Tag Archives: Cebu

[From the web] Assault on human rights defenders in the Philippines at crisis point -TFDP

Photo by Jerbert Briola

As we mark the anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), it is, we firmly believe, as relevant today as it was when it was adopted 71 years ago.

Human rights defenders, environmental activists, indigenous peoples rights defenders, lawyers and journalists in the country are facing unprecedented levels of persecution, intimidation and violence, warned Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP)* https://tfdp.net/ today as it launched its Human Rights Defenders Summit 2019 in Cebu City demanding an end to the assault on human rights defenders.

The government authorities should take immediate and effective action to end widespread assault against human rights defenders, the TFDP said today in a press conference in Cebu City.

The situation for human rights defenders in the country is becoming increasingly challenging as elaborated in various reports made by regional and international human rights organizations such as Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (Forum Asia), Global Witness, International Service for Human Rights (ISHR), Organisation Mondiale Contre la Torture (OMCT), International Federation of Human Rights (FIDH) and Front Line Defenders.

Democratic backsliding, deterioration of the quality of democracy, and shrinking democratic space has become one of the defining features of Duterte’s regime.

In July 2016, when Duterte assumed presidency and started his campaign against illegal drugs through “Oplan Tokhang”, TFDP responded by documenting the cases of extra-judicial killings and other human rights violations related to government’s war on drugs. The authorities admit 6,600 people have been killed over the last three years though other groups estimate as many as 29,000 have lost their lives. The authorities claim that those killed fought back or resisted arrest (or “nanlaban”, ignoring case after case in which witnesses says suspects were summarily executed.

On many occasions, Duterte publicly voiced his blatant disregard for human rights in relation to his ‘war on drugs’ and repeatedly threatened to kill human rights activists (defenders).

“What we are witnessing today here in Visayas, based on our documentation, from 2018 to December 2019, there are 104 documented cases of human rights violations, breakdown as follows: 31 cases are related to harassments, intimidation, vilification and killings against human rights defenders including the killing of human rights lawyer Benjamin Ramos on 6 November 2018 at Kabankalan City, Negros Occidental and red-tagging of our organization by authorities in Bacolod City; 58 cases related to government’s war on drugs while 15 are politically motivated cases,” TFDP claimed.

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Memorandum Circular No. 15 (s. 2018) mandates all non-profit organizations in the Philippines to comply with arbitrary and invasive registration requirements.

This SEC memorandum comes amidst increasing government pressure on civil society, and allegations of surveillance targeting human rights defenders. The memorandum will further legitimize the invasion of privacy of individuals, and hinder the capacity of organizations to do their legitimate human rights work.

TFDP demands that the government implement what they committed to when the United Nations adopted the Declaration on human rights defenders in 1998. The Declaration calls on states to recognize the key role and contribution of those who defend human rights and to establish effective measures to protect them such as enactment of the Human Rights Defenders Protection Law.

“We are living in dangerous times again and many seem not to bother nor care that the whimsical and capricious display of vindictiveness of Duterte is eating the nation’s soul and trampling on people’s rights,” said Fr. Christian Buenafe, O.Carm, chairperson of TFDP.

What the martial law experience taught us is that when “injustice becomes law, resistance becomes duty,” TFDP concluded.-end-

*TFDP is a Mission Partner of the Association of Major Religious Superiors in the Philippines (AMRSP) established in 1974. TFDP is a member of the Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA), Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (Forum Asia) and SOS Torture Network of the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT).

Read more @tfdp.net

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] Rights Groups Call on Candidates on Labor Day to have a Human Rights Electoral Agenda -PCAT Cebu

Rights groups in Cebu City led by the Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP), in partnership with Kilusan para sa Pambansang Demokrasya (KILUSAN-CEBU) and the People’s Campaign Against Tyranny (PCAT), and together with the Families of Victims of Involuntary Disappearance (FIND) and the Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA), gather on Labor Day in a People’s Caravan to push candidates to incorporate a human rights electoral agenda in their platforms.

“The human rights situation in the country has been deteriorating. Civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights of the people, including the women, children, workers, among others, have been seriously affected,” said Ramiel Aballe, TFDP staff in the Visayas. He further explained that through the policies, programs, and projects implemented by the government, as well as the President’s pronouncements, media statements and actions, human rights and human rights defenders have been attacked and demonized. “This has resulted in entrenched impunity and erosion of rule of law; climate of fear and silence; worsening incidence of poverty, hunger, joblessness, and derogation of economic, social, cultural rights,” he continued.

The People’s Caravan, which will go around the downtown streets of Cebu City, focuses on the call: ITAGUYOD ANG KAPAKANAN NG MANGGAGAWA, IPAGLABAN ANG KARAPATAN NG MAMAMAYAN, PAIRALIN ANG KARAPATANG-PANTAO AT DEMOKRASYA BILANG AGENDA SA ELEKSYONG 2019.

The People’s Caravan aims to set the framework and guidelines for the upcoming mid-term elections. This is an integral part of the People’s Campaign Against Tyranny through the #SampuSigurado: KarapatDapat Karapatan Dapat, a PAHRA-iDEFEND campaign. The groups also push for the enactment of a human rights defenders protection law.

By coming together on Labor Day, the groups reiterate their demand for the government to respect human rights. It is also an appeal for the people to use their power to vote for candidates who will prioritize the people’s human rights.###

Contact persons:
Emalyn – 253-9682 or 0932-357-6253
Ramiel – 09068269372

Support #KarapatDapat na Agenda campaign! Click the video to know more.

Submit your contribution online through HRonlinePH@gmail.com
Include your full name, e-mail address and contact number.

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.

[Statement] PM condemns vigilante style killing of a leader

PM condemns vigilante style killing of a leader

Photo from partidongmanggagawa2001.blogspot.com

Photo from partidongmanggagawa2001.blogspot.com

The militant Partido Manggagawa (PM) condemned the killing of one of its leaders in Talisay, Cebu today. Orlando Abangan, a community leader of PM-Cebu, was shot at close range by a lone gunman around 8:00 am while he was on his way home in Sitio Lawis, Barangay Maghaway in Talisay City.

“We condemn the vigilante-style killing of Ka Lando and call on the authorities for a thorough investigation of his murder. Justice for Ka Lando and other victims of extra-judicial killings,” declared Wilson Fortaleza, PM spokesperson.

Abangan, 35 years old, is survived by his wife and two children. He was a full time organizer of PM in the province of Cebu since 2001. During the last election, he built an organization of persons with disabilities in Talisay that campaigned for social protection and social services for their sector. Recently he was engaged as informal sector organizer of the labor center Sentro.

Fortaleza added that “In calling for justice for Ka Lando, we are also assailing the culture of impunity that has resulted to the spate of slayings everywhere. Labor rights and human rights are an indivisible whole. Before he was killed, Ka Lando was vocal in criticizing the extra-judicial killings in our country.”

PM is a member of the coalition In Defense of Human Rights and Dignity Movement (iDefend) which advocates that human rights and due process cannot be sacrificed in government’s ongoing war against drugs and criminality.

PM is joining iDefend  and other human rights groups in a rally in Manila on Wednesday, September 21, on the anniversary of the declaration of martial law. Justice for Abangan will be one of the demands of the forthcoming protest.

September 17, 2016

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] Labor group calls for release of detained Cebu union leader -PM

Labor group calls for release of detained Cebu union leader

The militant Partido Manggagawa (PM) today called for the release of the detained union president of Copper Corp. in Toledo City, Cebu as his petition for bail is heard today. Tony Cuizon, president of the Panaghiusa sa Mamumuo sa Carmen Copper (PAMCC-AGLO), is currently detained at the Toledo city jail after he was arrested last October 25 in Cavite on the strength of warrants for illegal possession of firearms and explosives. He has filed an urgent motion for bail that is being heard today in Toledo.

pmLogo1

Renato Magtubo, PM national chairperson, appealed for the release of Cuizon, a PM national council member, on humanitarian grounds as he is sickly and advanced of age. “A politician gets the privilege of hospital arrest and a US soldiers gets special treatment but a worker, even if ill and elderly, has to endure the bad conditions of a city jail for more than a month now,” he added.

Dennis Derige, PM-Cebu spokesperson, stated that on Cuizon’s first day at the Toledo jail, the latter had a high blood attack and was only brought to a clinic. “Cuizon is a senior citizen who suffers from severe hypertension, diabetes and arthritis, arguably work-related illnesses borne out of decades working in the copper mines of Toledo,” he explained.

