human trafficking and to promote Iloilo as a bike-friendly city that supports alternative forms of public transportation.

“We are enthusiastic about this event because aside from raising awareness on human trafficking, we also get to promote our cause which is road sharing and to transform Iloilo City into a more bike friendly city. We will be riding our bikes for freedom from human trafficking. In a way we feel like we are using our own advocacy, to promote another advocacy”, Biking advocate Daniella Caro said.

“We cruise for a human trafficking free Philippines this Independence day,” David de Leon, President of Centralian Cruisers Cycling Club also said.

DAKILA, an art and advocacy collective, initiated the Freedom Ride in 2013 to raise the call against human trafficking and encouraged freedom warriors to come out and pedal for a human trafficking free Philippines. It mobilized around 10,000 cyclists in Metro Manila, Iloilo, Dumaguete and Zamboanga as freedom warriors.

Musician Nityalila Saulo of Dakila in her send off speech before this year’s ride said, “In 1898, it is in this very soil that the Spanish Government surrendered. It is in Iloilo that the Philippines were granted its freedom from the 333 years of Spain’s regime. It is no wonder Iloilo is a land of freedom and that Ilonggos are by nature, freedom warriors. But even if we are celebrating this historic event and wearing our best independent suits we are far from being free from modern day slavery.”

The 1956 UN supplementary convention defines slavery as “debt bondage, serfdom, forced marriage” and as times change, new forms of slavery evolve and emerge; bonded and forced labor, descent-based and child slavery, early and forced marriage and human trafficking, which is in context is the “transport or trade of people from one area to another into conditions of slavery.”

Nityalila, in her speech, further added, “Every year around 300,000 to 400,000 Filipinos fall prey to human trafficking in their own country and abroad. 117 years and we are still slaves, not from colonial rule, but from the everyday acts like sexual exploitation and forced labor; acts that deny freedom. The fight against modern slavery seems like a never-ending battle, it is hidden in plain sight, but it happens every single day and it takes a lot of organized effort to put a stop to it.

But the last years had proven that we could actually start and make a difference. Today we are all gathered here as modern day heroes bearing one thing in mind: fighting modern day slavery by using our pedal power. Today we are not just cycling our way to a traffic free Philippines; we are paving our road to national progress, together.”

A part of Dakila’s Project Freedom Campaign, the Freedom Ride aims for public awareness on human trafficking and the empowerment of advocates and citizens in becoming watchdogs and freedom warriors to their own community. It ensures that through unity and organized effort, one can make their way to one road as a nation free from the bonds of slavery.

The Iloilo Freedom Ride started at 3:00 PM from the Iloilo Provincial Capitol Grounds, toured through the six plazas representing the six districts of Iloilo, and ended at the Provincial Capitol where a short program was held to celebrate the Independence Day. Hundreds of Iloilo cyclists clad in Independence Day themed costumes, wearing face paints, and carrying Philippine flags participated.

Nityalila send off speech ended with the singing of her composition “Laya” as she paid homage to the Freedom Warriors of Iloilo, “Ilonggos took a giant leap this 117th Independence Day by answering the call to be warriors of freedom. It is because of this heroic act of Ilonggos who participated in the 1898 Philippine revolution and our own revolution today against modern-day slavery, that we can all look forward to a better Philippines in the future.”#

For more info, contact Dakila through Karen Bermejo, 0915-5410368 or Allyn May Canja, 0917-6113381

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[Press Release] Former ASEAN leaders issue letter on Myanmar intolerance

Former ASEAN leaders issue letter on Myanmar intolerance

Kuala Lumpur, Wednesday: Former ASEAN leaders have sent a joint letter to their current ASEAN colleagues, calling for stepped up engagement to address rising intolerance in Myanmar, including proposed discriminatory legislation.

ASEAN-Logo

The letter, issued days before the ASEAN Summit in Kuala Lumpur, has been signed by His Excellency Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi (Prime Minister of Malaysia 2003-09, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Malaysia 1991-99), His Excellency Dr Surin Pitsuwan (ASEAN Secretary-General 2008-2013, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Thailand 1997-2001), His Excellency Tan Sri Dr Syed Hamid Albar (Minister of Foreign Affairs of Malaysia 1999-2008), and His Excellency Mr Kasit Piromya (Minister for Foreign of Thailand 2008-2011). All the signatories were significantly engaged on Myanmar during their tenure.

The letter expressed concern that rising intolerance against religious and ethnic minorities in Myanmar will undermine the country’s reform process, and may affect regional community-building, including ASEAN economic integration.

The signatories requested that ASEAN leaders enhance engagement with Myanmar to implement the United Nations General Assembly Resolution 69/248, and United Nations Human Rights Council Resolution A/HRC/28/L.21, which were adopted by consensus, including by ASEAN members. The resolutions call for restoration of citizenship to Myanmar’s Rohingya and for compliance with international human rights standards.

Tan Sri Dr. Syed Hamid Albar, who initiated the letter as President of HUMANiTi Malaysia, which implements humanitarian and tolerance programs, hoped the letter would serve as a gentle encouragement for ASEAN to help Naypyidaw tackle the problem in a systematic manner. “The region cannot afford to see any backsliding in Myanmar, especially since it may have negative impacts on community-building and integration. I believe many former colleagues who worked hard to help Myanmar begin reforms, and who adopted the blueprints for ASEAN integration, would also support progress on both fronts,” emphasised Tan Sri Dr. Syed Hamid.

The letter was addressed to ASEAN Heads of Government, ASEAN Foreign Ministers, ASEAN Secretary-General, and Permanent Representatives to ASEAN, and was delivered by fax and email on Monday 20 April.

Enquiries: Mr Ahmad Tarmizi Mukhtar, Secretary-General, HUMANiTi Malaysia. Tel + 6016 335 2558

Text of the letter follows:

Your Excellencies,

We would like to offer our congratulations and appreciation for the steps that the government of Myanmar and ASEAN have taken together in order to move forward on Myanmar’s political and economic transition. Much progress has been achieved since we welcomed Myanmar into the ASEAN community in 1997. It has been extremely encouraging to witness each positive development emerging under your leadership.

However, we are concerned that rising intolerance against religious and ethnic minorities in Myanmar will undermine the significant gains made in recent years, and may affect regional community-building, including ASEAN economic integration.

On the occasion of the 26th ASEAN Summit in Kuala Lumpur during 24th – 27th April, 2015, we would like to respectfully request ASEAN leaders to enhance engagement with Myanmar in order to address this matter. In particular, we respectfully request that ASEAN members and institutions actively work with Myanmar to realise implementation of the United Nations General Assembly Resolution 69/248, and United Nations Human Rights Council Resolution A/HRC/28/L.21, which were adopted by consensus, including by ASEAN members. We believe such measures are consistent with the spirit and content of the ASEAN Human Rights Declaration, which was also adopted by consensus.

We remain at your disposal in the pursuit of a truly-integrated people-centered ASEAN,

For Immediate Release: 22 April 2015

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[Announcement] The Coalition Against Trafficking in Women-Asia Pacific is looking for a Finance Officer

The Coalition Against Trafficking in Women-Asia Pacific, an international feminist organization that advocates against sexual exploitation of women and children, particularly against trafficking, prostitution and pornography, is looking for a:

Finance Officer

CATW AP

Qualifications:

a) Graduate of (4) four-year accountancy course;
b) At least 2 years experience in financial and administration management, preferably in an NGO;
c) Familiarity with computer operations particularly Excel, Power Point, Quickbooks or similar accounting software/programs, etc;
d) Able to prepare project proposals and reports;
e) Preferably has conviction on women’s issues, especially sexual exploitation;
f) Proven ability to work within a team set-up. Able to adapt to different personalities.

