Tag Archives: Martial Law

[Statement] Ating Dinaranas Ngayon ang Batas Militar sa Ilalim ng Tiranikong Paghahari -KILUSAN

[PAHAYAG] Ating Dinaranas Ngayon ang Batas Militar sa Ilalim ng Tiranikong Paghahari

Ika-48 taong anibersaryo ng deklarasyon ng martial law at pagtatatag ng diktadurang Marcos ngayon. Ngunit hindi lamang tuwing September 21 magugunita ang lagim at mga bangungot sa ilalim ng labing-apat na taong paghahari ng diktadurang Marcos, idolo at modelo ni Duterte.

Ngayung anim na buwan nang pandemya ng COVID-19, dinadanas ng mamamyang Pilipino ang pinakamahaba at isa sa pinakamahigpit na lockdown sa mundo. Milyun-milyon sa atin ang nawalan ng trabaho at hanapbuhay at dumaranas ng gutom. Ang ayudang mula sa gubyerno ay kapos sa lalong dumaming mhirap na pamilya. Sapagkat lalong kumukupad ang pamamahagi ng ayuda, lalong dumarami ang napagkakaitan.

Sa ngalan ng pagsugpo o pagpigil sa pagkalat ng coronavirus, ipinailalim ang sambayanang Pilipino sa iba’t-ibang antas ng pagsupil o restriksyon ng ating mga batayang karapatan kabilang ang karapatan sa malayang pamamahayag, malayang pagkilos, malayang paghahanaphay. Tampok ang pagpapatupad ng 7 hanggang 9 na oras na curfew. Katambal nito, at kahit hindi sa oras ng curfew, ang pag-aresto, pagkulong o pagsingil ng multa sa tinatatakang “pasaway” ng mistulang civilian – military junta na IATF. Sa halip na masugpo, lalong lumaganap ang COVID-19 sa bansa.

Sinasamantala ng rehimeng Duterte ang kalagayan ng pandemya para puspusin ang tiraniko-otokratikong layunin at disensyo nito. Sinimulan itong ilatag nuong 2016, unang taon nito.

Binaluktot ang kasaysayan, binaligtad ang pasya ng mamamayan; ipinalibing ang bangkay ng idolong Ferdinand Marcos sa Libingan ng mga Bayani. Nauna rito ang paglulunsad ng gera kontra droga. Mahigit 30,000 na ang biktima ng extra-judicia killing (EJK) na karaniwang kondukta sa tokhang at operation double barrel. Karamihan sa biktima ay maralitang suspek na addict at pusher. Malinaw sa kondukta nito na hindi pagpawi sa illegal drug ang layon. Gawing kalakaran ang paglabag sa rule of law at due process ang imbing layon ng tokhang at double barrel upang takutin at gawing pasibo ang mamamayan. Lalong lumaganap ang droga. Tuloy ang mga EJK ngayong may pandemya.

Pagbaluktot ng batas at nilutong proseso ng korte bilang armas para supilin ang mga kritiko. Unang biktima si Sen. Laila de Lima, sinumpang kaaway ni Duterte at ni Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, dahil sa mahigpit na paghawak sa tungkulin niya bilang dating pinuno ng CHR at kalihim ng DOJ. Moro-moro ang imbestigasyon sa gawa-gawang kasong “drug trafficking”. Wala ni kapirasong material na ebidensya at mga testigo ay convicted na drug lords na pinilit at pinilipit ng DOJ at PNP ni Duterte. Hanggang ngayon si Sen. De Lima ay nakapiit sa Kampo Crame nang walang pagdinig sa kanyang kaso.

Sunod na biktima si Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Serreno, para ganap na makontrol ni Duterte ang Korte Suprema. Sapagkat walang matibay na ebidensya sa proseso ng impeachment, ginamit sa kanya ang di-konstitusyunal na “quo warranto”. Nakipagkutsabaan sa Malakanyang ang mga tiwaling mahistrado. Sa kabila ng pagkondena ng Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP), International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) at ng mamamayan, pinatalsik si CJ Serreno.

Nauna at kasabay nito ang pagpataw ng Martial Law sa buong Mindanao bunsod ng gera sa Marawi nuong May 23, 2017. Tatlong ulit na pinalawig ang Martial Law na kung alisunod sa Konstitusyon ay dapat na hanggang 60 araw lamang. Subalit sa mga dahilang sila Duterte at AFP lamang ang nakakaalam at para daw sa rehabilitasyon ng Marawi, umabot ng halos 2 taon ang Martial Law sa Mindanao. Ngunit hindi narehabilitate ang Marawi hanggang ngayon.

May mga patakaran at batas na mapanupil sa mamamyan at nagbibigay ng higit na kapangyarihan sa tirano na nakalusot sa konggreso. Gayundin ang mga Executive Order at Proclamation ni Duterte. Tampok dito ang amyenda sa Penal Code na nagbibigay ng kapangyarihan sa PNP Chief at sa pinuno ng CIDG na mag-issue ng subpoena. Ang umiiral hanggang ngayon na national state of emergency sa pamamagitan ng Proclamation no. 55, bunsod ng pagbomba sa night market sa Davao City nuong Sept. 4, 2016. Ang proclamation no. 55 ay kinumbinahan mula 2018 ng Executive Order no. 70 o “whole of nation approach” sa pagsugpo sa “insurgency”. Ito ang batas sa likod ng red-tagging ngayon at ng lalong lumaganap na “fake news” at paninira sa mga kritiko ng rehimeng Duterte, kabilang ang mga aktibista at mga tagapagtaguyod ng mga karapatang pantao. Kasabay nito ang pagpaslang sa hindi iilang aktibista at lider-masa.

