Tag Archives: Government

[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

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.

[In the news] CHR to gov’t: Address conditions pushing children to commit crimes -RAPPLER.com

CHR to gov’t: Address conditions pushing children to commit crimes

The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) urged the government to address the problems that push children to commit crimes, instead of “confining” kids as young as 9 and holding them liable.

“We urge the government to address conditions that push children to such circumstances, rather than placing the burden on a child for the failures of institutions meant to protect them,” CHR Spokesperson Jacqueline de Guia said in a statement on Monday, January 21.

The House committee on justice approved a bill that would lower the minimum age of criminal responsibility from 15 years old to 9 years old.

Read full article@www.rappler.com

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.

[Blog] To Kiss is to Love, to Love is to Protest: Kissing to Resist State Moral Policing by Jose Mario De Vega

To Kiss is to Love, to Love is to Protest: Kissing to Resist State Moral Policing
by Jose Mario De Vega

I refer to “Kiss of Love: Delhi students take a stand against moral policing, Hindustan Times, New Delhi, November 09th with regard to the bold, brave and unorthodox stand being undertaken by the students of India in resisting and defying the state, the moral police and various conservative section of their nation.

They aptly and appropriately titled their protest action as Kiss of Love.

Mario De Vega

According to Wikipedia:

“The Kiss of Love protest “is a non-violent protest against moral policing which started in Kerala and later spread to other parts of India.

“The movement began when a Facebook page called ‘Kiss of love’ asked the youth across Kerala to participate in a protest against moral policing on November 2, 2014, at Marine Drive, Cochin.

“The movement received widespread support with more than 120,000 ‘Likes’ for the Facebook page.”

I overwhelmingly concur with one of the organizers of the event, Pankhuree Zaheer, who said that:

“We must not forget that our main aim is to speak out against moral policing and the propaganda of love jihad. Attacks on us have increased in the recent past. If they are entering our streets our universities and pubs, we will enter their space.”

In another interview, reported by Tony Tharakan, “’Kiss of Love’ protests rattle Modi’s conservative India”, Reuters, Nov. 10th, the 26-year-old research scholar stated emphatically that:

“It’s not about just kissing… It’s about … inter-caste marriages, inter-religious marriages, live-in relationships.”

It is my firm view that the government (of Mr. Modi) has no right to appoint and/or to encourage self-appointed moral guardians (his bastard gang of Hindu radicals and conservatives) who are forcing traditional mores, culture and beliefs on people with different outlook in life.

Consider the mindset of these so-called moral freaks and moral police, a creature by the name of Devendra Upadhyay, who opposed the said event, stated that:

“This is against our traditions.

“We have nothing against modernity but don’t kiss on the streets. If the Supreme Court has said that there is nothing wrong in kissing in public, we don’t agree with it. This is wrong…”

Commentaries:

This idiot said that they are not against modernity, but immediately warned the people not to kiss on the streets, well, what kind of modernity is that?

In his futile effort to appear as a modernist, this moron has betrayed his true color and that is, he declared to the whole of India and the rest of the world that he is indeed a conservative and backward freak.

Another point that I wish to highlight is the cold arrogance and ignorance of this bastard freak!
Who the hell is he or they to say that even if the highest court of the land had already declared that there is nothing wrong in kissing in public, they don’t agree and it is wrong.

So, what this creature is telling the whole world is that — Indian’s Supreme Court is wrong in its landmark judgment, ruling that “that kissing in public is not an obscene act and no criminal proceedings can be initiated, for kissing in public.”

Is that it?

Who the hell are they any way?

If these bastard creatures are not respecting the ruling of the highest court of the land, then what the hell is the purpose of the Constitution?

If they are not respecting the Court, then what is the point in having a democratic government?

According further to the Reuters report, Mr. Modi “has not yet commented on the protests. But a spokesman for the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, affiliated to his party”, said that:

“Our Indian culture does not permit us displaying such kinds of affection in public spaces.”

Commentaries:

To that stupid spokesman, hey idiot, India is a democratic government that believes and subscribed to those basic universal principles of republican values, such as freedom of expression, freedom of beliefs, freedom of the press, freedom to petition the government for redress, etc. hence, notwithstanding the fact that I respect your culture, yet it is my fervent and unequivocal contention that the same is under the provision of the fundamental law which is no other than the Constitution.

The provision of the Constitution and the various international treaties that your government has entered into, such as the International Declaration of Human Rights is more and much powerful than your culture.

Now, if you certainly wish to fight for the superiority and majesty of your culture, my humble suggestion is to ask your government to amend your secular constitution; make it a religious (Hindu) one and correspondingly — get the fuck out of the international community.

Why? Because every time, those lovers, kissers, protesters and activists of modernity, humanism and secularism goes out to protest and your government, with your so-called moral police, stupid police and bunch of thugs and gangsters connive and unite with each other to rough them up, harass them, arrest them and stop their constitutional and human right to express themselves in public — you are all violating your own constitution and international laws, bastardizing your own institutions and making your country a laughing stock before the eyes of the whole world!

The government (whatever its form) has no right to tell people how the hell are they going to live and lead their lives, so long as those people does not harm any body and they are not violating the law.

The government has no right to impose their brand or type of morality to the people.

The government has no right to tell the people when to kiss, where to kiss and what or whom to kiss.

My love affair is mine and they have no right whatsoever to enter or intrude into my life.

Sex, morality and art can never ever be legislated!

What the hell is wrong in kissing in public, anyway?

Why it is that India is so against the public display of affection?

Why is it that they are against this very intimate act of lovers or couples in the public sphere?

They are so against this, yet I am wondering why up to now they are not doing enough to arrest the high rate of rape in the country?

Such a bloody irony!

Shame!

In defense of the Kiss

If kissing in public is wrong, then so be it, I would rather end up in jail than miss the chance to kiss my love and dear ones, whether in private place or in public sphere!

If kissing in public is wrong, then so be it! I would rather err on the name of love, rather than be right in keeping a backward culture and following a stupid conservative government!

Finally, if kissing in public is criminal, then so be it! I would rather be a “criminal”, rather than a bastard fool and a conservative bloody freak.

In the words of Faith Hill:

It’ s the way you love me

It’s a feeling like this

It’s centrifugal motion

It’s perpetual bliss

It’s that pivotal moment

It’s, ah, impossible

This kiss, this kiss

Unstoppable

This kiss, this kiss…

Jose Mario Dolor De Vega

Philosophy and Social Science lecturer
Unibersidad de Manila

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] To be resilient is to fight back -BMP

To be resilient is to fight back

A year ago today, Typhoon Yolanda/Haiyan forcefully reminded us that our people can take no shelter from the storm for as long as we have a government for the elites rather than a government for our people; that we are at the mercy of the forces of nature for as long as our society remains organized to pursue profits rather than to care for each other.

bmplogo

We watched in horror as the Aquino government took its sweet time to attend to those who were left dying, cold, and starving in the aftermath of the super-typhoon.

We saw with our own disbelieving eyes how the state effectively abandoned our people to fend for themselves; how our officials utterly failed to mobilize the resources that we had empowered them to mobilize for these kinds of situations; how they refused to order privately-owned ships, buses, and other businesses to provide immediate relief to the desperate; how they would rather let people die of hunger than violate sacrosanct property rights.