Major Tasks:

-Bookkeep and manage financial transactions, ensuring that the organization makes best use of its resources;
-Assist the Exec. Director in the creation of annual budget proposals and reports;
-Monitor budget and current expenditure, and recommend remedial actions or adjustments to the ED;
-Ensure that CATW financial procedures are effective and adhered to;
-Manage organizational assets and initiate improvements in office systems.

Please submit your resume and application letter on or before March 27, 2015.
to:

Jean Enriquez
Executive Director
Coalition Against Trafficking in Women-Asia Pacific
Room 203, Tempus Place
#21 Matalino St., Central District, Diliman
Quezon City, Philippines
Tel/Fax: 63-2-4342149
Email: catw-ap@catw-ap.org.ph and jeanenriquez@gmail.com

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[Press Release] Envi groups renew call to scrap Mining Act -ATM

Envi groups renew call to scrap Mining Act

Photo by ATM

Photo by ATM

Environmental activists in chains dragged by a “golden grim ripper” marched towards the House of Representatives to call on the Congress to Scrap RA 7942, also known as the Mining Act of 1995 as the law marks its 20th year.

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The action spearheaded by the group Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM) which is celebrating their bi-annual movement ‘Mining Hell-Week’ gained the support of 100 strong activists,

Civil Society Organizations (CSO) and Non-government organizations (NGO) that shared the call to repeal the mining law and enact the Alternative Minerals Management Bill (AMMB).

“This year marks 2 decades of impunity and injustice that the Mining Act of 1995 has brought to our country and countrymen.” said Jaybee Garganera, National Coordinator of ATM “We stand here today to call on our legislators to assess this flawed law and to bring justice where justice is due.”

In a statement released by ATM, the group noted that the Mining Act of ’95 brought more negative impacts as opposed to its promised supposed benefits.

ATM also stated that the academe and economists can attest that the industry has very little impact to our economy with 0.7-1% and 0.7% contribution to GDP and employment, respectively.

“We have been told time and again that the Mining Act will bring sustainable development to our country, however data clearly show that this is not the case.

“We have had enough with the false pretense and we would like to push the government to open their eyes on the reality that the Mining Act has done more harm than good.

“Right now we are not sure how the government define ‘sustainable development’, but we hope that destroying forests and watersheds, marginalizing indigenous and rural communities, putting peoples’ health at risk and robbing off people’s means of livelihood, aren’t it.” said Garganera.

Environment and Human Rights campaign center Tao Muna! Hindi Mina! (TMHM),also expressed their solidarity for the protest and backed the call noting that the “Mining Act of 1995 has not only spurred environmental destruction, but human rights violations as well.”

“Because of Mining Act of 1995’s corporate-centered and lenient provisions, we have been witnessed to extra-judicial killings brought by militarization in mining sites.” said Egay Cabalitan of TMHM.

“These unresolved killings brought by the inefficiency of the mining act to protect and uphold human rights clearly scream an injustice that needs to stop now.” added Cabalitan.

Meanwhile, lawmakers also showed their support to the environmental CSO and NGO communities calling for the repeal of the Mining act of 1995.

Nueva Viscaya Representative Carlos Padilla and AKBAYAN partylist Representative Barry Gutierrez were two among the legislators that voiced out their call for the scrapping of the law and the enactment of the Alternative Minerals Management Bill.

“The two decades of environmental destruction and degradation of human rights should be enough for the Supreme Court to rule against the constitutionality of the mining act of 1995.

“It is about time that we stop favouring the large-scale mining companies that are shamelessly exploiting and corrupting the real value and worth of our natural resources. We need an alternative policy that will stop the plunder of our country’s natural richness.” said rep. Gutierrez.

Representative Padilla shared the sentiments of Gutierrez while adding that “the mining act that the world dubbed as one of the ‘greatest’ in existence has brought irreparable destruction to our mountains, bodies of water and farmlands in Nueva Viscaya.”

According to the lawmaker, the Mining Act “has displaced communities, legitimized the plunder of our mineral resources and downgraded the capacity of communities to have a sustainable livelihood and food sources”.

“The country needs a policy that prioritizes the people and the environment, a policy that upholds human dignity, biodiversity and rightfully value our country’s mineral resources.

We have a bill that can make all these reality, I urge my co-lawmakers to take a stand against this impunity and enact the Alternative Minerals Management Bill.” he added.

—-

Alyansa Tigil Mina is an alliance of mining-affected communities and their support groups of NGOs/POs and other civil society organizations who oppose the aggressive promotion of large-scale mining in the Philippines. The alliance is currently pushing for a moratorium on mining, revocation of EO 270-A, repeal of the Mining Act of 1995, and passage of the AMMB.

For more information: Check Zabala, ATM Media and Communications Officer, (0927) 623.50.66, media.comms@alyansatigilmina.net or checkzab@gmail.com

Press Release
10 March 2015

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[Statement] FORUM-ASIA Statement – International Women’s Day 2015

FORUM-ASIA Statement – International Women’s Day 2015

On International Women’s Day FORUM-ASIA joins the international community in celebrating the political, economic, social and cultural achievements of women and acknowledging the contribution that women have played in pursuing and strengthening peace, development and protection of human rights.

ForumAsia Logo

On this day FORUM-ASIA would like to send a particular message of appreciation and support to all women human rights defenders (WHRDs) committed to the advancement, promotion and protection of all human rights. In Asia, many WHRDs who are on the front line for the promotion and protection of human rights are open to far greater risks when advocating for their causes. Women are the targets not only of conventional abuses but also more underreported and frequently overlooked abuses such as sexual violence. This is largely due to the influence of cultural and religious norms as well as patriarchal attitudes, combined with worrying levels of impunity accepted by traditional communities.

As we celebrate International Women’s Day, FORUM-ASIA recognises all the WHRDs on the ground, in particular those defenders who continue to face risks and threats due to their restless struggles.

In India, the civil and political activist Irom Sharmila Chanu, commonly referred to as the Iron Lady of Manipur, began a hunger strike in 2000 protesting the Indian government’s use of the draconian Armed Forces (Special Power) Act, 1958 (AFSPA). She has since been subjected to a vicious cycle of arrests and criminalisation. The same harassment faced now by another brave social activist, Teesta Setalvad, who continues to face harassment through trumped-up charges in connection with her work to achieve justice for the victims of the Gulbarg Society Massacre during the horrific 2002 communal riots in Gujarat.

In Sri Lanka, Balendran Jayakumari and her 13-year old daughter B. Vibooshika are currently detained following their arrest in March 2014. Jayakumari, whose own son was disappeared, and her daughter have prominently advocated against disappearances in the country and were leading voices in demanding the whereabouts of missing persons arrested by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of Sri Lanka.

In Cambodia, 10 WHRDs protecting land rights issues were sentenced in November 2014 to 1 year’s imprisonment following a peaceful protest about the continuing flooding of their homes. Seven of them have been active campaigners for several years and have frequently faced judicial harassment and arrest.

In observance of this auspicious day, FORUM-ASIA recalls the importance of the landmark resolution on protecting WHRDs adopted by UN General Assembly in 2013, and urge Asian governments to act upon and adopt effective legislation and policies for the recognition and protection of WHRDs.

