Tag Archives: Abuses

[People] The Hunger and Thirst for Justice By Fr. Shay Cullen

The Hunger and Thirst for Justice
By Fr. Shay Cullen

There is a true and very important saying that we all need to listen and learn from: “There is no peace when there is no justice”. The truth of this is seen and felt by thousands of people around the world and people never forget the injustices that they have suffered. Hurt and pain are the realities that we humans carry with us throughout our lives. Much of it happens in families and in school and children are scared for life. They suffer much more when they are victims of sexual or physical abuse and torture.


Rejection, exclusion, abuse and hurt feelings of childhood shape and mould the characters of every person; some cope with it and survive and live with it. Others are crippled emotionally and psychologically and many suffer depression and some even take their own lives. Other children are even murdered on live videos to please international pedophiles. Are we going to allow this?

Abused children carry the memories into late adult life because as children, they are unable to challenge and confront their abusers and demand justice. The culture of ignoring the individual personality and rights of children is part of this injustice. The children can grow up with a grudge, a desire for justice, anger at being denied it and turn to revenge-seeking and even violence. When whole communities are degraded, oppressed and exploited, they become angry and seek redress through demonstrations, riots, and protest. This leads to inevitable confrontation and violence. Others seek justice in the courts but their complaints are frequently dismissed.

The individual child can become an angry, violent person when abused and denied justice. Perhaps that’s why thousands of young people are flooding to Syria to become fighters and join the ISIS. Perhaps they see it as a way to take bloody revenge on the world they have come to hate.

Prior to the ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1989, there were few laws to fully protect the rights of children or treat them as individual people in the own right. The high status given to a child in the Gospel values was generally ignored for 2000 years. Since the approval of the Convention, all member states had to draft their laws based on the Convention document.

But are those laws really and wholeheartedly implemented and beneficial to children? In the Philippines, experience shows that mostly they are not. Police, prosecutors, and judges are more favourable to the abusers than to the children. More accused child abusers and rapists are allowed to go free than are convicted.

The reasons are many: corruption, bribery, favouritism, and no belief in the law; the incompetence of police, prosecutors, and judges add to the failure. For all this, there are good, honest, hardworking judges for the most part that take pride in doing justice. The good judges restore people’s trust and respect in the judicial process but they are all too few.

Children cannot and should not be made to wait years for justice. Justice based on clear evidence is essential for healing. Children get witness fatigue and despair of getting justice, and there are many postponements, manipulations and cheating to contend with.

Lawyers working for the accused get paid per hearing plus a retainer fee. It’s in their interest to prolong the case, earn more money and hope to win by wearing down the will of the victim so she will give up and the rapist can get away with the crimes.

Then, some impotent child protection laws are allegedly ignored. The telecommunication companies are allegedly not complying with the Anti-child Pornography Law of 2009. They have made no statement of compliance with the law. This law, RA 9775, explicitly orders the Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to install software to block the transmission of child porn images and cyber-sex where children are forced to do sexual acts live on camera sent through the internet to paying customers in other cities or countries. Criminal pedophiles pay to watch the children being abused and raped. Some order they be tortured and killed.

The National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) officials are apparently looking the other way. Perhaps even looking at child pornography, why else don’t they implement the law? The shareholders of the biggest telecommunication company, PLDT, can be found on the internet; most of the top 100 are Filipinos and US nationals. They are allegedly likewise in violation of the law.

Victims of child pornography should file charges against the telecommunication companies and individual stockholders who violate the law. If it is being obeyed, the victims and their families would not be suffering.

Now we see the likely result of this connivance and colluding between big business and government officials. Horrific crimes against children have been done and continue daily over the internet. The filters have not been deployed or installed as the law says. The Internet Watch Foundation can prove that. Child and adult pornography is available to children daily on their pads and cell phones.

The dirty work of Australian Peter Scully and his local helpers was possible because of uncontrolled internet access. They made videos of a screaming 18 month old child being tortured and murdered. You need to be of strong heart if you watch this.


The horrific videos were sold in the USA and EU countries. Is this a civilized country? Is Christianity dead? Is the Philippines a morally failed state? Why can this happen openly and uncontrolled? The answer is insatiable greed and the lust for money, pleasure and power. The authorities have vital questions to answer and all of us must challenge politicians and corporations everywhere and act to end such crimes and do justice for the children.


