Tag Archives: iDEFEND

[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

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

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[Statement] Time for a full reckoning with historical injustices in the Philippines-iDEFEND

#HumanRights #SocialJustice

Time for a full reckoning with historical injustices in the Philippines-iDEFEND

iDEFEND statement on the occasion of world social justice day

The superior virtue, said the late Senator and human rights lawyer Jose “Ka Pepe” Diokno, is not to receive justice, it is to fight relentlessly for it.

These words ring especially loud today on the occasion of the World Day of Social Justice–an international day recognizing the need to promote social justice, including the efforts to tackle poverty, exclusion, gender equality, unemployment, human rights, and social protections– as we reflect upon the continuing struggle for the realization of social justice and life with dignity.

The UN General Assembly Resolution declaring this special occasion stressed that “social development and social justice cannot be attained in the absence of peace and security or in the absence of respect for all human rights and fundamental freedoms.”

There is no false dichotomy between development and human rights. The people’s aspirations for a life of dignity rests on the fulfilment of all human rights- civil and political, economic, social and cultural rights.

Our Constitution spelled out our common goal and purpose as sovereign Filipino people the building of a just and humane society …our ideals and aspirations, promote the common good, conserve and develop our patrimony, and secure to ourselves and our posterity the blessings of independence and democracy under the rule of law and a regime of truth, justice, freedom, love, equality, and peace.”

Read full statement @https://idefend.ph

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[Video] #DefendUP: Livestream discussion on the UP-DND Accord Termination

#HumanRights #DefendUP

Livestream discussion on the UP-DND Accord Termination
Jan. 21, 2021

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Follow the links:

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

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

Resource Speakers:
Ms. Sonia Soto
Signatory to the Soto-Enrile Accord
Journalist / Founding Chairperson of Kaisa Ka Women’s Movement

Ms. Patricia Daloria
UP Baguio / We The Future PH / Bahaghari

Ms. Precy Dagooc
Youth for Nationalism and Democracy

Mr. RJ Naguit
Akbayan Youth

Ms. Rose Trajano
Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates

Dr. Nymia Pimentel – Simbulan
UP-Manila Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, Chairperson of Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA)
UP CSWCD Faculty Members’ Statement on the unilateral abrogation of UP-DND Accord

Youth Summit Unity Statement to be read by We the Future PH

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[Video] Watch! Coverage of Youth-led action against the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 -PAHRA/iDEFEND

#HumanRights #ScrapTerrorLaw

Scrap Terror Law!
Defend our Spaces for Academic Freedom
Youth-led action against the Anti-Terrorisim Act of 2020.
UP Diliman

LIVE COVERAGE at 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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[Statement] Impeachment case vs Leonen – a desperate act by a desperate Bongbong Marcos -iDEFEND

Impeachment case vs Leonen – a desperate act by a desperate Bongbong Marcos
In Defense of Human Rights and Dignity Movement (iDEFEND)
December 21, 2020

IDEFEND calls on Congress to junk immediately the unfounded, farcical impeachment complaint against Supreme Court Justice Marvic Leonen.

While we respect and uphold the right of the people to seek accountability from erring public officials, this impeachment complaint is nothing but a frantic act of desperation by Bongbong Marcos to gain a seat in Malacañang. Justice Leonen is the justice-in-charge of the Marcos electoral protest with the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET). The Marcos camp views Leonen as a critical voice in the Court that must be silenced.

In the past weeks, we have witnessed the scurry of actions of the Bongbong Marcos camp. In the first week of November, Solicitor General Calida, with lawyer Lorenzo Gadon, requested for Justice Leonen’s statement of liabilities and net worth (SALN), apparently in preparation for a quo warranto case against Leonen. This was the same controversial tack that was taken by Gadon to remove then Supreme Court Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno. However, the Supreme Court denied the request of SG Calida. With nothing to move them forward with the quo warranto, SG Calida and Bongbong Marcos filed a motion with the Supreme Court calling for the inhibition of Justice Leonen from participating in the electoral protest proceedings filed at the PET. This was unanimously denied by the Supreme Court.