Download our Snapshot of WHRDs in Asia 2014 @www.forum-asia.org

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[Press Release] CSOs welcomed UN official and raised issues on food security in the context of disasters climate justice in PH -ATM

CSOs welcomed UN official and raised issues on food security in the context of disasters climate justice in PH

Tacloban, Philippines— More than 100 representatives from various Civil Society Organizations (CSO) and Yolanda survivors welcomed the arrival of Dr. Hilal Elver, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food and raised critical issues of the people against the policies of the Philippine government of food security in the context of disasters and climate change.

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The United Nations (UN) Special Rapporteur on the right to food will visit the Philippines from February 20 to 27 to gather information on the state of the right to food among Filipinos.

During her mission the Special Rapporteur will collect first-hand information in relation to the realization of the right to food and will examine how the State is addressing the situation of those who do not have adequate access to food.

Food Security Threatened

“We welcome the visit of the UN Special Rapporteur to our country to help us build our struggle in achieving food security and fight for our right to food even in the face of a changing climate,” said Gerry Arances, national coordinator, Philippine Movement for Climate Justice (PMCJ).

The Philippines is already one of the most vulnerable countries to climate change today. The Philippines country is ranked second in the 2014 Climate Change Risk Index of Germanwatch.

“Her visit will also be instrumental in exposing the policies of the government that aggravates the vulnerabilities of communities such as the promotion of dirty energy that threaten food production and even human health,” said Arances.

Based on the latest data of PMCJ, from an existing 17 coal-fired power plants, there will be an additional 26 coal plant projects that are expected to be online by 2020, owed to 71 coal-operating contracts awarded by the government from 2007 to 2013, despite the global movement to divest from coal

Destructive and Extractive Projects

Adding to the burden of dirty energy is the destruction of livelihood promoted by so-called “development projects” such as mining.

According to Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM), mining for other resources such as nickel and other minerals equally threaten food security in the country. In Zambales for example, half a billion pesos, or $12 million worth of rice, mango and fish was lost due to the introduction of nickel mining. This is also the case in MacArthur, Leyte, which was opened for mining—communities are reeling from its negative impacts further exacerbated by Yolanda.

“Mining has no place in a vulnerable country like the Philippines and yet our government chose extraction of minerals over rights of the people to have a safe and sustainable environment.” said Jaybee Garganera, National Coordinator of ATM.

We are not only at risk from extractive industries but from the food industry as well. According to recent studies, the Philippines has risen to being the fourth largest importer of rice in the world, accounting for 4% of the world’s rice import volume in 2010.

“We need to increase our capacity to produce our own food for the consumption of our people while reducing the impacts of extractive and dirty industries such as mining and coal powerplant. Without doing so, our food security will continually be at risk,” said Garganera

“These issues are aggravated by mal-development projects like high importation of rice and mining in agricultural and coastal areas. Ironically, the more businesses such as these thrive the more livelihoods of communities and general food security is threatened” said Garganera.

Marine resource at risk

The marine ecosystem, where 60% of the total protein intake of Filipinos comes from, are also among those affected by the climate crisis. According to a study by the World Bank on the acidification of seas in the Southeast Asian region, a 150% acidification rate is most likely to occur by 2100.

“Fisherfolk communities will continue to suffer the consequences of the impacts of climate change and more must be done by the government to alleviate these impacts on marine resources before its too late”, said Dennis Calvan, Executive Director, Non-Government Organization for Fisheries Reform (NFR).

From diverse sectors concerned with the issue of climate justice and food security, various CSOs urged the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food to consider the issues of land grabbing, nutrition of vulnerable groups such as women, children and people with disabilities, access to livelihood, and food during emergency situation and in responding to the issue of climate, disasters and food security. In particular, recommendations were made on the following issues:
– Enabling systematic changes to the agricultural sector, which would put the need and the right for food first before profit;
– Ensure that food producers’ access to and control of land and water resources are protected in the recovery and rehabilitation process
– Compel the Philippine government to make the necessary policy shift away from import-dependent strategy, and development projects that are exacerbating vulnerabilities, and a shift away from false solutions, and ineffective policies, programs and projects.

– A more substantial reduction of emissions from Annex 1 countries, and corresponding reduction from all other countries to avoid 2 degree increase and beyond; and public financing, mainly from developed countries, for adaptation measures and damages incurred to developing countries like the Philippines – particular the impacts to right to food of communities and the people.
– Put special concern and priority for the regions most devastated by the climate crisis, particularly to ensure their access to food in the aftermath of disasters and the long-term productivity and resilience of small farmers and the fishing sectors.

The town hall meeting, which took place at Brgy. 88, Fisherman’s Village, San Jose, Tacloban City, was organised by the CSO Coordinating Committee, Eastern Visayas Network of NGOs, NGO for Fisheries Reform, Philippine Movement for Climate Justice, and hosted by the Tacloban Fisherfolk Urban Association.

The Special Rapporteur’s findings and recommendations to the Government of the Philippines and other stakeholders will ultimately be included in a report presented to the UN Human Rights Council in March 2016. Her preliminary findings will be shared with the Government focal point and subsequently presented at a Press Conference at the end of the visit.###

Additional Information:

The CSO Coordinating Committee for the entry conference of the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right To Food comprised of 25 national organizations from NGOs, farmers, women, labor, fisherfolks, indigenous peoples, social movements ,the religious, human rights community and academe.

For more information:

Check Zabala, Alyansa Tigil Mina Media and Communications Officer, (0927) 623.50.66 <checkzab@gmail.com>

Press Release
February 21, 2014

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[Blog] The Death of a despotic bastard Tyrant of the Lowest Order by Jose Mario de Vega

The Death of a despotic bastard Tyrant of the Lowest Order
by Jose Mario de Vega

I am extremely happy to hear last month the good news of the death (finally) of that despotic bastard tyrant, the so-called king of Saudi Arabia, whose in my view by virtue of his satanic conservative leadership is now known all over the world as the most barbaric and backward of all nations.

Mario De Vega

This is all because of that so-called king’s notorious barbarism, religious fanaticism, “double face standards” and despicable backwardness.

Yet, I am also extremely disgusted and appalled to the maximum level seeing and reading the plethora of praises and the massive eulogy generously given by various Western countries to that deceased so-called king of Saudi Arabia.

It is my firm view that those words of praises are not only misplaced and utterly undeserved but totally devoid of even an elementary logic.

How on earth could a reasonable man issue a statement hailing that bastard so-called king as a good man, when the whole international community knows that that monster freak has no sense whatsoever of even a basic knowledge of human rights and human dignity?

This is curse, this is a shame and this is indeed the heights not only of absurdity but incontestably of disgrace of the highest order ever!

That bastard so-called king has no right to receive those eulogies and those equally bastard so-called leaders of the Western capitalist and imperialist countries are lying to their very teeth and to the whole world — in saying, expressing and writing about those super fake and supra illegitimate words of condolences.

Consider the words of Mr. Obama (who in my view is another bastard just like his so-called fucking king):

“It is with deep respect that I express my personal condolences and the sympathies of the American people to the family of King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz and to the people of Saudi Arabia.

“King Abdullah’s life spanned from before the birth of modern Saudi Arabia through its emergence as a critical force within the global economy and a leader among Arab and Islamic nations. He took bold steps in advancing the Arab Peace Initiative, an endeavor that will outlive him as an enduring contribution to the search for peace in the region. At home, King Abdullah’s vision was dedicated to the education of his people and to greater engagement with the world.