Since then, the nightmare has refused to end: Over the past year, we saw how the government effectively prioritized the interests of large corporations, who have effectively been given free rein over the reconstruction process, over the needs of calamity victims. We saw how, instead of taking charge of providing direct services to our people, the government has instead chosen to turn relief and reconstruction into a profit-making or a tongpats-making opportunity, thereby allowing businesses and politicians to make money out of this terrible tragedy.

More horrifying than the super-typhoon itself has been the response of our own government to the super-typhoon; our people suffered not just from the disaster but from our disastrous government.
This criminal neglect, this apparent lack of compassion, could not just be attributed to some congenital ineptitude, to an innate cold-heartedness, or to some other personality trait of those who run our government. It reflects, rather, the class basis of our society: For under an inherently exploitative system such as ours — a system that forces people to prioritize profits over human welfare and needs, the bourgeois and other dominant classes who run our government could only see our people primarily as slaves who run the factories or who plow the fields, and who therefore keep the profits and the taxes coming — rather than as fellow human beings.

That we be better prepared, that we streamline the relief distribution processes and systems, that we increase the budget for disasters, and most, importantly, that we hold accountable and punish all those who were remiss in their duties, including President Aquino: all these would go a long way in lessening people’s suffering and building people’s resilience in the face of continuing disasters.

But only by overturning existing class relations, only by reorganizing our society so that we put people’s welfare over profits, only by establishing a government of, by, and for the people rather than a government of, by, and for elites — in short, only by fighting back and struggling against our ruling classes can we count on our government and on each other in the face of the most terrifying of storms.

This is not a pipe dream. The massive, spontaneous, and inspiring outpouring of solidarity that people from all walks of life extended to the victims of Haiyan and of our government after the typhoon proves one thing: that despite the inhumane conditions that many are forced to live in under capitalism, many of us are still capable of human compassion, and it is this compassion that fuels our resilience and drives our struggle for a better world.

PRESS STATEMENT
November 8, 2014
Bukuran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP)
for details, contact:
BMP president Leody de Guzman 09205200672

Visit BMP @www.workerspartyphilippines.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] Poverty reflects a failure of the government not the person by Danilo Reyes

Asian Human Rights Commission

HONG KONG/PHILIPPINES: Poverty reflects a failure of the government not the person
by Danilo Reyes

(Note: this article was first published in the October 12, 2014 issue of the Sunday Examiner)

Poverty reflects a failure of the government not the person.

Seven years ago, my first cousin, 22-year –old Maricel Mahinay, died from an illness aggravated by severe malnutrition. She was three months pregnant. Her death came two years after her first child had also died from a malnutrition related illness.

Asian Human Rights Commission

Maricel, whom we called Cecil, and I lost contact in the 1990s when I moved to another city. I was working while studying at a university. I did not hear from her for many years.

My memory of her dates back to our child hood days in our sleepy and laidback hometown.

In September 2005, my mum, now a retired public school teacher, told me that Maricel’s 11-month-old son, John Paul, had died from an illness aggravated by severe malnutrition.

I was an intern at Asian Human Rights Commission at that time and was beginning to comprehend how abject poverty affects not only human societies, but ourselves – and here was my own cousin’s child dying from want of basic necessities.

When I learned about the death of Maricel’s son, I had mixed emotions. I did not know she had got married or that she had a child.

She was the daughter of my mum’s older brother who was a tricycle driver. Maricel was so poor that she had to borrow money to pay hospital bills before she could take her son’s body home and then pay for a small plot of land to bury him.

After I published the story of my cousin’s death and her circumstances, I learned that the former mayor, who is currently a lawmaker in the province of South Cotabato, Mindanao, dispatched one of his staff to locate her.

I used to interview this mayor when I worked as a journalist there. I knew that he would intervene, not because his administration had been so neglectful, but because her case tarnished the city’s image.

Reluctantly, social workers from our local government went to her house and gave her some relief goods and a health card.

When the social workers spoke to Maricel, they told her she should have approached them first. She should not have complained and exposed the death of her child in public.

These social workers might have achieved their goal, as when Maricel was dying two years after her son’s death, she did not complain.

In evaluating Maricel’s case, they concluded they could not classify her as a public services for indigent beneficiary, or the poorest of the poor, because in the Philippines, if you have a relative working in the government or overseas, your family and relatives are not considered indigent.

So for them, Maricel could not be indigent. At the time, maricel could not be indigent. At the same time, my mum was as a public school teacher and they came to know I was in Hongkong – doing an internship on a meagre allowance.

In the Philippines, the government method of assessment in identifying an indigent, who is poor and who is not or who is deserving of public services and who is not is based on the philosophy that it is the family and their relatives, and not the government that has the primary responsibility of support.

The consequence of this thinking means that any Filipino in the Philippines who has a family or relatives overseas, Hong Kong or elsewhere, cannot be considered indigent, or deserving of government assistance.

Thus, relatives of overseas Filipinos back home cannot be classified as indigent or poor.
In his column for the Sunday Examiner titled, the struggle to put food on tables, on September 14, Father Shay Cullen Notes, “More people than ever go hungry”,

He says hunger and starvation hits children the hardest. The story of my cousin, Maricel, and her son John Paul, are among those countless untold stories.

Father Cullen rightly points out that those who suffer from hunger end up severely malnourished and die quickly from hunger-related diseases.

John Paul died too young and too early because his parents had no money to buy food, let alone medicine. Like him, many other starving children go to bed every night crying for want of a meal.
The vast section of Philippine society is poor; consequently, the threshold for testing who is poor has become oddly high. But this method has only created a wrong perception that is detached from reality – that government employees and their relatives; as well as overseas workers and their relatives are not poor.

Needless to say, many of the government and overseas workers are themselves poor.

Reflecting on my cousin’s experience leads me to understand that it is highly destructive when people are made to feel that to suffer from poverty, hunger and starvation is the person’s own fault.

We should be condemning what causes this suffering, not those who suffer. To suffer abject poverty is neither a person’s own fault nor a choice.

It is a failure in the system of social government structure which takes away equal opportunity.

# # #
About AHRC: The Asian Human Rights Commission is a regional non-governmental organisation that monitors human rights in Asia, documents violations and advocates for justice and institutional reform to ensure the protection and promotion of these rights. The Hong Kong-based group was founded in 1984.

Read this Article online
Visit our new website with more features at http://www.humanrights.asia.

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.

[Resources] The Impact of Philippines’ Conditional Cash Transfer Program on Consumption By Melba V. Tutor

The Impact of Philippines’ Conditional Cash Transfer Program on Consumption
By Melba V. Tutor
University of the Philippines School of Economics;
mvtutor@up.edu.ph

Impacts of 4ps

Abstract

Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program provides cash grants to poor households conditional on pre-determined investments in human capital. This study analyzed its impact on consumption using the 2011 Annual Poverty Indicators Survey. Average treatment effect on the treated (ATT) is estimated through propensity score matching methodology. Heterogeneous impacts are examined among the bottom 20% of income distribution.

The study finds that among the total sample, per capita total expenditures is not affected by the program. In per capita monthly terms, only carbohydrates and clothing significantly increased. As expenditure shares, education and clothing registered significant positive impact. No impact is observed on health spending, both in per capita terms and as a share of expenditure. The impact of Pantawid Pamilya on consumption is more pronounced among the poorest fifth of households.

