Tag Archives: Human Rights

[Statement] on the recent wave of attacks against lawyers and activists | Centerlaw

#HumanRights #Killings

Centerlaw statement on the recent wave of attacks against lawyers and activists

Bloodshed continues at the hands of the police and military, with the latest crackdown on activist groups resulting in the deaths of nine individuals in the CALABARZON region. This comes immediately in the wake of a public kill order made by the Chief Executive, with a call for the police and military to ignore human rights. The assault on members of the legal profession is likewise unrelenting with the attack on Atty. Angelo Karlo Guillen, counsel for one of the petitions against the Anti-Terror Law.

CenterLaw once again condemns the culture of killing and violence that continues to thrive under the auspices of power. The series of violent attacks and arrests that took place within the span of a week is but a grim reminder of the larger pattern of impunity plaguing the country. They are repeated intrusions on fundamental liberties and civic spaces reserved for the healthy and constitutionally protected exercise of dissent. The unbridled use of violence in law enforcement operations is incompatible with the rule of law and has no place in Philippine legal order. What is more alarming is that procedural rules before the courts have been exploited to facilitate and lend legitimacy to the attacks.

CenterLaw calls on police officers and members of the armed forces to carry out their duties with full respect for legal processes and within the confines of the law. We repeat our demand for accountability for all past abuses and to put an end to the terror that has become so commonplace in our society. We also call on the Supreme Court to undertake its duty by promulgating rules aimed at safeguarding constitutional rights. Life and liberty are sacred. They must be protected at all times against any and all forms of threat and attack.

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[Press Release] Apela ng mga guro sa DEPED, pagpahingahin niyo naman kami! | TDC

#HumanRights #Teachers

Apela ng mga guro sa DEPED, pagpahingahin niyo naman kami!
Virtual training na panonoorin sa youtube, hiniling na ipatigil

Mariing tinututulan ng mga guro sa pampublikong paaralan ang balak na pagsasagawa ng in-service training (INSET) ng Department of Education (DepEd) sa pamamagitan ng maghapong panonood lang sa YouTube sa loob ng isang linggo mula Marso 15 hanggang Marso 19.

“Hindi na nga magkandaugaga sa napakaraming trabaho ang mga guro ay ayaw pa rin kaming tigilan ng DepEd. Kung ang kalabaw at makina ay kailangang magpahinga, lalo pa ang mga guro dahil tao kami,” sabi ni Emmalyn Policarpio, guro sa Valenzuela City at Secretary-General ng Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC).

Dagdag pa ni Policarpio ay tila hindi umano nauunawaan ng pamunuan ng DepEd ang kalagayan ng mga guro na sa kasalukuyan ay hindi pa nga nakatatapos sa mga gawain ay dinagdagan na naman. Matatandaang nagkaroon ng adjustment sa school calendar ang DepEd sa pamamagitan ng isang kautusan ni Sec. Leonor Briones noong Marso 2 na nagsasabing magkakaroon ng karagdagang dalawang linggong remediation at intervention activities ang mga guro mula Marso 1 hanggang Marso 12 at sa Marso 15 hanggang 19 naman ay isasagawa ang school-based in-service training o INSET.

“Nagulat na lamang kami na biglang may lumabas na memo na nagsasbaing ang INSET sa March 15-19 ay magmumula sa DepEd Central Office at kami ay obligadong manood sa YouTube maghapon sa loob ng limang araw. Ito ba ay mas produktibo kesa sa iba naming gawain gaya ng pag-check sa modules, paggawa ng grades ng mga bata at mga reports na kailangang isumite?” Tanong ni Policarpio. “Dito pa lamang sa mga ito ay wala nang pahinga ang mga guro dadagdagan pa nila,” ayon muli sa kanya.

Ayon sa DepEd ay pinalawig ng halos isang buwan ang school calendar upang maisaayos ang learning gaps at mabigyan din ng pahinga ang mga batang mag-aaral. Ang sagot naman sa TDC ay dapat din umanong bigyan ng pahinga ang mga guro.

Sinegundahan naman ito ni Juanito Dona, Jr., Secretary-General ng Ating Guro Partylist (AGP). Ayon sa kanya, “Mawawalan ng saysay ang training na ito ukol sa online teaching sapagkat mas marami sa mga mag-aaral sa public school ay modular distance learning ang napiling modality. Kung sakali mang kailangan ang ganitong training, maaari naman itong gawin sa hinaharap, hindi ngayong panahon na ito.”

Nababahala rin umano ang AGP sa sitwasyon ngayon ng mga guro na tila ba wala nang patid sa paggampan sa kanilang trabaho na maaaring naisasakripisyo na ang kanilang kalusugan.

“Ang santambak na clerical tasks, online meetings, webinars at pisikal na mga trabaho ay maaaring makasama sa kalusugan ng ating mga guro. Idagdag pa ang stress na dulot ng pandemya, baka kailangan muna nating tiyakin ang kalusugan ng mga guro- physically, psychologically at mentally,” dagdag pa ni Dona.

Ayon pa rin sa dalawang grupo ay hindi man lang umano kinunsulta ang mga guro hinggil sa planong ito ng DepEd o tinanong man lang nila ang opinyon o damdamin ng mga karaniwang guro na araw-araw humaharap sa mga pagsubok magampanan lamang ang kanilang tungkulin.

