Tag Archives: Election 2019

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[Statement] BALAY’s Stand Point on the 2019 National Elections

As an organization of human rights defenders, Balay endorses the following 10-point agenda for the 2019 national election along with their critical aspects which, from its perspective, could be used as a yardstick by voters in making an informed decision on who among the candidates to support and whom to reject.

From a human rights standpoint, power should not be given to any politician who will only serve to perpetuate violence, instil a climate of fear, sow discord in public administration and justify it as populist politics. Neither should authority to govern and craft public policy be accorded to those who would only promote despotism and dynastic rule, keep the wide economic and political disparity and sustain the elitist power differential in the country. Governance is too precious to be left alone in the hands of those who seek to erase social justice provisions from the fundamental law of the land, and deliver our national patrimony, economy, and sovereignty at the portals of geopolitical hegemons.

With these guidelines, Balay encourages organizations and individual advocates to take part in the effort to promote a meaningful discourse so that the public could elect the next set of public servants with the human rights perspective in mind. National and local candidates are likewise urged to take these agenda as part of their advocacy and policy for governance.

Read more @balayph.net

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[Press Release] #WeTheBrave Filipino Youth Call for Sovereignty and Human Rights Vote in 2019 Polls -DAKILA

Photo by Dakila

A broad national youth movement, #WeTheBrave, launched its call for a Vote for Sovereignty and Human Rights in the 2019 National Elections on April 9, 2019, during a press conference held in Quezon City. Coinciding with the National Day of Valor (Araw ng Kagitingan), youth leaders representing around 100 youth groups nationwide vowed to show courage in the face of looming threats to rights, freedoms and national sovereignty.

The Filipino youth are expressed their indignance towards the government’s continued indifference to national protests on the brazen occupation of China in Philippine territories. According to Rafaela David, Executive Director of the Center for Youth Advocacy and Networking(CYAN), “The Philippines in not for sale. We must put in office those who will be brave enough to defend our territory and people, not sell us out to China. Today we commemorate Filipino bravery in the face of Japanese invasion. We resisted then. We will resist once more against China’s occupation in the West Philippine Sea”.

Meanwhile, DAKILA Executive Director Micheline Rama, said, “It is the youth of past generations that fought long and hard against colonial rule and repression. It is an insult to their heroic struggle that this government allows a foreign aggressor to bully our country into dubious debts and drive Filipinos away from their own sea and land.”

Initiated by CYAN, the Active Vista Center, and the artist-­‐activist collective DAKILA, the movement represents around 600 youth leaders of more than 300 youth groups nationwide. The formation of the movement was a product of a series of youth summit, camps, and assemblies that educated the youth on human rights and crafted a rights-­‐based governance agenda for the 2019 Midterm National Elections.

“#WeTheBrave debunks the stereotyped misconception that today’s youth are apathetic. In fact, it is the courage of the youth of this generation to fight politically orchestrated spread of disinformation, to oppose the creeping authoritarianism, and to stand up against discrimination, misogyny, and repression that gives a beacon of hope to our people in these dark and trying times,” added Leni Velasco, Executive Director of Active Vista, one of the groups that started the initiative.

With the coming Midterm National Elections as a battlefield, the youth unveiled its battle plan for its strategic and tactical offense and defense to uphold national sovereignty and to win the war for a human rights agenda in the elections. With 20 Million registered youth voters, Filipino youth comprise 1/3 of the voting population this coming election.

Velasco further added, “This Araw ng Kagitingan, the Filipino youth reclaims their heroic role in nation-­‐building by invoking the courage of generations of Filipino youth who dedicated their lives for the rights, freedoms, and sovereignty of our nation. The collective power of the youth is in their idealism, in their intrinsic nature to rebel against structures and systems that enslave them and constricts their growth, and in their creativity to find ways to achieve victory amidst struggles. This election, they vow to support candidates who truly champion human rights.”

The movement called on their fellow youth to take inspiration from the courage of one another. It presented a Youth Agenda for Human Rights crafted by youth leaders all over the country. A nationwide survey among the youth is also being conducted to know what issues concern the youth most; Filipino youth may participate in the online survey at http://www.WeTheFuture.ph.