“As our countries worked together to confront many challenges, I always valued King Abdullah’s perspective and appreciated our genuine and warm friendship. As a leader, he was always candid and had the courage of his convictions. One of those convictions was his steadfast and passionate belief in the importance of the U.S.-Saudi relationship as a force for stability and security in the Middle East and beyond. The closeness and strength of the partnership between our two countries is part of King Abdullah’s legacy.”

This is a shame and a mockery!

What fucking “legacy” this idiot is talking about? Is it the “legacy” of beheading? Is it the “legacy” of keeping his people ignorant, backward and conservative? Or it is the world-famous “legacy” of prohibiting women from driving? Or probably, it is the “legacy” of flogging that poor blogger thousands of lashes? Is that it?

This is outrageous to the maximum!!!

How could the President of the so-called “Land of the Brave and the Free” have uttered those words in reference to that bastard bloody tyrant?

Had he forgotten that 15 of the 19 hijackers of a plane during the 9/11 terrorist attack came from KSA?

Didn’t he know that KSA besides being their so-called ally on their so-called “War on Terror” is also the number one financier of the different Islamic radical fanatical terrorist movement?

Is that the stability and the security that he is talking about? How come up to now, they do not want to release the whole and unedited report of the 9/11 Commission? Why the hell they are afraid or adamant to declassify the said dossier?

Is it part of the fucking “legacy” too?

The Opportunism and Hypocrisy of US imperialism

The world saw how the US government and their bastard allies viewed that evil tyrant; now consider Obama’s statement with regard to the death of the Venezuelan revolutionary leader, President Hugo Chavez:

“At this challenging time of President Hugo Chavez’s passing, the United States reaffirms its support for the Venezuelan people and its interest in developing a constructive relationship with the Venezuelan government. As Venezuela begins a new chapter in its history, the United States remains committed to policies that promote democratic principles, the rule of law, and respect for human rights.”

I am wondering what are those policies that he said that they are committed that allegedly promote democratic principles?

Is he referring to the “War on Terror”?

Is it their hardcore and blind support to Israel’s extermination and genocide of the Palestinian people?

The continuous government attack on the Occupy Movement?

What rule of law? Is their ally, Saudi Arabia has it?

Respect for human rights? Has Saudi Arabia has the slightest idea or even the most basic knowledge of what human rights are?

Took closely at the double speak of this bloody waning empire: a bastard notorious tyrant died and they admire him; while a genuine revolutionary died and they are portraying him as if he is a counter-revolutionary and anti-people!

What a shame!!!

Jose Mario Dolor De Vega

Philosophy lecturer
Unibersidad de Manila

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[Press Release] Strike at Korean factory reveals myth of APEC’s “inclusive growth” -PM

Strike at Korean factory reveals myth of APEC’s “inclusive growth”

Photo by PM

Photo by PM

The labor group Partido Manggagawa (PM) today slammed the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) theme of “inclusive growth” as a myth as it cited the strike at a Korean factory in Cavite as microcosm of labor’s plight. An APEC senior officials meeting just concluded last weekend in Clark, Pampanga.

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“APEC, which includes the Philippines and South Korea, is all about investor rights and none about labor concerns. Thus its call for inclusive growth is just a marketing gimmick in the face of worsening inequality amidst economic development. A case in point is this Korean investor in the Philippines which refuses to share productivity gains to its struggling workers,” insisted Wilson Fortaleza, PM spokesperson.

The strike at Tae Sung Philippines Co. Inc. in the Cavite economic zone entered its second day. A marathon mediation meeting yesterday failed to break the deadlock in negotiations. The union Tae Sung Employees Association asserts that management remains intransigent in bargaining and refuses to meet workers demands halfway. Another mediation session is scheduled this afternoon.

Fortaleza explained that “Tae Sung is earning more than USD 14 million (PhP 600 million) annually since 2011 but it is merely offering its 250 unionized workers a pittance of P3 million in wages and benefits or just half of one percent of the fruits of their employees’ labor!”

He added that “Tae Sung is the rule not the exception among investors in Philippine export zones and all across the industrial areas of Asia and the Pacific. Cheap labor and precarious work means a regime of exclusion and belies APEC’s lip service of inclusive growth.”

Production at Tae Sung remains paralyzed as regular workers are outside the factory picketing. Aside from bad faith bargaining, the union alleges that Tae Sung is attempting to weaken the union by firing eight union members, including one union officer, and suspending others including the union president and vice president. Workers have set up tents and a picketline outside the Tae Sung factory.

“Most of the Tae Sung workers earn just the floor wage of P315 plus allowance of P25.50 which is not even half of the cost of living in Calabarzon, which hardly differs from Metro Manila which we estimate is at least P1,000 per day for a family of five,” Fortaleza argued.

Press Release
February 12, 2015
Partido Manggagawa
Contact Wilson Fortaleza @ 09225261138, 09053732185

[Blog] On Popularizing War and the Mamasapano Killing by Norman A. Novio

On Popularizing War and the Mamasapano Killing
by Norman A. Novio

Vote for this article for the 5th HR Pinduteros’ choice awards…

Today (January 30) is a National Day of Mourning. The whole nation is in grief on the killing of the 44 members of the Philippine National Police-Special Action Force in an encounter happened last Sunday, January 25, 2014, birthday of the late President Corazon Aquino, in Barangay Tukanalipao, Mamasapano, Maguindanao. Many Filipinos demanded an All-Out War against the so-called terrorist groups like what former AFP Commander-in-chief and now Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada did. To peace advocates, this proposal is disapproving. Let us not forget that the military victory gained by the Estrada administration was impermanent. After major military camps of the rebels fell in the hands of the government forces, MILF regrouped and gained more strength. Erap’s All-Out War became an open recruitment opportunity for the Muslim rebels.

Norman Novio

Not few among us emotionally resorted to ethnic slurs against the Muslims and a huge number of citizens criticized Benigno S. Aquino III for the tragic incident. As sorrow swallows up the nation, innuendos and speculations came out from practically all sectors of society. There are claims that SAF’s main target, Zulkifli bin Hir alias “Marwan”, Southeast Asia’s most wanted terrorist with a $5 million bounty on his head is already dead but this needs further confirmation. Stories keep pouring and opinions coming from known groups and influential personalities gained media attention but those voices from civilians who are right there at the conflict areas are hardly heard.

Read full article @nanovio.blogspot.com

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[Statement] Rights groups urge ASEAN to break silence on enforced disappearance of Sombath Somphone

Rights groups urge ASEAN to break silence on enforced disappearance of Sombath Somphone
15 December 2014

Wher is SombathOn the second anniversary of the enforced disappearance of prominent Lao civil society leader Sombath Somphone, we, the undersigned regional and international organizations, firmly condemn the Lao government’s ongoing refusal to provide any information regarding Sombath’s fate or whereabouts.

The Lao government’s deliberate silence on Sombath is part of a strategy that aims at consigning to oblivion the heinous crime of enforced disappearance. Regrettably, all other ASEAN member states have remained conspicuously silent on the issue of Sombath’s disappearance. Our organizations believe that ASEAN member states, as well as the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR), must break the silence on this matter.

Instead of invoking the principle of non-interference into one another’s internal affairs, ASEAN member states must act as responsible members of the international community and uphold the 10-nation bloc’s key tenets enshrined in the ASEAN Charter, which recognizes the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms among the bloc’s purposes and principles.

As a result, we, the undersigned organizations, call on ASEAN member states to raise the issue of Sombath’s disappearance with the Lao government in all bilateral and multilateral fora. We also urge AICHR to exercise its power to “obtain information from ASEAN member states on the promotion and protection of human rights” in order to shed light on the disappearance of Sombath.