Results show that households have responded to program conditionalities but there is very little room to improve consumption of other basic needs. The recent program modification of increasing education grants to older children and covering up to secondary school completion will help households sustain induced behavioral changes over time. Stronger impact on the poorest fifth of households underscores the need to improve the targeting mechanism to address leakage issues.

Read full article @ The Impact of Philippines’ Conditional Cash Transfer Program on Consumption
By Melba V. Tutor [ Impacts of 4ps by Melba Tutor ]

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] Workers blame government for new power emergency -PM

Workers blame government for new power emergency

For doing nothing during the last four years, a second power crisis is materializing under the watch of the second Aquino, the labor group Partido Manggagawa (PM) said in a statement.

pmLogo1

“Had the government acted in advance, one of which was going back into generation as recommended by the 19th EPIRA Status Report of 2011, the President would not have been begging for emergency powers from Congress which the same body that enacted the failed Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA) in 2001,” said PM spokesperson Wilson Fortaleza.

Fortaleza said that as early as 2010, red flags on the supply side have already been raised by experts and by the government itself. Even the labor sector under the coalition Nagkaisa! had been calling on the government since 2012 to decisively address the twin problems of high cost and diminishing power supply.

“Yet the government opted to stay in the sidelines, waiting for the promised megawatts from private players to come online. But to no avail,” lamented Fortaleza

“Now PNoy has placed himself in a situation where his mother once failed: Presiding over a power crisis in a panicky and very costly manner,” explained Fortaleza.

The group said that since there is no more time to build an additional 600-700MW capacity to fill in the annual deficit beginning next year, the government is left with no option but to revert back to provisional and very costly mode of power contracting, similar to the notorious IPP contracts done by the Aquino and Ramos regimes.

“These instant, palliative solutions will bring us, poor consumers, more pain,” said Fortaleza.

But before Congress expressly grant PNoy emergency powers, the group said it is but judicious to declare first that EPIRA and privatization failed.

Second, the group said an audit of all the plants’ capacities as per contracts must be done first to determine the actual numbers since there are reports that power plants are not running on their full capacities or are not properly maintained.

Third, Malacanang must also show the real cost of the planned contract that it will enter into, for how long, to whom, and the actual terms it is willing to commit.

Fourth, with or without emergency, the government should strongly push for a shift to renewable energy.

And lastly, emergency powers must not be granted to the Executive if it has no clear, effective and doable plan to strategically address this oppressive, decade-old energy crisis.

PRESS RELEASE
Partido Manggagawa
16 September 2014
Contact: Wilson Fortaleza
Spokesperson

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] Current government to blame for energy crisis! -PMCJ

Current government to blame for energy crisis!

Recently, during the briefing on the proposed 2015 national budget, Cabinet officials placed the blame upon the Supreme Court for the looming power crisis saying that had the high court not issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) on the Redondo power plant project, the problem of a possible power shortage would not exist.

PMCJ LOGO NEW

In August 2012, the Supreme Court, in a decision on the petition filed by residents of Bataan and Zambales along with other civil society organizations issued a Writ of Kalikasan against Redondo Peninsula Energy, Inc. (RP Energy). The Writ prevented the company from constructing a 600 MW coal-fired power plant within the Subic Bay Metropolitan Area which would have been online by 2014.

Earlier this year, the Department of Energy (DOE) through the Energy Secretary Carlos Jericho Petilla also said that they want “a bill which would fast-track the processing of permits and, if possible, no TRO against [energy] projects.”
The Philippine Movement for Climate Justice (PMCJ) asserts that there is nobody else to blame other than the current administration for the current state of energy.

“Throwing the blame at the SC will not absolve the government of its culpability,” says Gerry Arances, National Coordinator of PMCJ. “The decision of the SC merely reflected the will of the people that are against coal. The writ was reflective of the people’s stand against this government’s push for increased dependence on coal.”

Under the Aquino administration, permits granted to coal mining projects have doubled, from 39 coal operating contracts (COCs) in 2007 to 71 COCs in 2013. The number of approved coal plants has increased in the same period. In addition to 17 coal plants (with 28 boilers) with a total of 5506.2 MW capacity are currently operational across the country, 25 more coal plants (with 45 boilers) of up to 9,054 MW capacity have been approved as of mid-2014 (committed and indicative) and railroaded for final construction by 2020. This is up from 17 coal plants (with 29 boilers) with 4,584 MW approved in less than a year ago. This is in addition to another 12 more coal plants with 2,480 MW capacity proposed in the same year.

“From the very start, the Power Development Planning of the government was already flawed. It failed to provide the people a meaningful participation in the decision-making. It did not provide a mechanism that would give the people an avenue to confront the government in the event that the people felt that their choices are not reflected in government decisions.” Arances added.

PMCJ believes that the act of throwing the blame onto the judiciary is part of the grand design of the administration to circumvent democratic processes, to disempower the will of the people, and to discredit legal measures to accommodate the choice of the people. This crusade is led by none other than Secretary Petilla, supported fully by President Aquino himself, to prepare the way for the exercise of emergency powers.

The government should apply the lessons it learned at the DOE- sponsored Panay Multi-Sectoral Development Planning (MSPDP) process in 2004. The MSPDP was initially created to address the power crisis and growing concerns on the environmental impacts of power plants which resulted to a transparent process designed to provide people’s participation in the industry’s priority-setting process. The Panay MSPDP must be replicated as it was efficient in demonstrating that a grassroots process can have the technical rigor practiced by the corporate sector or the state in energy management.

Furthermore, considering that RE Law have been in effect since 2008 and the negotiations on the RP Energy project began in 2011, the government already had 3 years to perform its mandate to allow the increase of RE share in generating capacity. Had the government been diligent in pushing coal and enforcing the RE Law, that puts RE as a preferred energy choice. The energy supply in Luzon would have been sustained without the Redondo coal plant. In its own study and RE program, the DOE puts the RE potential of the country at a high level. Even without solar power, the country has 200,000 MW of potential renewable energy sources.

“The people must not be deprived of their right to participate in government affairs and their preferred choice of accessible and affordable clean, renewable energy ,” Arances concluded.

________________

The Philippine Movement for Climate Justice (PMCJ) is a grassroots-based movement consisting of basic sectors, grassroots communities and other organizations. We are campaigning for national climate justice campaigns on on energy, adaptation/rehabilitation after Typhoon Yolanda and other issues on climate change.

PRESS RELEASE
Reference:
Kathryn Leuch, PMCJ Energy Policy and Communications Campaigner
0936 967 8341

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] Personal grudge nor personal ambition can’t justify term extension – labor group -PM

Personal grudge nor personal ambition can’t justify term extension – labor group

Seeking a prohibited term extension out of personal bitterness against the Supreme Court would be erroneous if not a fatal political move for the sitting President, the labor group Partido Manggagawa (PM) said in a statement.

pmLogo1

President Aquino the other day made it categorical that he is considering a second term via a constitutional amendment, purportedly to check on the powers of the Supreme Court which he claimed exercise restraint “more often” against the co-equal branches of the government.