Para nga puspusin ang tiraniko-otokratikong paghahari, paspasan at unang prayoridad na isinabatas ang Anti-terrorism Law sa katindihan ng pandemya ng covid-19 at krisis sa kabuhayan. Sunod dito ang pagkakait ng bagong prankisa sa ABS-CBN ng 70 kongresista sa mga gawa-gawang dahilan at sa kabila ng testimonya ng BIR, SEC at DOLE na walang nilabag sa prankisa nito ang ABS-CBN. Ito ay hindi lamang paglulubos ng bengansya ni Duterte, higit pa ito ay pagsupil ng karapatan sa malayang pamamahayag at freedom of expression.

Mayabang na inaamin ng mga author at sponsor ng Anti-Terrorism Law of 2020 o RA 11479 na “mas may pangil ito kaysa martial law alinsunod sa Konstitusyong 1987”. Ngunit iginigiit na hindi daw labag sa Konstitusyon ang RA 11479. Malinaw sa nilalaman ng halimaw na batas na ito ay nagbibigay nang higit na kapangyarihan sa presidente at sa estado para ipagtanggol ang sarili laban sa mamamayan.

Ngunit tayong mamamayan ay hindi malilimot ang maraming aral sa pakikibaka laban sa martial law ng diktadurang Marcos. Pinagbuwisan iyon ng buhay at dugo ng libu-libong mamamayan hanggang sa nabuo ang lakas ng milyun-milyong mamamayang Pilipino na nagpatalsik kay Marcos at naglansag sa diktadura.

Tanganan natin nang mahigpit ang mga aral na iyon sapagkat pilit na ibinabalik ang otokrasya o diktadura ngayon ng tiranong Duterte. Hindi tayo makakapayag na muling mapailalim sa sistematikong panunupil at pang-aapi ng diktadura.

Never Again to Martial Law!
IBASURA ang ANTI-TERRORISM LAW!
Resist Tyranny!

Kilusan para sa Pambansang Demokrasya (KILUSAN)
Setyembre 21, 2020

https://web.facebook.com/notes/kilusan-para-sa-pambansang-demokrasya/pahayag-ating-dinaranas-ngayon-ang-batas-militar-sa-ilalim-ng-tiranikong-paghaha/3316401541774902/

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[Statement] DUTERTE, RESIGN NOW! The Philippines Needs a Government of National and Popular Unity -LNM

File Photo from LNM FB

DUTERTE, RESIGN NOW! The Philippines Needs a Government of National and Popular Unity

(Statement of Laban ng Masa, on the 48th Anniversary of the Declaration of Martial Law, Sept. 21, 2020)

Laban ng Masa, a coalition of socialist organizations and individuals, joins the rest of the country in marking the 48th anniversary of the beginning of a dark period in our history. With everyone, we say, “Never again.”

Today, the threat of dictatorship again looms large.

The eyes of many of our compatriots, however, have now been opened to the dark intentions of the Duterte regime. Instrumental in making our people understand this has been the glaring contrast between the gross incompetence the administration has displayed in protecting the country from Covid 19 and the swift and drastic moves it has made to institute the so-called Anti-Terrorism Act, destroy ABS-CBN, and convict dissenting journalists. Containing Covid 19 is not Duterte’s priority. His priority is monopolizing political power.

He will not succeed because our people stand in the way.

At this time of national crisis, the Filipino people need fresh leadership since Duterte has already abdicated his responsibility to provide this and is now simply looking out for himself.

LnM joins the national chorus that is demanding Duterte’s departure so our people can form, not another corrupt, elite-dominated regime, but a government of national and popular unity to provide effective government as we undergo one of the deepest crises in our history.

Laban ng Masa says, Duterte resign!

Now!

Read at press conference of coalition of anti-dictatorship organizations on Sept 18, 2020, by Raquel Castillo, LnM National Coordinator
Tel. 0998 869 7209

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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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[Event] Human rights groups, grassroots activists and civil society organizations launch protest marking the anniversary of the declaration of martial law

Human rights groups, grassroots activists and civil society organizations launch protest marking the anniversary of the declaration of martial law

Quezon City- Human rights groups, grassroots activists and civil society organizations launched in a press conference (September 18, 2020) a joint protest commemorating forty-eight years since the declaration of martial law by the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos. The groups gathered at the Bantayog ng mga Bayani to hold memorial rites at the Wall of Remembrance and deliver public statements.

Participants also announced plans to hold a public program on Monday, the anniversary of Marcos’ signing of the declaration of martial law, which includes a mock tribunal against the Duterte government, cultural presentations and other creatives for public participation.

The protesters condemned the role that President Duterte actively plays in rehabilitating the reputation of the Marcos family. Recently the House of Representatives has approved a draft bill designating September 11, the late strongman’s birthday, as a non-working holiday in Ilocos Norte.

Participants also lamented that many of the current and proposed laws as well as Duterte’s executive issuances reflected some of the most oppressive martial law policies during Marcos’ dictatorship.

“Marcos outlawed legitimate organizations and persecuted their members who protested his dictatorship. This repressive measure has found its revival in Duterte’s government, which has enacted the Anti-terrorism law”, said Rose Trajano, Secretary of Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA).

“Ferdinand Marcos’ military tribunal meted out 150 death sentences against civilians during martial law. Many of them political opponents. Today Duterte is pushing for the revival of the death penalty for some heinous crimes but we believe that could easily include political activism,” said Fr. Angel Cortez, Co-Executive Secretary of the Association of Major Religious Superiors of the Philippines (AMRSP).

In a statement read by the In Defense of Human Rights and Dignity Movement (iDEFEND), the group protested the unrelenting extrajudicial killings, including those of political activists, land, environment and human rights defenders, as well as the “fast-tracked anti-people economic programs (that) fit the dictatorship blueprint for widespread poverty and oppression”.

The protesters clarified that NEVER AGAIN remains the Filipino’s people’s strongest battle cry against decades of repression, injustice and poverty.

A candle lighting ceremony near a martial law exhibit symbolized the groups’ commitment to freedom, democracy and human rights for all.