Magtubo argued that the arrest warrants, criminal cases and police raids were in violation of existing guidelines in the conduct of police during labor disputes. PM insists that the warrants were flawed since they were the product of illegal raids conducted in March 2013 on the PAMCC office, and the houses of Cuizon and the union treasurer. The union avers that the firearms and a grenade allegedly found in the raid at the PAMCC office were planted by the police.

“Once again the Philippines rivals Colombia as the most dangerous place for unionists with numerous cases of labor leaders killed, injured or harassed. Cuizon’s arrest and incarceration illustrates the double standard of justice in our country,” Magtubo stated.

Derige averred that “The arrest of Ka Tony is part of Carmen Copper management’s continuing effort to bust the genuine union at the mine and leave the workers defenseless in the face of attempts to downgrade wages and benefits, and impose contractualization among mine workers. The police and the courts are being used as instruments of capitalists.”

Derige explained that Cuizon’s arrest followed on the heels of the decertification of PAMCC as the sole and exclusive bargaining union at the mine, and the formation of a management-backed yellow union.

Carmen Copper has recently been hit by spate of labor disputes as mine workers resist corporate attacks on working conditions. Last February, PAMCC filed a notice of strike for management’s unfair labor practices and violation of the collective bargaining agreement. Also this year, workers contracted to haul and dispose of Carmen Copper’s mine wastes were derailed in forming a union because of the intervention of the huge manpower contractor Asiapro but the case remains pending at the Labor Department. Unions have condemned Asiapro as an illegal labor-only contractor.

Press Release
November 25, 2014
Partido Manggagawa
Contact Dennis Derige @ 09335142179

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.

[Urgent Appeal] Labor leader Arrested and Detained -TFDP

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

URGENT APPEAL: Labor leader Arrested and Detained

Dear friends,

The Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP) writes to inform you about the arrest of Antonio T. Cuizon, president of the Panaghiusa sa Mamumuo sa Carmen Copper (PMCC), an organized union of Carmen Copper Incorporated since 1985.

TFDP logo small

CASE DETAILS:

The Panaghiusa sa Mamumuo sa Carmen Copper (PMCC) president was arrested by members of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) on October 26, 2014 at around 7:00 a.m. in Terrasa II, Camella Subdivision, Imus, Cavite. The victim was identified as Antonio Triambolo Cuizon, 58 years old, married, and a labor union president.

On the day of the incident, Cuizon was driving his Nissan Urvan vehicle. He and his wife Nanita and cousin Virgilio Restauro were about to go to the market to buy food. After passing the gate of their subdivision, ten (10) CIDG members in civilian clothes and full battle gear stopped them.

According to Cuizon, the CIDG team pointed their guns at them. A certain Bundal, the operation head, approached him and asked if he is Antonio Triambolo Cuizon. Bundal showed him the warrant and said, “We were looking for you since last week.” Immediately, he was handcuffed. He was transferred to a black Toyota with five unidentified CIDG men, including the driver.

They arrived at the CIDG Provincial Office in Imus at around 7:30 a.m. According to Cuizon, his blood pressure shot up to 200/100 which forced the CIDG personnel to bring him to Medical Center of Imus (MCI). After three hours, he was brought back to the CIDG detention center where he stayed for two days.

On October 28, 2014 at around 3:00 a.m., he was made to board the CIDG mobile car and was brought to Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) with two unidentified CIDG personnel as escorts. They arrived at the NAIA at around 5:00 a.m. At 5:30 a.m., he was boarded in the Cebu Pacific flight 5J585 bound for Cebu.

At around 6:40 a.m., they arrived at Mactan International Airport, Mactan, Cebu City. He was made to ride a CIDG mobile patrol car and was brought to the CIDG Office inside Camp Sotero Cabahug, Gorordo Avenue, Cebu City.

According to Cuizon, at around 11:00 a.m., Col. Posadas interrogated him and told him to locate the union treasurer since they had the same case.

At around 2:00 p.m., he was again boarded to a police mobile patrol car and brought to Toledo City. They arrived at around 4:00 p.m. at the Toledo City Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 29 for his commitment order. He was then brought to Toledo City Jail in Sitio Kabutongan, Barangay Landahan, Toledo City, where he is currently detained. He is being charged with illegal possession of firearms and explosives.

CASE BACKGROUND:

On March 22, 2013 at around 12:30 a.m., Cuizon’s house and PMCC union office was raided by members of the Philippine National Police (PNP).

According to Mark Anthony, Cuizon’s son, he was awakened on that day with their helper’s knocks on his door. When he went out of his room, he saw three unidentified police officers who were inside their house and 12 others who were outside.

A certain George Ilanan, team leader, approached him and showed a search warrant. Mark Anthony immediately called their lawyer, Atty. Milagros Piol. At around 1:00 a.m., Atty. Piol arrived and the police went on to search the house.

According to Mark Anthony, he accompanied the police officer in searching the house. They searched the office of his father, the cooperative office, and the union office where a .45 caliber gun and grenade were allegedly found.

Mark Anthony said that one of the policemen directly went inside the union office and immediately went to a corner where he allegedly found the gun and the grenade. Mark Anthony talked to the police officer and asked why he did not coordinate with his companion who will also conduct a search in the said area. Mark said that the evidences found were planted.

According to the elder Cuizon, his arrest came after the decertification of PMCC as the sole and exclusive bargaining union at the mine, and the formation of a management-backed yellow union called Carmen Copper Workers Labor Organization (CCWLO).

On October 10, 2014, the management conducted an election to determine which of the two unions will remain at the Carmen Copper, Inc. The PMCC union lost in the election.

REQUESTED ACTION:

PLEASE SEND LETTERS TO THE CONCERNED GOVERNMENT AGENCIES TO ENSURE AND GUARANTEE THE SAFETY AND SECURITY OF THE VICTIM INSIDE TOLEDO CITY JAIL, TOLEDO CITY.

Thank you.
Ramiel C. Aballe
Task Force Detainees of the Philippines
SAMPLE LETTER:

Dear ________________,

Greetings!

This is to express my grave concern regarding the arrest of Antonio T. Cuizon who is currently detained at Toledo City Jail.

I have learned that on October 26, 2014 at around 7:00 in the morning, Cuizon, union labor president of Panaghiusa sa Mamumuo sa Carmen Copper (PMCC) was arrested by members of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) in Terrasa II, Camella Subdivision, Imus, Cavite. He was presented with a warrant of arrest for illegal possession of firearms and explosives.

I came to know that on March 22, 2013 at around 12:30 a.m., Cuizon’s house and PMCC union office was raided by 15 members of the Philippine National Police (PNP). A .45 pistol and a grenade were allegedly found in the union office.

According to the Cuizon, his arrest came after the decertification of PMCC as the sole and exclusive bargaining union at the mine, and the formation of a management-backed yellow union called Carmen Copper Workers Labor Organization (CCWLO).

On October 10, 2014, the management conducted an election to determine which of the two unions will remain at the Carmen Copper, Inc. The PMCC union lost in the election.

I am writing to ask for immediate action in favor of the victim:

1. The immediate release of the victim, only two years away from becoming a senior citizen and suffering from severe hypertension, diabetes and arthritis.

2. The reinvestigation of the police raids which were in violation of existing guidelines on the conduct of police during labor disputes.

I am asking that immediate action be taken in favor of the victim. Thank you.
Respectfully yours,
_______________________

PLEASE SEND LETTERS:

1. His Excellency Benigno Simeon Aquino III
President, Republic of the Philippines
Malacanang Palace
JP Laurel Street, San Miguel, Manila
1005 Philippines
Tel: +6327356201/5641451 to 80
Email: corres@op.gov.ph / opnet@ops.gov.ph

2. Hon. Leila M. De Lima
Secretary, Department of Justice (DOJ)
Padre Faura Street
Ermita, Manila
1000 Philippines
Fax: +63 2 523 9548
Tel: +63 2 521 1908
Email: lmdelima@doj.gov.ph / doj.delima@gmail.com

3. Chairperson Loretta Ann P. Rosales
Commission on Human Rights (CHR)
SAAC Bldg., Commonwealth Avenue
U.P. Complex, Diliman
Quizon City
Philippines
Tel: +63 2 928 5655, +63 2 926 6188
Fax: +63 2 929 0102
Email: Rosales.chr@gmail.com

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

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

[Press Release] Arrest of Cebu labor leader denounced -PM

Arrest of Cebu labor leader denounced

The Partido ng Manggagawa (PM) today condemned the arrest of the union leader at the Carmen Copper Corp. in Toledo City, Cebu, one of the biggest mines in Asia. Tony Cuizon, president of the Panaghiusa sa Mamumuo sa Carmen Copper (PAMCC-AGLO), was arrested last October 25, 2014 in Cavite on the strength of warrants for illegal possession of firearms and explosives.

pmLogo1

Renato Magtubo, PM national chairperson, called for the release of Cuizon, a PM national council member, as the arrest warrants, criminal cases and police raids were in violation of existing guidelines in the conduct of police during labor disputes.

