Pedophiles Abuse Children while Court of Appeals Sleeps Shay Cullen 22 October 2021
The recent decision of the Department of Education (DepEd) to dismiss for Grave Misconduct from the teaching profession Franco N. Aranas, a teacher in New Cabalan High School, Olongapo City should have been a swift decision to protect children and see justice done. However, it has taken almost three years before the decision was made to dismiss the abusive teacher who sexually abused his students. Yet this teacher, Franco N. Aranas, while found guilty for Grave Misconduct by the DepEd’s Regional Director, May B. Eclar, can continue teaching in the same school until the dismissal from service is confirmed by Secretary Leonor Briones of the DepEd. We earnestly hope that Secretary Briones acts speedily to confirm the decision of the Regional Director to protect children and see justice is done. The DepEd must not harbor a child abuser among its ranks.
What is wrong with the system where it is clear justice delayed is justice denied, a system that favors the sex abusers and ignores traumatized children? It casts a dark shadow over the institutions. The teacher was accused of sexually abusing three minor students, one 14 and two 15 respectively, in the Sunshine Lodge near the Victory Liner station in Olongapo City on two separate occasions in June and August 2018. This place ought to be investigated for enabling human trafficking and child abuse, violations of law.
Kamakailan lamang inilabas ng Forbes Magazine ang listahan nila ng ‘di umano world’s “best employers” para sa taong 2021. Sa 750 na mga kumpanya, iba’t ibang higanteng korporasyon ang napabilang dito kagaya na lang ng Samsung Electronics, IBM, Microsoft, Amazon, at Apple na limang nangungunang employers sa nasabing listahan. Kabilang rin sa naturang listahan ang binansagang “3 Philippine blue chips” Jollibee Food Corporation sa pwestong 256th habang ang Ayala Corp. ay nasa 487th at Aboitiz Equity Ventures naman sa 665th.
Habang ang mga kumpanyang ito ay humahalakhak sa tuwa ay marami pa ring empleyado mula sa Jollibee Foods Corporation ang patuloy na nagdurusa base na rin sa kanilang mabigat na karanasan sa kanilang pagtatrabaho sa dambuhalang kumpanyang ito. Ang karaniwang hinaing ng mga empleyado rito ay ang labis na trabaho ngunit kakarampot na sahod at ang hindi natatapos na kontraktwalisasyon na siyang lubid-sakal sa mga trabahador ng JFC.
Every March and September, Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM) embarks on a Mining Hell Week (MHW) to surface the issues surrounding destructive large-scale mining and its impact on mining-affected communities.
The March MHW is to denounce the continued implementation of the flawed Philippine Mining Act, while the September MHW is to counter the narrative of the mining industry led by the Chamber of Mines of the Philippines (COMP) to entice more investors and companies to dig minerals in the Philippines.
This September 2021, the COMP did not organize a mining conference. Nevertheless, ATM deems it crucial to counter the pro-mining stance of the Duterte regime and the agenda of the COMP in the coming elections. ATM will challenge the proposed continuity of exploiting the country’s natural resources at the expense of nature and marginalized communities.
Philippines Loses Staunch Rights Defender | Human Rights Watch
Philippines Loses Staunch Rights Defender Chito Gascon Led Commission on Human Rights During Trying Years By Carlos H. Conde Senior Philippines Researcher Human Rights Watch
The Philippines has lost a beloved human rights defender. Jose Luis Martin Gascon, known to all as “Chito,” who had chaired the governmental Commission on Human Rights since 2015, died October 9 from complications due to Covid-19, his family said. He was 57.
Friends and allies in the human rights movement mourned Gascon’s passing. “The country lost a dedicated public servant who never cowered in fear in asserting people’s rights and civil liberties,” said Fides Lim, spokesperson of Kapatid, a group advocating for the rights of political prisoners. “Amid the challenges faced by the CHR … he carried on with dignity, strength and courage,” said Jacqueline Ann de Guia, Gascon’s colleague at the commission. Even the military, often the target of commission investigations, paid its respects.
Children are the Most Important of All- Jesus | by Fr. Shay Cullen 10 October 2021
The attention of most adults is primarily focused on what they consider to be the most important reality in the world- themselves, especially many clerics. Yet there is one overriding unassailable truth that stands above all else in the teaching of the founder of Christianity, Jesus of Nazareth.
The truth that 2.382 billion Christians, including 1.329 billion Roman Catholics, have supposedly bound themselves to accept and obey is that children are the most important in the Kingdom of God. To accept, recognize and affirm a child with that exalted status and dignity is to accept Jesus himself.
Opinion: Duterte is worried about the ICC. He should be. | by Carlos H. Conde
Clarita Alia remains anguished, nearly 20 years after I first heard her express her grief.