The group likewise disclosed, based on reliable sources, that a broad movement aligned to the cause of extending the “tuwid na daan” will be launched soon to create an artificial clamor for continuing reforms and at the opportune moment PNoy will make a major announcement that he has listened to his “bosses” to finally seek a term extension.

This is the nth time PNoy vented his outburst against the Supreme Court after the latter declared his Disbursement Accelelartion Program (DAP) unconstitutional.

But for PM, pushing a personal political agenda out of personal grudge against the justices won’t justify a still non apparent social objective of reforming the entire political system.

“We, too, do not believe that the ‘Lords of Faura’ holds the paragon of righteousness in this country.  They are dressed in robes, as crook lawmakers are also clad in barongs, to cover their sins and partiality to the ruling class. Yet cleansing the whole system does not necessarily require having a second term. This is more the task of a revolutionary government, a power that his mother failed to exercise correctly in 1986,” said PM Chair Renato Magtubo.

Magtubo said workers have always been victims of delayed justice and unjust court rulings.  And similarly the two other branches of government consciously take the side of the capitalist class.

“This situation did not change under PNoy’s term.  For the past four years wala pang naitutuwid, wala pang naitatawid,” declared the group.

PM said workers have more bad things to say about the country’s rotten political and economic system.  But they will neither look at the term extension nor the plan to amend the Constitution based on personal desires of few persons and big corporations as a sound option,” said Magtubo.

PRESS RELEASE
Partido Manggagawa
14 August 2014
Contact: Renato Magtubo
PM Chairperson
09178532905

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] RPMS, another burden to overworked, yet underpaid teachers -TDC

RPMS, another burden to overworked, yet underpaid teachers

We, public school teachers are one with the government in ensuring quality service to our people. This is our commitment to our students in particular and the taxpaying public in general. The condition of our public schools however is a great factor that affects our performance- large class size in a small classroom, lack of  facilities and teaching and learning materials and perhaps, lack of motivation and low morale due to government’s disregard to us- especially our demand for salary increase.

TDC

Thus, we are very much concerned about the introduction of the Results Based Performance Management System (RPMS) which the Department of Education (DepEd) will implement this school year. The system is in accordance with the Civil Service Commission (CSC) Memorandum Circular no. 6, s. 2012.

This new system places our expected output beyond 100 per cent, we need to work on the double and deliver performance of at least 130% in order for us to be declared outstanding. It is ironic that a government which, in the entire history, did not provide the 100% needs of the education sector and its teachers would expect for over a 100% performance from them.

We urge the CSC and the DepEd to review the applicability of this policy to our teachers. We urge the government to provide the necessary support to our public school system in terms of facilities and other resources, most especially in terms of teacher training and compensation.

Filipino teachers’ performance is generally outstanding. To be a teacher in this country requires one to be resilient, enduring and patient- qualities that make all of us outstanding, far more than our counterparts from the rest of the world.

Teachers’ tasks are not easily quantifiable, our product cannot be gauged with a meter stick or a weighing scale. Ours is a work that includes not only physical strength, but more so, intellect and emotions- teaching differs from all other jobs- its peculiarity can never be measured. This one-size-fits-all RPMS would only result to confusion in the field, if not further exploitation.

We demand fair and just compensation. RPMS is nothing, but another burden to already overworked yet underpaid teachers.

Reference: Benjo Basas, national chair, 09205740241

Statement
August 1, 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.

[In the news] Santiago sees Palace hand in Gigi’s return -INQUIRER.net

Santiago sees Palace hand in Gigi’s return.
By TJ A. Burgonio, Philippine Daily Inquirer
April 21, 2014

It’s not farfetched that the Aquino administration has convinced Jessica Lucila “Gigi” Reyes to testify against Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile over the alleged P10-billion pork scam in exchange for her acquittal, Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago said Sunday.

inquirer

Santiago said it would be logical for President Aquino to order government officials to bring home eyewitnesses in the “galactic corruption” to pin down its brains.

The former trial judge said Enrile was the mastermind who convinced Senators Jinggoy Estrada and Ramon Revilla Jr. to take part in the scam.

If reports were true that Enrile was unaware of the abrupt return of Reyes, his former chief of staff, this could mean that they had “broken up,” said Santiago, who has a running feud with the former Senate president.

Read more: http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/595941/santiago-sees-palace-hand-in-gigis-return#ixzz2zXXCTfJg

Follow @inquirerdotnet on Twitter | inquirerdotnet on Facebook

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 Ombudsman’s Intent to File Charges vs. Suspected Pork Scammers -Cebu Coalition Against the Pork Barrel System

CEBU COALITION AGAINST THE PORK BARREL SYSTEM
Statement on the Ombudsman’s Intent to File Charges vs. Suspected Pork Scammers
April 3, 2014

PROSECUTE THE GUILTY NOW!

The Cebu Coalition Against the Pork Barrel System welcomes the latest news regarding the intent to prosecute the suspects involved in the Pork Barrel Scam. However, in sieving through the information available, we find that no concrete action has actually been taken yet regarding this festering issue. The Ombudsman has released news that it intends to file plunder and malversation charges against some senators and other respondents, while the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee has only released its draft report recommending the same.

Cebu Coalition Against The Pork Barrel System

Intent simply precedes action. It is not yet ACTION itself.

The Coalition strongly calls for the Ombudsman to take the necessary steps as soon as possible. We further call that a trial commence immediately, and all efforts to make the trial commence without undue interference and delay from outside entities be undertaken. Moreover, all public officials being tried should resign from office, not necessarily as an admission of guilt but so that the truth be known without undue influence.

At no other time in Philippine history has the reputation of the Senate been as damaged as it is now. The Legislative Branch has been subject to so much distrust from the citizenry.

The people have been betrayed by corruption and poor performance. The main reason for frustrating all the valid dreams and aspirations of a whole country has been exposed for all to see. The Philippines could have been one of the most progressive countries in the world had it not been for corruption and incompetence in government.

It is time now to make an example of the power of the Law, and thus regain the respect the Legislature once had. It is time to assure the people that this Government functions for the service of the whole country, and not just the people in power.

In this Lenten Season, we are called to conversion. Pope Francis said, “Lent is to adjust life, to fix life, to change life, to draw closer to the Lord. May the Lord give us all light and courage: light to know what’s happening within us, and courage to convert, to draw closer to the Lord.”

If we get our acts together NOW, we may yet look back to these times as the defining moment in institutionalizing our fight against corruption and strengthening our government institutions in partnership with civil society.

It is time to PROSECUTE THE GUILTY NOW!

FOR REFERENCE:

MSGR. ROMUALDO G. KINTANAR
Convenor
CEBU COALITION AGAINST THE PORK BARREL SYSTEM
Tel. No. 272-8091; Email: archdiocesandiscernment@gmail.com
Media Committee: Rudy Alix (0915-5375613)

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] To junk the pork and trapo politics, we need to junk the Presidential pork -Kilusang KonTRAPOrk

To junk the pork and trapo politics, we need to junk the Presidential pork

Photo by FDC

Photo by FDC

The struggle against the pork is not yet over, in fact it is just intensifying.