And now, this impeachment complaint filed in Congress by Gadon, on behalf of a certain Edwin Cordevilla and quickly endorsed by Marcos’ cousin, Cong. Angelo Marcos Barba. Despite the obvious connection, Gadon continues to insist that this has nothing to do with the electoral protest of Bongbong Marcos.

The Congress must see this for what it is – a desperate attempt by Bongbong Marcos to remove what he considers a hindrance to him securing a position in the Malacañang; a weak, unfounded petition, with no impeachable offense cited. Retired Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio demolished every ground raised by Gadon in the petition, and other legal luminaries have declared this petition as baseless.

Congress must immediately declare this as lacking in substance.

The use of accountability mechanisms, such as impeachment, should be reserved for serious offenses – such as graft and corruption, betrayal of public trust, treason. Not willing to be bullied by a power greedy Marcos is not a serious offense. It is called integrity. A trait that is becoming scarce in this government.

We strongly urge Congress to focus on real urgent issues that Filipino people face today – deepening poverty with 7.6 million families experiencing hunger, increasing unemployment rate, with 7.3 million unemployed Filipinos, and the COVID 19 crisis that we are in, with 449 thousand cases.

Junk the Marcos’ impeachment petition against Justice Leonen.

Never again to Marcos. Never again.

SIGNED iDEFEND MEMBERS:

  1. Emmanuel Amistad, Task Force Detainees of the Philippines
  2. Egay Cabalitan, HR Online Philippines
  3. Marie Marguerite M. Lopez, SANLAKAS
  4. Judy Pasimio, LILAK (Purple Action for Indigenous Women’s Rights)
  5. Virgie Suarez, Kilusan Para sa Pambansang Demokrasya
  6. Rene de la Cruz, ng mga Manggagawa sa Agrikultura
  7. Jaybee Garganera, Alyansa Tigil Mina
  8. Joseph Purugganan, Focus on the Global South
  9. Edeliza Hernandez, Medical Action Group
  10. Ritz Lee Santos III, Balaod Mindanao
  11. Zeena Manglinong, Freedom from Debt Coalition
  12. Kapatiran sa Dalawang Gulong KAGULONG
  13. Daryl Leyesa, Pambansang Koalisyon ng mga Kababaihan sa Kanayunan
  14. Rose Trajano, Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates
  15. Jelen Paclarin, Women’s Legal and Human Rights Bureau
  16. Leo Mendoza Jr. Extinction Rebellion Philippines
  17. Wilson Fortaleza, Partido Manggagawa
  18. Dino Manrique, Writer, iDEFEND individual member
  19. Rowena Legaspi, Children’s Legal Rights and Development Centre
  20. Leni Velasco, DAKILA Philippine Collective for Modern Heroism
  21. Joy Lascano, BALAY Rehabilitation Center, Inc.
  22. Valtimore Fenis, Mindanao Peoples’ Peace Movement
  23. Jhay de Jesus, True Colors Coalition
  24. Alyansa ng mga Mamamayan para sa Karapatang Pantao
  25. Liza Garcia, Foundation for Media Alternatives

SIGNED iDEFEND NETWORKS:

  1. Pablo Rosales, PANGISDA
  2. Inged Fintaylan
  3. Rene Pamplona, Environmental Rights Advocate
  4. Sibuyanons Against Mining (Romblon)
  5. Ang Aroroy Ay Alagaan-4As (Masbate)
  6. Solidarity for Environmental Education, Protection and Development
  7. Nagkakaisang Tribo ng Palawan
  8. Non-Timber Forest Product-Exchange Program Philippines
  9. Lakeshore Farmers-Fishers Women’s Organization (Agusan del Norte)
  10. Baywatch Foundation (Surigao Del Sur)
  11. BILEG (Nueva Vizcaya)
  12. Didipio Earth Savers Multi-purpose Association/DESAMA (Nueva Vizcaya)
  13. Maporac Aeta Organization (Zambales)
  14. KUMASA Na (Central Luzon)
  15. Rhodora Abano, NGO Worker