“Sana naman po ay pakinggan ng ating Kalihim Liling Briones ang aming hinaing at agad na niyang ipatigil ang INSET na ito at hayaan na lamang magpasya ang mga paaralan at indibidwal na mga guro sa kung paanong paraan nila magagawa ang kanilang mga trabaho. At kung maaari sana ay ideklara na lamang na pahinga ng mga guro ang isang linggong ito,” ayon muli kay Policarpio.

Bagamat hinihingi ng mga guro ang isang linggong break, ayon sa kanila ay hindi rin umano ito masasabing pahinga sapagkat kailangan pa rin nilang tapusin ang mga gawain matapos ang second quarter.

Samatala, pormal nang umapela sa DepEd ang TDC hinggil sa bagay na ito, ayon sa sulat ni TDC National Chairperson Benjo Basas kay Sec. Briones, “We therefore appeal to your office to withdraw the said memorandum which forces our 900, 000 teachers to participate in a virtual INSET via YouTube, cancel this plan for now and give teachers time to breathe, a little at least, while doing other paperwork. And while contemplating the details of the next INSET, perhaps the department could give better efforts at providing for internet expense of teachers. Internet connection exceeds ₱1,000 a month yet the miniscule ₱300 monthly communication expenses reimbursement promised under DepEd Order No. 38, s. 2020 have yet to be realized in many schools.”

Isang online petition din ang magkasamang inilunsad ng TDC at AGP para kumalap ng suporta ng mga guro.#

For details:

Emmlayn Policarpio, TDC Secretary-General, 0923-0819751
JR Dona, Ating Guro Partylist Secretary-General, 0965-5470700

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[Press Release] Kapangyarihan ng Kababaihan, Women’s Response to Duterte | World March of Women

#HumanRights #IntlWomensDay2021

On the Occasion of March 8 Celebration
Kapangyarihan ng Kababaihan, Women’s Response to Duterte

Photo from World March of Women

Over one hundred and fifty (150) women showed up at Plaza Miranda this morning beating drums, chanting “Kami ay Peminista, Hindi Terorista.”

“The pandemic has shown the strength of Filipino women not only to cope with but overcome the multiple responsibilities we carry and roles we undertake in the family and household, in the workplace, at the frontlines of the fight against COVID-19, in various civic and political spaces despite the threat of the virus and while limited by the adherence to health protocols,” said Ana Maria Nemenzo, National Coordinator of WomanHealth Philippines.

On the other hand, Jean Enriquez, Executive Director of the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women – Asia Pacific (CATW-AP) and National Coordinator of World March of Women (WMW), asserted that “the health crisis, too, has further unmasked the Duterte regime.” “It has exposed its weak leadership—with its failure in governance and to address the social-economic crises exacerbated by the pandemic,” according to the WMW statement.“It could only cover up this failure with increased brutality through its security forces, as seen in police harassment of ordinary people while those in authority could violate social and health protocols with impunity, in terrorist-tagging that has led to the murder of activists and civilians, in intensified military operations among urban and rural communities, and in repeatedly dismissing women’s capacity for leadership,” added Enriquez.

“Babae and hardest hit ng pandemya. Siya rin ang matapang napumapasan ng mahihirap na trabaho sa frontlines, kahit tanggalanng trabaho ang dala ng pandemya,” said Judy Ann Chan-Miranda of Partido Manggagawa. More women lost their jobs compared to men, 1.7 times more in most countries, according to the International Labor Organization. In a developing country such as the Philippines, where majority of women work in the informal or invisible sector, they have been the most affected, explained Miranda.

“Sa panahon ng ganitong krisis, nakakalungkot na ang perspektibang kasarian ang napagwawalang-bahala. Sa pag-aayos ng mgaproblema ng bansa, mahalaga na tugunan ang di-pagkakapantay-pantay na nararanasan ng kababaihan,” asserted Myrna Jimenezof Sarilaya. It is extremely important that women are not left behind during this pandemic. For us, there is really no better time to get involved and fight for our rights but now,” Jimenez added.

Meanwhile, the pandemic has aggravated other social-political issues in the country especially those affecting and confronted by indigenous peoples.

“The pandemic and climate change have worsened food insecurity among indigenous communities,” said Judy Pasimio of LILAK (Purple Action for Indigenous Women’s Rights). Indigenous women continue to defend their lands and rights, as food providers and defenders of women human rights, against destructive mining operations, industrial plantations, and mega-dams—industries which destroy food sources of indigenous and rural communities, according to Pasimio. “While they face state accusations that they are terrorists or sympathizers of terrorists, they continue to care for their communities and to struggle,” she added. “Amidst the pandemic, they continue to fight,” said Pasimio.

“But opposite the kind of power that the Duterte regime wields—the kind that oppresses and even kills, the kind that steps on the interest of ordinary people, mocks and manipulates legitimate grievances of the public, promotes and entrenches the political and economic elite, and the kind that betrays national interest to connive with foreign interest—is woman power, the kind that liberates from oppression, engenders social-economic and political equality, fights against all forms of discrimination and marginalization, and promotes human dignity,” according to the WMW statement. “Feminism is the kind of power that is not afraid; that emboldens women to be at the frontlines, to be leaders and warriors, to dream, fight for, and realize genuine change,” the grassroots feminist movement added. The action included survivors of prostitution and women relatives of extra-judicial killings, all wearing purple and chanting “Kamingmga Babae, Laging Umaabante.”

“We, women together with a broader labor movement would like our government to invest their energy and resources to develop a robust public employment program,” said Michelle Lising, Chairperson of Sentro Women’s Council. “This is needed to address the deep economic crisis, and such policies should include climate jobs, employment and income guarantees,” added Lising.