Rafaela David of CYAN said, “Since 2016, we see our leaders turn against the Filipino people. The poor are executed, women are attacked, journalists are silenced, and the rule of law rendered meaningless. We see our leaders who choose to be tyrants and terrorize the people they were elected to serve. But history has shown that in the face of dictators, the Filipino youth chose to become heroes. Today we choose to be heroes again.

We will not let dictatorship feed on our fears. Ang atin ay isang bayan ng mga magigiting, and we the youth answer the call to be brave. “

In ending, the youth leaders signed with their thumbmarks a placard urging the Filipino Youth to vote for national sovereignty and human rights. #WeTheBrave suggested 5 brave things that the Filipino Youth can do for their country this election. The list includes being in the frontlines of political discourse and defending against fake news and disinformation while sparking meaningful discussions with respect and empathy.

“We, the Youth of the Philippines, stand together amidst adversity to fight for the future we deserve. We refuse to be the generation that allowed the evils of society to prosper and take away our humanity. We will not grow our families in a culture of hate, violence, and intolerance. We will build a future of this nation where rights, freedoms, and dignity are upheld and protected everywhere, at all times. We stand brave because our very future is at stake,” said Micheline Rama of DAKILA to end her statement.

Media Contact:
Precious Marie Gunayon
mabuhay@dakila.org.ph | 0917 309 4701

Rafaela David
cyanpilipinas@gmail.com | 0917 864 0143

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[Statement] President Duterte’s release of “narco list” of politicians is an outrageous attempt to influence local elections in May -HRW

President Duterte’s release of “narco list” of politicians is an outrageous attempt to influence local elections in May

Statement from Human Rights Watch on Duterte’s release of “narco list” of politicians:

President Duterte’s naming of politicians he accuses of involvement in illegal drugs is an outrageous attempt to influence local elections in May. More critically, it’s a veritable hit list in his “drug war,” as past politicians accused of drug involvement all too often end up being shot dead by the police. Duterte’s list deprives those named of due process and the presumption of innocence. If the government really has evidence against them, they should be arrested, charged and tried, not be the target of administrative cases by an agency – the interior department – that is under the office of the president. This weaponizing of the “drug war” against politicians further undermines the rule of law, democracy and civil liberties in the Philippines.

 

 

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[In the news] Green Scorecard to keep tabs on environment policies -PhilStar.com

Green Scorecard to keep tabs on environment policies

A coalition of environmental groups launched Tuesday its “Green Scorecard” for the 2019 elections, aimed at raising awareness of the voting public on the proposed environmental policies of senatorial candidates.

“Green Thumb Coalition’s Green Scorecard aims to bring forth environmental issues at the center stage of electoral campaign period, and to encourage the public and candidates to seriously consider a green electoral agenda,” said Norie Garcia of Bantay Kita, in a news conference in Quezon City.

Bantay Kita is one of the convenors of the coalition.

Read more @www.philstar.com

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[From the web] Honesty in gov’t still a crucial poll issue — bishop -CBCP news

Honesty in gov’t still a crucial poll issue — bishop

While inflation, jobs and economy are major concerns, there’s one issue that a Catholic bishop still think is more important today: honesty in government.

Speaking at the National Migrants’ Sunday celebration, Bishop Ruperto Santos of Balanga reminded the public that honesty and integrity are the hallmarks of good governance and leadership.

“Be honest in words and deeds,” Santos said in his homily during Mass at Columban College in Barreto, Olongapo City.

As head of the Church’s migrants ministry, he urged overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) to choose candidates who are “honest, hardworking and helpful like them”.

Saying that OFWs are the backbone of the economy, he urged them to pick candidates for the May 13 elections who are not tainted with graft and corruption.

Read more @cbcpnews.net

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[Press Release] Duterte administration weighed on environmental issues -Green Thumb Coalition

Duterte administration weighed on environmental issues

Photo by Green Thumb Coalition

A coalition of environmental advocacy organizations launched today its “Green Scorecard” for the 2019 elections, aimed at raising awareness of the voting public on the proposed environmental policies of senatorial candidates.

“Green Thumb Coalition’s Green Scorecard aims to bring forth environmental issues at the center stage of the electoral campaign period, and to encourage the public and candidates to seriously consider a green electoral agenda,” said Norie Garcia of Bantay Kita, one of the convenors of the Coalition. “Knowing where candidates stand in key environmental issues will not only enable us to choose the legislators that we need but to also hold them accountable, once elected, to promises they are going to make during this period.”