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[Press Release] Philippine human rights groups disappointed at the UNHRC resolution on the Philippines -PAHRA, iDEFEND

#StopTheKillings [Press Release] Philippine #humanrights groups disappointed at the UNHRC resolution on the Philippines

Quezon City- Human Rights groups belonging to the In Defense of Human Rights and Dignity Movement (iDEFEND) and the Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA) expressed disappointment at the resolution of the 45th session of the UN Human Rights Council on the Philippines. The resolution offered technical cooperation and capacity building to the Philippine government in response to the widespread killings and grave human rights violations, which comprise the findings of the report of the UN High Commissioner on Human Rights last June.

“We have been communicating and advocating with the UN Human Rights Council since the start of the Duterte administration in 2016 and we have exposed a pattern of systematic killings under the war on drugs; said Ms. Rose Trajano, Secretary-General of PAHRA and convenor of iDEFEND, “our reports as well as those from other CSOs enabled the International Criminal Court to launch a preliminary inquiry into the cases of extrajudicial killings, yet the UNHRC has decided to follow a lesser path” Trajano added.

“The fact that killings increased during the period of quarantine including those of human rights defenders, prompted the European Parliament to pass a resolution threatening to review the trade privileges of the Philippines with the European Union. It is lamentable that precisely when the international community is responding to the report of the High Commissioner, the UNHRC has taken a step back”, said Ms. Judy Pasimio, iDEFEND Spokesperson.

The groups said that the government aggressively lobbied to weaken the international body’s response to the human rights crises, by emphasizing its struggle with the current pandemic and by effectively tagging human rights defenders as terrorists who have “weaponized human rights”.

In a live-streamed discussion, panelists said the Council’s resolution may be sending the wrong signal to the government.

“What’s dangerous is that the government was able to peddle its justification for this kind of outcome and is now emboldened because the international community seemed to accept the government’s message that domestic mechanisms are working,” said Joseph Purugganan, head of the Philippine office of the Focus on the Global South.

Philippine groups and their international counterparts have been campaigning for an independent international investigation into the human rights crisis in the country. The discussion’s panelists said that the only way technical cooperation can gain any credibility among the people is if the killings and violence are stopped immediately.

In a statement delivered at the 45th UNHRC session, international NGOs concluded that “This is a collective failure by the States at this Council. We are shocked by the lack of support for a more robust response.” They added that “The Council must be ready to live up to its responsibility to ensure an independent investigation if the killings and the crackdown on civil society do not immediately end.”

iDEFEND and PAHRA vowed to continue to fight for human rights and engage domestic and international human rights mechanisms until justice is realized for all victims of human rights violations.

On Thursday, October 8, 2020, at 4:00 in the afternoon, iDEFEND and PAHRA will have a live-streamed discussion on the implications of the resolution, the processes involved in the technical cooperation, and the role of the UN resident coordinator in the Philippines. Invited speakers are from the Commission on Human Rights, the UN Resident Coordinator to the Philippines, EJK victims’ families, and CSOs. Invitations to the media will follow.

Contact: Neca Reyes 09237280690

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[Statement] Statement on the 48th anniversary of the declaration of martial law -iDEFEND

Statement on the 48th anniversary of the declaration of martial law

18 September 2020

Forty-eight years ago, the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos plunged the nation into one of its most devastating social, political and economic crises by declaring a nationwide martial law.  The impact of more than a decade of political repression, plunder, corruption, nepotism and cronyism is still being felt by our generation. Marcos’ tyrannical rule orchestrated tens of thousands of incarcerations, enforced disappearances, tortures, internal displacement and extrajudicial killings alongside the destruction of our democratic institutions, and left an almost bankrupt Philippine economy.