“His name was Danilo Lugay,” she told me over the phone recently from Davao City, in the southern Philippines. Police killed Lugay in September 2020 during a drug raid; a news report of the killing said he had fought back and police officers shot him. Lugay, 28, was the grandchild of Alia’s sister Naneth.
Alia’s voice cracked as she described what happened — the same pained voice that I heard when I interviewed her in 2002 for a report on the killing of her sons Richard, Christopher and Bobby, all teenagers. Assailants later murdered a fourth son, Fernando, in 2007. This unimaginable family tragedy gave Alia, a vegetable vendor who lives in a slum community, the label of poster mother for the city’s bloody “war on drugs,” in which police use extrajudicial executions instead of prosecutions as a primary method of punishing criminal suspects.
Congratulations, Maria and Rappler. You have made the country proud
Laban ng Masa joins the country in celebrating Maria Ressa’s being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, along with Russian journalist Dimitry Muratov. Maria and the news and opinion outlet she headed up, Rappler, have been in the forefront of the defense of freedom of the press. For continuing to expose the crimes of the Duterte regime, Ressa and Rappler were subjected to legal persecution and attempts at political annihilation and economic asphyxiation by the administration.
The Philippine Movement for Climate Justice mourns the passing of Commission for Human Rights Chair Jose Luis Martin “Chito” Gascon, who was a steady ally in the fight for Climate Justice and Human Rights.
Chito led his inquiry into the effects of climate change to human rights through discussions with petitioners and victims of Climate Catastrophe in the Philippines, as well as scientists and experts on climate change.
Passage of UN Human Rights Council (HRC) Resolution recognizing the right to a safe, healthy and sustainable environment
Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM) welcomes the recent passage of the UN Human Rights Council recognizing the right to a safe, health and sustainable environment, in Geneva. While the resolution is not binding to all member-states, this sends a strong message to all countries on the urgency of addressing climate change impacts and listening to the demands of the most vulnerable countries as we face greater risks especially in the midst of this pandemic.
ATM believes that the Philippine government must immediately pass domestic laws and national policies that will subscribe and fulfill this mandate. It is necessary to recall that the 1987 Philippine Constitution already recognizes this under Article 2, Section 16 which states “The State shall protect and advance the right of the people to a balanced and healthful ecology in accord with the rhythm and harmony of nature”.
Pagpupugay at pasasalamat sa buhay na inialay sa pagtatanggol ng karapatang pantao
Nagluluksa ang iDEFEND kabilang ang komunidad ng mga human rights defenders sa biglang pagyao ng Chairperson ng Commission on Human Rights of the Philippines na si José Luis Martín C. Gascón. Kilala bilang Chair Chito, saksi ang iDEFEND sa kanyang dakilang buhay at paninindigan para sa kalayaan, demokrasya at karapatang pantao. Nakakadalo siya sa ating general assembly upang makipagtalakayan sa mga usapin ng ating bansa at himukin ang ibayong pagkilos, pagharap sa mga pagsubok at pagkakaisa.
KWENTO NATIN ‘TO: Catch these events and be inspired in reclaiming the stories of our nation as we near the 2022 elections
With the theme Kwento Natin ‘To: Reclaiming the Stories of our Nation, human rights organization DAKILA jam-packed the Active Vista International Human Rights Festival (AVIHRF) 2021 with events, forums, and film screenings that tell the stories — real and imagined — of our fellow Filipinos. One of the festival’s forums, Press in Distress: Will Independent Journalism Survive in SEA?, also witnessed a historical moment when speaker Maria Ressa, Rappler CEO and president, received the news of her being the first-ever Filipino to win the Nobel Peace Prize live during the forum.
As the national elections draw near — when warring narratives try to fill our consciousness — DAKILA and Active Vista shall continue to bring forward events on the last two days of the festival that will contribute to shaping and reclaiming the narrative of our nation come the 2022 elections.
So as the festival closes on October 10, invite your friends and family members! We’ve got an epic line-up of relevant events to fill your weekend!
Statement of CHR spokesperson, Atty. Jacqueline Ann de Guia, on the passing of CHR Chairperson Chito Gascon
It is with deepest sorrow that we announce the passing of Chairperson Jose Luis Martin “Chito” Gascon. He passed away early this Saturday morning, 9 October 2021, due to Covid-19 complications. He was 57.
At a time of unprecedented human rights challenges, Chair Chito courageously and steadfastly upheld the constitutional mandate of the Commission. Amidst the unrelenting attacks against the institution and to him personally, he was unwavering and unflinching in fighting for the universal values of freedom, truth, and justice that are essential in the pursuit of human rights. He was undaunting in the fight for human rights, rule of law, and democracy out of deep reverence to the equal rights and dignity of all.
ATING GURO to file Nomination for Partylist Elections
Teachers’ group ATING GURO Partylist will file its certificate of nomination as well as the individual CONA of its nominees today, October 7.