Sombath was last seen on the evening of 15 December 2012 in Vientiane. Lao public surveillance CCTV footage revealed that police stopped Sombath’s car at a police post. Within minutes after being stopped, unknown individuals forced him into another vehicle and drove away. Analysis of the CCTV footage shows that Sombath was taken away in the presence of police officers who witnessed the abduction and failed to intervene – a fact that strongly suggests government complicity.

Sombath’s enforced disappearance is not an isolated incident. To this day, the whereabouts of nine people arbitrarily detained by Lao security forces in November 2009 in various locations across the country remain unknown. The nine had planned peaceful demonstrations calling for democracy and respect of human rights. The whereabouts of Somphone Khantisouk are also unknown. Somphone, the owner of an ecotourism guesthouse, was an outspoken critic of Chinese-sponsored agricultural projects that were damaging the environment in the northern province of Luang Namtha. He disappeared after uniformed men abducted him in January 2007.

Our organizations urge ASEAN member states and the AICHR to call on the Lao government to immediately conduct competent, impartial, effective, and thorough investigations into all cases of enforced disappearances, hold the perpetrators accountable, and provide reparations to the victims and their families.

Signed by:

Adventist Development and Relief Agency Lao PDR
Ain O Salish Kendra
Alternative ASEAN Network on Burma (ALTSEAN-Burma)
Amnesty International
ASEAN Parliamentarians for Human Rights
ASEAN SOGIE Caucus
Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact
Asian Federation Against Involuntary Disappearances
Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA)
Asia-Pacific Solidarity Coalition
Association of Human Rights Defenders and Promoters
Banglar Manabadhikar Suraksha Mancha (MASUM)
Boat People SOS
Burma Partnership
Cambodian Civil Society Working Group on ASEAN
Cambodian Human Rights and Development Association (ADHOC)
Cambodian League for the Promotion and Defense of Human Rights (LICADHO)
Cambodian Volunteers for Society
Center for Human Rights and Development
China Labour Bulletin
Coalition to Abolish Modern-day Slavery in Asia
Commission for the Disappeared and Victims of Violence (KontraS)
Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative
East Timor and Indonesia Action Network
Equality Myanmar
Equitable Cambodia
FIDH – International Federation for Human Rights
Finnish Asiatic Society
Focus on the Global South
Forum for Democracy in Burma
Fresh Eyes – People to People Travel, UK
Gender and Development Initiative-Myanmar
Globe International
Hawaii Center for Human Rights Research & Action
Human Rights and Development Foundation
Human Rights Commission of Pakistan
Human Rights Watch
Indonesian Legal Aid Foundation
Indonesian Human Rights Monitor (IMPARSIAL)
INFORM Human Rights Documentation Centre
Initiatives for International Dialogue
Interfaith Youth Coalition on Aid in Myanmar
International Rivers
Judicial System Monitoring Programme
Justice and Peace Network of Myanmar
Justice for Peace Foundation
Justice for Women
Kachin Peace Network
Kachin Women Peace Network
Khmer Kampuchea Krom for Human Rights and Development Association
Korean House for International Solidarity
Lao Movement for Human Rights
Law and Society Trust
League for the Defence of Human Rights in Iran
LICADHO Canada
LILAK (Purple Action for Indigenous Women’s Rights)
Madaripur Legal Aid Association
MARUAH
National Commission for Justice and Peace
Network for Democracy and Development
Odhikar
Olive Branch Human Rights Initiative
People’s Empowerment Foundation
People’s Solidarity for Participatory Democracy
People’s Vigilance Committee on Human Rights
People’s Watch
Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates
Potahar Organization for Development Advocacy
RTCC Research and Translation Consultancy Cluster
Sehjira Foundation for Persons with Disabilities
SILAKA
Social Action for Change
STAR Kampuchea
Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM)
Taiwan Association for Human Rights
Task Force Detainees of the Philippines
Think Centre
Transnational Institute
United Sisterhood Alliance – Cambodia
Vietnam Committee on Human Rights
Women Peace Network Arakan
World Rainforest Movement

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[Press Release] Why is Yeb Sano not at the UN Climate Talks in Lima?

Why is Yeb Sano not at the UN Climate Talks in Lima?

At the wake of Typhoon Haiyan, we watched him stand up for the Philippines in Warsaw and the whole world listened. He fasted to end the madness of inaction of world leaders to #ClimateChange and the international community supported him. He walked 1,000 kilometers for 40 days to Tacloban to demand for #ClimateJustice and thousands walked with him.

climate walk

Barring Yeb Sano in the Philippine Delegation at this crucial stage of the climate negotiations is injustice to developing nations like the Philippines that demand for climate justice and to the world climate movement who have lost a staunch fighter in this battle against climate change.

We are in a war against climate change. In our battles, we want leaders who can walk their talk and not lame politicians who will render lip service. We want public servants who will fight with us till the last breath.

We want #YebinLima because the Filipino people deserve a representative that speaks for the voiceless and powerless marginalized sectors whose lives are being affected by the impacts of climate change.

The history of our nation has long been paved with leaders that betrayed the interest of the revolution. We refuse to accept a future that another revolution will be betrayed.

It is time we #SwitchThePower  to the hands of the people and make our government accountable to its every action.

This is the first battle in our war against climate change but we vow to win in this #ClimateRevolution.

MEDIA RELEASE
02 December 2014

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[People] The Universal desire for Justice. by Fr. Shay Cullen

The Universal  desire for Justice.
Fr. Shay Cullen
Seoul, Korea.

It was frosty cold standing in the center Island of the broad avenue in Seoul,Korea leading to the the historical palace and presidential house.There I met one of the grieving parents of the Korean ferry disaster.There is a protest encampment set up there where supporters and sympathizes come and stay and pray and demand justice for the families and victims of this terrible tragedy.There is a high sense and awareness of human rights and frequent democratic protests are held here in Seoul. But all are allowed to demonstrate continuously, peacefully or noisily without police crackdowns.

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At the solidarity camp on the traffic island the father of a child who was killed by the sinking of the ferry boat told me through an interpreter how the parents cannot accept the inaction of government. They want government to redress fully the injustice and the terrible wrong behind the sinking of the ferry and the loss of so many chidlren and adults. He handed me a solidarity badge,a yellow folded ribbon. The children who died look out from the assembled 300 photographs at the temporary shrine to their memory.Their silent stares tell us of the enormity of their loss and greatness of the crime.

The ferry Sewol, on 16 April 2014  with a complement of 500 passengers and crew.The ferry boat was bought from a Japanese ferry company with only two years of life left as a passenger ferry but the shipping company used questionable methods to force through a change in the law so the ferry could get a licence to carry passengers beyond its normal life. Together with illegal structural alterations to carry more cargo ,the ferry was top heavy and capsized. The Captain ,crew have been jailed and the family of the  owner are being arrested and charged. Justice is the overwhelming  desire of the families of the chidlren who died.

In the Philippines justice is hard to come by.  As many as 4,386 Filipinos perished in the greatest peacetime maritime disaster ever when the MV Doña Paz a ferry boat ,owned by Sulpicio Lines, out of Tacloban ,Leyte, sank after colliding with the oil tanker MT Vector on December 20, 1987, only 24 people survived.The ship was way over its seaworthy life and built for 608 passengers.

The ship was rebuilt after a fire, unlicensed, grossly over-loaded and had no qualified captain or officer on duty on the bridge when the collision occurred leading the deaths of thousands. The Philippine Board of Marine Inquiry eventually cleared Sulpicio Lines of all liability, fault and negligence for the accident stopping short of sympathizing with the owners of the shipping line.