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[Press Release] Rights group uses “Wakanda Forever” sign to protest Marcos Day Bill or H.B. 7137 -TFDP

PRESS RELEASE
September 13, 2020

Rights group uses “Wakanda Forever” sign to protest Marcos Day Bill or H.B. 7137

Human rights group Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP) uses the movie Black Panther’s “Wakanda forever pose” in their social media campaign “Never Again to Martial Law” to protest House Bill No. 7137 (setting September 11 as President Ferdinand Edralin Marcos Day in Ilocos Norte) and the present authoritarian rule.

TFDP adopts the famous “Wakanda Forever pose” which was originally a symbol of salute to the fictional country Wakanda in the movie, Black Panther. “The crossed-arm or the X sign for this campaign signifies our resistance. We use it to express the call ‘NEVER AGAIN TO MARTIAL LAW’ and to resist any form of dictatorship in the present time,” said Fr. Christian Buenafe, O. Carm, TFDP Chairperson.

The campaign was launched online and can be seen in the group’s official Facebook page @taskforcedetainees (https://www.facebook.com/TaskForceDetainees) and Twitter account @tfdpupdates.

“We hope it would become a platform and a means for people to express their resistance in a popular way. The Thai people uses the “Hunger Games” hand gesture to protest, we will try to popularize the Wakanda forever pose or X sign for our resistance campaign,” TFDP explained.
“We do not extol a dictator. We constantly remind ourselves of his gross violations of human rights and his record-breaking thievery. This act is just a part of the grand scheme of the Marcoses to completely cover up their atrocities. The victims and their families are still on the arduous road to achieving justice, added Fr. Buenafe.

Emmanuel Amistad, TFDP Executive Director, stated that, “The proposed law is just one of the means of the Marcoses to distort history. They have been obviously utilizing all fronts to their advantage, especially since there seems to be a Marcos copycat in Malacanang and Marcos allies in Congress. They have also used the COVID-19 pandemic to limit people’s protest actions.”

“It has been said many times over, and we say it again, declaring the birth of a dictator as a holiday, even only in his birthplace, is an egregious act that is nothing short of disrespectful to the real heroes and martyrs who fought against dictatorship. This is a grave assault on human rights, justice and democracy,” Amistad lamented.

TFDP is living witness to the Marcos atrocities. The group was founded in 1974 by the Association of Major Religious Superiors in the Philippines (AMRSP) as a response to massive illegal arrests and detention, enforced disappearances, torture, massacre, hamletting, and other human rights violations.

TFDP was able to document close to 10,000 victims of human rights violations who eventually won in the Hawaii Class Suit against the Estate of Marcos. Some of the victims were also able to claim compensation under the Human Rights Victims Reparation and Recognition Act of 2013.

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[Statement] CHR Spokesperson, Atty. Jacqueline Ann de Guia, on recent remarks to implement Martial law-style enforcement of quarantine rules

Statement of CHR Spokesperson, Atty. Jacqueline Ann de Guia, on recent remarks to implement Martial law-style enforcement of quarantine rules

Containing the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has been the paramount objective in the implementation of the enhanced community quarantine. Our current COVID-19 figures show that we are still at the peaking stage of the pandemic, the threat to public health is still growing, and the challenge to our public health system remains daunting. As we have posited from the start, restrictive measures—the enhanced community quarantine and other stringent social distancing policies—are justified given that the primordial right to health and life is at stake.

Recently, the Chief Executive warned of Martial law-style enforcement if compliance does not improve. The Chief of the Philippine National Police, as well as some local officials, also made similar remarks. The Office of the President clarified that this was a verbal warning and not a formal declaration.

The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) recognizes that such remark intends to direct strict enforcement to law enforcers while deterring non-compliance and ensuring cooperation from the public. We have equally urged for cooperation and solidarity from the very start for these are crucial in preventing transmission and to gradually flatten the curve.

Proper enforcement and public cooperation are indeed expedient. The best way to achieve these is through a humanitarian approach that ensures peace while protecting public health. For a thorough implementation, we reiterate the need for clear-cut guidelines for law enforcers on the ground that will provide scenarios, do’s and don’ts, and commensurate penalties. This will also serve as a safeguard against abuse of authority, guarantee respect for rights, and prevent undue panic.

We note that the quarantine guidelines underscore the need to respect human rights in the implementation. We recognize the intention to ensure balance in protecting public health while respecting human rights. As we have pointed out in our earlier advisories and releases, measures for protecting the general populace that necessitates limiting rights and freedom must be proportionate to the attainment of clear objectives, lawful, and respectful of human dignity among others.

As a public health measure, the quarantine rules are still bound by legal standards. Any warrantless arrest should be within legal ambit, which strictly provides specific circumstances when it is merited. Further, the measures must be strictly motivated by public health reasons and must not be used to target any group nor to repress dissent or critics. Needless to say, fundamental rights remain even as some necessary measures need to be taken.

In a state of public emergency, it might be convenient to resort to sweeping measures that provide shortcuts. However, protecting public health entails due diligence and nuancing such that all factors are considered and no human dignity is trampled upon. Our right to health can only be fully protected through the continuing exercise of the wide array of other rights, such as the right to information, food, free speech, and economic security. Hence, we continue to call for a holistic approach that will ensure public health while upholding human rights and dignity.

As we endeavor to heal as one, we must continue to foster rule of law and human rights to facilitate the emergence of a healthier and more humane society after this crisis.

https://www.facebook.com/notes/commission-on-human-rights-of-the-philippines/statement-of-chr-spokesperson-on-recent-remarks-to-implement-martial-law-style-e/2758557130927481/

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[Statement] Workers will continue fighting for democracy and human rights -PM

Authoritarianism and liberal democracy are two distinct form of governance, yet workers under both circumstances suffer different degrees of human rights violations. Democracy and human rights, in other words, are permanent demands and agenda that workers will be fighting for in either condition of elite governance.