The Center for Migrant Advocacy (CMA) is also calling for more long-term support and protection for overseas Filipino workers and migrants, among whom majority of women have been the most adversely affected by the pandemic and corresponding lockdowns in countries around the globe. “There should be more long-term assistance for our Filipinos working abroad who were displaced by the pandemic as well as policies that will ensure for their sustainable protection especially against abuse of women,” said Ellene Sana, Executive Director of CMA.

“Five years after Rodrigo Duterte got elected as president, women’s situation in the Philippines worsened,” claimed Jelen Paclarin, Women’s Legal and Human Rights Bureau (WLB). “Women who criticized Duterte’s blatant remarks and wrongdoings have experienced denigration, vilification, and became the central topic of his sexist jokes to entertain people or divert the issue fired at him,” added Paclarin. According to WLB, with this kind of leadership and pronouncements, Duterte has solidified that stereotyping, shaming, and silencing women is normal and acceptable in our society. “President Duterte continues to disregard the rights of women as guaranteed by the 1987 PhilippineConstitution and their important role in nation-building,” said Paclarin.

Foundation for Media Alternatives (FMA) Executive Director Liza Garcia also shared the significance of online spaces in women’s rights: “Violence against women committed online have spiked in 2020 by up to 165%, based on our data mapping results: Women are still being targeted with sextortion, non-consensual circulation of intimate images, and sexual threats. Reports of deepfaked videos and photos of women, and disinformation against women human rights defenders also continue to surface.” “These persistent threats impede women from fully exercising online the same human rights that they have offline,” according to Garcia. “If left unaddressed, the gender gaps and existing violence online is tantamount to allowing the ICTs to be just as oppressive as the many forces offline that hinder women from progress,” she said. “Not only is a VAW-free Internet vital to women’s meaningful connectivity, it is also part and parcel of making safe spaces for women and supporting the gender equality that we are all striving towards,” added Garcia.

#BabaeMakapangyarihan was the hashtag used by the group in posting International Women’s Day captions.

Contact Persons : Jean Enriquez 09778105326, Judy Miranda 09175570777

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[Event] Milenyors Noon, Millennials Ngayon: Karapatan ipinaglaban nila noon, isusuko mo ba ngayon? | Kaisa Ka

#HumanRights #Women

Milenyors Noon, Millennials Ngayon: Karapatan ipinaglaban nila noon, isusuko mo ba ngayon?

Taralets!
Ngayong Marso 8, 2021 sa alas 6PM Makilahok, makinig sa mga testimonya at kwento ng kababaihan sa ating pagharap ng mga hamon ng ating panahon.

#ragepinay

https://web.facebook.com/KAISAKAnational/photos/a.138170453598900/899812137434724/

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[Event] Kababaihan Lumaban Ka! | Oriang

#HumanRights #Women

From Oriang FB page

Sumama sa Martsa ng Kababaihan bilang paggunita sa Pandaigdigang Araw ng Kababaihan sa Marso 8, 2021!

Kababaihan Magkaisa!

#LabanOriangLabanKababaihan2021

#8March2021

https://web.facebook.com/OriangLumalaban/photos/a.250353605471382/1046449792528422/

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[Statement] on the brazen attack on the life of the human rights lawyer, Atty. Angelo Karlo Guillen | CHR VI

#HumanRights #Killings

Statement on the brazen attack on the life of the human rights lawyer, Atty. Angelo Karlo Guillen | CHR VI

The Commission on Human Rights Region VI strongly condemns and denounces the brazen attempt on the life of Atty. Angelo Karlo Guillen by unknown assailants in the evening of March 3, 2021 along General Luna Street in Iloilo City.

The increasing number of violent attacks against lawyers deserves utmost attention and condemnation to the highest degree. Lawyers must never be subjected to attacks for merely performing their duties. Lawyers are essential for the attainment of justice and the rule of law. Regardless of who they represent, lawyers must be given enough freedom to freely exercise their profession without threats of attack and violence upon their person.

The Commission on Human Rights calls upon our Philippine National Police and other law enforcement officers to swiftly and effectively investigate this case and to bring the perpetrators to justice. We also urge the government to provide measures in order to safeguard the rights of the people against such attacks.

Atty. Jonnie L. Dabuco
CHR VI Director

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[Event] #BabaeMakapangyarihan | World March Of Women

#HumanRights #Women

Dalhin po ang inyong tambol o iba pang percussion instruments sa Marso 8, ika 9 ng umaga sa Plaza Miranda 💜🎶

#BabaeMakapangyarihan

https://web.facebook.com/wmw.ph/photos/a.336254526861414/1037076510112542/

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[From the web] Women need more vaccines, not tarpaulins! | Akbayan

#HumanRights #Women #COVID19ph

Women need more vaccines, not tarpaulins!

Photo from Akbayan FB page

“More vaccines, not tarpaulins!”

This was the message conveyed by women members of Akbayan Partylist as they unfurled a banner at a footbridge in Quezon City on Thursday marking this year’s International Women’s Month.

The Akbayan women said that they are calling for more vaccine options for the public and an end to early and expensive election campaigning amid the country’s efforts to contain COVID-19.

“Women want more vaccine options. The more vaccines that are made available, the more lives we can save, and the sooner we can all realize a new and better normal for all. Campaign tarpaulins and other early and expensive election campaigning will not save lives nor protect women from the global health crisis,” Akbayan Chair Emeritus Etta Rosales said.

It was reported that tarpaulins that carried messages urging Presidential daughter and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte to run for president in 2022 appeared in different parts of the country. Duterte and her supporters drew flak from the public as the tarpaulins sprouted in different areas amid the country’s lack of vaccines against COVID-19.