Today, the so-called “Disbursement Acceleration Program” (DAP)—or one of the components of the president’s pork—is up for scrutiny by the Supreme Court during the scheduled oral argumentations. However, before we get lost in the tangle of legal jargon and partisan mudslinging, we must remind ourselves that the DAP issue is not simply, as the Aquino media team tried to spin it last year, an issue of whether or not the funds were embezzled, nor is it just an issue of whether or not President’s influence peddling during the impeachment of the former Chief Justice Renato Corona is ethical or illegal. Neither is it a mere “distraction” from the prosecution of the perpetrators of the Napoles PDAF Scam. It is not even just about the Executive branch’s unconstitutional usurpation of the Legislative’s power of the purse. It is far bigger than that.

KonTRAPOrk logo1 small

Ultimately and more importantly, the DAP controversy is about trapo politics, and the lack of transparency and accountability—if not the utter impunity—in the way the sitting President and our political elites use the toiling masses’ money to promote their narrow political agenda and political careers.

DAP was born out of the Executive’s distortion of the already constitutionally infirm and democratically repugnant provisions in the 1987 Revised Administrative Code (E0 292) – the President’s power of impoundment (Section 38, Book VI) and power to re-align savings (Section 39, Book VI).

On one hand, by twisting the meaning of these provisions, the sitting President can and has artificially created PDAF-like funds, discretionary and lump-sum funds that he/she can distribute to Congressmen and Senators, and use to buy off their political support. Thus, the peculiar controversy with the Presidential pork has less to do with its size, although its magnitude is undeniable, than with its tendency give birth to new forms of pork. During President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s term, for example, the administration had been borrowing more than it should and reporting the excess as “savings.” Under the Aquino administration, we have the DAP. The President, through the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), asked individual legislators to “endorse” projects and programs that will be funded by the DAP. How the politicians were picked and what standards were used, is subject to the unrestrained discretion of and remain to be undisclosed by the Executive.

On the other hand, the Senators and Congressmen will again be able to acquire funds for more scholarships and medical aid, or substandard roads and unfinished bridges, to buy off their poor constituencies’ electoral support. This is how pork and political dynasties continue to prosper. This is how trapo politics thrives.

Hence, essential to the emancipation of the people from patronage system and to the dismantling of trapo politics, is the scrapping of the President’s pork, including the controversial DAP.

We have seen the abuse and impunity happen in the past, as in the case of PGMA. We saw these happen under the Aquino administration, through the DAP. Without addressing the vulnerabilities of our budgetary processes and the failure of our democratic system, these will happen again under the succeeding administrations.

By defending the DAP and the Presidential pork, President Aquino is the one who put himself on the other side of this fight, the side against a more accountable, democratic and empowering use of the people’s money.

PROTEKTAHAN ANG KABAN NG BAYAN! DAP AT TRAPO POLITICS IBASURA!

KILUSANG KONTRAPORK
AKBAYAN, Aniban ng Manggagawa sa Agrikultura (AMA), APL-SENTRO, Bukluran sa Ikauunlad ng Sosyalistang Isip at Gawa (BISIG), Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP), CPVA, Faith-based Congress Against Immoral Debts (FCAID), Freedom from Debt Coalition (FDC), FRC, Kampanya para sa Makataong Pamumuhay (KAMP), KAISA KA, KAISA UP, Kongreso ng Pagkakaisa ng Maralitang Lungsod (KPML), KMBM, KULAY, KUMPAS, KATARUNGAN, KILUSAN, LPLU, MATINIK, Medical Action Group (MAG), Metro Manila Vendors Association (MMVA), NAGKAISA, PIGLAS-KABABAIHAN, Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA), Pambansang Koalisyon ng Kababaihan sa Kanayunan (PKKK), Partido Lakas ng Masa (PLM), Pagkakaisa ng Manggagawa sa Transportasyon (PMT), Partido ng Manggagawa (PM), Philippine Movement for Climate Justice (PMCJ), Samahang Maralitang Nagtitinda (SAMANA), SARILAYA, SANLAKAS, Sanlakas Youth, Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP), Woman Health Philippines, Youth for Nationalism and Democracy (YND)

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] The capture of the children and the nation. By Fr. Shay Cullen

The capture of the children and the nation
By Fr. Shay Cullen

The story of the rescue of Rosemary is heartening and encouraging. When we read about such stories of young children like that of Rosemary being helped and rescued from the clutches of depraved people who are arrested, we rejoice. But we may not know that hundreds of thousands are not rescued, they suffer abuse like Rosemary who was trafficked and sold at 14 years old into sex slavery and bondage. She was rescued, sheltered and healed while many others are not. A charity like Preda Foundation with limited funds can do only so much.

325-fr-shay-cullen

When children are saved by government social workers, police and charity workers, we applaud and approve and our admiration of good organized government services increases. Government is elected by the people, given public trust and paid through taxes on everything to serve the common good. In developing countries like the Philippines, government agencies, one by one have been captured by the rich to serve them rather than the poor. That’s why human trafficking and exploitation is on the increase.

It’s been going on for the past many years. President Aquino says he is trying to root it out. Hundreds of thousands are barely surviving dire poverty and hunger; the children are the most at risk. They totter on the edge of abject poverty. This is now seen in all its shame by the fury of typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan). It bared the sprawling slums and stripped away the fragile fabric of the hovels of the teeming poor. Dire poverty was laid embarrassingly naked.

Such poverty and social injustice causes unrest, malnutrition, disease and illness. Economists say the Philippines has a strongly growing economy, creating wealth, but for whom? Little of it is reaching the poor. A cheap hungry labor force benefits the rich.

The Social Weather Station (SWS) survey showed that 21 percent of the population, that’s 4.3 million people, went hungry at least once in the second half of 2013. In Metro Manila, there was a 10 point increase in hunger up to 26%, that’s 738,000 people who went hungry. The poverty rate has not gone down and it is higher since 2005. Meaning the poor still have nothing much in the world and live from meal to meal.

As little as one percent of the population are super rich and own as much as 70% to 90% of the national wealth. They use their wealth as bribes and infiltrate the bureaucracy, police, military and congress and “capture” government agencies and bend them all to support their own interests. Government appears to serve the interests of the rich more than those of the people. Corruption is epidemic. President Aquino, considered clean of corruption himself, has made its elimination the goal of his presidency.

Rosemary was a child of poverty. When her mother died of tuberculoses, Rosemary was taken by a pimp and trafficker who later became a manager of a sex bar frequented by international and local sex tourists. Rosemary was brought up as a sex worker, one of many thousands in the brothels and sex bars of the Philippines into which they are trafficked as human slaves trapped by debt.

This is one of the greatest and most shameful failures of local and national government. The mayor and officials are seemingly “captured” by favors and services, perhaps of the industry and they allow sex industry to thrive. The collusion is sickening. HIV/Aids is spreading again as a result. There is no media or public outcry; there is national collusion it seems to allow sex tourism.

In this beautiful country, the resilient, kind, patient and friendly people are exploited and most don’t know it. They are manipulated and conditioned into believing the rich deserve everything they have got and sexual exploitation of even minors is acceptable. 60 years old folk singers can co-habitate with 16 year-old girls and it is judged okay. Mass media re-enforces this. Social media exults in it. Some justify it since they make money. They don’t see the forced abortions and the daily abuse and human rights violations. The victims seldom earn money, as most trafficked victims are “captured”, by personal debt to the bar owners and cannot escape.