10 April 2015

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[Statement] Immediately remove CHR Commissioners “Midnight” Appointment!-PAHRA

Immediately remove CHR Commissioners “Midnight” Appointment!-PAHRA
April 20, 2015

Vote for this article for the 5th HR Pinduteros’ Choice Awards

File photo source: Jess M. Escaros Jr. balita.ph

File photo source: Jess M. Escaros Jr. balita.ph

The Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA), after judiciously discerning received  reliable information, calls for the immediate removal of CHR Chairperson Etta Rosales, Commissioners Ma. Victoria Cardona and Norberto dela Cruz for committing a grave abuse of discretion in making a “midnight” and procedurally-flawed appointment of a person with questionable eligibility, Atty. Marc Titus Cebreros, as CHR Executive Director.

pahra logo copy

The 4th Commission on Human Rights has been earlier assessed by different human rights groups as under par in performance.  Then came the Ombudsman’s historic decision of dismissing former Commissioner  Cecilia Rachel V. Quisumbing due to graft and corruption and abuse of authority. This was followed by the en banc resolution of finding Com. Norberto dela Cruz of human rights violations and pending case in Ombudsman filed against him by a former staff for misconduct.

After such incidents, one would have expected that the mentioned Commissioners would be more circumspect in their personal and collective behavior and decisions being top officers of the prime human rights institution of the country.  But no, the already eroded integrity and credibility of the CHR further deteriorated in making, with sheer absence of delicadeza, this “midnight” appointment.

What alarms us the most is that this grave abuse of discretion may become a justifiable precedent action and a new acceptable standard for Commissioners and personnel of CHR.  Much less should it be implanted and perpetuated in the institution.

Whether this grave abuse of discretion has been done near the end or at any period of any Commissioner’s term, it merits the same disciplinary action.  It goes against the common Paris Principles for NHRIs in the areas of transparency, accountability and rule of law. If unattended or unresolved, the integrity, credibility and consequent strength of our National Human Rights Institution would be eroded further and its status lowered before the national public, regional and international human rights communities.

This is unacceptable.  This should stop now.


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] CSOs celebrate HR resolution of UNHRC, urges the PH government to follow through -ATM

CSOs celebrate HR resolution of UNHRC, urges the PH government to follow through
Stopcorporate1 small
Human rights (HR) groups and other organizations are celebrating as the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva voted on a resolution to initiate the process to create an international legally binding instrument that will hold transnational corporations (TNCs) accountable to corporate human rights abuses on June 26.


Rene Pamplona and Fr. Joy Pelino both representatives of the Social Action Center of Marbel Diocese a member organization of Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM) attended the UNHRC meeting in Geneva as representatives of the Philippines.

In a two minute presentation, Pamplona presented to the UNHRC the case of Glencore/Xstrata – a Swiss Transnational Corporation – and its alleged human rights abuses to the people of Bla’an in Tampakan, South Cotabato.

Presently, Glencore is being accused of committing human rights abuses to four (4) – Peru, Colombia, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Zambia – other countries aside from the Philippines.

47 member countries of the United Nations Human Rights Council convened to vote on the initiation of the controversial international binding treaty highly opposed by the United States, European Union, United Kingdom and Japan.

The result came down to a YES after 20 voted in favour, 14 against and 13 abstentions.

“This is really a historic moment for all of us,” said Jaybee Garganera, Alyansa Tigil Mina national coordinator.

“The approval of an initiation of an international instrument to hold TNCs accountable to their HR abuses is beneficial to every worker and victims of corporate abuses all around the globe.” He added.

In the Philippines, the lobbying team for the passage of the initiation of the legally binding treaty is the Tampakan Forum to which ATM and SAC Marbel are members.

ATM, Kalikasan at Tao Muna Hindi Mina and other environmental and human rights organizations held a rally in front of the Department of Foreign Affairs office last June 24 in solidarity with the global campaign Dismantle Corporate Power and Stop Impunity.