We remember how workers and their trade unions were supressed during the dark days of martial law, 47 years ago today. But it is also important to recall the resistance and heroism the workers’ movement played during those turbulent years until the end of the Marcos dictatorship. Then the struggles that never stopped even under the post-martial law/post-Edsa regimes.

Today, therefore, is also a good day to ask: When will workers stop fighting for those agenda?

Workers did fight before because democracy was lacking and state violence was an everyday bill. We fight today because democracy was still wanting while chronic poverty and inequality remain.

Accordingly, workers will be fighting any plan by the administration to bring back martial law or re-establish dictatorship, alongside with the campaigns for job security, living wage, freedom of association, and deeper political reforms. And we are aware of the fact that winning these agenda is more difficult under the Duterte regime where the struggle for labor and human rights are taken as rebellion initiated by state enemies.

There are reasons to worry about the dangers faced by human rights defenders (HRDs) in this country today, including those who are involved in trade union organizing. Several trade union organizers have already been killed in EJK manner of executions. There is also an on-going red-tagging of unions being undertaken by the military nationwide, most especially in hot spot areas like EPZA’s and mining communities. Several picket lines have also been dispersed violently by combined private and state security forces in the last three years.

Today we join the human rights community led by the Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA) and In Defense of Human Rights (I-Defend) in demanding #StopTheAssault against HRDs and the Filipino people.

We condemn, in strongest terms, acts of state violence in the same way as we reject and demand the scrapping of official policies like red-tagging of trade unions and other HRDs working for the realization of a life of dignity and human rights for all.

Partido Manggagawa
21 September 2019
Reference: Renato Magtubo
Chairperson, PM
09178532905

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[Press Release] Active Vista Human Rights Film Festival challenges Acts of Erasures on Victims of Martial Law and the Drug War

Photo by Active Vista

Quezon City, Philippines – Premiering on the eve of the 47th anniversary of the Martial Law declaration, the 7th edition of Active Vista International Human Rights Film Festival presented last Sept 20, 2019 to around 1,000 invited audiences at the Cine Adarna of the University of the Philippines Film Center the much-awaited screening of the first-ever full-length documentary film highlighting the current administration’s campaign against illegal drugs in the Philippines. ‘On the President’s Orders’, a documentary film by Emmy Award winning filmmakers James Jones and Olivier Sarbil, is the searing story of President Duterte’s bloody campaign against drug dealers and addicts in the Philippines, told with unprecedented and intimate access to both sides of the war.

Malacanang recently issued a statement criticizing the foreign documentary as another attempt at black propaganda and disinformation. Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo called out the film as “overly dramatized” and “falsely portrays a dangerous Philippines and a murderous government.” The film is set to for a wide broadcast through PBS in the United States next month. It has made rounds in various international film festivals. The screening in UP was the first time the film was screened to Filipino audiences.

In her statement at the festival opening, Active Vista Executive Director Leni Velasco said, “Active Vista believes it is important to screen this film to Filipino audiences to help our nation process the social ruptures that has fragmented and traumatized our country and make sense of how we have arrived to this point that a range of 7,000 to 27,000 of our countrymen have been killed by the state’s war against drugs. This film festival provokes this essential discourse to mend the tears in the fabric of our understanding and forge solidarity amongst our people to find meaningful ways and strategic actions that shall enable us to rise as a nation against our deplorable human rights situation.”

The Philippine premiere of the film coincides with the on-going session of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva. In its last session, the UNHRC passed a resolution that asked UN rights chief Michelle Bachelet to write a comprehensive report on the drug war killings and urged the Philippine government to cooperate with UN offices and mechanisms by facilitating country visits and refraining from ‘all acts of intimidation or retaliation’. In a statement made by I-DEFEND, a broad alliance for the defense of human rights and dignity, it said that, “The brutal, bloody war on mostly poor drug suspects has placed the Philippines under a preliminary examination by the International Criminal Court and an investigation by the UN Human Rights Council. But the Duterte regime is barefacedly barring the entry of UN officials by erroneously asserting its independence and its “immunity” from investigation.”

Last September 19, the Philippine Human Rights Information Center (PhilRights) published its report, “The Killing State: An Unrelenting War Against Human Rights in the Philippines,” a study that explores the demographics of victims of alleged extrajudicial killings (EJKs), the modalities and patterns of the killings, as well as other gross human rights violations associated with the Duterte government’s ‘war on drugs.’ The report concludes that the systemic effects of violations have created a climate of fear, resulting in social paralysis. This has paved the way for the unimpeded adoption of more anti-human rights and anti-democratic policies. According to PhilRights Executive Director Dr. Nymia Simbulan, “Duterte’s drug war is a war against human rights. The systemic, coordinated, sequential, and comprehensive nature of human rights violations resulting from this campaign has brought out immense suffering for the victim’s families and their communities,”

The 7th edition of the Active Vista International Human Rights Festival is organized by DAKILA, a group building a movement of heroism through its Active Vista Center for human rights education. I-DEFEND and PhilRights together with the UP Film Institute, Cinema Centenario, Amnesty International, the Center for Youth Advocacy and Networking (CYAN), and the Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA) are co-presenting the festival.

DAKILA Executive Director Micheline Rama emphasized the timeliness of the screening of ‘On the President’s Orders’, “We believe that it is very timely that we show films where audiences are challenged to look through different lenses in order to see how the current administration’s campaign against illegal drugs looks like in the eyes of a policeman, a child, and even a family member of an Oplan Tokhang victim. From there, we hope that conversations will spark, and support on pressing human rights issues will broaden.” In the recent statement published by the artist-activist collective DAKILA, Rama said, “Déjà vu is too weak a term to describe the familiar horrors that bookend the 47-year gap between the Martial Law of the Marcos dictatorship and the violence of the Duterte administration. The recurring nightmares of gross human rights violations, trampling of the rule of law, state-sponsored killings, and a pervasive atmosphere of violence can only be described as our national ‘bangungot’. As these nightmares continue to haunt us, we shake off the oppression of our collective ‘bangungot’ through the power of narratives that shed light on these dark times.”