Bikers from the Firefly Brigade paraded with the environmental issues around the Quezon City Circle in launching the scorecard. Among the issues touched upon by the scorecard are: biodiversity preservation and ecosystem integrity; natural resource and land use management and governance; sustainable agriculture; waste management; climate justice; energy transformation and democracy; mining, extractives, and mineral resource management; upholding human rights and integrity of creation; and people-centered sustainable development.

“Positive developments tainted by destructive policies, inaction on envi issues”

The coalition also rated President Rodrigo Duterte based on statements he made as a presidential aspirant in contrast to decisions he made as elected Chief Executive.

“It is worth noting that mechanisms provided by our 15-year-old RE Law were only implemented under Digong’s administration, and so is the tax on imported coal. However, we cannot overlook how the approval of coal plant projects and coal operating contracts have been made easier at the expense of the public and communities with the President’s issuance of Executive Order 30 last June 2017,” noted Atty. Avril De Torres of the Center for Energy, Ecology, and Development (CEED). “As a result, the Philippines has been derailed in achieving the global initiative to address climate change. This also jeopardizes the price of electricity in our country and our capacity to achieve clean, affordable electricity, as coal assets are expected to become stranded,” she continued.

In terms of waste management, the Ecowaste Coalition pointed out that Duterte’s DENR rolled out important Administrative Orders on effective control of chemicals that have negative effects on health and the environment. “Our battle against waste, both domestically produced and those coming from overseas, has yet to be won. While our nation‘s waste production continues to swell, foreign garbage dumping persists as well,” said Ecowaste National Coordinator Aileen Lucero.

“To make the matter worst, waste-to-energy incineration is disturbingly being touted as the way out of this garbage overload aggravated by the relentless production, consumption, and disposal of single-use plastic packaging, and by foreign waste importation. We need pro-health and pro-environment politicians, especially among the aspiring senators, representatives, and local government officials, who will speak and stand up for real solutions to our waste and pollution woes,” Lucero continued.

The WWF-Philippines took note of positive developments in the protection of marine and coastal resources such as the Boracay and Manila Bay clean-up, but raised concerns on reclamation projects, as small to medium reclamations are still rampant and ongoing around the country, with many LGUs are still planning for reclamation. “We are concerned over the Philippine Reclamation Authority being transferred to the Office of the President, as it may be a move to fast-track all the interest of big businesses behind the reclamation projects, which will definitely endanger mangroves and biodiversity,” said Atty. Gia Ibay of WWF-Philippines.

“The Duterte Government has failed to include people-participation in its development projects and programs with its Build Build Build agenda being mainly anchored on infrastructure development and investment,” said Manjette Lopez of Sanlakas. “Not only this but Human Rights advocates have been vilified and human rights violations have increased throughout the Duterte Government’s incumbency. Institutional human rights protection mechanisms have been undermined under Duterte’s watch,” she continued.

Mining organizations Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM), Save Sierra Madre Network, SOS Yamang Bayan Network, and Bantay Kita took note of positive developments in mining such as the open pit mining ban, and the increase of mining taxes from 2% to 4%. However, they lamented, among other issues, the lack of transparency in the evaluation of mining projects, particularly the appeals process of the closed and suspended mining operations, and the lack of mining standards that factor in climate change vulnerability and disaster risk management of communities.

“This is why mining is an election issue. We should ensure that those who will be elected in government, at any level, should respect rights, and lives; and will promote life with dignity for all,” said Judy A. Pasimio of LILAK (Purple Action for Indigenous Women’s Rights). “Mining is the opposite of rights, life, and dignity. Therefore, we must not vote candidates who are for mining, involved in mining and supported by mining.”

Environmental concerns are women’s concerns

The press conference was led by women speakers, in recognition of March as Women’s Month. The Coalition’s leaders articulated how environmental concerns are also women’s concerns. “Mining is a women’s issue. As large-scale mining operations destroy the land, water, and forests, mining destroys sources of food, traditional medicine, livelihoods, and ways of life,” said Pasimio.