This was after reports came out claiming that the Philippine Mission in Geneva, Headed by Ambassador Cecilia Rebong, kept mum on the issue during the whole process of deliberation. In the final result, the Philippines was one of the countries that voted YES in the meeting.

“It was a long and hard journey to get the missions vote on a YES for the initiation of the binding treaty, however the bigger battle is just about to begin.” Said Rose Trajano, Secretary General of Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA).

Trajano came with Pamplona and Pelino in Geneva and also helped in the lobbying to stop TNC impunity. PAHRA, the organization Trajano belongs is also a member of the Tampakan Forum.

Despite the victory, HR groups and other organizations involve in the global campaign remain wary as to where the initiative may lead to. In a statement, Pamplona urged the supporters of the binding treaty and the general public to be alert and not to get too complacent with the turn of events.

“There are still thousands of victims that are fighting for justice against the human rights abuses TNCs have done to them. Here in the Philippines alone, Glencore Xstrata and the members of Task force KITACO that are main suspects for the killings of Bla’an tribe members remain at large.

“Yes the initiative to build a binding treaty has begun, but we have to be vigilant and alert on what’s going to happen next, because as passionate as we are in concertizing justice when it comes to human rights abuses, those against it are probably as dedicated to block it just the same.” Pamplona said.

According to a press release by the global campaign Dismantle Corporate Power and Stop Impunity, “United Nations’ present Business and human rights regime, which relies on voluntary guidelines rather than legal obligations, is woefully inadequate to deal with ongoing corporate violations.”

“Voluntary Guidelines” refers to corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs that almost all TNCs and even some local companies do to fulfill social obligations.

“There is nothing wrong with CSRs,” Trajano clarified “but this should not be a reason why TNCs should have impunity on abuses they have committed.”

A passage of an international binding treaty championing corporate human rights and holding TNCs accountable to corporate human rights abuses has been seen by Human Rights groups as a revolutionary milestone in the realm of business and human rights.

To date, the global and local campaign for a legally binding instruments continue, this time to ensure that the initiative will follow through and for the Philippines’ “Yes” vote to be translated into a productive and constructive participation in the drafting of the International Binding Treaty.

“We are calling on the Philippine Government especially the Department of Foreign Affairs to actively participate in the drafting of the binding treaty in the UNHRC. May our country be a part of upholding corporate human rights that will benefit this generation and the next.” Garganera concluded.


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

Tampakan Forum, a working group on the Tampakan mining issue composed of legal, social, economic, technical experts and organizations opposing mining in the country

For more information:

Rene Pamplona, Campaign and Advocacy Officer, SAC Marbel (0918) 380.99.23 <renepamplona@yahoo.com.ph>
Jaybee Garganera, ATM National Coordinator, (0917) 549.82.18 <nc@alyansatigilmina.net>
Check Zabala, ATM Media and Communications Officer, (0927) 623.50.66 <checkzab@gmail.com>

ATM Press Release
14 July 2014

[In the news] One billion women to rise on Feb. 14–Filipinos at the forefront, led by Monique Wilson -INQUIRER.net

One billion women to rise on Feb. 14–Filipinos at the forefront, led by Monique Wilson
By Annelle S. Tayao, Philippine Daily Inquirer
December 29, 2012

inquirerAwash in purple light and its floor covered in rose petals, the stage of Music Museum in Greenhills was filled with women—kids, teens, mothers, artists, celebrities, even seniors who survived the war—all enthusiastically dancing to an upbeat tune.

At the very front were two of the group’s most passionate dancers: Renowned actress Monique Wilson and Tony award-winning playwright Eve Ensler, author of “The Vagina Monologues.”

Imagine that scene, but on a much larger scale: One billion women out on the streets in different parts of the world, all dancing to the same beat. The dance, however, isn’t just for show; it’s a protest, a movement, a collective cry—for people to put a stop to rape and all other forms of abuse against women.

The movement is called One Billion Rising, the brainchild of Ensler, an activist who has made it her life’s mission to fight violence against women. As part of her One Billion Rising World Tour, Ensler visited the country last Dec. 16-22 to help spread word about the campaign. Her other stops are Peru, Guatemala, Mexico, Los Angeles, India, Egypt, Paris, Belgium, London and the Congo.

Read full article @lifestyle.inquirer.net

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