“Once again the Philippines rivals Colombia as the most dangerous place for unionists with numerous cases of labor leaders killed, injured or harassed. Cuizon’s arrest and incarceration illustrates the double standard of justice in our country. A politician gets the privilege of hospital arrest and a US soldier gets special treatment but a worker, even if ill and elderly, has to endure the bad conditions of a city jail,” Magtubo added.

Dennis Derige, PM-Cebu spokesperson, stated that on Cuizon’s first day at the Toledo jail, the latter had a high blood attack and was only brought to a clinic. “Cuizon is a senior citizen who suffers from severe hypertension, diabetes and arthritis, arguably work-related illnesses borne out of decades working in the copper mines of Toledo,” he insisted.

Derige averred that “The arrest of Ka Tony is part of Carmen Copper management’s continuing effort to bust the genuine union at the mine and leave the workers defenseless in the face of attempts to downgrade wages and benefits, and impose contractualization among mine workers. The police and the courts are being used as instruments of capitalists.”

PM insists that the warrants were flawed since they were the product of illegal raids conducted in March 2013 on the PAMCC office, and the houses of Cuizon and the union treasurer. The union avers that the firearms and a grenade allegedly found in the raid at the PAMCC office were planted by the police.

Derige explained that Cuizon’s arrest followed on the heels of the decertification of PAMCC as the sole and exclusive bargaining union at the mine, and the formation of a management-backed yellow union.

Carmen Copper has recently been hit by spate of labor disputes as mine workers resist corporate attacks on working conditions. Last February, PAMCC filed a notice of strike for management’s unfair labor practices and violation of the collective bargaining agreement. Also this year, workers contracted to haul and dispose of Carmen Copper’s mine wastes were derailed in forming a union because of the intervention of the huge manpower contractor Asiapro but the case remains pending at the Labor Department. Unions have condemned Asiapro as an illegal labor-only contractor.

http://partidongmanggagawa2001.blogspot.com/2014/10/arrest-of-cebu-labor-leader-denounced.html?spref=fb

Press Release
October 31, 2014

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.

[Appeal] Justice and Dignity for small vendors of Warwick Barracks -Kilusan

Appeal to our comrades, friends, network:

We call on to you to support the campaign for the small vendors of Warwick Barracks (Carbon Market) which we call the Advocates for Justice and Dignity for small vendors of Warwick Barracks Just.. It has been 10 days since they were unjustly and inappropriately driven away from the temporary relocation site in Block 27, NRA (August 22 Clearing Operations in Block 27). They stayed along the road of Block 27 for 2 nights in tents and transferred in Talisay City seeking refuge and in Budlaan (a far-flung community in Talamban) separately. They stayed in those mentioned places in open tents.

kpd logo

We had exhausted all means of lobbying and engagements with the local government through the legislative interventions to address their case in the most diplomatic way. Of course, it is not surprising that the LGU under the Rama administration never heeded their plea, worst it reverse all results of the democratic process, such showed bullying and dictatorial waged against its own constituents.

How else shall we achieve justice an dignity for our brethren? As national democratic forces, we resort to using the parliamentary in the streets as one way we can be heard. Never can we allow such demeaning, undemocratic and spoiled conduct unbecoming of a public servant! Therefore, we are holding a month-long protest. Let us hold arms against a society unmindful of the plight of the poor, of a society throwing its own productive engines in the name of profit and pretentious development disguised under policies of Private and Public Partnership.

MAKE THE RAMA ADMINISTRATION ACCOUNTABLE OF SUCH UNDEMOCRATIC AND ANTI-POOR DEVELOPMENT TRACK

Help us disseminate the ‪#‎cebukeepsmegoingandfighting‬ to counter the hypocrisy of CEBU CITY
Tourism ad and please like our page with the link attached above.

FOR THE PEOPLE, WE REMAIN.

Sincerely,
KILUSAN CEBU

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.

[Statement] On the 29th Anniversary of the disappearance of Fr. Rudy Romano C.SS.R., and his Golden Jubilee of Priestly Ordination

On the 29th Anniversary of the disappearance of Fr. Rudy Romano C.SS.R.,
and his Golden Jubilee of Priestly Ordination

Fr. Rudy Romano

Fr. Rudy Romano

DEAR PEOPLE OF GOD IN THE ARCHDIOCESE OF CEBU:

As the Archdiocese of Cebu prepares to host the International Eucharistic Congress in January 2016, we continue to respond to the challenge of the New Evangelization. Integral to this pastoral thrust is our engagement in accompanying the people as they build a society where the Gospel values of truth, justice, peace and love reign.

Archbp-Jose-Palma

His Holiness, Pope Francis in his Apostolic Exhortation, EVANGELII GAUDIUM (EG), reminds us to be steadfast in our efforts to preach the Gospel of justice and love if we want peace to reign in our society.

“The poor and the poorer peoples are accused of violence, yet without equal opportunities the different forms of aggression and conflict will find a fertile terrain for growth and eventually explode. When a society – whether local, national or global – is willing to leave a part of itself on the fringes, no political programs or resources spent on law enforcement or surveillance system can indefinitely guarantee tranquility. (EG, 59) ”

These words take a greater significance as we commemorate the 29th year of the disappearance of Fr. Rudy Romano, CSsR, a Redemptorist Missionary Priest, who disappeared and was abducted by suspected military men on July 11, 1985. Moreover, if Fr. Romano were still alive today, he would be celebrating this year (2014) the Golden Anniversary of his Ordination to the Priesthood.

Fr. Rudy Romano took to heart the challenge posed by many of the Church’s social encyclicals, namely, to take the side of the poor while denouncing injustice and social inequality. Following in the footsteps of our Lord, Fr. Rudy also bore his own cross until the end when he offered his life to follow Jesus. His life witness, his living out his vocation as a pastor and his legacy of deep commitment to Gospel values are gifts he offers to us until today even if he is no longer with us.

In our country today, we are continuously confronted with all kinds of social and ecological problems. Corruption has contributed to the persistence of poverty affecting many of our people. Despite having a relatively high Gross National Product (GNP) growth, this has not been inclusive. Our Holy Father, Pope Francis, expressed his own deep concern about the relation between poverty and “the widespread and deeply rooted corruption found in many countries – in their governments, business and institutions. (EG, 60) ”

In Cebu, we see glaring indicators of poverty. We see thousands begging in the streets. There are vendors everywhere due to high unemployment. Even as they eke out a living, they are being pushed even further away from the sidewalks. Countless informal settlers are being ejected from their abode even as relocation sites are not yet well prepared. Workers continue to demand higher wages but their cries are not heard. Meanwhile, our farmers and fisherfolk continue to live in abject poverty, made worse by landlessness and the consequences of environmental abuse.

As a Church of the Poor, on this 29th anniversary of the disappearance of Fr. Rudy and his Golden Jubilee of Priestly Ordination, let us honor the Holy Father’s exhortation that we “share our lives with others and generously give of ourselves. (EG, 274) ”

May the Almighty God, through His Son, Jesus our Redeemer, bless us always. May Mary, the “star of the new evangelization” inspire us to look up to her as our model in living a life that interplays “justice and tenderness, contemplation and concern for others. (EG, 288)”

In Christ,

+JOSE S. PALMA, D.D.
Archbishop of Cebu

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.

[Statement] “Show us results of the pork scam investigation now!” -CEBU COALITION AGAINST THE PORK BARREL SYSTEM

“Show us results of the pork scam investigation now!”
May 16, 2014

The Cebu Coalition Against the Pork Barrel System, representing the more than 80 civil society organizations in Cebu, feels increasing indignation for the slow progress of the investigation into the most shameful accusations of crime the legislative branch of Government has ever faced in its entire history.

Cebu Coalition Against The Pork Barrel System

For the first time in the history of our country, the Legislature has come under the severest and most vociferous suspicions on its integrity. This is the one time in our history that a branch of Government is being blamed for its gross inability to lessen poverty in the country. People have come to doubt that Legislators never ran for office to serve the public good, but only to dip their fingers into the pork barrel funds.