The dictator was overthrown in a popular revolt in 1986 but the Philippines has never completely recovered. While there was a return of basic freedoms, a real and meaningful democratization of the economy never materialized, especially for the poor and marginalized. Successive post-EDSA governments failed to deliver a more just and equitable society. This failure precipitated the rise of Duterte and the return to strongman rule.

President Rodrigo Duterte professed an admiration for Marcos, and by allowing for the return of the Marcoses to political power, the dismissal of forfeiture cases against them and by honoring the dictator’s birthday, has tried to sanitize his martial law’s dark legacy.

Duterte’s war on illegal drugs opened the floodgates to impunity for massive human rights violations, assaults on our democratic institutions, and the crippling of popular discontent.  Likewise, the entrenchment of new cronies and fast-tracked anti-people economic programs fit the dictatorship blueprint for widespread poverty and oppression.

The unprecedented outbreak of a new pandemic exposed the deadly combination of authoritarian might and graft-led, incompetent governance, over weak social protection systems and a brutalized population. The country has become the epicenter of COVID19 in Southeast Asia despite having the longest quarantine; this is due to the government’s response framework that debilitated civic involvement in public policy and crisis management.

Forty-eight years after the “conjugal dictatorship” our people still bear the consequences of the failures of our elite dominated socio-political and economic system. The change that people were clamoring for has been appropriated by a populist narcissist autocrat who now peddle our land to foreign powers.

Martial Law history is undisputed. Its profound lessons unfold our urgent tasks. Despots like Duterte, who sacrifice human rights at the altar of public order, offer false hopes of progress, and must be held accountable. Tyranny has no place in a democracy, and will be repeatedly challenged by the people emboldened by the awareness of their power. Only the people’s active engagement and direct participation, shall finally dismantle the violence and injustice that has beset our society for decades.

Today as we remember the day our democracy died, we honor the brave souls who dared to resist. With their spirit, and until now, we cry out- NEVER AGAIN! – to the darkness that cloaked our dreams of freedom; NEVER AGAIN! to the disenfranchisement of human dignity; NEVER AGAIN! to state sanctioned lies and propaganda! Never again to Marcos!  Never again to tyranny and authoritarian rule! Resist Duterte dictatorship!

TULOY ANG PAG PIGLAS

TAYO ANG BUKAS

NASA ATIN ANG LAKAS

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[Press Release] Human Rights Groups give Duterte failing marks on 5th SONA -iDEFEND

Human Rights Groups give Duterte failing marks on 5th SONA

Quezon City- Panelists on an online discussion on Thursday about the performance of the government in President Duterte’s 5th term, gave failing marks on its delivery of services and protection of human rights.

Ms. Floreen Simon of the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ) said that journalists continue to face serious attacks and intimidation for doing their job. Their networks reported 171 cases of threats and attacks against the press between 2016 and 2020, the majority of which happened in Metro Manila followed by Central Luzon, Northern Mindanao, and Davao region. Simon said the most common attacks were intimidation, followed by online harassment, liber charges, and finally killings.
Ms. Simon’s presentation:

In a PowerPoint presentation, Medical Action Group Chairperson Dr. Nemuel Fajutagana gave the government’s national COVID strategy a poor rating, saying we have a very confused implementation of quarantine programs. He also lamented that many medical frontliners still suffer from a lack of protection and support. He likewise rated a poor status for the country’s prevention and control of the spread of the pandemic saying we only have guns and thermo scanners. He hoped that more support could be provided to community-based health workers.

Dr. Fajutagana’s presentation:

 

Atty. Camille Maranan of the Scientists Unite Against COVID19 and Asia Foundation’s lead technical and legal advisor for COVID19 Mass Testing said that seven months since the WHO warned about the pandemic and four months since the start of the lockdowns, the government said that by the end of May 2020 we will have reached 30,000 testings per day, but this has not happened- the government has so far reached 28,000 only by July. “Worse, the government is gaslighting our calls for mass testing,” Maranan said, “every time the call for mass testing gains mileage the DOH misinterprets the call to mean testing the whole population”. Maranan then played a video explainer of the mass testing campaign call:

Aldreen Talavera of the group Samahan ng mga Tsuper at Operator tutol sa Phase Out (STOP) said the government took advantage of the COVID19 crisis to wipe out the livelihood of millions of jeepney drivers in the guise of the jeepney modernization program. He added jeepney drivers and their families are among the worst-hit populations in the health crisis because of the lack of food and financial aid. However, upon the lifting of the ECQ, their hopes of returning to work had been dashed as they remained banned from the streets. He stressed that jeepney drivers are not against modernization but are against the wiping out of their livelihood.