With this year’s theme of the film festival, “Rupture,” audiences were challenged to think beyond what they see and to finally step out of their comfort zones towards collective resistance against repression and tyranny. The festival shall screen a menu of films tackling various human rights issues such as the new Lav Diaz masterpiece, ‘Ang Hupa (The Halt)’, a futuristic look at the Philippines in 15 years but audaciously a statement on the present-day state of the nation. The festival also premieres ‘Last Exit to Kai Tak’ a documentary on the defenders of human rights and democracy of the Hong Kong Umbrella Revolution.

‘On the President’s Orders’ premiered to a full-packed cinema of around a thousand audiences last September 20. The criticism from Malacanang drew attention to the film. During the program, the organizers set several guidelines to ensure that the screening is a safe space for everyone considering the risks of screening the film. A talkback was held after with Atty. Chel Diokno, Chairperson of the Free Legal Assistance Group; Carlos Conde of Human Rights Watch; Dr. Nymia Pimentel-Simbulan of Philrights; and Ma. Inez Feria of NoBox Transitions Foundation.

Active Vista Executive Director Leni Velasco called on audiences to continue talking about the issues presented by the film. “Let us not allow the injustice of erasing our historical memory as a nation that this government has done to the thousands of victims of Martial Rule to be done as well to thousands of victims of the drug war. Let us resist the acts of erasures of their stories being written out of our history and memory. We need to remind ourselves the bluntness and force of this trauma from all the killings and the grave human rights violations are shattering our already fragile sense of nationhood. And the horror we are experiencing is more intimate, more personal. It has opened up a tear in our social and moral fabric and challenged our very humanity.”

“In times when the truth on the increasing number of extra-judicial killings is suppressed, it is important that we see different counter-narratives done in creative forms. The narratives we heard and saw on the documentary film tells us that the campaign against illegal drugs holds this inhumane and oppressive system inspired by the words and commands by the President. We, as a nation of heroes, must uphold and protect each other’s human rights,” Velasco added on how the documentary film serves as a tool to combat the current administration’s portrayal of its on-going ‘war on drugs’.

In ending, Velasco said, “Thanks to the courageous efforts of those who speak truth to power, many eyes are now open to the nightmare of Philippine society. But it is not enough to be aware yet unmoving. Filipinos everywhere must shake off the oppression of our collective “bangungot”. We must open our minds so we #NeverForget and open our arms to join together so that the nightmares will #NeverAgain happen in our nation. We call on everyone to join us in opening our minds so that we may #NeverForget, and opening our arms to join together so that the nightmares will #NeverAgain happen to our nation. We call on everyone to be one with us in remembering what happened almost five decades ago and in condemning the impending authoritarianism in the country”.

Active Vista screenings continue at the UP Film Center on September 23-24 and at the Cinema Centenario from September 21-29. Cinema Centenario screenings marries the Active Vista Human Rights Festival with the Never Forget Film Festival which focuses on films about the Martial Law. Schedules are posted at the Active Vista’s official Facebook page, UP Film Institute – Cine Adarna, and Cinema Centenario. Interested audiences may reserve their tickets through bit.ly/AVTix2019 or activevista@dakila.org.ph.

Media Contact:
Christine Anne A. Alvarez
dakila.media@gmail.com, 0915-583-3364

DAKILA – Philippine Collective for Modern Heroism is a group of artists, students, and individuals working together to creatively spark social consciousness formation towards social change. Learn more at dakila.org.ph and facebook.com/Dakila.Philippines

ACTIVE VISTA is a human rights education platform to empower audiences in bringing about relevant social change. By showing and creating films that address core human rights messages, it aims to stir critical thinking among its audience as a step towards their education as citizens. Learn more at facebook.com/ActiveVista

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[From the web] Human rights, Religious and Democracy groups commemorate martial law with cultural performance

Photo grabbed from PhilRights FB page

Quezon City- Members and networks of the Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA), Association of Major Religious Superiors of the Philippines (AMRSP), Peoples’ Coalition for Authentic Democracy (PCAD) and In Defense of Human Rights and Dignity Movement (iDEFEND) held last Saturday, September 21 a joint program commemorating 47 years since martial law was declared by the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos Sr.

Titled: “Sambayanihan: Pag ala ala, Panalangin, Pagpiglas”, the one-and-a-half-hour cultural presentation featured survivors from the Martial Law era of the 1970s and today’s groups of human rights defenders fighting for sectoral and sovereign rights, and against authoritarian rule. The performance narrated the history of martial law repression, and highlighted its current vestiges in the form of martial law in Mindanao, shrinking civic spaces and assault on human rights defenders and their communities.

“It is crucial more than ever that we protect civic spaces and freedom of expression towards strengthening democracy and the rule of law in the country”, said Rose Trajano, Secretary General of PAHRA, “because these are important components for rebuilding our country long after Duterte finishes his term”.

“We did not elect a President who is a traitor and a criminal” said Wilson Tan Yu, director of Kilusan Para sa Makabansang Ekonomiya (KME), “we want a leader who will forge our country towards a progressive, environmentally sound and economically sustainable future. Duterte has proven to be a failure in all these aspects”.

The event also launched the #ENDTHEASSAULT campaign, where the groups urged the public to join efforts for the protection of democracy and human rights, and called on the government to end political repression, militarization, extra judicial killing, deepening poverty, and to protect our territorial integrity.

The cultural program was followed by a mass celebrated by Fr. Dexter Toledo,OFM, and finally a symbolic action via candle lighting and human chain formation along E. Rodriguez Avenue in Quezon City. The group signed a manifesto of commitment to work for genuine democracy and sovereignty.