“As women, who are one of the most vulnerable sectors to the pandemic, we are scandalized by this early election campaigning in the middle of a global health crisis. Hindi bale sana kung ganoon din kabilis ang rollout ng bakuna gaya ng paglalagay nila ng mga tarpaulin sa buong bansa,” Rosales said.

Rosales, who is also a former partylist representative, explained that women have every right to call for more vaccines as they bear the brunt of the pandemic.

“From facing a higher risk of COVID-19 transmission and deaths, as majority of health frontliners are women, to loss of jobs and increasing gender-based violence, COVID-19 has hit women harder and worsened gender inequality. Let us not add furthermore to our women’s multiple burden by depriving them of a fast, safe and efficient vaccine program,” Rosales said.

“We call on the government to provide a safe, adequate, and effective vaccination plan for all. We also call for the faster arrival of more vaccines to give the public, particularly women, the widest array options to protect ourselves from COVID-19,” Rosales said.

https://web.facebook.com/AkbayanParty/photos/a.99632461555/10157600362061556/

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[Featured Site] QuaranTalk Media

#HumanRights #Information

QuaranTalk Media

Digital media group producing online shows; provides multimedia production services.
Empowering the Filipino. Inspiring action. Serving the People.

Contact:
0917 546 9472
quarantalkonline@gmail.com

https://web.facebook.com/quarantalkmedia/videos/1164050063989932

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THURSDAYS
▪️9pm – “Throwback Kasaysayan” with Prof. Francisco Jayme Guiang
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▪️9pm – “SDG Online Tambayan” with 2030 Youth Force in the Philippines Inc.
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Handog ito sa inyo ng #QuarantalkMedia.
Empowering the Filipino.
Inspiring action.
Serving the People.

#QuarantalkMedia #QTMedia

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[Statement] Climate Justice Group calls on Duterte to take Paris Agreement seriously; PH vulnerable to destruction from climate change | PMCJ

#HumanRights #ClimateJustice

Climate Justice Group calls on Duterte to take Paris Agreement seriously; PH vulnerable to destruction from climate change

On February 24, 2021, President Rodrigo Duterte acknowledged the reality of the negative impact of climate change through his weekly national address, citing the rapid increase of flooding in multiple areas, “Noong una, ‘yong climate change medyo ano [sic] pa ako noon na parang ayaw ko maniwala. But ngayon, sobra talaga ang tubig na galing sa langit because of [sic] umiinit ho ang planeta”. In 2016, President Duterte refused to sign the Paris Treaty on behalf of the country citing the Philippines’ need to industrialize, before finally agreeing to sign it in 2017 after pressure from several climate justice groups.

It has been proven through scientific research that flooding comes as a consequence of industrial mining operations and deforestation, a fact that which President Duterte fails to acknowledge in his weekly address, concluding his statement on increased incidences of flooding in the country by stating that “there is only one thing really that can save this planet, it’s God. Maybe we should pray more, whatever the God.” Philippine Movement for Climate Justice’s National Coordinator Ian Rivera states that, “With this kind of thinking, and coming from a head of a country that is most vulnerable to climate change, will the Filipinos be saved from the impacts of the climate crisis? Prayer must always be supplemented by action—and for this anthropogenic climate crisis, what we need is a president who understands the science and the leadership it so requires for concrete efforts. The situation is still not hopeless.” He continues that the country may still reduce the negative effects of climate change, should the administration remain ambitious in following through with our Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) to the treaty, as well as “the moral charge to demand those actions from rich polluter countries”.

The Philippines remains one of the most vulnerable nations to the destructive effects of climate change. PMCJ calls on President Rodrigo Duterte and his administration to put climate justice at the forefront of the Philippine survival from the climate crisis. Through concretizing efforts towards an ambitious NDC, and upholding our country’s end of the Paris Agreement, it is possible to reverse the catastrophic effects of climate change, and achieve a global temperature of not more than 1.5 degrees c.

https://web.facebook.com/ClimateJusticePH/photos/a.153468781484242/1790241807806923/

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[Press Release] TDC welcomes dismissal of DEPED plan to reduce teachers’ vacation period

#HumanRights #Teachers

TDC welcomes dismissal of DEPED plan to reduce teachers’ vacation period

The Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC) welcomes the statement from the Department of Education (DepEd) that it will no longer pursue the plan to impose a “two-week vacation” prior to the opening of the next school year.

“Teachers, by tradition and by rules are entitled to a two-month school break and the DepEd cannot just disregard this, it’s a matter of right,” said TDC National Chairperson Benjo Basas.

In a radio interview this morning, Dr. Diosdado San Antonio, Undersecretary for Curriculum and Instruction said that the agency will no longer propose a two-week break between school years 2020-2021 and 2021-2022 following criticisms from netizens opposing the plan, which made the matter a trending topic in several social media platforms last week.

The TDC earlier said that a school break of only two weeks between two academic years is unacceptable especially that distance learning has been physically, mentally and psychologically exhausting both for teachers and learners.

Yesterday, the DepEd has released the DepEd Order No. 12, s. 2021 providing for the new schedule of activities under the current school year, extending it further to July 10, among other changes. Said Order, however does not provide for the school break between the SY 2020-2021 and SY 2021-2022.

“Since there are now changes in the schedule, the two-month break should be adjusted as well,” Basas ended.