No one was arrested,tried or found guilty of negligence or held responsible for the deaths of so many. Everything is negotiable in the Philippines if you are rich and powerful.Little compensation was paid to the family members of 4,386 people who perished.

The families of the 162 victims who died and 93 severely burned people of a Manila disco fire had to wait 18 years and 8 months to get justice this past week. Small as it is with the sentences of seven Quezon city engineers and two businessmen to ten years each. Philippine Justice is hard to come by,all is negotiable except for the poor.

Last week a child ,Angie, from Botolan, Zambales with the mental capacity of  9 years old ,as testified by the resolution of the  prosecutor Emelyn T,Nacin-Catolico in April  2011.  had been cruelly raped with fear and threats  by a paedophile and the case referred to the Regional Trial court Iba ,Zambales .

Now three years later a new prosecutor, Olivia V.Non-Finones, instead of prosecuting the rapist pressured the child to sign an affidavit withdrawing her compliant. Such an affidavit of desistance is forbidden by order the Philippine Department of Justice and the Supreme Court has ruled many times that such affidavits of desistance have no weight what-so-ever.

Nevertheless the judge  Marifi P.Chua accepted the affidavit in court and stated in dismissing the rape charge against the accused that since the affidavit was based on the fact the rapist undertook  and promised not to rape again the lady judge dismissed the case and the accused  was allowed to walk free to do it again.The child was denied justice,more children are at risk.

Here in Seoul many welcome the UN resolution, approved by 111 countries, to send the leaders of North Korea to the International Criminal Court in The Hague  for crimes against humanity. Investigations and interviews with  escapees from repressive North Korea led to a special UN report in February 2014 that provides evidence for the allegations of the crimes of systematic murders, torture, beatings, starvations, rape, and forced abortions and unjust imprisonment of up to 120,000 people.

These issues and revelations have given a increased sense of obligation among the many South Koreans to do more to help  the less fortunate in North Korea and in developing countries. The desire for justice is universal and a nation without it is not a full civilized nation but close to a failed state.

This is perhaps why South Koreans are embracing and expanding their interest in social justice and  buying Fair Trade products from developing nations like the Philippines dried mangos fo small farmers and the indigenous people.  They have a growing moral conscience about the exploitation of  the poor and the duty to help.

Fair trade is a rapidly growing sector in civil society and among Christians  in many countries UK and Ireland Germany and Austria are among the most active. The movement in Seoul has a strong  supporter in Mayor Won Soon Park who  hosted in Seoul The Global Social Economic Forum this month to boost the social commitment of Koreans and foster international cooperation and Fair Trade. All of us  can do our share to help make justice the heart of  faith and life.

shaycullen@preda.org , http://www.preda.org.

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PREDA Foundation, Inc.
P.O Box 68
Olongapo City 2200

Preda Main Center
Upper Kalaklan, Subic Bay
Olongapo City 2200 Philippines

E-mail: shaycullen@preda.org, Information Officer: emmanueldrewery@preda.org

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[People] Tacloban, one year later Reflections by Fr. Shay Cullen, PREDA

Tacloban, one year later Reflections
by Fr. Shay Cullen, PREDA

It was a painful and difficult story for Josephine, 15 years old, and her father Jose to tell. I sat on a small plastic chair in their small, one-roomed house that they built from the wreckage of Haiyan (Yolanda), the greatest typhoon ever to hit land. Josephine sat close to her father who was aged beyond his years. When I arrived in their little home made of plywood sheets with Francis Bermido Jr., the Preda executive director, Jose was repairing an electric motor. It was his only source of livelihood for his surviving children.

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We were in Tacloban to meet some of the 88 orphans we are supporting with the help of generous donors from the UK, US, Ireland and elsewhere and who had lost one or both parents. Josephine (not her real name) is one of them.

Jose’s two other children emerged sad-faced from a cubicle and joined their father and Josephine as he was telling us how his wife and their three daughters died.

“We heard the warning on the radio,” he said. “We left our house and went to the second floor of the barangay center nearby with dozens of other neighbors. We thought we would be safe on the second floor. But the winds grew so strong the roof could not withstand it and it was ripped off and flew away into the darkness. The rain and wind rushed in and the crowd of people panicked and we rushed down the stairs to the ground floor but Josephine stayed on the upper floor.”

“Suddenly at that very moment as we got to the ground floor with many people, the great tidal wave came roaring in on top of us. We were very frightened and the children were crying and calling for their mama. The wave was as high as the barangay hall, they told me later. Everyone on the ground floor was trapped, the water formed a whirlpool and I could not hold the children and my wife. One daughter tried to go back up to where Josephine was but all three daughters and my wife drowned and these three survived.”

He lapsed into solemn silence, his face was wrinkled and a great sadness weighed on him. Later he told he felt better for telling us about his ordeal and loss.

Josephine took up the story. “I was on the second floor. I saw my sister trying to come up to me. I grabbed her arm but I could not hold her against the strong pull of the gushing water of the tidal wave. She was swallowed up by the water. I feel sad and think if only I could have saved her,” she said .

“But I will finish my studies.” she said, and then walked over to the radio and from underneath pulled out an ATM card and proudly showed us. It was the Preda Foundation’s payment card through which she gets her cash allowance for her studies and support.

The Tacloban and Palo city businesses of the rich and wealthy are up and running. The big houses are repaired but the hovels are rebuilt also and are still hovels. The city is cleaned up, the devastation in the lives of the poor remains and is even worse. They are poorer than ever.

We went to Barangay 76, along the shore line where the big ships were thrown up and crushed the whole community where hundreds died and were swept out to sea by the tidal wave. There is no improvement and the same shanties and hovels made with scrap materials and plastic sheets still line the shoreline. The big ships are still there and one is being cut up for scrap. Its great diesel engine sits in a filthy garbage-strewn strip of sea shore. The bacteria infested pools of green water pollute the place and two huge pigs are lying in the filth. The people tell us, “Nothing has changed, we are just poorer than ever,” said one man.

We went to join the Preda community workers who were giving seminars to adults and children using pictures and a lively music puppet show to thrill, cheer and educate them on the hope of a better life and to teach them how to stay safe from human traffickers and child abusers.

These criminals roam about promising jobs and masquerading as relief workers but are trying to win over teenagers and their parents, if they have any, with promises of well-paid jobs in the big city of Manila and Cebu. They are the vultures preying on the poor and exploiting the sadness and pain of poverty of those left behind and living in tents and bunkhouses.

The World Health Organization has reported that as many as 800,000 people still suffer from post-typhoon trauma, depression and hopelessness. Considering that as many 11.5 million people were adversely affected by that greatest of storms, it’s no wonder many have not received aid or government funding of any kind.

Yet the government says it has spent 52 billion pesos, just over one billion Euro on recovery efforts. One wonders where all that donated money went and who really benefited from it. Given the level of corruption in the Philippines one cannot but think the bad politicians got most of it.

Thousands of people were killed and the counting apparently stopped at 6000 but Congress is being challenged to investigate and find the truth and some representatives have suggested that as many as 18,000 could have died. Mass graves were dug and hundreds of bodies lie in unmarked graves.

We then went to the church grounds where the Preda community workers were in a tent holding a therapeutic group dynamic session for adults and children to help them with psycho-social relief. Nearby lay the graves of as many as hundred victims. I prayed for the all the living and those who had been killed. I stood by the tiny graves of little children and nearby workmen were constructing a monument to all who had their lives taken away.