Ms. Wilma Cabo of the Cebu-based Independent Vendors for Empowerment and Development (IVEND) said that in 2019 vendors faced the loss of their livelihoods because of DILG Memorandum Circular 121-2019 ordering the clearing of road obstructions. This affected around six (6) thousand vendors who are mostly family breadwinners, resulting in 42,000 hungry individuals by the time COVID19 hit the country.

Atty. Ritz Lee of iDEFEND Mindanaw said there are more than 60,000 civil society organizations registered with the SEC which demonstrate the active civic spirit in the country, but that “there are pervasive attacks against civil society organizations, particularly for human rights defenders there are vilification, threats, arbitrary detention, legal harassments, enforced disappearance and most painful- killings… The UN OHCHR verified that at least 200 human rights defenders- journalists, workers, lawyers including 30 women, have been killed between 2015-2019. The government failed to ensure effective, independent investigation and prosecution.”

Ms. Jelen Paclarin of the Women’s Legal and Human Rights Bureau (WLB) pointed out that the first targets of the Duterte administration were women: Senator Leila de Lima, CJ Sereno, Leni Robredo, Maria Ressa and women journalists of Rappler and even UN Special Mandate holders and experts. Duterte used their gender to discredit and vilify them for speaking out. She said that Duterte’s government officials have normalized cursing in public governance. She said that searches on the internet for “Duterte rape jokes” garnered 151,000 results. She lamented the widespread victim-blaming for crimes of rape and sexual assault, recalling that some police Facebook posts cautioned women against wearing short dresses or short skirts to avoid being raped or sexually harassed. She recalled what happened to Faber Pineda, a minor who reported being raped by police and was later killed on her way home. She likewise noted that poor implementation of the Safe Spaces Act especially when women go online.

Paclarin likewise gave the Duterte government a failing mark in this grade sheet:


Responding to questions about the groups’ contribution to solving the country’s problems Dr. Fajutagana stressed that their groups continue to engage government particularly DOH and in academic circles towards influencing better approaches to policy and decision-making. Ms. Simon cited the media’s crucial role in providing accurate and timely information so that people can adopt appropriate responses to their situation.

The groups called on the public to join the July 27 SONAgKAISA mass action related to President Duterte’s 5th State of the Nation Address (SONA), online or offline, stressing the people to Stay Safe but Not Silent.

The full Livestream discussion can be viewed here

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[Statement] Laban ng lahat ang laban para sa Kalayaan; Laban ng lahat ang Karapatang Pantao -iDEFEND at PAHRA

Laban ng lahat ang laban para sa Kalayaan; Laban ng lahat ang Karapatang Pantao

Pahayag ng iDEFEND at PAHRA sa pagsasabatas ng Anti-Terrorism Act 2020

Sistematiko at walang pa ring tigil na pagkitil ng mga buhay upang panatilihin ang takot ng mamamayan; pagwasak sa kabuhayan ng manggagawa, upang tiklop tuhod silang magpapa samantala sa kapitalistang ganid sa ganansya; ganap na pagwasak sa kalikasan at lupang ninuno upang patirin ang buhay ng katutubo; pagkamkam ng yaman ng bansa para sa iilang crony at kaibigan; ang pagpapalayas ng maralitang Pilipino sa kanilang tirahan upang buo buong pulo ang mapapasakamay ng Tsina; Ang pagkamal ng gahiganteng utang at salapi para sa pansariling interes at upang masiguradong nasa pwesto ang mga kamag anak at kaibigan, sa susunod na halalan; ang pagyurak sa natitirang rule of law, ang walang pagpapanagot o impunity; ang pagbabasura sa Konstitusyon, ang pag giba sa mga demokratikong institusyon, ang tuluy tuloy na militarismo at karahasan;