Basas said that this is only a proof that DepEd can make sound policies if they will listen to their stakeholders, especially the teachers. In a hearing of the Senate Education Committee this morning, Basas reiterated that DepEd should include the teachers, the front liners in education sector in crafting its policies. #

For details:
Benjo Basas, National Chairperson
0927-3356375
NEWS RELEASE
March 3, 2021

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[Press Release] Toxics Watchdog Group Exposes Online Sale of Chemical Whiteners Laced with Mercury | EcoWaste Coalition

#HumanRights #Environment

Toxics Watchdog Group Exposes Online Sale of Chemical Whiteners Laced with Mercury
(EcoWaste Coalition cautions consumers against mercury-containing skin whitening cosmetics in the wake of 3.3. online shopping spree)

Photo by EcoWaste Coalition

The toxics watchdog group EcoWaste Coalition today released a new report revealing the unethical and unlawful use of online shopping and social media sites to sell skin bleaching, lightening or whitening products containing mercury, a dangerous poison banned in cosmetic product formulations.

The advocacy group for a zero waste and toxics-free society launched the report “Toxic Exposé: Online Trade of Mercury-Containing Skin Whitening Cosmetics in the Philippines” ahead of the 3.3 (which is equivalent to March 3) online shopping bonanza by e-commerce giants Lazada and Shopee.

The group conducted the investigation to generate data that will help stem both the supply and demand for mercury-containing cosmetics and promote the implementation of the Minamata Convention on Mercury, which phased-out in 2020 cosmetics such as skin lightening creams and soaps with mercury above one part per million (ppm).

Of the 65 samples procured from online dealers and subsequently screened for mercury using an X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) device, 40 were found to contain mercury above 1 ppm. Of these 40 samples, 38 had mercury in excess of 1,000 ppm, 25 with over 5,000 ppm, 19 with more than 15,000 ppm, and 5 were loaded with mercury above 25,000 ppm. None of the 65 samples are duly notified or registered with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

“The results of our investigation should push online shopping and social media sites to strictly disallow and monitor the use of their far-reaching platforms to advertise and sell adulterated, counterfeit and unauthorized cosmetics such as those with mercury content,” said Thony Dizon, Chemical Safety Campaigner, EcoWaste Coalition.

“To avoid being harmed by mercury in cosmetics, we appeal to all Filipinos to accept our natural skin color, refuse chemical whiteners, and resist color-based bias, prejudice and discrimination,” he emphasized.

“The recommendations arising from the study, we hope, will contribute to the active implementation of the National Action Plan for the Phase-Out of Mercury-Added Products and the Management of Associated Mercury-Containing Wastes,” Dizon added, “despite the understandable focus of the government and the society on addressing the threats of the COVID-19 pandemic to people’s health and the economy.” The said plan was adopted in 2019 with inputs from concerned stakeholders, including the EcoWaste Coalition.

Dr. Geminn Louis C. Apostol, Assistant Professor at the Ateneo School of Medicine and Public Health, warned consumers that “mercury-added skin whitening products are poison cosmetics that can damage the kidneys, reduce skin’s ability to resist bacterial and fungal infections, and cause a variety of dermal problems such as discoloration, rashes and scarring,” adding that “the disposal of mercury in such products through the wastewater also pollutes our rivers and the oceans and consequently contaminates the food chain.”

“Ecowaste Coalition has exposed a gaping hole in the regulation of adulterated cosmetics containing the dangerous neurotoxin mercury. Their chemical analysis of skin-lightening creams sold through online platforms, leaves no doubt that consumers are being exposed to mercury at levels that can impair their health and that of their unborn children,” stated Lee Bell, Mercury Adviser of the International Pollutants Elimination Network (IPEN), which includes the EcoWaste Coalition among its participating organizations.

“Philippines regulators should launch an immediate crackdown on the sale of these toxic cosmetic products through online platforms and dedicate resources to monitor and identify the suppliers and distributors. There should also be cooperation and information sharing with governments of countries where the mercury laden cosmetics are produced and exported to stop this trade at its source,” he suggested.

To safeguard women‘s health and put a stop to the unlawful trade and consumption of poison cosmetics with mercury, the EcoWaste Coalition has put forward the following recommendations:

— For consumers to shun chemical whiteners, embrace their natural skin color with pride and stand up to color-based bias, prejudice and discrimination, and for those who prefer to lighten their skin tone to reject unauthorized cosmetics that may contain mercury, hydroquinone and other harmful substances.

— For the cosmetics industry to move away from white-centric concepts and ideals of beauty, and promote diversity in beauty instead, including the inherent beauty of one’s natural skin color.

— For e-commerce platforms and social media sites to ban the sale of adulterated, counterfeit and unauthorized cosmetics and for them to keep an eye on and take down non-compliant product ads.

— For the government to strengthen laws and regulations that will regulate and monitor online trade and protect consumers against hazardous products such as mercury-containing cosmetics, and for the authorities to ensure the environmentally sound management of mercury-added products and their wastes.

Prior to its public release, the EcoWaste Coalition provided a copy of “Toxic Exposé” to the FDA for its reference and action.

The said report is part of the group’s “Project Toxic-Free for Human Rights and Sustainable Development in the Philippines” supported by the Swedish Society for Nature Conservation (SSNC).

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[Press Release] DEPED asked to officially clarify the reported extension of SY 2020-2021 | TDC

#HumanRights #Teachers

DEPED asked to officially clarify the reported extension of SY 2020-2021

The Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC) has asked the DepEd to officially respond to a circulating Facebook and SMS message from unknown sources which claims that there will be changes in the schedules of the on-going school year beginning today, March 1, 2021.