The printed posters by the graves had the pictures of the lost ones and invariably carried the message, “We will miss you, we will miss you” over and over. shaycullen@preda.org
——

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Physical Address:

CONTACT US:
PREDA Foundation, Inc.
P.O Box 68
Olongapo City 2200

Preda Main Center
Upper Kalaklan, Subic Bay
Olongapo City 2200 Philippines

E-mail: shaycullen@preda.org, Information Officer: emmanueldrewery@preda.org

TO SUPPORT THE WORK OF PREDA you may freely pass on the article or republish and send a donation via mail or PAYPAL at our website http://www.preda.org or through the Columban Missionary Society.

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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[Press Release] New Data on CARP/ER Distribution Accomplishments Highly Questionable— farmers’ coalition calls for an independent audit; for the completion of the agrarian reform program -Focus on the Global South

New Data on CARP/ER Distribution Accomplishments Highly Questionable— farmers’ coalition calls for an independent audit; for the completion of the agrarian reform program

The Save Agrarian Reform Alliance (SARA), a peasant-led umbrella coalition of people’s organizations, NGOs and human rights organizations, challenged the newly released Agricultural Indicators Systems by the Philippine Statistics Authority. The data which came from the Department of Agrarian Reform claim that “the cumulative accomplishment of DAR-CARP from 1972-2013 was 4.599 million hectares benefitting 2,698,182 farmers who eventually became owners of the land they were cultivating”.

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But SARA leaders doubted the data based on the experiences of its members. “What percent of the accomplishment is distributed but uninstalled? Registered but not distributed? Distributed but with no support services? Distributed but reversed? The devil’s in the details,” asked Ka Trinidad Domingo, spokesperson of SARA and farmer leader from Nueva Ecija.

“There is a reported 826, 947 hectares of land distributed under the Voluntary Land Transfer/Direct Payment Scheme (VLT/DPS), which accounts for 18 percent of the total land distribution accomplishment from 1972-2013. The VLT/DPS scheme is highly dubious as it has been used to circumvent the program with landlords handpicking the farmers loyal to them who enter into a voluntary agreement for the direct transfer of lands to the latter, and then later on, consolidating their lands.,” added Domingo.

SARA leaders added that the reported figures do not include the suspicious deductions of another 1 million hectares from the land distribution target made under the Ramos-Garilao administration in 1998. In 1988, CARP’s original land distribution target was 10 million hectares of arable agricultural lands, which was later on reduced to 8 million hectares and now, according to the AIS study, it’s only 5.43 million hectares. Where are the remaining 5 million from the original target?

The data do not really reflect the realities on the ground. “In the case of Yolanda farmers, DAR Region 8 has reported that it has distributed 11,685 land titles to about 8,000 farmers but upon verification on the ground, Yolanda survivors were surprised to learn about this. Their Certificate of Land Ownership Awards (CLOAs) are being withheld motu propio by DAR.,” said Danny Carranza, secretary general of KATARUNGAN, a co-convenor of SARA.

More significantly, the accomplishment reports of the DAR-AIS/PSA continue to remain questionable because of contradictory figures from the Land Registration Authority (LRA), as shown in the table below. There is a visible difference in the figures claimed by DAR-AIS/PSA and the actual figures of 253,935.37 hectares registered with land titles in the LRA. The figures reveal a remarkable deficit of 62,981.63 hectares from the actual official accomplishments in land distribution of the current Aquino administration. (see table below)
But while DAR is good at issuing macro data, it had consistently failed in giving details to these data. Since 2010, DAR has consistently reported nationally-aggregated data that are difficult to be validated by rural advocates and farmers’ organization.

SARA reiterates its call for the formation of an independent high-level commission to properly audit the accomplishments of previous and current DAR and other CARP implementing agencies with regards to land distribution, installation of agrarian reform beneficiaries, and provision of support services to farmers.

In tandem with these calls, SARA also supports the passage of House Bill No. 4375, “An Act Creating the Agrarian Reform Commission” (filed by Representatives Kaka Bag-ao of Dinagat Island and Leni Robredo of Camarines Sur), and the congressional bills mandating the continued issuance of the Notices of Coverage (House Bill No. 4296 filed by Representative Teodoro Baguilat of Ifugao and Representative Cresente Paez of COOP-NATCCO Partylist and Senate Bill No. 2188 filed by Senator Gregorio Honasan II)

With barely two years before he steps down, SARA leaders urged President Aquino to make the creation of the Agrarian Reform Commission as his administration’s priority and ensure that the Congress pass the bill for the continuation of land distribution, which he already certified as urgent.

SARA further appealed to the President to present a clear roadmap for reaffirming the social justice goals of the agrarian reform program. Failure to do so will be tantamount to deliberately neglecting his sworn duty to uphold the interests of the Filipino people in general and the rural poor in particular.

Contact Person:
Mary Ann Manahan, Secretariat, SARA
+63.9062983206/mbmanahan@focusweb.org

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November 11, 2014

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[Press Release] World-renowned Filmmaker Lav Diaz Dedicates His Latest Masterpiece, Storm Children, to Survivors of Typhoon Haiyan and to the Advocacy for Climate Revolution -DAKILA

World-renowned Filmmaker Lav Diaz Dedicates His Latest Masterpiece, Storm Children,
to Survivors of Typhoon Haiyan and to the Advocacy for Climate Revolution

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The Philippine premiere of the latest masterpiece of world-renowned filmmaker, Lav Diaz, was held last November 4, 2014, Tuesday, 7pm at the Cinema 6 of Ayala Trinoma Mall. The Philippine premiere was presented by Dakila – Philippine Collective for Modern Heroism, an artist group inspiring social consciousness formation, in partnership with the Embassy of Canada, Voyage Studios and the Film Development Council of the Philippines.

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Mga Anak ng Unos (Storm Children) tackles how children deal with devastations after the storm. The compelling photography of Lav Diaz beautifully weaves the story of three children and how they cope with disasters. The special screening is for the benefit of DAKILA’s climate revolution campaign, which initiated the Climate Walk from Manila to Tacloban and for the trust fund of the children featured in the film.

The Philippine premiere of “Mga Anak ng Unos (Storm Children)” coincides with the anniversary week of the landfall of Typhon Yolanda (Haiyan) in Tacloban and the culmination of the Climate Walk for Climate Justice, a 1,000 kilometer and 40-day journey from Kilometer 0 Luneta to Ground Zero Tacloban, participated by DAKILA’s core members musician Nityalila Saulo, visual artist AG Sano, filmmaker Charley Sta. Maria, advertising professional Christine Orias and development activist Steph Tan and led by Philippine Chief Negotiator and representative to the UN Climate negotiations, Commissioner Yeb Sano of the Climate Change Commission.

According to DAKILA Vice President and musician-activist, Noel Cabangon, “As changing weather patterns bring about strong typhoons like Yolanda, climate change has already become an issue of human survival. With the worsening impacts of climate change being most felt in developing countries like the Philippines, the issue of climate change is now more real than ever.”

The Philippine premiere of Storm Children is held in partnership with the Embassy of Canada. The Government of Canada is one of the countries that have taken decisive action to provide assistance to the people affected by Typhoon Haiyan. According to Canadian Embassy Political Counsellor, Elizabeth Baldwin-Jones, who graced the screening of Storm Children, in behalf of Ambassador Neil Reeder, “The Embassy of Canada is pleased to be a partner of the Philippine premiere of this important documentary from an acclaimed filmmaker. We at the embassy would like to see our engagement in this initiative in two lenses: first is a tribute to an outstanding Filipino director – Lav Diaz, who, with his recent feature film ‘Norte, End of History,’ wowed audiences at the Toronto International Film Festival. And the second is a constant reminder of the need to prepare responsibly for disasters and natural calamities.”