Upang wala nang umimik sa pagpapayaman ng iilan; wala nang lalaban sa katiwalian;
Habang hinahalay ang katotohanan, binubusabos ang mamamayan- SILA ANG NAKIKINABANG SA GANITONG KASAMAAN.

Ito ang proyekto ng diktadurang Duterte. Iyan ang duduluhin ng atin bansa kaya sunud sunod ang pagsasabatas ng katulad ng Anti-Terrorism Law; kaya itinutulak ang Charter change. Hindi natitinag ang prioridad ni Duterte kahit pumutok man ang ilang bulkan, lumindol man ang kalupaan, at kahit lumitaw ang ilang COVID19, at anupamang pandemya.
Ang unang target ng proyektong ito ay ang pagpapatahimik sa boses ng kritiko, ang pambubusal sa malayang media at malayang pagpapahayag, ang paglipol sa mga tagapagtanggol ng karapatang pantao.

Napanood na natin ang pelikulang ito. Nangyari na ito sa kasaysayan ng ating bayan.
Mula sa kasaysayang iyon alam nating iisa lamang ang titibag sa proyektong ito ang nagkakaisang lakas ng sambayanang Pilipino na tahasang lumalaban sa Diktadurya, at lumalaban para sa demokrasya, sa kalayaan, at sa karapatang pantao.

Maaaring nasasadlak na tayo sa katuparan ng diktadurang Duterte pero hindi tayo umaatras sa ating paninindigan at lalong hindi tayo hihinto sa paglaban.

Haharapin natin ang tiranong Duterte gaya ng pagharap natin sa mga naunang pangulong katulad niya. Sama sama nating papandayin ang kinabukasang hindi na katatakutan ng ating mga anak, hindi na mamemeligro ang kanilang kabuhayan hindi na muling tatapakan ang kanilang karapatan, at mamumuhay na may dignidad at Kalayaan.

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[Video] #HoldTheLine -iDEFEND and PAHRA

#HoldTheLine

Online discussion about the implications on press freedom, freedom of expression, and human rights of the verdict against Maria Ressa and Reynaldo Santos Jr.

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[Event] Mañanita ng mga Aktibista, hindi Terorista! -iDEFEND and PAHRA

12 June 8am
Mañanita ng mga Aktibista, hindi Terorista!

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[Video] KALMA: Mental Health sa Gitna ng COVID19 -iDEFEND & PAHRA

KALMA: Mental Health sa Gitna ng COVID19
May 22, 2020 • Biyernes, 4PM

Kasama sina:

Edel Parducho
Psychologist
Medical Action Group (MAG)

Malaya Lara
Volunteer Psychometrician
Medical Action Group (MAG)

Dr. Julia Racquel Rimando-Magalong
Epidemiologist, Pathologist, Board Member
Medical Action Group (MAG)

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[Video] Ibang Klase: Onlayn talakayan tungkol sa edukasyon sa gitna ng CoViD19 -iDEFEND & PAHRA

Ibang Klase

Onlayn talakayan tungkol sa edukasyon sa gitna ng CoViD19.

Action and Solidarity for the Empowerment of Teachers
(ASSERT)

Teachers Dignity Coalition
(TDC)

KAISA-UP

Student Council Alliance of the Philippines
(SCAP)

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[Video] Once a #HumanRights Defender, always a #HumanRights Defender -iDEFEND & PAHRA

Once a #HumanRights Defender, always a #HumanRights Defender
Online discussion with Pinoy HRDs abroad amidst #COVID19

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[Video] L.D.R. with OFWs. Let’s Discuss Rights with Overseas Filipino Workers – iDEFEND & PAHRA

L.D.R. with OFWs. Let’s Discuss Rights with Overseas Filipino Workers.