“May we respectfully ask your office about the veracity of the said message which is widely circulating since last week,” said Benjo Basas, TDC National Chairperson in a letter addressed to DepEd Secretary Leonor Briones.

The message, TDC said is purportedly an “important announcement and instruction” from a certain “RD” that based on the “ManCom” meeting last February 24, an academic break from March 1 to March 12 will be imposed and an “Inset” for teachers is set on March 15 to March 19. Furthermore, the message announced that the schedule of Quarters 3 and 4 will be moved to March 22 to May 15 and May 17 to July 10, respectively. Finally, it says that the new closing date for the current school year is on July 10, 2021.

The source of the message, however is still unknown, whether there is a ManCom (Management Committee) meeting of the DepEd is yet to be confirmed by the authorities. Earlier though, the DepEd through Dr. Diosdado San Antonio, the undersecretary in-charge for curriculum and instruction said that the agency is planning to extend the current school year and provide a “two-week summer break” before the start of school year 2021-2022. The proposal met criticisms from the teachers and the general public and even became a trending topic in social media.

Basas said that they have received several queries on the legitimacy of the message but could not confirm if it was really coming from a DepEd official as the text would claim. Thus, the group urged the DepEd to release official memorandum or statement so as not to further create confusion in the field. He said that there were reports that teachers were told to prepare for the two-week academic break for learners and in-service training for teachers and that classes will resume on March 22. The general instruction from school officials in the field still, was to wait for an official memorandum.

“Clearly, there are conflicting instructions. And we hope the DepEd would immediately clear this matter to prevent further confusion in the field,” Basas said emphasizing that both the learners and teachers need such break. “We believe that we should give our students a break from taxing academic activities and our teachers from stressful and physically exhausting tasks,” he added.

The TDC also asked the DepEd about its plans on the opening date of school year 2021-2022, according the group, the planned ‘two-week break’ between the two academic years “will not be acceptable.”

“Teachers are entitled to a two-month school break and if the DepEd will modify the scheduled end of current school year, they should also provide for a two-month vacation for our teachers who have been tirelessly working since June 1 of 2020,” Basas ended.

The TDC once again has formally asked the DepEd management for a dialogue to discuss this and other equally important matters. #

For details:
Benjo Basas, 09273356375
NEWS REALEASE
March 1, 2021

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[Video] #1 Reklamador | Ano ba ang ibig sabihin ng dissenting opinion? | HRonlinePH

#HumanRights #RightToDissent

Puro ka reklamo! Ikaw na kaya mag-presidente? Opps… Aral din muna. Alamin ano ang ibig sabihin ng Dissenting Opinion.

Some footage from:
iDefend Livestream
Radio Television Macalañang
Peoples Television
Manila Bulletin
CNN Philippines
Rappler
Senate of the Philippines

Some photos from:
Lilak
Maria Lim

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[Statement] Guevarra report to the UN deflects culpability, accountability from Duterte, shields him from justice | iDEFEND

#HumanRights #StopTheKillings

Guevarra report to the UN deflects culpability, accountability from Duterte, shields him from justice

File photo

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra reported to the United Nations Human Rights Council on Wednesday regarding his initial findings on the extrajudicial killing of drug suspects in the government’s war on drugs. Guevarra mainly highlighted police errors and operational breaches in anti-drug operations in Metro Manila, Bulacan, Pampanga and Cavite, including failure to follow protocol in processing crime scenes and lack of ballistic and paraffin examinations.

It audaciously glossed over the widescale failure to follow protocol and proper procedure by security forces and skipped mentioning the overall policy which directed these killings, then created the environment of impunity for the perpetration of these crimes, downgrading the systematic and brazen disregard for rule of law into individual lapses of judgement by a few bad elements in law enforcement.

Operation Double Barrel, launched by the national police at the prompting of President Duterte, obliterated the rule of law, targeted specific members of the Philippine population for extermination, and violated Constitutionally guaranteed human rights.

Guevarra’s report not only deflects accountability from the President but misrepresents summary executions in the Philippines as mere procedural failures, while maintaining the illusion that domestic mechanisms are intact. This despite the glaring lack of conviction and censure with the mounting death toll from the so-called war on drugs that has abated little in spite of the pandemic.

President Duterte repeatedly promised executive clemency to police should they be convicted of crimes in the conduct of the war on drugs; Duterte encouraged community residents to kill neighbors who use drugs; Duterte issued unverified narco-lists of alleged top drug lords, following which several named therein had been “neutralized” mostly by unknown gunmen.

In his 2020 State of the Nation address the president reiterated that the government will combat COVID19 “with the same fervor as our campaign against illegal drugs, criminality, insurgency…” indicating the continued overarching policy of heavy-handed, repressive measures against violators of local quarantines. According to Human Rights Watch killings went up 50 per cent during the lockdowns.

Now there are attempts to apply aforementioned Operation Double Barrel (Oplan Tokhang) against ‘left-leaning personalities and organizations’ in the northern provinces, sparking concerns of escalated EJKs and human rights violations if enforced. Despite Guevarra’s report of official failures and lapses in the Oplan’s operations, the policy is in full gear, and remains the central theme of Duterte’s governance.

These, along with the government’s non-transparency in its so-called inquiry, the exclusion of families of victims of extrajudicial killings, the Commission on Human Rights and civil society, and most of all the deafening silence in the halls of justice for the more than 30, 000 cases of summary killings, betray the hollow efforts of the Justice department to escape international accountability.