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[Event] “SAMBAYANIHAN: Pag-aalala, Panalangin, Pagpiglas” A Martial Law Commemoration

On the 47th anniversary of the declaration of Martial Law, we warmly invite you to be with us in:

“SAMBAYANIHAN: Pag-aalala, Panalangin, Pagpiglas”
A Martial Law Commemoration

September 21, 2019
3 pm
Christ the King Seminary Covered Court

There will be a cultural program, Eucharistic celebration and a symbolic candle lighting.

We hope to be with you, as one AMRSP community! See you there.

https://www.facebook.com/events/380695252623839/

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[Right-Up] Occidental Mindoro and Ferdinand Marcos’ Martial Law – by Norman Novio

The people of Occidental Mindoro contributed not so many stories as possible references on Marcos’ despotic military rule. But in faraway town of Palimbang in Sultan Kudarat where some 1,500 Bangsamoros were slaughtered when soldiers attacked the coastal town in early 70s, merely mentioning the words “Mindoro Occidental”, make them shivers, especially the women,- in horror and lamentation.

Ferdinand Marcos’ Martial Law which he later called New Society has this essential characteristic in the context of Occidental Mindoro: it was submissive to foreign interests, specifically the United States, and that of his relatives and cronies. It facilitated the rape of our sovereignty and economy. In page 272 of the report of the National Committee for the Restoration of Civil Liberties in the Philippine titled Marcos and Martial Law in the Philippines published in 1979, the former strongman was quoted saying, “This American government is the leading power in the world. Of necessity, it has very strong influence in resources of help and is itself a source of aid. Again I say it is our hope…” In 1975, the whole island of Mindoro was considered laboratory of a project called Mindoro Integrated Rural Development Program or MIRDP. Despite of the socio-political horrors brought about by the dreaded Martial Law then, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (WB-IMF) granted Marcos’ authoritarian government a 50 million dollar worth of financial aid mainly for agricultural and infrastructure projects under MIRDP in two Mindoro provinces. On its part, the Marcos government initiated the Mindoro Agro-Industrial Rural Community Development (MAIRCOD) to implement animal dispersal projects as component of the Kilusang Kabuhayan at Kaunlaran or KKK which is under First Lady Imelda Marcos’ Ministry of Human Settlement. This was called “Mindoro Strategy”, a supposedly model program for the whole Philippines but not fully implemented due to corruption and bad management, among others, according to Volker Schult, author of “Mindoro: A Social History of a Philippine Island in the 20th Century: A Case Study of A Delayed Developmental Process” in 1991. The contractors and politicians close to Malacañang are the ones fully gained from it.

Read full article @nanovio.blogspot.com

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[In the news] Claims board fears ML memorial may be blocked -PhilStar.com

As the country is set to commemorate the declaration of martial law tomorrow, the Human Rights Victims Claims Board (HRVCB) has warned that “revisionists” could block the establishment of the planned martial law memorial.

HRVCB executive director Carmelo Victor Crisanto said they are aware that some groups are blocking their efforts to memorialize the terrors of martial law under the Marcos regime decades ago.

Crisanto, among the speakers of UP Day of Remembrance yesterday, said that while some may block the move, especially relatives of the late dictator in Congress, he hopes President Duterte would support the museum.

Read more @www.philstar.com

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[From the web] Rights groups call on public to resist brewing dictatorship -TFDP

Wednesday, few days before the 47th anniversary of Martial Law, the Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP) https://tfdp.net/ presents its mid-term human rights situation report of Duterte’s administration in a press conference held in Quezon City.

“We are living in dangerous times again and many seem not to bother nor care that the whimsical and capricious display of vindictiveness of Duterte is eating the nation’s soul and trampling on people’s rights,” said Fr. Christian Buenafe, O.Carm, chairperson of TFDP.

According to TFDP’s midterm human rights assessment of the Duterte administration, “[Based on the data presented,] the Philippines is failing to strengthen its democratic traditions. It is regressing in the promotion, protection, and fulfillment of human rights. Its elected leaders are shamelessly transgressing the rule of law, and tilting the balance of power to favor the executive branch. Democratic institutions are under attack and those who try to protect and strengthen them are targeted, vilified, and demonized. Evidently, an atmosphere of suppression of human rights exists.”

TFDP together with members of the Association of Major Religious Superiors in the Philippines (AMRSP), Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA) and In Defense of Human Rights and Dignity Movement (iDEFEND) are part of the Philippine CSOs delegation in the ongoing 42nd session of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva, Switzerland.

Undersecretary Severo Catura of the Presidential Human Rights Committee Secretariat referred to these human rights defenders as pathological liars and purveyors of fake information on alleged human rights violations in the country during these UNHRC sessions.

According to an article posted dated 14 September 2019 on the Philippine News Agency (PNA) website https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1080461Usec Catura was quoted as saying, “Sadly they are Filipinos who represent a minuscule group of oppositionists back home, but unfortunately the loudest, whose main objective has always been to humiliate and embarrass our country before the world.”

In reaction, Nilda Lagman-Sevilla, Chairperson of Families of Victims of Involuntary Disappearance (FIND) said, “Usec Catura’s statement was unfounded. He is the agent of fake information himself and not us, the NGOs. If we were to go by Mr. Catura’s assertion then the UN Human Rights Council has been deceived when it voted to conduct an investigation into allegations of human rights violations in the Philippines. Is Mr. Catura prepared to accuse these member states of being gullible as to believe so-called “pathological liars”?”

“TFDP will remain steadfast in our statements and assertion about the worsening human rights situation in the country caused by Duterte’s whimsical and capricious display of vindictiveness. Our assertion is supported with evidence, documentation, and facts as stated in our mid-term assessment report. Human rights defenders organizations like TFDP have its established record and unblemished reputation when it comes to documentation of cases human rights violations since the late dictator Marcos’ martial law period up to the present,” Fr. Buenafe stressed.