Online discussion on the situation of Filipinos abroad during the CoViD19 crisis.

GUESTS/DISCUSSANTS:
1) Ms. Kris Bachiller, Switzerland
2) Ms. Myrla Baldonado, USA
3) Mr. Javar Manito, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
4) Mr. Mark Orcine, India
5) Ms. Liza Lopez-Pedersen, Sweden
6) Ms. Jasmin Sanchez, Taiwan

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[Statement] NTC order vs. ABS CBN endangers welfare of public battling COVID19 crisis- iDEFEND

NTC order vs. ABS CBN endangers welfare of public battling COVID19 crisis- iDEFEND

In Defense of Human Rights and Dignity Movement (iDEFEND) expresses alarm at the cease and desist order by the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) against ABS-CBN despite the media organization’s application for the renewal of its franchise, which has been filed months earlier without any response from the House of Representatives.

Now, in the midst of a national health crisis where the government is failing to provide accurate, timely, and useful information to the public, the Solicitor General and the NTC attempt to close ABS CBN in an underhanded attack on press freedom. The politically motivated gag order by the NTC spells a serious breach of the people’s right to accessible and reliable information and will result in diminishing the people’s capacity to respond effectively to the national health crisis. Solicitor General Calida and the NTC should be held accountable for endangering the people’s welfare by depriving them of the basic service of mass media. At this time, when the government wants us to supposedly “heal as one”, it must focus its efforts on rallying the forces and institutions which are critical to the implementation of solutions, through rights-based governance instead of rewarding ineptitude, intimidation, and human rights abuse.

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[Video] CoHRiD19 Comprehensive Human Rights Demands 19 Paglulunsad at Talakayan sa Labingsiyam na panawagan ng mamamayan sa gitna ng CoVID19 -iDEFEND & PAHRA

CoHRiD19
Comprehensive Human Rights Demands 19
Paglulunsad at Talakayan sa Labingsiyam na panawagan ng mamamayan sa gitna ng CoVID19.

 

 

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[Statement] WORKERS ARE NOT VIRUS-PROOF! Advocacy groups call for expanded massive testing before economic restart -PAHRA, iDEFEND, #MassTestingNowPH

WORKERS ARE NOT VIRUS-PROOF
Advocacy groups call for expanded massive testing before the economic restart

As the nation commemorates Labor Day amid the COVID-19 pandemic, scientists, artists, youth, human rights, public health, and citizen groups join forces with the labor sector to demand the increase and expansion of mass testing capacities of the country before lifting the enhanced community quarantine protocols and reopening the economy. The government and business groups have been keen to start economic activities the soonest to save the country from further economic meltdown. However, civil society groups have expressed their concern over the risks of this move and the need to address the public’s fear and panic with the possible lifting of the ECQ for the interest of the business.

Molecular biologist Joshua Danac of Scientists Unite Against COVID-19 (SUAC-19) cited the poor execution of mass testing in the country. “There are still massive backlogs in testing centers, and results take very long to be released. The Department of Health has failed to attain its initial stated target of 8,000 tests per day.” Since the government’s declaration on the start of mass testing on April 14, Danac pointed out that there are only 19 accredited testing centers in the whole country as of April 30, with around 50 percent of those centers based in NCR alone.

Danac further said, “The actual testing capacity of our country still lags behind because laboratories and personnel have not been capacitated in the first place. For massive testing not to fail, we must ask the government to be transparent and to act on the following issues: how will capacity be increased to clear the backlogs and shorten turnaround times? How will they increase the number of tests done per day? What about funding — will the government dedicate part of its budget for increasing testing capacity by buying equipment and hiring personnel?”