While we are glad that more evidence has surfaced, and more witnesses come forward, we also feel disgusted at the apparent mishandling of the emerging issues.

As a unified group, we have come before God Almighty and prayed for the Truth to emerge fully out of this gigantic mess, and it appears our prayers are slowly being answered, yet hampered at the same time by persons whose interests remain in question.

We are compelled therefore to express our stand regarding the following issues.

1. Expose the true list. The emergence of the so-called different versions of lists of guilty officials supposedly from Janet Lim-Napoles and the undue attention the controversy stirred within official and media circles only served to confuse the public and muddle the process of getting the truly guilty punished.

2. More witnesses must come forward. The public’s sense of betrayal has reached a very high level, the disappointment with government so palpable, and the clamor for Truth now so strong. People are realizing that of the problems of the country, CORRUPTION has taken the worst toll on the lives of the ordinary citizens. This issue is a FIGHT BETWEEN GOOD AND EVIL.

We urge those who are in the know to come forward NOW, to do the right thing, to side with the GOOD and somehow clear your name for yourself and for the sake of your families.

GOOD will overcome EVIL, and when that happens, those who have a tinge of conscience left would do well to be on the right side. Regardless of how far down the wrong path you have gone, you are given a chance to stand once more on principle, for your sake and that of your descendants, and most importantly to help right the destiny of this country.

3. For the accused to RESIGN. True statesmen, those honorable men who are bred and raised to adhere to strict codes of conduct, will immediately resign under public accusations against their integrity, to allow investigations and legal scrutiny to proceed, unobstructed by any influence coming from them. Besides, DECENT legislators can submit documents that can withstand scrutiny.

To insist on staying in office because of their electoral mandate is WRONG! They cannot hide behind the pretense that they have to serve the electorate that placed them in office. The people voted for them in good faith, in all innocence of their possible crimes. The only way for these legislators to prove that this good faith is held sacred is to step down and step aside and allow the process of justice to proceed without delay, and to remain outside their office until their names are cleared.

“Delicadeza” is a long held value, practiced by the HONORABLE STATESMEN of this country, and of other countries as well. What exempts this present crop of legislators from this high standard of conduct? Do we sense Fear, fear that when one steps down, he loses substantial platform to influence the judicial system?

4. For all involved agencies to produce results. Although we believe in the strategic importance of not “telegraphing one’s punches” by withholding evidence, we are of the opinion that this strategy does not apply to the Pork Barrel Scam anymore because for certain, the guilty parties are already preparing their own defenses.

The grand announcements and the feigned moves only fuel exasperation with the system of justice in our country, creating the opinion that any person in authority can toy around with it, delay it, or derail it, for any purpose other than bringing the guilty to justice. These announcements, if not followed by significant action can achieve only one thing: make the press releasing official look good in the media.

The Cebu Coalition says, “ENOUGH!!! STOP PRIMPING BEFORE THE MEDIA!!! SHOW RESULTS!!!”

FOR REFERENCE:
MSGR. ROMUALDO G. KINTANAR
Convenor
CEBU COALITION AGAINST THE PORK BARREL SYSTEM
Tel. No. 272-8091; Email: archdiocesandiscernment@gmail.com

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

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

 

[In the news] 41,000 informal settlers in Cebu City wait for land | Sun.Star

41,000 informal settlers in Cebu City wait for land | Sun.Star.
By Razel V. Cuizon, http://www.sunstar.com.ph
April 12, 2014

CEBU CITY — Years after the City Government started distributing lots to homeless constituents under its socialized housing program, at least 41,000 informal settlers are still awaiting relocation.

sunstar-network copy

Some of the beneficiaries who have settled in some of the city’s socialized housing sites have started a new life in the upland barangays.

Records from the Division for the Welfare of the Urban Poor (DWUP) showed that some 10,000 of the total estimated number of informal settlers used to live beside creeks or in the easement zones of the rivers, which were considered as danger zones.

Read full article @www.sunstar.com.ph

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.

[Statement] Labor Yearender: PAL-PALEA settlement to impact on labor relations -PM

Labor Yearender: PAL-PALEA settlement to impact on labor relations

Undoubtedly the biggest labor story for the year was the settlement of the long-running dispute between Philippine Airlines (PAL) and the Philippine Airlines Employees Association (PALEA). It hardly made it to the news though as the historic deal ran smack of biggest story of the year—supertyphoon Yolanda. At the height of Yolanda and with howling winds buffeting their picketline, PALEA members voted to ratify the agreement.

The settlement provides for the rehiring as regular workers of some 600 PALEA members who were retrenched in 2011 but refused to accept the outsourcing scheme. The process of PALEA members applying for re-employment has started and PAL is mandated to give them priority for hiring in regular positions. The agreement also grants an improved separation package of 200% per year of service and P150,000 in gratuity pay.

The settlement of the labor dispute over outsourcing will have repercussions far beyond the PAL and are highly significant for the challenge presented by precarious work to workers, employers and the state.

The victorious resistance of PALEA against contractualization and the vigorous campaign it has engendered puts into question the popular view that precarious work is a global trend that cannot be rolled back. In fact just weeks after the PAL-PALEA agreement was signed, 500 contractual mining workers in Cebu won regularization after mass actions by the union PAMCC. The PAMCC union in the Toledo City-based Carmen Copper Corp., one of the biggest mines in the country, was active in the PALEA solidarity campaign in Cebu and was directly inspired by the outcome of the PAL dispute.

Indeed well before the settlement was signed and just two months after the implementation of the outsourcing plan, the dispute already changed the landscape of industrial relations. In November 2011, the Department of Labor and Employment issued DO 18-A to spell out new regulations over contracting and subcontracting arrangements arguably in the face of an outcry from organized labor about the retrenchment of 2,400 workers at PAL.

Arguably resistance saved PALEA’s regular jobs. If they had accepted rather than fought outsourcing then they would have become contractual workers trapped in an endless cycle of 6-month endo jobs. Or worse they would have become unemployed in a jobless growth economy. Instead some 600 PALEA members will be returning to their regular jobs in the coming weeks.

Labor groups, both in the country and abroad, have hailed PALEA’s victory as a victory for all workers. Meanwhile PALEA has expressed its gratitude for the fervent solidarity of workers, community and Church groups which launched protests, lobbying and a boycott campaign. While difficult to assess, the boycott contributed to PAL’s P2.19 billion in losses due to reduced passenger revenues just for the first half of its latest fiscal year.

PALEA’s campaign combined old school tactics of struggle and modern means of organizing solidarity. PALEA’s fight struck a sympathetic chord in the international labor movement and thus two global days of actions involved protests in airports and embassies across four continents. PALEA members used Facebook to maintain contact, exchange ideas, call for action and solicit support. PALEA was a trending topic on Twitter in the immediate aftermath of the airport protest as allies and critics debated in cyberspace, and again during the impeachment trial of the Supreme Court Chief Justice when it was exposed that he received “platinum cards” as gift from PAL.

The coming year will see how far the outcome of PAL-PALEA labor dispute can reverberate outside industrial relations at the flag carrier.

http://partidongmanggagawa2001.blogspot.com/2013/12/labor-yearender-pal-palea-settlement-to.html?spref=fb

Press Statement
December 27, 2013
Partido ng Manggagawa

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.

[People] Eyewitness account of the aftermath of typhoon Yolanda. By Fr. Shay Cullen

Eyewitness account of the aftermath of typhoon Yolanda
by Fr. Shay Cullen

I flew into Cebu City, an hours flight from Manila and drove with two Preda staff starting 3 am to visit the northern towns of Cebu Island on Tuesday, 19 November. The goal was to reach Daanbantayan, Bogo,and Bantayan Island to assess the storm damage, visit their communities and understand the situation so as to know what the needs are and to deliver aid donations directly to the people in need. The other equally important goal is to spread awareness about the need to protect orphaned children from would-be abductors and traffickers posing as relatives.

325-fr-shay-cullen

After two hours driving, we entered the disaster zone and the glimmer of lights in the houses disappeared and we drove in total darkness brought on by the typhoon Haiyan. It is a total blackout and power lines are down everywhere. The moon gave an eerie sense of isolation. The remains of houses stood silhouetted and gave the appearance of a war-torn, bombed-out battle field. These were once home to over a thousand families and are now a scene of desolation and ruin. As the dawn light touched the horizon, the specter of devastation became all the more apparent and I began to realize that I was witnessing storm destruction and personal loss to millions of people. Recovery will take many years.