Much like the nation itself, the Philippines is imprisoned by foreign debt on loans that benefit the rich and the poor are paying the interest on that national debt.

The huge increase in electricity charges in Metro Manila last December illustrates the capture of government by the rich elite. The electric power producers took over the national industry through privatization and sweetheart deals with friends in government. Most public utilities are now privatized and owned by the profit-driven wealthy elite. The electricity producers, Aboitiz, Malampaya and a few others with Meralco, mostly using filthy coal plants also approved by their friends in government, allegedly form a monopoly, a price fixing cartel and allegedly colluded to create a false electrical shortage to justify the price increase and thus maximize their obscene profits. They deny all wrong doing.

Besides that, corruption knows no end. Every day, new revelations emerge of one huge scam by government officials in cahoots with the barons of business. Rights advocates are taking a stand and opposing it. Media has the courage and freedom to reveal the truth but many journalists are assassinated as a result. The dark forces strike back.

Silence is approval in the face of evil. We must oppose all human trafficking, child abuse and price fixing especially that which hurts the poor. We must speak out, protest and declare what is true and right, come what may. [shaycullen@preda.org, http://www.preda.org]

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.

[Blog] A storm is a product of nature. A tragedy is man-made. By CJ Chanco

A storm is a product of nature. A tragedy is man-made.

Suggestions by some quarters to crack down on “looters” are completely out of place. We need the military to deliver aid, not clamp down on the typhoon victims. We need paratroopers to fly in relief goods – not a police state.

CJ Chanco

Again, it isn’t looting if local sari-sari stores are giving away fresh vegetables to desperately hungry families because it’s pointless to sell anything when there’s nothing to buy, and money is practically worthless on the ground. I’ve heard this happen time and again. I’m sure there is more in Tacloban than complete desolation, Red Cross-stealing hooligans, and survival-of-the-fittest. While we in Manila consider ourselves their heroes, people are already acting on their own accord to piece together the fragments of their lives — for the most part, without the government’s aid.

This is the sort of resilience the media should be focusing on. Whatever happened, after all, to the much-vaunted “Filipino spirit”?

On the other hand, what some see as anarchy others see as survival. Crime and “hooliganism” – where they occur (which happens to be few and far between, despite PNP press statements) – are completely natural responses to human scarcity.

This does not in any way distract from the gravity of the situation. Because it *is* disturbing. This is the sort of thing we will increasingly see from communities neglected by the government for so long (with or without these disasters), if we choose to continue along this path.

Indeed, it can happen in Manila and New York and Paris just as easily as it is now happening in Tacloban. It’s the sort of Hunger Games-Planet Z-do-or-die epic we will increasingly see as governments everywhere clamp down ever harder on people already stripped of all the essentials of life.

Crises like these won’t be solved by replacing civilian officials in the province of Imelda Marcos – or anywhere else – with a military force to “control” the situation there. They won’t be solved by sending 500-men military battalions to crush “unrest” and further disempower local communities.

On this score, Vice Mayor Jerry Yaokasin, there is a world of a difference between declaring a state of emergency and declaring martial law
(http://www.rappler.com/nation/43363-tacloban-wants-state-of-emergency-martial-law-in-city).

Peace and order will be restored only when people rebuild their own lives and above all start to question why all of this is being allowed to happen in the first place. There is politics involved in all this whether we like it or not. The very causes of the disaster – from climate change to corruption and poor preparation – have deep political roots.

Haiyan made landfall just as the Warsaw UN Climate Summit was about to begin. If there ever was a sign from god, this is it.

But Western governments’ statements of solidarity with the Philippines are a bit laughable considering their shameful role in stifling all attempts at cutting back on greenhouse gas emissions in the ongoing negotiations:

http://www.theguardian.com/…
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jamie-henn/super-typhoon-haiyan-is-a_b_4239206.html
http://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/ippc-pachauri-climate-change-spoilt-defiled-planet

Of course, any sort of “aid”, from any government, granted with no strings attached, is more than welcome at a time like this. But no amount of charity or “aid” is every going to make up for these countries’ investments on our own shores that are wreaking havoc on the environment. No amount of “aid” is ever going to cut the greenhouse emissions of the world’s multinationals and the fossil fuel industry (including our own coal-fired plants) that are rising by the day. Last minute pork barrel-infusions won’t help either, for so long as the system stays in place: a system eating away at the very heart of the planet while leaving millions vulnerable to future calamities like this one.

Our inaction today is what generations ahead will pay for in existential debt, plus interest.

Real solidarity with the people of Leyte, Samar, and the rest of the country cannot and will not stop at donating and packing relief goods. Joining people as they organize and mobilize *around the world* to move toward a genuinely sustainable and socially just future – yes, it’s a cliche – should be part of our efforts. It’s time to connect the dots.

Haiyan is a symptom of a problem rooted in a society that is swallowing itself alive on a global scale. It is not the result of an impending rapture, a media cover-up, or a US military experiment. These are the facts. It’s time to wake up.

There are also other ways of delivering aid to flood victims without depending on largesse from Malacanang or Pnoy’s PDAF, or on charity from big relief agencies, from crowd-sourced funding online to grassroots community networks. At any rate, Oxfam, the Red Cross, Unicef, Balsa, the small churches and people’s organizations we’re now helping out – and yes, guerillas in the countryside (whatever their politics) – are doing a far better job at it than our own government.

There are already deep rifts within the Pnoy administration. The disaster has caught everyone off guard: http://www.rappler.com/…

We really do need all the help we can get, and we can’t depend on the government alone for it. Please remember how long it took for its agencies to get its act together to help the victims of Typhoon Pablo — a much smaller storm.

This is my last uber-long post for the day/month- I promise. The longer we spend on the social networks, I think, the less is done on the ground.

#ReliefPH: Victims of Typhoon Yolanda need your help

http://www.rappler.com/move-ph/issues/disasters/43300-reliefph-victims-typhoon-yolanda-help

#YolandaPH #ClimateJustice

https://www.facebook.com/cjchanco/posts/10153466740785514

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] Save Lives, Redistribute Food, Stop the Economic and Environment Plunder! Climate Justice Now! -PLM

PLM Statement on the Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda Crisis

Let Our People Live!
Save Lives, Redistribute Food, Stop the Economic and Environment Plunder!
Climate Justice Now!

The people are still reeling from the impact of possibly the biggest typhoon to strike the country. Death toll numbers are rising rapidly. There is massive devastation. Many are still trying to contact their relatives, friends and comrades, but communication systems are down, in the hardest hit areas. How should we, as activists and socialists, respond to the crisis?

plm-flag

Firstly, we have to support and take whatever measures are necessary to protect the people. This means all measures that bring the people immediate relief. In the hardest hit city of Tacloban, in south eastern Visayas, the people are already taking what food and relief supplies that they need from the malls. The media reports this as looting and the break-down of law and order.

But we say: let our people live. This is not “looting”. People are taking food, where they can get it, in order to survive. If there is no timely and organized support system from government, people just have to do it themselves and they should organize themselves to do it more effectively. Even some grocery owners understand the need for this. According to one report of a man who broke into a grocery store, “The owner said we can take the food, but not the dried goods. Our situation is so dismal. We have deaths in our family. We need to save our lives. Even money has no use here now”. Where possible, PLM will assist them to organize to take over food supplies and necessary relief goods.