Meanwhile, human rights-based health service organization Medical Action Group (MAG) pointed out that aside from incapacitated testing centers and personnel, a public health and rights-based approach was not initiated by the government as well. According to MAG Executive Director Edel Hernandez, “The lack of diagnostics and cure for COVID-19 underscores the need for the government to scale up the mass testing using international standards, protecting the health of frontliners, and improving the delivery of healthcare services around the country. Inaction on the part of the government is a disservice to the nation. The COVID-19 pandemic is undoubtedly creating a climate of fear and panic through restrictive, stigmatizing, and punitive measures imposed by the government as infectious disease control.” MAG urged the government to veer away from compulsory restrictions towards a human rights-based approach, centered on evidence-based response and promoting community empowerment and engagement.

The Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA) emphasized the demand for the government to take a human rights-based approach in tackling the COVID-19 situation in the country. According to PAHRA, while mass testing is an important step to address the public health crisis, the government must also address the social impact of the community lockdown. It pointed out that the basic human rights of workers especially their safety and security should be guaranteed by the government, not neglected. PAHRA Secretary General Rose Trajano said, “Testing, continuing assistance, and security of work are the basic human rights that should be effectively addressed by the government. Though certain limitations on fundamental rights and freedoms are unavoidable during public health emergencies, any disproportionate response can definitely lead to significant human rights violations. It amplifies the already underlying barriers that people face in protecting their health and their inability to meet basic survival needs.” Recent news reports and viral social media posts have shown arbitrary arrests and ill treatment by law enforcers to people who have breached quarantine restrictions.

With the government preparing to loosen the lockdown by May 15, the artist-activist collective DAKILA criticized plans of the government to reopen the economy without providing proper safety nets to the labor sector and the poor. Conglomerates and major business owners earlier announced Project ARK, a joint initiative to conduct massive testing on workers using rapid antibody test kits to help them assess who is fit to return to work. Medical experts have warned against the use of antibody test kits as diagnostic tools due to their tendency to display ‘false negative’ results. DAKILA spokesperson Leni Velasco said, “The return of work operations around the country is essential for the economy to run again, but to facilitate that using unreliable means will put workers into danger. The move to use to rapid antibody tests for mass screening for COVID19 will only give workers a false sense of security and run the risk of spreading the virus in the workplace — leading to a second wave of infection that our public health system won’t survive.”

DAKILA also slammed the recent statement of the Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion saying that the workers and the poor are more resilient to the virus and should be separated from those who are healthy through isolation. The statement, they pointed out, is a gross manifestation of the unjust treatment of the working poor, as well as businesses’ lack of value for laborers. “Workers and the poor are NOT virus-proof. They remain one of the most vulnerable sectors in this pandemic. In any situation, their lives must never be put in danger; it must be protected at all times. We can’t restart the economy at the expense of workers’ safety,” Velasco ended.

In line with this demand, a group of volunteers who started the campaign on mass testing named #MassTestingNowPH calls on the government to strengthen the Test-Treat-Trace approach in addressing the pandemic. The campaign urges business owners to use rRT-PCR testing to assist the return of employees to work after community quarantine protocols are lifted and they call for workers to demand the same. “Only through expanded RT-PCR testing can we have an accurate picture of the COVID-19 infection in the country. This should serve as the basis for any government decisions and actions. We should strengthen our call for mass testing, contact tracing, isolation, and treatment along with the continued provision of health and socio-economic assistance to our people,” #MassTestingNowPH said.

DAKILA, PAHRA, MAG, SUAC, and #MassTestingNowPH expressed their social solidarity with the Filipino working class which for the first time in Philippine history held Labor Day 2020 protest online in the context of the pandemic. In its unity statement, the groups said, “While the economy should be saved from further decline, it is by protecting and safeguarding the workers that can ensure the continuing lifeline of the economy. The working people are not virus proof and yet like the health workers, the government is sending them out like sacrifical lambs in this pandemic.”

The groups committed to intensifying the #MassTestingNowPH campaign until laboratories and personnel are capacitated, massive RRT-PCR-based testing is conducted, public health and rights-based approach are adopted by the government and the business sector, and the safety of workers are not put in danger amidst the desire to restart the economy.

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