The Philippine government cannot deny the fact that Church people, journalists, lawyers, and human rights defenders are randomly attacked. Their institutions and organizations are threatened. Issuances of unverified information fabricating “truths” and releasing trolls for propaganda could lead to the filing of trumped-up charges and allegations against them individually or as a group. Labeling their works as “destabilization” moves and part of “oust Duterte” plot is defamation in its highest form.

Read full article @tfdp.net

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[Press Release] Workers commence Martial Law protests against intensifying state violence and repression -BMP

Photo from BMP FB page.

Workers initiated the series of protests today commemorating the anniversary of the declaration of martial law at the DOLE, denouncing intensified repression and violence by both capitalists and the government.

Led by the socialist political center, Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP), workers from Cosmic Enterprises Inc., Zagu Foods, Megacem, Pacific Plaza Towers, and Bestank raised their local issues on unenforced compliance orders for regularization, violent dispersals of picket lines, and the active prevention of the DOLE of the constitutional right of unions to strike.

BMP President Luke Espiritu stated “martial law may have officially ended decades ago, but the conditions of Filipino workers do not reflect this fact. Rampant contractualization, depressed wages, widespread violations of the right to organize, and the violence against workers committed by both capitalists and state agents show that for the working class, martial law has persisted.

Among the unions that mobilized in front of the DOLE were Zagu Foods and Pacific Plaza Towers, whose strikes suffered the oppression that Espiritu underlined. Last August 2019, despite the legality of their strike, the Pacific Plaza United Action of Labor’s (PUNYAL-SUPER) picket line was violently dispersed by Bonifacio Global City Marshalls and the PNP. The Organization of Zagu Workers (ORGANIZA-SUPER) was attacked by Zagu security guards and union scabs.

According to BMP, there have been 43 labor-related killings since President Duterte assumed power.

On the other hand, Cosmic Enterprises Inc. Independent Labor Union (CEILU) recently suffered a mass termination of union members after a recent labor inspection by the DOLE resulted in findings of illegal labor-only contracting. Instead of enforcing compliance of the violations they themselves found, the DOLE prevented the Union from exercising their constitutional right to strike by deeming their Notice of Strike not filed.

Espiritu bared that “the recent spate of violence against workers and their pro-capitalist intervention in labor disputes are effects of Duterte’s posture on labor evident in his veto message of the Security of Tenure Bill. By stating that he wanted to allow employers more flexibility in contractualization, he delivered his marching orders to all government agencies: the state’s allegiances lie with capitalists, not the workers they oppress.”

After their protest at the DOLE, the workers followed and participated in the larger protest action by the United People’ Action in Luneta in the afternoon.###

For reference, please contact: Luke Espiritu @ 0995 972 9969

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[Press Release] Resist Martial Law in Negros, Stop the Killings! Build Peace in Negros Now! -CTUHR

What’s in Negros Island that killings, violence and poverty keep on pounding the province and its people seems to have not known peace in their lives? Why is the State is using it as a laboratory or testing ground for something so dangerous that they seem desiring for the entire country?

The series of extrajudicial killings in Negros against the farmers, sugar workers, teachers which Defend Negros recorded to have reached 87 victims since Duterte got into power is seriously alarming. Amidst hunger and poverty, Negros remains to be one of the 20 poorest provinces in the country. Since Marcos Martial Law, Arroyo’s Oplan Makabayan to Duterte’s counter insurgency operation and Oplan Sauron, Negros figured prominently in the number of killings and horrible human rights violations. The killings of hapless victims are now being used to condition the people’s minds into declaring Martial Law.

The Center for Trade Union and Human Rights (CTUHR) joins the voices of those who reject the militarist Duterte government’s plan to declare Martial Law in Negros, amidst the numerous onslaughts on peasants, farmworkers, human rights advocates and activists.

Martial Law will only increase the killings, as the primary suspects for most of these murders are state agents themselves. For instance, one of the victims, Felipe Dacal-Dacal, an active member of National Federation of Sugar Worker (NFSW) in Escalante, Negros Occidental, who was shot last June 8, 2019, was able to tell his relatives that his assailant was a Philippine Army intelligence officer.

Extrajudicial killings escalated when Duterte issued Memorandum 32 in November 2018, which ordered more deployment of military and police in Samar, Negros Oriental, Negros Occidental and Bicol region to suppress what they claim as lawless violence and acts of terror. Then on December 2018, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and Philippine National Police (PNP), implemented Oplan Sauron1 and Oplan Sauron2 last March 2019 – the government’s counter insurgency operation in the province.

The killings in Negros include two (2) massacres – the Sagay Massacre wherein nine (9) sugarcane farmworkers were killed and the Canlaon Massacre where 14 farmers were murdered. One of the most recent and the youngest victim is a one-year old baby who was killed alongside his father in Santa Catalina, Negros Oriental.

Negros has had a long and bloody history of people’s struggle for land, higher wages for workers, against hunger and justice. For many decades, landlords with their vast haciendas rule over the island and worsen the oppression of peasants and farmworkers. The people, on the other hand, find means to fight back. They organize themselves into unions and people’s organizations, cultivate idle lands that Certificate of Land Ownership (CLOA) issued to them by the government to feed themselves and stand up for their rights.

A declaration of Martial Law in Negros will worsen the situation in the island for the alleged perpetrators will be given more power. They will sow more fear and trample on human rights of the people especially those who are actively standing up for their land and rights.

We join all peace-loving Filipinos in opposing and resisting this plan of declaring Martial rule in Negros. We urge the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) and the international community, especially the United Nations Human Rights Council to look into this matter and pressure the Duterte government to halt the plan to impose martial law, stop the killings, hold the real perpetrators to account and give peace a chance in Negros!

Defend Negros!
Stop the Killings!
Justice for All the Victims!
Peace in Negros Now!