As the sun rose, I saw a bleak landscape of toppled power poles, once proud towering Acacia trees stripped naked of branches and leaves shamefully naked in dark outline against the dawn sky. Hundreds of tough coconut trees snapped off mid section, a rare sight of these typhoon hardened trees yet cut in half by a wind that reached unprecedented gusts of 240 kilometers an hour. Mango trees were toppled, their roots upturned to the sky, totally vanquished the remaining leaves dead. I was appalled at the extent of the destruction; only the strongest houses of the rich were left standing. I felt awe that all this could be done in the space of two to three hours as the ferocious wind and rain storm swept over the land alike a scythe in a field of barley cutting down all before it.

I have been through ferocious typhoons during my 44 years in the Philippines but have never seen or experienced anything like this for the sheer savagery of this destructive force of nature. The gigantic force of the wind churned and turned everything it could to flying debris, smashing and tearing at everything, ripping roofs apart and carrying the metal sheets, rafters and roofs into the sky with such force that even cinder block walls collapsed before the onslaught.

Then we arrived at Daanbantayan and were surrounded by wreckage. We met people, listened to the survivors with compassion and were awed as they recounted their terrible ordeal fearing it was the end of the world and were in the jaws of a devouring monster.

The survivors told me that the coconuts were ripped from the palm tops and fired like cannon balls smashing into roofs and walls. Their children were frightened and cried as the wind screamed and howled about them and the noise of debris smashing into the trees and roofs was terrifying there; food supplies were destroyed, and the water wells contaminated.

We then drove to the ferry and took a one hour sea crossing to Bantayan island. There, we landed at Santa Fe, and witnessed more damage and destruction of homes and businesses. The churches had roof damage, yet the greatest damage was in the main town of Bantayan and the coastal area. We took a tricycle and went there. Along the way, we could see more damaged homes and buildings. The poultry industry was wiped out.

We met the Mayor and were impressed with the fast clean up, order and discipline in the town. “We saved many lives”, he said, “we ordered a forced evacuation of the fishing villages, the fisher folk were unwilling at first but then they agreed and were saved”. We have had only 16 dead but many were injured, they lost their fishing boats”.

The following day back in Cebu, we witnessed the resilience, courage and bravery of the many Filipinos that are rising above the tragedy. We met Anna and Jose in an evacuation center in Cebu. Jose is positive, hopeful and holding his new born baby that arrived during the evacuation flight. But Anna was sad and forlorn thinking of her missing father lost in Tacloban and likely dead. They put on a brave smile but underneath there was deep sadness. We discussed with officials the need to seek out unattached or orphaned children and document and register all especially orphaned children. We will send Preda social workers there to continue this work in all the evacuation centers.

The relief work goes on. Preda has donated rice and other goods to the victims and is working with the University of San Carlos, Cebu to deliver relief aid to the many victims. We thank the donors who are contributing to this work. Preda is also building awareness to protect orphaned children at risk. Every help is welcome. See photos on http://www.preda.org gallery, Email: shaycullen@preda.org.

Donations: via paypal (donate@preda.org, predainfo@gmail.com) or in pesos to Metro Bank Rizal Ave., Olongapo city with acct. no. 144-3-14452916-3 or euro donations to Preda Ireland in any Permanent TSB Branch, account number 87930352, sorting code 990604, swift code IBPSIE2D, IBAN IE251PBS99060487930352

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.

[People] Recovery begins with teachers. By Benjo Basas

Recovery begins with teachers
Benjo Basas, TDC Chair
November 20, 2013

Recovery begins with teachers. Photo by TDC

Recovery begins with teachers. Photo by TDC

I remember this was the theme for World Teachers’ Day celebration in October 5, 2010, because that year, the world witnessed some of the worst natural disasters in history. For this year, that theme would still be relevant in our very own country.

File photo by petiburgis.com

File photo by petiburgis.com

Some teachers of Leyte are among those people who left the island to take temporary shelter and solicit help from relatives in Cebu, Metro Manila or other relieving places. Five of those who came to Manila are members of the Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC) from Leyte, two from Tanauan, one from Jaro, one from MacArthur and another one from Tacloban. They travelled either via C-130 flight or a long bus ride via Maharlika highway or commercial flight from Cebu. All of them have informed me and I was able to meet them in separate instances.

The couple from Tanauan already travelled back to Leyte yesterday carrying much needed goods- medicines, food and other essentials which Sir Lino, the husband said “Para ito sa mga teacher sa lugar namin. Mga teacher kasi ang kawawa sa balyahan pag kumukuha ng relief goods, hindi natin kaya makipagsabayan eh.” He looks very weak, physically and perhaps weaker psychologically. He could not even smile and I understand his predicament, so just I asked him about the situation of my paryentes in Tanauan (because according to a Facebook status of a relative, there are more than 50 casualties from the clan alone and I’m pretty sure she included her maternal relatives in the headcount), he answered, “Masuwerte pa nga ang mga Basas dun sir kasi nasa mas mataas na baryo sila, hindi kagaya naming na nasa tabing-dagat.” He could hardly carry the bag of goods and just drag it to the bus that will travel that night to Tacloban, their trip is scheduled the following morning. It was more painful for us, because what we gave him is just enough for a day or two days consumption of his family, yet he is going to further share it to other teachers.
Another teacher, Sir Danny, the one from Jaro, Leyte left the province with his two children and his mother who needs to take dialysis treatment in Manila. They braved the long queue for 48 hours just to hitch a C-130 flight from Tacloban airport to Manila. Rain, sunlight, thirst, hunger, physical pain and the site and smell of dead bodies in the area make the agony unimaginably painful. At one time he asked his mother to act as if she is so weak so the authorities may prioritize them in which the mother replied, “Anak, hindi ko na kailangang magpanggap na mahina, dahil mahinang-mahina na talaga ako.” He cried when finally, he stepped on the platform of the plane that ensures his ride, “Akala ko nananaginip lang ako, masaya ako na hindi ko maintindihan ang nararamdaman ko.” They are now in Caloocan, in Sta. Quiteria where his relatives reside.

Another group, lead by Mam Lyn, a teacher from MacArthur, Leyte took a temporary refuge in a public school in Taguig where the principal is a supporter of TDC and a personal friend of mine. They met in Leyte during the campaign period, both of them helped the campaign of Ating Guro Partylist. Ma’am Lyn is very friendly and accommodating. I remember when I visited Leyte last December, she fetch me from the airport and brought me to my destination, itinerary actually. She travelled with two daughters, a daughter-in-law and 3 grandchildren. When I visited her in Taguig last Monday, she looks fine despite the stories of devastation, “Masuwerte kayo at hindi kayo nabahaan,” she said why recalling the horrible sites of Leyte towns from McArthur to Tacloban. We handed her what’s left of the goods TDC members brought in our meeting last Saturday- some canned goods, instant noodles and biscuits. She checked the bags and asked “Waray bugas?” She laughs on her own remark. “Salamat Doy kay bugas na lang akong bilihin.” She said in mixed Waray and Tagalog.

Early yesterday, I received a text message from Cristy Diomaro, a master teacher and who teaches mentally gifted children at Sto. Nino SPED Center in Tacloban City. She was in Cebu airport that time and waiting to board on a flight to Manila while I was at the DepEd central office in Pasig. She came all the way from Tacloban via Ormoc and then rode a ferry to Cebu to take a commercial flight to Manila. She called me when she arrived in NAIA and I told her that I will bring her to the House Committee on Basic Education hearing where DepEd Secretary Armin Luistro and I are among the resource persons along with some DepEd officials and disaster management experts. The urgent hearing aimed to tackle the possible legislation of the Disaster Preparedness Bill for public schools initiated by Cong. Kimi Cojuanco, also the committee chair. We took our lunch at the TDC office in Barangay Central, QC, “After two weeks, ngayon lang uli nakakain ng hindi canned goods at instant noodles,” she said laughing, her niece Roxanne who travelled along with her agreed. We left their bags at the office and went all the way to Batasan.

During the hearing, Ma’am Cristy broke in tears every time the Yolanda tragedy is mentioned. She reacts in the audience seat when Sec. Luistro presented the DepEd relief and rehabilitation effort. Seemingly, she is not satisfied with the way the DepEd handle things in the area- far from what the secretary has been reported. She also said the bad politics between the national government and the local officials exacerbated the situation in Tacloban.