“According to the IPCC, women experience more vulnerability because of climate change, which is primarily fueled by dirty energy from fossil fuels,” said Oyette Zacate of Oriang. “We enjoin women to not remain mere casualties of the climate crisis and environmental destruction, but take leadership in rejecting a dirty future for us, the next generation, and the rest of society.”

For more information, please contact:
ANJ DACANAY
(+63915) 7828 118
greenthumbcoalition2016@gmail.com

https://www.facebook.com/notes/green-thumb-coalition/duterte-administration-weighed-on-environmental-issues/2291045644544071/

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[In the news] Honesty in gov’t still a crucial poll issue — bishop -CBCP news

Honesty in gov’t still a crucial poll issue — bishop

While inflation, jobs and economy are major concerns, there’s one issue that a Catholic bishop still think is more important today: honesty in government.

Speaking at the National Migrants’ Sunday celebration, Bishop Ruperto Santos of Balanga reminded the public that honesty and integrity are the hallmarks of good governance and leadership.

“Be honest in words and deeds,” Santos said in his homily during Mass at Columban College in Barreto, Olongapo City.

As head of the Church’s migrants ministry, he urged overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) to choose candidates who are “honest, hardworking and helpful like them”.

Read full article @cbcpnews.net

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[Campaign] #KarapatDapat na Agenda, #SampuSegurado -PAHRA

The upcoming mid-term polls present an exceptional opportunity for the Filipino people who are now burdened with relentless price hikes, disease epidemics, food shortage, environmental crises, internal conflict and brazen loss of life due to extrajudicial killings, the TRAIN law, Martial Law, misinformation and widespread impunity.

The 2019 elections is a defining moment for the aggrieved Filipino masses, whether we move forward as a nation hoping for better lives or as doomed souls, is literally in the hands of every voter inside the polling booths come May 13. At this juncture, we simply cannot afford a “business as usual” approach to this critical political exercise.

The highly polarized electoral campaigns are split between pro and anti-administration candidates, both claiming to possess the best qualifications to lead our people. The environment with which the electoral campaigns are being waged, do not provide clarity nor direction for our people; our streets are saturated with campaign paraphernalia some of which, not only violate COMELEC rules, but pose hazards to the safety of the commuting public; our digital spaces are filled with disinformation about the candidates and what they stand for; our youth especially the first-time voters are bereft of guidance in the kind of society they are voting for.

Amidst the dearth of meaningful discourse and imagination on the future outcome of the polls, the human rights community led by the Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA) wish to introduce a ten-point agenda which reflect the various sectoral demands of our grassroots members nationwide. This ten-point agenda is called #Sampusigurado, which means that implementing the agenda will certainly lead to real change and a strong democracy. The “slate” is carried by the campaign called “KARAPAT-DAPAT: KARAPATAN DAPAT”, which appeals for a recognition of doing what is right and just.

PAHRA calls on national and local candidates to support the #Sampusigurado by incorporating the ten-point agenda in their platforms. Similarly, we call on the public to demand that candidates adopt this human rights agenda, and to vote for those who do, in order to prevent further erosion of our democratic traditions and processes, and build the future with decent, competent leaders with effective programs.

The ten-point agenda are:

  1. Human rights-based governance;
  2. Compliance with international human rights treaties and instruments
  3. Access to justice, accountability and ending impunity;
  4. Protection for vulnerable sectors;
  5. Protection for human rights defenders;
  6. Attainment of sustainable and inclusive peace and security;
  7. Enforcement of food sovereignty, decent livelihood and sustainable housing;
  8. Enforcement of laws towards a healthy and safe environment
  9. Enforcement of a people-centered development program; and
  10. Protection against foreign aggression and exploitation.

Read more @philippinehumanrights.org

[In the news] Group launches electoral drive based on human rights agenda -GMAnews

Group launches electoral drive based on human rights agenda

An alliance of human rights advocates has launched an electoral campaign drive that lays down 10 criteria dubbed “Ten Sure Wins” for deserving candidates to vote for in the coming midterm polls in May.

The Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA) launched the electoral campaign “KARAPAT-DAPAT: KARAPATAN DAPAT,” which focuses on ten agenda for human rights advocacy the alliance hopes to popularize to raise public awareness on human rights electoral agenda.