She further added, “The Government of Canada has contributed Cad$ 85 million in humanitarian assistance to Yolanda-affected communities in the Philippines. This matches the Cad$ 85 million raised by private companies, organizations, and ordinary, civic-minded Canadians, bringing the total of our assistance to Cad$ 170 million (approx. PhP 6.8 billion). We are committed to support the long-term rehabilitation plans of the Philippines in rebuilding the communities devastated by Yolanda. Complementing that support is our advocacy to promote disaster preparedness and risk reduction. Following on the Philippines’ ‘Build back better’ vision, we’d like as well to see communities and cities taking disaster risk reduction and preparedness seriously and consistently.”

In 2013, the Philippines suffered the tremendous impact of Typhoon Haiyan, taking almost 10,000 lives and destroying farmlands, fisheries, and livelihoods of people. Months after, Southern Luzon and Northern Visayas were again hit by Typhoon Rammasun (Glenda), which damaged billions-worth of infrastructures and livelihood. Recently, Typhoon Mario (Fung-Wong) flooded the streets of Metro Manila, paralyzing the country’s capital and causing about PhP 1.14B crop damage.

DAKILA, the group that presented the film screening, has been in the forefront of campaigning for climate action. Advocates taking part in the Climate Walk encouraged local government units along the route to commit to taking action against the climate crisis by committing to draft their own Local Climate Change Action Plans (LCCAP) and Disaster Risk Reduction Management Plans (DRRM). The Climate Walk for Climate Justice calls on world leaders to arrive at arrive at a fair and binding deal and take concrete actions on climate change.

Dakila Executive Director, Leni Velasco, in her statement said, “The Philippine premiere of Lav Diaz’ Storm Children comes in a very relevant time when our nation needs to focus on the impacts of climate change and disasters to our people’s lives, especially to our children who are most vulnerable and at risk. Every day we confront the reality of climate change – uncertainties over food security, water and the vulnerability to diseases and natural disasters. And for a developing nation like the Philippines, this reality is far worse. A year after Yolanda, the nation is still in shambles – with many of our country men still displaced, with no secure jobs or livelihood and still vulnerable when the next disaster strikes.”

In his director’s statement, Lav Diaz likened the storm to the system that continues to wreck havoc in the lives of the Filipino. He said, “And if I may dwell on the figurative side of storms battering the Filipino, the psyche comes into the fore. The worst storms, man-made storms, become evil batterers of the Malay soul–think of the long years of Spanish and American colonization, the Japanese Occupation of World War II and the brutal Martial Law years of the dictator Ferdinand Marcos. Institutionalized corruption in our system and culture bleeds the Malay Filipino. This is the most relentless storm.”

Ending her statement during the screening, Velasco said, “Dakila presented this important film because we believe in the vision of Lav Diaz. Our film program, the Active Vista Human Rights Film Festival, believes in the power of cinema to project truth, truth that scares us, truth that shocks us, truth that moves us to action. The truth is climate change is real. The truth is that climate change is an issue of the survival of the human race. Let us refuse to succumb to a future that sows fear to our people every time a typhoon hits our land. Let us refuse to accept that suffering from devastation is a fact of life. Let us refuse to surrender the dignity of life of our people. Let us refuse to yield powerless against climate change.”

“We can no longer wait for another Haiyan. We need to fundamentally change the way we live, and the way things work in our planet. It is time we take part in this climate revolution.” Velasco ended.

Environment advocates, civil society organizations, the art and film community came in full force for the screening of Storm Children. Prior to the screening, an exhibit on the climate walk was unveiled to the public. Storm Children will compete at the Copenhagen International Film Festival 2014. Lav Diaz’ other films, Norte, the End of History was screened in Un certain Regard of Cannes 2013 (France) and his latest film, From What is Before (Mula sa Kung Ano ang Noon) won the Golden Leopard at the 2014 Locarno International Film Festival (Switzerland). Lav Diaz’ films has also won in several other festivals including the Venice International Film Festival and Toronto International Film Festival. His films include West Side Kid, Evolution of a Filipino Family, Heremias, Death in the Land of Encantos, Florentina Hubaldo, Century of Birthing and Melancholia.

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

Human Rights Online Philippines does not hold copyright over these materials. Author/s and original source/s of information are retained including the URL contained within the tagline and byline of the articles, news information, photos etc.

[Press Release] Lav Diaz’ Storm Children Premieres in the Philippines in Time for Anniversary of Typhoon Yolanda -Dakila

Lav Diaz’ Storm Children Premieres in the Philippines in Time for Anniversary of Typhoon Yolanda

E-poster Mga Anak ng UnosWorld-renowned filmmaker Lav Diaz who is set to premiere his 2-hour documentary, Storm Children (Mga Anak ng Unos) in the Philippines on November 4, 2014, Tuesday, 7pm at the Cinema 6 of Ayala Trinoma Mall. The Philippine premiere is presented by Dakila – Philippine Collective for Modern Heroism, an artist group inspiring social consciousness formation, and in partnership with the Embassy of Canada, Voyage Studios and the Film Development Council of the Philippines.

Dakila new

Lav Diaz’ Norte, the End of History was screened in Un certain Regard of Cannes 2013 (France) and his latest film, From What is Before (Mula sa Kung Ano ang Noon) won the Golden Leopard at the 2014 Locarno International Film Festival (Switzerland). Lav Diaz’ films has also won in several other festivals including the Venice International Film Festival and Toronto International Film Festival. His films include West Side Kid, Evolution of a Filipino Family, Heremias, Death in the Land of Encantos, Florentina Hubaldo, Century of Birthing and Melancholia. Storm Children will compete at the Copenhagen International Film Festival 2014.

Mga Anak ng Unos (Storm Children) tackles how children deal with devastations after the storm. The compelling photography of Lav Diaz beautifully weaves the story of three children and how they cope with disasters. As changing weather patterns bring about strong typhoons like Yolanda, climate change has become an issue of human survival. With the worsening impacts of climate change being most felt in developing countries like the Philippines, the issue of climate change is now more real than ever.

The Philippine premiere of “Mga Anak ng Unos (Storm Children)” coincides with the anniversary week of the landfall of Typhon Yolanda (Haiyan) in Tacloban and the culmination of the Climate Walk for Climate Justice, a 1,000 kilometer and 40-day journey from Kilometer 0 Luneta to Ground Zero Tacloban, participated by DAKILA’s core members musician Nityalila Saulo, visual artist AG Sano, filmmaker Charley Sta. Maria, advertising executive Christine Orias and development activist Steph Tan and led by Philippine Chief Negotiator and representative to the UN Climate negotiations, Commissioner Yeb Sano of the Climate Change Commission.

An exhibit of the Climate Walk will be featured during the cocktails of the premiere at 6:00 pm. The donation of PhP 250 each (PhP 100 ticket + PhP 150 campaign) will be for the benefit of the climate revolution campaign and the trust fund of the children featured in the film. Limited seats are available and reservation is required. For ticket reservations, contact DAKILA at (+632) 4354309, (+63915) 1780240, email activevista@dakila.org.ph

For media invites confirmation, kindly contact Ina Fortaleza at 09178822176.

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

Human Rights Online Philippines does not hold copyright over these materials. Author/s and original source/s of information are retained including the URL contained within the tagline and byline of the articles, news information, photos etc.

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