When Cong. Kimi Cojuangco asked me for comments, I took the opportunity to introduce Ma’am Cristy to the committee members, the chair recognized her, “We would like to acknowledge the presence of Ms. Cristy Diomaro, a teacher from Tacloban City” she said which further made Ma’am Cristy emotional.

After the meeting, officials flocked her and gave their words of sympathy and encouragement, among them DepEd Undersecretary Dina Ocampo, DepEd Assistant Secretary Lorna Dig-Dino and Bro. Armin Luistro himself. Ms. Gigi Ricafort, the committee secretary spared her little amount and a big hug, both of them and practically all the people left in the hall were crying. The teary-eyed Luistro felt the sacrifices of his teachers as he listens to the narration of Ma’am Cristy. She reiterates, “Sir we need help for us to recover. I love my students so much, matatalino silang mga bata.”

The secretary immediately planned for events, among them the tracking of teachers who left Samar and Leyte and gather them all in DepEd Central office so they could give them the immediate assistance they need. He also asked me to closely coordinate all the data we gather from the field and submit them directly to his office. He then asked me what we can do to help the immediate recovery of the people in typhoon-ravaged areas, I said “Sir we must give them hope and inspiration.” In which, the secretary replied, “Cristy will be the face of hope and inspiration.”

Ma’am Cristy’s day in the lower house ended with the words of assurance from the secretary that immediate help from the DepEd is underway which seemingly gave her a relief and strengthen her. Finally, the secretary gave her an embrace, perhaps the most relieving embrace she ever received. As she bids goodbye to her newly-found comforters, she left a strong words “I believe Tacloban will soon recover and the recovery will begin with our teachers and schools.”

The secretary was impressed by Ma’am Cristy’s courage, passion for her work, resilience and survival- characters that define the teachers of Samar, Leyte and the entire country. Indeed, Tacloban and the rest of the areas devastated by Yolanda will soon rise and our schools will be the source of strength. #

For details: 

Cristy Diomaro-Gallano, Tacloban teacher, 0917-6956331/ 0939-9198894
Benjo Basas, National Chairperson- 09205740241

  • Some teachers of Leyte left the province to solicit help from relatives and friends in Metro Manila and to directly raise the concerns of the public school teachers in storm-ravaged areas
  • One of them is MS Cristy Diomari0, 48 years old and a TDC member and teacher in Sto. Nino SPED center in Tacloban City
  • Cristy brings her horrible story of catastrophe in the House Committee of Basic Education hearing on disaster preparedness last Tuesday where she also able to talk to Secretary Armin Luistro, who assured her that help for teachers is underway
  • With her courage, passion for her work, love for children, resilience and survival, even Sec. Luistro is convinced that Cristy may be the face of hope and inspiration and eventual recovery of Tacloban, Leyte and Samar
  • Attached is the an article of narrative written by Benjo Basas, TDC Chair for further reference
_________________
For details:
Cristy Diomaro-Gallano, Tacloban teacher, 0917-6956331/ 0939-9198894
Benjo Basas, National Chairperson- 09205740241

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.

[Appeal] in Behalf of Victims of Typhoon Haiyan or Yolanda -Oplan Sagip Bayan

November 12, 2013

Dear Friends and Allies,

We are switching on our Oplan Sagip Bayan operations (Oplan People’s Rescue) in light of the damage by Typhoon Haiyan’s rampage (local name: Yolanda) in Eastern and Central Visayas.

This is in close coordination with CONCERN or Center for Emergency Aid and Rehabilitation who has more than twenty five years of consistent work in the field of disaster-risk and rehabilitation and has assisted more than one million individuals since 1988.

kpd logo

Residents of Cebu, Bohol and nearby province of Leyte have been served with a double whammy as a 7.2 magnitude earthquake came twenty four days earlier, on October 15.

The energy released by the Visayas quake is equivalent to 951.5 kilotons of TNT, 796,214 lightning flashes, 30.16 million gallons of gasoline, or 1.90 billion sticks of dynamite according to the internet news site Rappler.

Following the quake, seventy-seven out of almost 2,900 aftershocks monitored by Philvocs were felt. The structural integrity of houses, buildings, including heritage churches still left standing by the quake are already severely compromised, sink holes began appearing as a result.

Last November 8, Super Typhoon Haiyan came blowing in from the eastern seaboard bringing winds howling at 235 kmh (147 mph), waves were reported to reach 15 meters (45 ft) and brought in 400mm (15.75 inches) of rain in some places.  This early, the death toll is expected to exceed 10,000 and for those that survive the devastation, there is little food, no electricity or clean water. Clean clothes and other provisions necessary for survival are scarce.

As we switch on Oplan Sagip Bayan, we are sending out an appeal to all our friends and allies, like you, in the hope that we can gather both food and non-food support intended for the Haiyan victims, specifically for Northern Cebu and three towns in Leyte or around 5,000 families.

 

Our ability to respond to this crisis hinges on how fast we can muster the needed support for the victims such as:

o       standard food relief packages for a family of six for three days consisting of the following items approximately worth Php 1000 (USD 25 ) :

6 kilos of rice                 ½ kilo of washed sugar
½ kilo of dried fish            ½ kilo of mongo beans
¼ kilo of iodized salt          3 canned of sardines

o       non-food items such as mosquito nets, sleeping mats, blankets, flashlights or paraffin lamps, rubber boots, drinking water, used clothes, etc.

o       medicines such as Paracetamol tablets and syrups, antibiotics, anti-allergies, cough and colds, water purification tablets, medical supplies for first aid such as alcohol, sterile gauze, plaster, Betadine antiseptic solution, etc.

o       Equipment for use of the Emergency Operation Centers such as radio transceivers, warehouses, vehicles, fax machine, photocopiers, cellular phones, generators etc.

 

You can also send your in-kind donations to this address:

•       Metro Manila: # 22 Domingo Guevarra St. Barangay Highway Hills, Mandaluyong City 1550

You can send your donations through the women sector account:

 

Account Name: Pagkakaisa ng Kababaihan para sa Kalayaan Inc. (KAISA KA)

Account Number: 106930026351

SWIFT CodeBDO-BNORPHMM

Routing No.:  021-000089

Name of the Bank:  BDO-Mandaluyong Libertad Branch

Address of the Bank Branch:  G/F Sierra Heights Place Domingo Guevarra corner Sierra Madre Streets,Mandaluyong City, Philippines, 1550

 

Help us help the Haiyan victims, now. For more information please call our office number 717-3262 or visit us at #22-A, Libertad St., Brgy. Highway Hills, Mandaluyong City and look for Mr. Fidel Fababier or Marie Guzman.

 

We will acknowledge all sponsors/donors and shall provide a concise report on the same.  Thank you in advance for yoursupport.

 

 

Respectfully,

 

Fidel Fababier
National Coordinator, Oplan Sagip Bayan

+639461115073 (Mobile)

kpdpilipinas@gmail.com

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] March, Mass, Prayer Rally against the Pork Barrel System Set for Sept. 29 -Cebu Coalition Against the Pork Barrel System

March, Mass, Prayer Rally against the Pork Barrel System
Set for September 29, 2013

Group offers potential alternatives

The Cebu Coalition Against the Pork Barrel System urges Cebuanos to join a massive interfaith rally on Sunday, September 29, 2013. Participants will assemble at the Fuente Osmeña circle at 1:00 PM, followed by a march down Osmeña Blvd. toward Plaza Independencia where a Mass will be concelebrated.

Cebu Coalition Against the Pork Barrel System

After the Mass, an Interfaith Prayer and Anti-Pork Barrel Program will ensue. Over 50 religious, civil society, academic, and business organizations have coalesced to form this protest event against the “pork barrel system”.

Heads of Cebu schools such as University of Cebu, Cebu Doctors University, University of San Carlos, University of the Visayas, St. Theresa’s College, and other Catholic schools will encourage their students and faculty to join the September 29 protest activities.

The rally will include leaders of different faiths praying for the well-being of the country by getting rid of the pork barrel system, patronage politics and corruption in general.

Several individuals from various sectors of society will speak up and share with others how the pork barrel scam has negatively affected their lives. Guest performers such as Budoy and the Sining Dilaab Tribal Progressive Band will entertain the crowd with their “pork barrel related” numbers. In addition, Ingko Alisyon (in coalition), will help inform and regale the crowd with very educational, yet simple parables and make this complex national tragedy much easier to understand.