MEDIA RELEASE
07 August 2019
Reference:
Daisy Arago
CTUHR Executive Director
Tel # 0916 248 4876 / 718 00 26

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[In the news] US court orders payment to Marcos rights victims -PhilStar.com

Thousands of human rights victims during the martial law period are set to receive $1,500 each starting next month after a federal judge in New York affirmed the settlement agreement that will divide some $20 million worth of the Marcoses’ ill-gotten assets that were recovered in the United States.

American human rights lawyer Robert Swift, counsel of the martial law victims that won the $2-billion class suit filed in Hawaii, said New York district court Judge Katherine Polk Failla directed the release of $13.75 million to the human rights victims following a hearing on Tuesday.

The Philippine government, after initially engaging in negotiations, sought to stop the settlement agreement that will divide the proceeds from the sale of the paintings seized from Vilma Bautista, an aide of former first lady and Ilocos Norte Rep. Imelda Marcos.

Read more @www.philstar.com

Support #KarapatDapat na Agenda campaign! Click the poster to know more.

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[Statement] Mindanao´s People´s Lawyers decry worsening vilification of lawyers under Duterte´s Martial Law with a stealthily delivered hit-list -UPLM

Mindanao´s People´s Lawyers decry worsening vilification of lawyers under Duterte´s Martial Law with a stealthily delivered hit-list.

It is indefinite terms, a perverse action when lawyers who provide free legal assistance to those who found themselves in the crosshairs of the draconian rule of President Duterte´s Martial Law become targets of annihilation. This leads us to recognize that justice and peace in Mindanao under martial law are indeed an oxymoron.

Of late, Northern Mindanao Region is hugging the headlines for the wrong reasons as fascist and militarist elements released an unsigned, baseless and absurd hit-list which includes lady lawyers of the Musni family. The list is purportedly showing members of the Communist Party of the Philippines. The hit list includes names of priests, nuns, organizations, media personality, a COMELEC employee/law student and other individuals who are critical of the Martial law in Mindanao.

We at UPLM decry the slander and death threat coming from this hit-list to fellow human rights lawyers, Attys. Beverly Musni, Atty Czarina Musni and Atty Beverly Anne Musni and a law student, LA Corrales, and we are angered at this malicious and atrocious action against the persons and organizations on the hit-list. It is already a pattern that after a person is vilified or red-tagged, the next chapter will be death or gallows for such person.

This hit-list may just be a list but it can also be an imprimatur as proven by recent events. Early on, tarpaulin posters were seen in the town of Talakag, Misamis Oriental portraying Datu Jomorito Goaynon as an NPA supporter. A couple of weeks later he and Ireneo Udarbe of Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP- NMR ) were illegally arrested and detained. Sergio Atay, a peasant leader from the Western Mindanao region was visited by military men sternly ordering him to stop his involvement with their local (KMP) affiliated organization. He was tortured and murdered after he was interrogated at a checkpoint. This hit-list shows the blood-stained hands of Martial Law at work.

Under the current scheme of things, is it now a crime to serve the under-served, the deprived and the oppressed? It seems so, as according to Free Legal Assistance Group, 14 lawyers have lost their lives in suspect circumstances under Duterte´s administration. Putting our colleagues in this perilous position will only spark people´s lawyering among those in the legal profession. Injustice will only help grow young lawyers and one day they will stand beside us and be led by the people´s thirst for justice.

Under the administration of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, lawyers have been murdered in cold blood. Ozamis City´s Judge Edmundo Pintac is the 4th judge and 14th lawyer killed. The murderous Martial Law in Mindanao is a specter that haunts the rest of the country. In the Visayas, lawyer Atty Ben Ramos was killed on November 6, 2018. On that day three bullets ended his enduring pro-bono legal services to the poor and marginalized. The Sagay Massacre case being his last case is still crying for justice on his demise. Powers that be are emboldened upon witnessing that in this country crime pays, that the worst criminals are scot-free, even conveniently seated in the once hallowed halls of the Senate.

END MARTIAL LAW IN MINDANAO!
STOP RED-BAITING!

For reference
Atty Jose V. Begil Jr

Union of Peoples’ Lawyers in Mindanao (UPLM)
Press Statement [February 25, 2019]

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[In the news] Sandiganbayan nears decision in P1-B civil suit vs. Marcoses -GMAnews

Sandiganbayan nears decision in P1-B civil suit vs. Marcoses

A P1.052-billion civil case against the late ex-President Ferdinand Marcos, his wife Ilocos Norte Representative Imelda Marcos, and their supposed dummies has been submitted for decision at the Sandiganbayan.

Nine years after the case was first deemed ripe for resolution, the anti-graft court’s Second Division said it can now proceed after denying a motion to defer decision, filed by co-defendants Bienvenido Tantoco, Bienvenido Tantoco Sr., the estate of Gliceria Tantoco, and Dominador Santiago, for lack of merit.

Read full article @www.gmanetwork.com

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[Statement] Pahayag ng iDEFEND sa Memorandum Order 32 na nagpapatibay ng panuntunan sa mga militar sa ilalim ng State of National Emergency to suppress lawless violence

Pahayag ng iDEFEND sa Memorandum Order 32 na nagpapatibay ng panuntunan sa mga militar sa ilalim ng State of National Emergency to suppress lawless violence

Source: iDEFEND.ph

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[Event] The Great LEAN Run (TGLR) -UP SAMASA

https://www.facebook.com/events/2230343803653047/

The Great LEAN Run (TGLR) is a joint undertaking by the UP Sandigan para sa Mag-aaral at Sambayanan Alumni (UP SAMASA) and the UP Office of the Vice-Chancellor for Student Affairs (UP OVCSA). It is a celebration of the life of Leandro L. Alejandro, one-time UP Student Council Chairman, and the most popular youth leader during the turbulent Martial Law years. He continues to be a prime example of how the youth can effect change through critical thought and social involvement.

https://tglr.samasa.org.ph/

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