Immediately, in light of the DOJ report, nothing less than the total revocation of Oplan Double Barrel, the prosecution of the perpetrators of extrajudicial killings, providing justice to victims’ families, and the overhaul of the national drug policy towards a rights-based and humane approach can indicate steps in the right direction.

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[Video] Scrap Terror Law! Defend our Spaces for Academic Freedom! Youth-led action | iDEFEND

#HumanRights #TerrorLaw

Scrap Terror Law! Defend our Spaces for Academic Freedom! Youth-led action

Youth-led action against the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020.
LIVE COVERAGE | In Defense of Human Rights and Dignity Movement

JOIN US!
Follow the links:

https://twitter.com/idefendhr​
https://www.youtube.com/iDEFENDph​
https://www.facebook.com/iDEFENDoffic…​

#EndTheAssault​ #ResistDictatorship​ #ScrapTerrorLaw​ #DefendOurSchools​ #ProtectDemocraticSpaces​ #StandForAcademicFreedom​

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[Video] Human Rights News Ngayon – EPISODE 24

#HumanRights #News

Human Rights News Ngayon – EPISODE 24

Mga balitang tungkol sa karapatang pantao na dapat malaman mo!

Bill laban sa diskriminasyon, pasado sa 2nd reading ng kongreso.
Lalaki, ibinaba sa sasakyan at pinagbabaril.
Pag-embasamo bago ang autopsy, bagong polisiya ng PNP?
Oral Arguments para sa ATL, tuloy bukas sa Korte Suprema!
Pamahalaang Lungsod ng QC, suportado ang Academic Freedom sa UP!

Sa ating Kamusta Ka, makikipagkwentuhan tayo sa mga lider-estudyante mula sa Akbayan Youth at We The Future PH sa gagawin nilang pagkilos sa February 2, laban sa ATL at campus repression ang militarization!

Makibalita sa Balitang Birus para sa latest CoViD news tungko sa mga bakuna, testing, at iba pang balitang pang-health!

Makibahagi sa ating Hiling Habilin, mga panawagan para sa pagsubaybay sa oral arguments sa Supreme Court kaugnay ng Anti-terror Law, at iba pa!

SEE LINKS:

FACEBOOK:
https://www.facebook.com/iDEFENDoffic…​

TWITTER:
https://www.twitter.com/iDEFENDhr​

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[Statement] on the forceful taking of the lumad children and red-tagging of their counsel, Children’s Legal Bureau | ALG

#HumanRights #StopRedTagging

Statement of the Alternative Law Groups (ALG) on the forceful taking of the lumad children and red-tagging of their counsel, Children’s Legal Bureau

The Alternative Law Groups (ALG) strongly denounces the red-tagging of the Children’s Legal Bureau, Inc. (CLB), a member of the ALG, and the act of government agencies involved in seizing Lumad children in the University of San Carlos (USC) Talamban on Feb. 15, 2021.

The incident concerns members of the Lumad Bakwit School, children and their teachers alike, that were unlawfully arrested in the USC Talamban campus in Cebu City. This was conducted by the Philippine National Police (PNP), Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), and the Cebu City Department of Social Welfare and Services.

The PNP issued a statement alleging that the children were first “lured to enroll with communist front” and then brought to Cebu City to “undergo revolutionary training as future armed combatants.” They claimed it was a “rescue” operation for Lumad children studying in the Lumad Bakwit School. In truth, the children taken are refugees from militarized areas of Mindanao that are seeking education they do not have access to.

In a statement issued by the CLB, an ALG member that represents seven of the Lumad children, they have indicated that the forceful taking of the children were “unnecessary and uncalled for” because the children were not in a dangerous situation. They further added that greater prudence could have been practiced by the government agencies if the children’s best interest were put first. To add to this grave misconduct by the government, CLB was recently red-tagged in a public poster seen in Mandaue City, Cebu by a certain People for Peace Coalition-Central Visayas.

Chad Errol Booc, volunteer teacher for Math and Science with the Lumad Bakwit School, was among those arrested. Chad along with other indigenous leaders who have long-suffered from red-tagging are assailing the constitutionality of the Anti-Terror Law.

The ALG is alarmed by these incidents that further reinforce the fear of progressive organizations and indigenous peoples that the Anti-Terror Law will be used as a political tool to suppress human rights and other liberties.

The ALG stands by the CLB, the Lumad children and their parents, and the indigenous peoples community and advocates that walk with them. We call on the government to take actions so that the agencies concerned be held accountable. We also continue the call to junk terror law as it only further sows a culture of fear, violence, and impunity.

FreeLumad26

JunkTerrorLaw

SaveOurSchools


Alternative Law Groups
Ateneo Human Rights Center
BALAOD Mindanaw
Environmental Legal Assistance Center, Inc. – ELAC
ERDA Foundation, Inc.
Humanitarian Legal Assistance Foundation, Inc – HLAF
KAISAHAN
Legal Rights and Natural Resources Center
Process Foundation Panay,inc
Rainbow Rights Philippines
SALIGAN
Women’s Legal and Human Rights Bureau – WLB

https://web.facebook.com/TheAlternativeLawGroups/photos/a.806936606128956/1892271134262159/

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[Statement] Anti-terror Act to kill EDSA-like People Power actions | PM

#HumanRights #TerrorLaw

Anti-terror Act to kill EDSA-like People Power actions

A moribund dictatorship finally ended in Edsa on February 25, 1986. That action was called people power – one which was hailed around the world as a bloodless, peaceful revolution. That was thirty-five years ago today, but absent celebrations during the past four years under the Duterte regime, that Edsa spirit has long been lost within the officialdom.