The program also includes the reading of the Unity Statement in English and Cebuano, signing of the statement throughout the event, and a special candle lighting called “Ten Thousand Points of Light”.

If there is one thing that differentiates this rally among others locally or nationally, it is that a major focus of this event includes proposing potential alternatives or solutions to the pork barrel. These options will be introduced to the crowd and their collective response noted.

Right after the rally in the beginning of October, the Coalition has planned two educational fora highlighting constitutional and governance experts who will serve as resources regarding the potential solutions that had introduced to the participants. In fact, on September 25, 2013, the Movement for a Livable Cebu, a member of the Coalition conducted an education forum with Justice Gabriel Ingles on “The General Appropriations Act”. Following these educational sessions, core members of the Coalition will engage in a two day retreat (Oct. 5 & 6) to further work on the specific proposals for alternatives and solutions.

Msgr. Rommel Kintanar of the Archdiocesan Discernment Group of Cebu and Co-Convenor, stated, “We will not only say why we are against the pork barrel system, we will explain fully what we have stated in our Unity Statement, and most importantly, we will float some of our potential solutions and alternatives.”

Msgr. Kintanar added, “We appeal to people with good hearts and clean conscience, especially Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) beneficiaries who would be painfully affected by PDAF abolition: May they understand the gravity and urgency of this radical solution. May they bear and see this temporary sacrifice as the birth pangs for the emergence of a better way of managing government resources and of improving the delivery of government services.”

The sense of transformation is vividly present within the group. There is an impatience with the way politics has been conducted in the country and how such politics has caused so much suffering for people especially the marginalized. Marc Canton, of the Movement for a Livable Cebu and Coalition Co-Convenor, lamented, “We ache for a country where we count the number of Nobel Prize winners and Magsaysay Awardees, as opposed to how many plunderers have been convicted and put in jail”.

Cebu Coalition Against the Pork Barrel System

CONVENORS

Archdiocese of Cebu Discernment Group

Association of Major Religious Men Superiors of Cebu

Association of Women Religious of Cebu

Basilica del Sto. Nino SNAF

Catholic Women’s League

Cebu-Citizens Involvement and Maturation in People’s Empowerment and Liberation Foundation Inc. (C-CIMPEL)

Confraternity of the Lady of All Nations

Couples for Christ

Dilaab

Jesus is Lord Movement

Peace, Inc.

Redemptorist Center for Social and Ecological Concerns

Task Force for Life and Family

Task Force on Urban Concientization-AMRSP Cebu

Abante Barangay

Abolish Pork Barrel Movement-Cebu

Akbayan

Anakbayan-Cebu

Barangay Luz Urban Poor

Bayan-Central Visayas

Bosconian International Chamber of Commerce

Boy Scouts Cebu Council

Cebu City Federation of PWD

Cebu Medical Society

Farmers Development Center

Fuente Ta!

Integrated Bar of the Philippines-Cebu

Jesus A. Avila Foundation Inc

Kabataan Partylist

Kahupayan Center

Kasama sa UP

KOGOS

League of Filipino Students

Magdalo Sugbo Chapter

Maghisgot Kita’g Politika Bay

Movement for a Livable Cebu

Nagkahiusang Kusog sa Estudyante

National Union of Students of the Philippines

Oasis of Love

Organization of Rehabilitative Advocates for Inclusion Inc

Pagbabago Cebu

Panaghugpong sa Kabos nga Tagadakbayan

Philippine Institute of Applied Politics

Philippine Nurses Association

Ramon Aboitiz Foundation

Sanlakas-Sugbo

UP Cebu Student Council

University of Cebu

T. Padilla Urban Poor

USC Community Extension/ Student Council

USC Political Science Center for Governance

Media Contact: Rudy Alix (0915 537 5613)

Convenors: Msgr. Rommel Kintanar (272-8091); Marc Canton (0923 925 9723); Marilu Chiongbian (412-1322)

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.

[From the web] PNP sued by peasant activists -hrdefenders.wordpress.com

PNP sued by peasant activists
hrdefenders.wordpress.com

karapatan_logo4

Not just the chief, but practically the entire police force in Carmen, Cebu, was sued by peasant activists yesterday (12 August 2013) afternoon “for fabricating evidence, perjury and other corrupt practices that state security forces employ habitually against political dissenters.”

Hauled before the Office of the Ombudsman were station commander C/Insp. Jason Mangaron, and troops SP03 Renerio Masacol, Jr., SP01 Rolen Pescalia, P03 Roger Delan, P02 Arnel Manos, and P01 Cristito Aresco.

They were charged for planting evidence against Erlinda Into, Chairperson of KMP-Cebu, and her husband Leonides, member of Cantipay Farmers’ Association, in the aftermath of an illegal raid on their home last year. They were also responsible for violently manhandling the victims during the abduction and subsequent detention of victims.

Read full article @hrdefenders.wordpress.com

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.

[From the web] Pol Prisoner Holds Hunger Strike for Fr.Romano and All Victims of Rights Abuse – hrdefenders.wordpress.com

Pol Prisoner Holds Hunger Strike for Fr.Romano and All Victims of Rights Abuse
by yoyong, hrdefenders.wordpress.com
July 15, 2013

karapatan_logo4

A political prisoner in Cebu marked the 28th year commemoration of the abduction and disappearance of Redemptorist priest Rudy Romano on July 11, 2013 with a hunger strike until the Presidential State-of-the-Nation Address on July 22, 2013.

Subsisting exclusively on fluids, Ramon Patriarca timed his protest on the day of the activist priest’s abduction to support call of KARAPATAN for truth and justice on Romano’s fate.

Read full article @hrdefenders.wordpress.com

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] The Legacy of Abducted and Disappeared Redemptorist Priest Fr. Rudy Romano, C.Ss.R. for the Cause of Justice and Peace, Continues

The Legacy of Abducted and Disappeared Redemptorist Priest Fr. Rudy Romano, C.Ss.R.
for the Cause of Justice and Peace, Continues

Cebu Archbishop Most Rev. Jose S. Palma encourages the Archdiocese of Cebu parishes, religious communities and schools to make the people aware of the life and advocacies of disappeared and abducted Redemptoristpriest Fr. Rudy Romano, C.Ss.R.

In a letter to the clergy, religious and laity of the Archdiocese of Cebu, Archbishop Palma urged the local church to follow Fr. Romano’s example in addressing social concerns and legitimate human needs.

At Sunday Masses on July 7, 2013, all parishes are encouraged to read the Archdiocesan Statement on the Commemoration of the 28th Year of the Abduction/Disappearance of Fr. Rudy Romano, CSsR.

Redemptorist Center for Social and Ecological Concerns (RECSEC) Director Bro. Karl Gaspar, CSsR said, “It has been 28 years since the abduction Fr. Rudy Romano, C.Ss.R. on July 11, 1985; and 13 years since he was presumed dead, yet Cebuanos never cease to remember and to carry on his legacy.”

On July 11, 2013, to mark the 28th anniversary of the abduction/disappearance of Fr. Rudy Romano, the Redemptorist Province of Cebu will hold activities to relive the story and advocacy of Fr. Rudy.

At 8:30 a.m. on July 11, in Brgy Tisa,Labangon, Cebu City, the Redemptorists will lead a wreath-laying ceremony at the site of Fr. Romano’s abduction by the armed men of the Marcos Martial Law Regime.

At 5:30 p.m. of the same day, there will be a ‘Mass to Remember Fr. Rudy Romano’ in the Redemptorist Church. After the mass, there will be a short program and awarding of prizes to the winners of the poster-making and essay-writing contests participated in by students of Catholic Schools.The contests’ theme is “How the youth can help build the Church of the Poor following the example of Fr. Rudy Romano,CSsR”. A candle-lighting ceremony at the Redemptorist Church rotunda will conclude the day’s anniversary commemoration.

The Holy Father, Pope Francis has challenged the Faithful to focus on being agents of God’s mercy to the poor, the suffering, and those alienated from the Church.

Responding to this call, the Redemptorists and the whole Church strive to continue Fr. Rudy’s legacy in helping build the Church of the Poor; to follow his example in advocating human rights, justice, peace, and love.

For Reference:

Donald Bryan Angayan
Staff Member, Redemptorist Center for Social & Ecological Concerns (RECSEC)
Tel. No. 412-6903
09984564378

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.