Then there’s the issue of the government response. Our experience has been that it has always been too slow and inadequate. Any efforts are undermined by corruption. The exposure of the organized plunder by the political elite and sections of government, of development funds or “pork barrel” funds meant for the people, is a testimony to this. This outraged the country and brought almost half-a-million people out in to the streets in a massive show of protest on August 26 this year. While one plunderer has been arrested, the President has not responded decisively to clean up the system.

The public funds plundered by the elite should have been used for preventative measures to support the people weather these disasters: for infrastructure, including better sea walls and communication infrastructure; for early warning systems; for well-constructed and therefore safe public housing, to replace huts and shacks built out of dried leaves and cardboard; for health and education; for equipment and personnel for rapid emergency response, and the list is endless. But no, this was not the case, it was eaten up by the greed of the elite classes.

Unfortunately, we have no reason to believe that the government and the system will deliver and meet the needs of the people, this time round either. The self-interest of the elite, and their control of the government and the system that is designed to perpetuate their interests, through the plunder of the people’s assets and resources, renders the entire set-up inutile in the face of a disaster on this scale.

Then there are our international ‘allies’, such as the United States government, who have sent us their best wishes. But these so-called ‘allies’ are also responsible for the situation faced by our people. These typhoons are part of the climate crisis phenomenon faced by the world today. Super Typhoon Haiyan (referred to as Yolanda in the Philippines) was one of the most intense tropical cyclones at landfall on record when it struck the Philippines on Nov. 7. Its maximum sustained winds at landfall were pegged at 195 mph with gusts above 220 mph. Some meteorologists even proclaimed it to be the strongest tropical cyclone at landfall in recorded history. Haiyan’s strength and the duration of its Category 5 intensity — the storm remained at peak Category 5 intensity for an incredible 48 straight hours.

The still-increasing greenhouse gas emissions responsible for the climate crisis are disproportionately emitted by the rich and developed countries, from the US, Europe to Australia. For centuries, these rich, developed countries have polluted and plundered our societies, emitting too much greenhouse gases to satisfy their greed for profit. They have built countless destructive projects all over the world like polluting factories, coal-fired power plants, nuclear power plants and mega dams. They have also pushed for policies allowing extractive industries to practice wasteful and irresponsible extraction of the Earth’s minerals. They continue to wage environmentally destructive wars and equip war industries, for corporate profits. All of this has fast-tracked the devastation of the Earth’s ecological system and brought about unprecedented changes in the planet’s climate.

But these are the same rich countries whose political elite are ignoring climate change and the climate crisis. Australia has recently elected a government that denies the very existence of climate change and has refused to send even a junior Minister to the climate conference in Warsaw, Poland. The question of climate justice – for the rich countries to bear the burden of taking the necessary measures for stopping it and to pay reparations and compensate those in poorer countries who are suffering the consequences of it – is not entertained even in a token way.

The way the rich countries demand debt payments from us, we now demand the payment of their “climate debts”, for climate justice and for them to take every necessary measure to cut back their greenhouse gas emission in the shortest time possible.

These rich ‘friends’ and so-called ‘allies’ have preached to us about our courage and resilience. But as many here have pointed out, resilience is not just taking all the blows with a smiling face. Resilience is fighting back. To be truly resilient we need to organize, to fight back and to take matters in to our own hands, from the relief efforts on the ground to national government and to challenging and putting an end to the capitalist system. This is the only way to ensure that we are truly resilient.

Makibaka, huwag matakot! Fight for our lives, don’t be afraid!

November 10, 2013.

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] Only 15 of 37 in pork barrel scam notified on passport cancellation – DFA -InterAksyon.com

Only 15 of 37 in pork barrel scam notified on passport cancellation – DFA
By Ernie Reyes, InterAksyon.com
November 3, 2013

MANILA, Philippines – A week after the Department of Justice requested the cancellation of the passports of 37 people suspected to be involved in the P10-billion pork barrel scam, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Sunday it has served the notice to only 15. Those who have been served notice included Senators Juan Ponce-Enrile, Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada, and Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr.

InterAksyon logo2

DFA spokesman Raul Hernandez said the DFA is still looking for the addresses of 22 people on DOJ’s request list for passport cancellation, as many of them hae residences outside Metro Manila.

“Sinabi ng ating legal team, ang iba wala sa Maynila at nasa probinsiya, kaya aalamin nila kung saan ang kanilang address sa probinsiya upang maipadala ang letters ng DFA (Our legal team said some are not in Metro Manila and are in the provinces, that’s why they’re finding out their addresses in the provinces so that the DFA may be able to send them the letters),” he said.

Read full article @www.interaksyon.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.

[Event] #PORKTOBERFEST – A Street Party Protest Against the Pork Barrel System

#PORKTOBERFEST – A Street Party Protest Against the Pork Barrel System
October 25, 2013
7:00 pm
T.Morato, Quezon City

porktoberfest

Event poster by #Porktoberfest

So you go out on a payday Friday night. You check your payslip and you see your withholding tax – there goes part of your hard-earned money. You pay for parking with 12% EVAT. You buy food and drinks with friends and you pay your bill – with 12% EVAT. The next morning you read the papers, you see how the taxes you paid last night was misused by people you thought you could trust. Dammit.

On October 25, a Friday night, you probably will go out again. Pay for parking, pay for gas, and pay for your weekly dose of Friday night food and drinks – with all those you pay 12% EVAT. BUT YOU HAVE HAD ENOUGH OF THE DECEIT AND THIEVERY. You want to tell your government that what you will be paying on the night of October 25 should be properly used and should not go to the pockets of those suckers. YOU WILL DO THIS AT THE #PORKTOBERFEST!

BE IN THE KNOW. BE AWARE. BECAUSE YOU OWE IT TO YOUR COUNTRY. Because you can have fun while you learn about your country’s issues and while you become part of the solution to your country’s problems.

WE DEMAND:

1) The ABOLITION of the Pork Barrel System.
2) A FULL ACCOUNTING of ALL pork barrel funds used.
3) An IMPARTIAL INVESTIGATION and the PROSECUTION OF ALL INDIVIDUALS INVOLVED in the misuse of pork barrel funds.

WE SUPPORT THE PASSING OF THE FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT.

There will be NO CENTRAL STAGE AND SPEECHES. Bars and restaurants in the area are invited to set up tables and chairs/ booths and kiosks and even small platforms/stages along the sidewalk of Morato to provide entertainment AGAINST THE PORK BARREL. Street performers/artists (flashmobs, singers, poetry readers, etc.) are also invited to perform along the street.

Express yourself on our Freedom Wall where you can write your protests against the pork barrel system!

Bring your noisemakers because at 12 midnight we will make noise that will echo throughout this country TO SHOW THIS GOVERNMENT THAT WE ARE THE BOSS AND WE WANT THE PORK BARREL SYSTEM SCRAPPED!!!

Show the government that you want cleaning up! WEAR WHITE! COME AND SHOW YOUR GOVERNMENT THAT YOU ARE THE BOSS!