As to the disillusioned public, finding a reason to celebrate Edsa is as hard as finding new, competent post-Edsa leaders as the present regime has also failed their expectations.

Furthermore, it is needless to say that the Duterte regime is anti-Edsa. In fact, it was the failed #30YearsOfEdsa narrative that was utilized by the Marcos-Duterte troll-farms to discredit the so-called ‘yellow candidates’ during the 2016 and 2019 elections. That yellow-tagging narrative was proven effective during the last two elections. And now the shift to red-tagging, with the anti-terrorism law as the administration’s primary instrument.

Under RA 11479 or the anti-terrorism act of 2020 (ATA), it is not just the Edsa spirit that this regime aims to kill but the process itself. The ATA’s overbroad definition of terrorism clearly designates Edsa-like actions as an act of terror.

Had Edsa 86 happened today, Cardinal Sin would likely be charged with terrorist act for calling the people to swarm Edsa to protect renegade leaders such as Enrile and Ramos, while Cory Aquino who claimed the throne as well as protest leaders would also be charged with conspiring to commit a terrorist act. So as Gloria Arroyo during Edsa 2, and the Erap supporters in Edsa 3.

However, for this administration, that historic event that inspired similar political revolutions around the globe is now irrelevant and worse, illegal under the ATA. It is because under Duterte, public order is higher than social justice; punishment is better than freedom and due process.

Accordingly, in ecozones the ATA assumes the name of the Joint Industrial Peace Concerns Office (JIPCO), a detachment inside EPZAs that aims to insulate foreign investors from trade unions and other legitimate union activities. In schools it is open surveillance and red-tagging. In Cordillera there is now ‘tokhang’ which targets left-leaning activists. In Congress, it is the attempt to alter the 1987 Constitution.

Thirty-five years and counting and workers remain threatened with the same policies that sent throngs of people into Edsa to drive out a dictator. We are not seeing that kind of revolution happening today despite the severity of the current economic and leadership crises. But surely, people will get to recognize the fact that killing Edsa is not a mandate they have given to Duterte or to his heir apparent.

The Filipinos’ freedom and sovereignty shall never be surrendered.

PRESS STATEMENT
NAGKAISA Labor Coalition
25 February 2021
Ref: Atty. Sonny Matula
Chairperson

https://web.facebook.com/partidomanggagawa/photos/a.312183494322/10158889442199323/

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[From the web] EcoWaste Coalition Appeals to Senators to Keep Prohibition on Waste Incineration

#HumanRights #Environment

EcoWaste Coalition Appeals to Senators to Keep Prohibition on Waste Incineration

Photo by EcoWaste Coalition

The pollution watchdog EcoWaste Coalition calls on the country’s top legislators to safeguard public health and the environment by keeping intact the Clean Air and Solid Waste Management laws, particularly the ban on waste incineration, as the Philippines marks the 35th anniversary of the EDSA People Power Revolution.

“We are honoring the Filipino people whose bravery and dedication toppled the oppressive leadership of the late dictator, Ferdinand Marcos Sr.. After 35 years of EDSA revolution, our communities and environment are again threatened by the unjust political and social structures that favor transnational corporations and a few individuals,” said Aileen Lucero, National Coordinator of EcoWaste Coalition.

From the martial law period until now, the Philippines still counts as one of the deadliest countries in Asia for land and environmental defenders especially when it comes to fighting for the rights of nature against corporations who pollute the environment.

According to Lucero, one of the recent injustices against nature was the push by the House of Representatives in promoting incineration under the guise of waste-to-energy (WTE) facilities, and the vicious attempt to repeal specific provisions in the Clean Air Act, Ecological Solid Waste Management Act and other relevant laws.

Last year, with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and the declaration of a climate emergency by the House of Representatives, several environment groups, including the EcoWaste Coalition, made the urgent call for policies in mitigating the waste and climate crisis. The declaration urged local governments and government bodies to adopt policies to mitigate climate change.

The groups also asked the government to disallow the funding of dirty energy projects by corporations that greatly contribute to environmental crises and disasters which endanger the health of citizens due to the release of poisonous chemicals such as dioxins and furans.

“This year, as the country continues to battle COVID-19, it is also of utmost importance to use environmentally safe measures in dealing with waste to protect public health and the environment which is obviously not through waste-to-energy incineration,” added Lucero.

“Moreover as we commemorate the EDSA Revolution, we also call on the members of the Senate to set a high moral leadership and put into action the virtues of democracy and love for our country. We need to stop sacrificing our communities and it will start by scrapping the Waste-to-Energy Bill,” further added Lucero.

According to a factsheet by GAIA Asia Pacific, while marketed in the guise of advancing renewable energy, WTE incineration is not an environmentally sustainable form of energy source and waste management solution. It is a known fact that when burning of waste happens, toxic substances are released which undeniably compromise the health and safety of individuals, the factsheet said.

“It is really very important in calling on the government to scrap this proposal on waste-to-energy (WTE) incineration and to show its sincerity for the sake of the health and well-being of the people. Our lawmakers should instead uphold our existing environmental laws and approve the green laws pending in the 18th Congress, including the passage of the National Single-Use Plastics Ban as well as ordinances that would hold culprits accountable of polluting practices,” Lucero ended.


EcoWaste Coalition
78-A Masigla Extension, Barangay Central, 1100 Quezon City, Philippines
Phone: +632-82944807 E-Mail: info@ecowastecoalition.org
Website: http://www.ecowastecoalition.org, http://ecowastecoalition.blogspot.com

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