 

Read full article @www.gmanetwork.com

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[Press Release] Rights Group launch #SampuSigurado for polls -PAHRA

Rights Group launch #SampuSigurado for polls

Photo by PhilRights.org

Quezon City, Philippines—Human rights group PAHRA (Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates) launched on Thursday what it said were “ten sure wins” in the upcoming May2019 elections. The slate is carried by the campaign called “KARAPAT-DAPAT: KARAPATAN DAPAT”, which focuses on ten agendas for human rights advocacy which they hope to popularize in the ongoing electoral campaign period.

The Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates claimed in a statement that their slate has the most qualified characteristics to lead the country towards real change and a strong democracy. They called on national and local candidates to support their slate by incorporating the ten-point agenda in their platforms.

“The May elections will define our true nature as Filipinos, said Niza Concepcion, PAHRA secretariat member, whether we move forward as a nation in hope or as doomed souls, is literally in the hands of every Filipino inside the polling booths come May 13”.

iDEFEND (In Defense of Human Rights and Dignity Movement) spokesperson Ellecer Carlos said, “This human rights nightmare that we currently live in can end, if we want it to, at the stroke of a pen”. Carlos is referring to the massive human rights violations being carried out by the government through the war on drugs and the policies that continue to result in economic hardship for the people.

“By demanding that candidates adopt this human rights agenda, and voting for those who do, the people can save the remaining democratic traditions and processes of our country, and build the future with decent, competent leaders and effective programs,” PAHRA added.

The ten-point agenda are 1) human rights-based governance; 2) compliance with international human rights treaties and instruments; 3) access to justice, accountability and ending impunity; 4) protection for vulnerable sectors; 5) protection for human rights defenders; 6) attainment of sustainable and inclusive peace and security; 7) enforcement of food sovereignty, decent livelihood, and sustainable housing; 8) enforcement of laws towards a healthy and safe environment; 9) enforcement of a people-centered development program; and 10) protection against foreign aggression and exploitation.

For more details pls contact:

ROMMEL YAMZON, PAHRA SECRETARIAT; Mobile: 09063959976; email: rommelyamzonatwork@gmail.com
NIZA CONCEPCION, PAHRA SECRETARIAT; Mobile: 09989593851; email: darna2005@gmail.com
EGAY CABALITAN, TFDP CAMPAIGN STAFF; Mobile: 09060068901; email: egay.advocacytfdp2@gmail.com

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[In the news] Neri Colmenares, Leody de Guzman want Mining Act repealed -RAPPLER.com

Neri Colmenares, Leody de Guzman want Mining Act repealed

Two senatorial candidates said they would support the repealing of the Philippine Mining Act of 1995, saying it protects mining companies more than it does Philippine communities.

Leftist leader Neri Colmenares and labor leader Leody de Guzman took this stance in response to a question on how they would reconcile the government’s mining policies and the impacts of climate change to local communities which are aggravated by destructive and irresponsible mining.

They were asked this on Monday, March 4, during the #TheLeaderIWant senatorial forum organized by Rappler and Ateneo School of Government.

“My first law would probably be the repeal of the Mining Act because the Mining Act has led to the onslaught of big mining corporations against the environment, against the indigenous peoples, against the country in general,” he said.

Read full article @www.rappler.com

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[In the news] Motorcycle groups score as poll bets back covenant -INQUIRER.net

Motorcycle groups score as poll bets back covenant

Several candidates signed a covenant on Sunday dubbed the “Rider’s Agenda” that included, among other demands, a vow to legalize motorcycle taxis — a thorny issue with a slim chance of being resolved by the current Congress despite widespread public support.

A set of reforms meant to give motorcycle riders an emphatic role in policy creation, the Rider’s Agenda was endorsed in a ceremony held at San Juan City by an eclectic mix of senatorial candidates — Chel Diokno, Florin Hilbay and Erin Tañada of the opposition, JV Ejercito of the Nationalist People’s Coalition and Leody de Guzman of Partido Lakas ng Masa.

Congressional bets Ruffy Biazon and Cristal Bagatsing, and the Partido Manggagawa party-list also signed the covenant that was crafted by Riders of the Philippines, an alliance of thousands of riders who attended Sunday’s assembly.

The covenant also signaled a decisive effort by motorcycle group leaders to organize their members into a cohesive community for politicians to court.

Read full article @newsinfo.inquirer.net

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