This despite the Comelec’s initial denial of their petition for accreditation to allow them to participate in next year’s partylist elections. On June 25, the Comelec Second Division dismissed the instant petition filed by the party for two grounds, first that the petition signed by the party’s Public Information Officer (PIO) designated by the party’s governing board as certified by its Chairperson and Secretary-General. And that the party failed to prove that majority of its members belong to the sector it wishes to represent- teachers, active and retired, public and private and their dependents.
Low wages, attacks on workers rights, hinder fulfillment of decent work agenda – EILER
The country still lags behind on the Decent Work Agenda, according to Labor NGO Ecumenical Institute for Labor Education and Research (EILER).
As the domestic employment crisis deepens, more and more workers are forced to engage in irregular, precarious or intermittent employment with lower wages. Widespread joblosses, rampant contractualization, and inadequate decent job opportunities with living wages, are worsened by the militaristic pandemic response and intensified repression against trade union and human rights.
Killing State: Confronting the Normalization of State Violence in the Philippines
The Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA), Fastenopfer, Franciscans International (FI), and the Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA) would like to invite your organization or representatives to the “Killing State: Confronting the Normalization of State Violence in the Philippines” on Thursday, October 7, 2021 at 5PM Philippine time.
‘Press in Distress: Will Independent Journalism Survive In SEA?’
It’s not just in the Philippines. Cracking down on press freedom is a tactic used by other governments with authoritarian tendencies, including those of our neighbors Indonesia and Malaysia. We can push back—as one. In Press in Distress: Will Independent Journalism Survive in SEA?, media organizations and press freedom advocates from all three countries will come together in a live forum to discuss how we all can work together to overcome local and regional threats to press freedom.
DAKILA, Active Vista, Rappler (Philippines), Aliansi Jurnalis Independen (Indonesia), Centre for Independent Journalism (Malaysia), Freedom Film Network (Malaysia), and Gerakan Media Merdeka (Malaysia) invite you to ‘Press in Distress: Will Independent Journalism Survive In SEA?’, a simultaneous regional forum on the state of the press in Southeast Asia on October 8, 2021, Friday, 4:00 pm.
More than flowers and praises, teachers deserve dignity (Statement for World Teachers’ Day 2021)
This school year will be the second chapter of Philippine education under the pandemic. Last September 13, a new school year was, according to the DEpEd, successfully opened. But we have to forgo most of the excitement that accompany school openings.
Only a month earlier, new cases of infection hovered in the vicinity of the dreaded 20K per day, a streak of record highs Filipinos could only watch with their eyes. Then came the announced pilot implementation of face-to-face classes in some 120 schools that seems to have miraculously “managed” the Covid-19 inflation somewhat.
The Rise Against Reprisals: An Online Forum on the Situation of Human Rights Defenders in the Philippines
The Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA), Fastenopfer, Franciscans International (FI), and the Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA) present The Rise Against Reprisals: An Online Forum on the Situation of Human Rights Defenders in the Philippines on Monday, October 4, 2021, at 5PM Philippine time.
Philippines: International community must support independent investigative mechanism to end attacks on civil society
New research on the state of civic freedoms in the Philipines
CIVICUS, the global civil society alliance, continues to call on the UN Human Rights Council to establish an independent investigative mechanism to address human rights violations and abuses in the Philippines to further accountability and justice. A new brief published today, shows that one year on from the adoption of a profoundly weak resolution at the Council, serious civic freedoms violations continue to occur, creating a chilling effect within civil society.
The CIVICUS Monitor has documented the arbitrary arrest and detention of human rights defenders and activists on fabricated charges. In a number of instances, the activists have been vilified and red-tagged – labelled as communists or terrorists – in relation to their work prior to their arrest. There have also been reports of evidence planted by the police and military forces to justify arrests or violence against activists.
Torture and Abuse of Children in Jails Shay Cullen 24 September 2021
The unpleasant truths about the torture and abuse of children behind bars are the truths that may not set us free from guilt, apathy, and indifference. It is not only in the Philippines’ Bahay Pag-Asa, youth detention jails, that children and youth are maltreated and abused in detention but also in many countries. Treating youth as criminals has a life-long traumatic impact on them. One thing for sure is the loss of trust and respect for the adult world of authority that allows them to be abused. As the saying goes, “Abuse a child and you make an enemy.”
In Cambodia, last June, Kak Sovann Chhay, an autistic 16-year old Cambodian teenager following the human rights activism of his jailed father, was jailed. Kak Sovann Chhay sent a message on Telegram to government supporters that were considered insulting to government officials. The police broke into his house without a warrant. He was handcuffed, arrested, beaten and jailed in the adult jail of the Cambodian capital, Phnom Penh. His mother is not allowed to visit him. A lawyer has and reports squalid conditions not fit for an animal. UN officials have been alerted and expressed urgent concern for violations of his human rights. He is facing two years in jail in the notorious sub-human conditions of a Cambodian prison. https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-58588022