[Statement] On the Commemoration of the 28th Anniversary of the Disappearance of Fr. Rudy Romano, CSsR- Archbishop Jose Palma

Archdiocesan Statement
On the Commemoration of the 28th Anniversary of the Disappearance of Fr. Rudy Romano, CSsR
July 11, 2013

My dear Brothers and Sisters in our Lord Jesus Christ,

The Fourth Diocesan Synod of Cebu in 1986 declared, “Option for the poor is a Christian option. Defending the human dignity of the poor and their hope for a human future is not a luxury of the Church. It is its duty” (Cebu Synod 4, The Servant Church, #6).

Similarly, our Holy Father Pope Francis, said that the Year of Faith should be “less preoccupied by non-essential rituals but more focused on our being agents of God’s mercy to the poor, the suffering and those alienated from the Church because the mercy of God is always victorious!”

He also expressed his wish, “Ah, how I would like a Church that is poor and that is for the poor.”

Our Holy Father would be happy to know that in the 1980’s, this was realized in the life and advocacy of Fr. Rudy Romano and other church people. Fr. Rudy and other church people defended the rights of the poor and the oppressed, “even when doing so meant alienation or persecution from the rich and powerful” (PCP II, 131).

The Archdiocese of Cebu notes that in 1986, the City Government of Cebu installed a marker at Tisa, Labangon, Cebu City to mark the place “where Fr. Rudy Romano, a Redemptorist Father and human rights fighter was abducted by armed men of the deposed Marcos Regime on July 11, 1985.”

Likewise, the Cebu Provincial Government in 1987, passed a resolution “Adopting Fr. Rudy Romano as a Son of the Province of Cebu” since even if he was from Samar, “prior to his disappearance, Fr. Romano contributed much in terms of promoting human rights, rendering concrete assistance and social service to less-privileged Cebuanos and in making Cebu a strong bastion of the people’s successful fight for freedom and justice during the dark years of the deposed dictatorship.”

The abduction and disappearance of Fr. Rudy and a student leader, Levi Ybañez, 28 years ago have not been resolved. Meanwhile, until today, the poor peasants, fisherfolks, workers, urban poor and other marginalized sectors continue to strive for their human dignity to be upheld.

We are called to follow Jesus, the Good Shepherd, who “lay down his life for the sheep” (John 10:11). Fr. Rudy showed us how to be advocates for social renewal. He showed us how to be like Jesus, who loved the poor, lived and died for the salvation of all.

Non nobis Domine,
+JOSE S. PALMA, D.D.
Archbishop of Cebu

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] Climate activists expose risks of dirty coal, demand shift to clean, renewable energy -PMCJ

Climate activists expose risks of dirty coal, demand shift to clean, renewable energy

pmcj

pmcj logo300-strong climate activists and anti-coal advocates stormed the Department of Energy to voice out their opposition to coal mines and coal-fired power plants promoted by the government and to launch the group’s Campaign Against Dirty Energy and for People’s Access to Safe, Renewable and Democratic Energy Alternatives.

This is in celebration of Earth Day and the group’s National Day of Action against Coal.

Led by the Philippine Movement for Climate Justice (PMCJ), the groups brought body bags, gas masks and paper-made Philippine Cockatoos wearing masks to avoid the pollution from coal and highlighted how coal damages not only the environment and biodiversity but our lives, literally taking lives -, thus, the statement: COAL KILLS.

COAL KILLS—Why is coal dirty, toxic

Gerry Arances, national coordinator of PMCJ explained: “The promotion of coal as a major source of energy of Filipino communities is not the right solution to the alleged power crisis in several parts of the country. First of all, coal emits a large amount of heavy metals such as mercury and arsenic – contaminating our waters; generates 500 tons of small airborne particles which cause asthma, bronchitis, and aggravate heart disease; coal ash disposal poses a very high risk of causing cancer to those exposed.

Second, coal plant emissions in surrounding areas kill the livelihoods of host communities as the studies in coal plants in Masinloc, Zambales, and Naga, Cebu, among others, have clearly shown.

Third, coal burning is the major cause of global warming and further promoting it will aggravate the climate crisis that we are facing now. This I believe is a greater damage to the present and future generations who will have to suffer the intensified impacts of climate change.“

RESIST COAL—Increasing local opposition to coal

Two of the major proposed projects now include the coal plants in Cebu and Palawan.

In Cebu, ash samples tested from a coal plants in Naga, Cebu, revealed presence of heavy metals such as mercury and arsenic (carcinogen),both hazardous substances. Despite this, more projects are still underway. Naga is home to two coal plants.

“Health records in Naga for 2009-2012 reveal cancer as one if not the leading cause of mortality incidence in the area. Though could not be directly linked to the coal plant operations, that its incidence in Naga is higher than national averages should be sufficient basis for alarm. While we debate as to whether or not coal is the culprit for the deaths, cancer-related deaths in the area continue to rise,” said Atty. Aaron Pedrosa of Sanlakas.

“The same could be said of communities in Toledo City, Cebu where another coal plant operates. But instead of addressing the health concerns and conducting a probe into the situation, the government intends to put up another plant in the province”, Pedrosa added.

Cancer is among the many diseases that could be attributed to continued exposure to coal combustion wastes

Also threatened by coal projects is our Last Frontier, Palawan—where a 15MW coal-fired power plant project is being proposed to respond to a projected looming power shortage in the province. Environmentalists and conservationists in the province are strongly opposing as the plant is to be set up 1.5-kilometers away from Rasa Island, home to the critically endangered Philippine Cockatoo.

Katherine Leuch of Palawan Alliance for Clean Energy asserts that “The superficial cheapness of coal should not be the only consideration for allowing a coal-fired power plant in Palawan because the risks of such far outweighs the benefits given that Palawan is an ecologically rich and sensitive province. The negative effect of coal is as dark as it is.

What is saddening is that based on our study the projected power shortage is unfounded. It is mainly due to distribution problems and not because of the existing supply. Palawan can also provide cleaner and safer alternatives like mini hydro, and other renewable energy sources.”

RE-ENERGIZE ALL—Shift to REnewable, sustainable energy for all Filipino communities

The Philippine Energy Plan (PEP) 2008-2030 reveals that coal production will continue to escalate. From 39 coal operating contracts (COCs) in 2007, there are now 76 COCs—16 of which were awarded -– last February by the government.

Arances concluded: “The PEPs massive promotion of coal-based power is alarming and is a major cause of concern for our fragile ecosystem and the Philippine population. – Coal is far from the best or even good solution to our power crisis.

Studies show that the country’s potential renewable energy can provide as high as more than 200,000 MW even without tapping solar power. It is about time that we look at this and do away with large-scale, dirty and environmentally-destructive projects.

If the government is as serious about using renewable energy as it claims, it had best do away with contradictory policies. Government needs to revise its Philippine Energy Plan to ensure that vulnerable communities stop suffering from the harmful effects of coal; start investing in RE sources to make clean power accessible and affordable to our people.”

Local actions against coal

Anti-coal groups in host communities also led different information-awareness campaign activities locally, including Cebu City, Davao City, General Santos City, Palawan, Bataan, Leyte, and Quezon.

In Cebu, around 100 activists dumped coal on a life-size map of the Philippines symbolizing the government’s rabid promotion of carbon-intensive technology and activities treating its adverse effects on the community’s health, ecosystem and livelihoods as collateral damage.

Last Sunday, April 21, Suportado Movement and PMCJ also organized a Bike Tour para sa Abot Kayang REnewable Energy in Marikina, also in celebration of Earth Day.

In Palawan, advocates from Palawan Alliance for Clean Energy (PACE) installed streamers and COAL KILLS posters around Puerto Princesa, while in Panacan, Narra, Palawan several dirty coal educational activities were held Members of PACE also campaigned via local radio and a local forum the call against coal and opposition to the proposed coal plant in Narra, Palawan.

###

The Philippine Movement for Climate Justice (PMCJ) is a broad movement consisting of 103 national networks/alliances and local organizations representing basic sectors, grassroots communities, the marginalized and most vulnerable, including women, indigenous peoples, fisher folk and coastal communities, farmers and rural communities, forest communities, formal and informal workers, environmental groups, urban poor, and others in the Philippines that aims to lead the joint struggles, campaigns and actions in putting forward the climate justice framework as a fundamental element of solving the climate crisis.
For more information:
Gerry Arances, PMCJ Coordinator, <gerry.arances@gmail.com> 0932-8778578

Khevin Yu, PMCJ Campaign Staff <khevinyu@gmail.com> 0917-5213356

PRESS RELEASE
April 22, 2013

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.

« Older Entries