#Porktoberfest #100DAYS #ScrapPork #tayoangboss #MillionPeopleMarch

https://www.facebook.com/events/484327198331700/

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] World Food Day Statement By National Food Coalition

World Food Day Statement
By National Food Coalition

On the occasion of World Food Day, 16 October 2013, the National Food Coalition renews
its call for the adoption of a comprehensive food policy by the Philippines. There is an
urgent need for a framework law on the right to adequate food to give expression to this
policy, and such a law should adopt a rights-based approach. The right to food is the right of
the people to have regular, permanent and unrestricted access, either directly or through
purchases, to quantitatively and qualitatively adequate and sufficient food, which
corresponds to their cultural traditions, and which ensure a physical and mental, individual
and collective, fulfilling and dignified life that is free of fear.

NFC

The framework law should ensure people’s participation, accountability of those who violate
it, non-discrimination on account of sex, age or any other basis, transparency or open access
to information, respect for human dignity, empowerment of the people, and respect for the
rule of law. It must develop indicators for determining levels of improvement in the
enjoyment of the right to adequate food, and it should provide for effective remedies in
cases of violations, including criminal, civil and administrative liabilities on the part of
violators.

We reiterate this call, at this crucial time, when public demand is growing for the abolition of
the pork barrel, which members of the Philippine Congress have been dispensing as if it
were their own money. This fund has been abused, and public outrage has grown over
reports of corruption arising from misuse of these funds. Any new form of pork that retains
the basic feature of being discretionary and lacking in transparency will just perpetuate
corruption that drains resources away from public services needed by the people.

The amounts from the pork barrel that have found their way to the pockets of unscrupulous
government officials and their cohorts are precious funds that could have been used to
provide for the people’s basic needs, to promote their fundamental human rights, and to
advance the cause of their human dignity. Rather than continue the pork barrel, the
Philippine Government should consider more worthwhile measures. These include a
comprehensive program to end hunger in the Philippines. The Government should provide
for the necessary financial and other support to realize zero-hunger in the Philippines.

Contact Persons:
Aurea Miclat-Teves, Convenor, NFC, 0918-991-1910;
Bombi Sunga, FLAG lawyer- 0917-854-2124

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.

[Blog] Visa Rejection: Questions to the Canadian Government By Jose Mario De Vega

Visa Rejection: Questions to the Canadian Government
By Jose Mario De Vega

I am writing with regard to the exchange of messages between Faizi and Nele concerning the fact that our Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) Alliance “has taken knowledge of at least two visa rejections by Canadian embassies”. This is a serious matter that demands our attention.

Mario De Vega

Worst, the people whole visa were rejected are confirmed delegates that are accredited to the CBD meetings.

Indeed, “this is not only unfair for the persons involved, this is also against the principles of the Convention, as the participation of indigenous peoples, local communities and civil society in general is crucial to CBD decision making.”

Said Convention is an “Agreement between the Government of Canada and the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity Concerning the Headquarters of the Convention Secretariat (E101442 – CTS 1996 No. 28)”.

The agreement was signed by Robert Fowles for the Government of Canada and Elizabeth Dowdesswell for the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity on October 25, 1996.

I would like to add and deeply stress that, the act of Canada in rejecting the visa application of this people is not only unjust, but undeniably absurd and utterly preposterous!

The Canadian government specifically violated Article 8 (1) and (2) which specifically and expressly provided that:

Access to the Premises of the Secretariat

The competent Canadian authorities shall not impose any impediments to transit to or from the Premises of the Secretariat of representatives of Parties to the Convention, observers, experts on missions, or other persons invited by the Secretariat thereto on official business.

Visas, where required, for persons referred to in paragraph 1, shall be issued by the Government free of charge and as promptly as possible.

I am wondering what is the ground or the reason behind the rejection of the visa application! It is clear that those delegates were confirmed and checked by CBD, hence what more evidence does the Canadian government need?

The status and background of those individuals are beyond dispute and their business in Canada is clearly spelt out, hence again what are the reasons or the ground relied upon by the authorities in deciding for their visa rejection?

Indeed, CBD state parties are “committed under the CBD to promote the participation of indigenous and local communities, who live as directly dependent on customary use of biodiversity and its regeneration, not having much private monetary resources.”

I share Ville-Veikko’s view that:

“When indigenous representatives would participate to contribute to wider application of their knowledge, innovations and practices of their customary sustainable use of biodiversity, they are required first to prove such private monetary income or property, which fulfills the standards of modern over-consuming life – even if their participation would have been covered by supporting organisations and recommended by the CBD.

“As the participation of indigenous and local communities is crucial for the CBD process, commitments or meetings like WG8J, it is necessary that the costs of their participation can be covered by other facilitating instances or organisations – including CBD Alliance.

“If this is not respected, then:

“How would international community promote wider application of the knowledge, innovations and practices of indigenous communities’ sustainable life if it controls such communities’ international access and sharing by such procedures, standards, requirements or privileges of the mainstream, which remain alien to indigenous cultures and discriminate against their less over-consuming sustainable life?”

Our CBD coordinator, Ms. Nele Marien is totally in point when she pointed out that:

“Excluding certain groups from assisting to the meetings, especially those directly involved, would render the CBD less democratic.

“Therefore, the CBD Alliance wishes to formally raise this issue.”

As the CBD Chairperson Faizi said:

“This is indeed a serious issue and a glaring violation of the host country agreement to provide access (i.e. visa) to all bona fide participants. This issue was also raised in the final INC CBD meeting where Kenya, Spain and Canada were competing for the CBD Headquarter, when many of us argued in favour of Kenya for easy access (visa) and low expense, but Canada had its way…argued that visas would be unfaling in coming for bona fide participants.”

Undeniably, Canada has violated the said agreement which has been agreed upon by all relevant parties in good faith.

Second, they also breached the promise that they made: visa would be given to those who are bona fide participants.

Faizi continued that said convention was “legally agreed in the host country agreement (between the government of Canada and the United Nations). I had sent a copy of the agreement to this list some 4-5 years ago when such an issue cropped up”.

I overwhelmingly concur with the Chairperson that:

1. We should take this crucial and important issue with the President of CBD Bureau, ES, and the Canadian CBD focal point and the Canadian foreign ministry.

2. We must also register a firm protestation and strong complaint to the credentials committee of the SBSTTA, 8j meetings.

3. Needless to state, we must promptly issue a public statement to denounce this unjust and unfair act of the Canadian government.

4. Besides all of these actions, we can also bring a civil suit to the local court to demand for justice and/or apology.

Indeed, visa rejection in violation of the host country agreement is a global public issue therefore we all must strongly and firmly condemn this as one, because an unjust act committed to one of our delegate is the same as an unjust act committed to all of us!

We must all act on this in order for this kind of horrible event not to happen again in the future!

Lastly, I agreed with the sharp observation of the Chairperson that:

“This once again reinforces the argument that multilateral events should not be held in countries that a) ask bona fide delegates to prove that they will not stay in that country as illegal emigrant, b) face high security threat so that every visa applicant has to prove that h/she is not a terrorist…
“Indeed there are plenty of countries in the world that are delegate friendly, low cost and having good infrastructure.”

This is a shame to Canada and they have to do the right thing. They have to acknowledge their mistake, apologize to CBD and approve without question those visas that they unjustly and discriminately rejected!

Jose Mario Dolor De Vega

Sanlakas-Philippines

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