Tag Archives: Metro Cebu

[In the news] Metro Cebu Muslims, advocates hail pact -Cebu Daily News

Metro Cebu Muslims, advocates hail pact
Cebu Daily News
October 15, 2012

International peace advocates and Muslim community leaders in Cebu hailed this afternoon’s signing of the preliminary framework agreement between the national government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

A member of the International Contact Group assisting the peace process between the government and the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) said today’s signing of the framework agreement on peace as a historic day of celebration.

“The Philippines is following a global trend of increased decentralization in response to the diverse and multiple identity of its people,” Emma Leslie, an Australian member of the International Contact Group (ICG) said.

“October 15th is a historic day for celebration, but just one milestone in the long journey for peace between the Moro and Filipino peoples,” said Leslie, also a director of the Center for Peace and Conflict Studies and founder of the Action Asia Peacebuilders.

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[Statement] Message to PNoy: honor your parents’ struggle vs. Martial Law through stopping all human rights violations -Visayas Clergy Discernment group


Message to PNoy: honor your parents’ struggle vs. Martial Law through stopping all human rights violations

September 21, 2012

On the 41st commemoration of the declaration of Martial Law, the bishops and priests of the Visayas Clergy Discernment Group (VCDG) call on President Benigno Aquino III to meaningfully honor his parents’ struggle against Martial Law, through stopping human rights violations such as militarization, demolition and eviction of urban and rural poor communities, summary killing of media people and environmentalists, and other forms of human rights abuses.

Our Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI said, “Those with greater political, technical, or economic power may not use that power to violate the rights of others who are less fortunate. Peace is based on respect for the rights of all” (Pope Benedict XVI, in his Message for World Day of Peace, 1 January 2007).

Despite its insistence on “daang matuwid”, human rights violations and the impunity of perpetrators continue to characterize the Aquino government.

Two years into his presidency, 99 extra-judicial killings have been recorded, 11 enforced disappearances, 60 frustrated extra-judicial killings, 222 illegal arrests without detention, 216 illegal arrests with detention, 185 illegal search and seizure, and 7,008 forced eviction/demolition.

The Aquino government also committed 29,465 acts of forced evacuation, 19,325 threat/harassment/intimidation, 6,721 indiscriminate firing, 45 forced/fake surrender, 296 use of civilians in police and/or military operations as guides and/or shield, 14,620 use of schools, medical, religious and other public places for military purposes, 2,099 restriction or violent dispersal of mass actions, public assemblies and gatherings, among others (Karapatan Quarterly Monitor, 2012).

In Cebu, violent demolition and eviction of urban poor communities have continued; and more than 30,000 households in Metro Cebu are facing demolition. There are also farmers’ leaders who have asked helped from Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma as they are being harassed for asserting genuine agrarian reform. Fisherfolks in Cordova, Cebu and other areas in the province are being displaced from their livelihood due to reclamation projects for ports, golf courses, and others.

We recall the Church’s social teachings on integral development. In any program for development or progress, the government must make sure that everyone affected by it, especially those who don’t have the means to have their voices heard or who can’t defend themselves, is given the chance to be listened to or consulted. The government should ensure that its decisions are not biased in favor of those who have more in life, at the expense of those who have less. Each one’s rights should not be violated in the name of progress.

Yet amidst increasing human rights violations, we are dismayed with the continuing impunity of perpetrators. Impunity or exemption from punishment of perpetrators has become so common that it has become just another matter of routine. Impunity denies the victims their right to justice and redress.

For example, General Jovito Palparan, who is facing two charges of kidnapping and serious illegal detention for allegedly masterminding the 2006 abduction of University of the Philippines students Karen Empeño and Sherlyn Cadapan, continues to elude the law. The late Sec. Jesse Robredo in his talk in the Cebu Discernment of Public Servants last July 20, 2012, even said that Palparan can’t be arrested because “may kasabwat sa kapangyarihan.”

Many other government military officials and personnel accused of perpetrating human rights violation continue to enjoy impunity under the current dispensation.

We ask the Aquino Government to denounce Martial Law through doing all it can to stop impunity and stop all human rights violations.

We also challenge ourselves, and everyone concerned. To attain lasting peace, all of us must promote human rights and justice. We are one with Pope Benedict XVI who said, “Peace for all is the fruit of justice for all, and no one can shirk this essential task of promoting justice” (Message for World Day of Peace 2012, Pope Benedict XVI).

As Christ lives,

Auxiliary Bishop of Jaro/
Head Convenor of the Visayas Clergy Discernment Group (VCDG)
Tel. No. (033) 3291625

E-Mail Address: visayasclergydiscernment@yahoo.com

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[From the web] Forty years hence -INQUIRER.net

Forty years hence.

By Butch Hernandez, Philippine Daily Inquirer
August 31, 2012

SEPT. 21 marks the 40th anniversary of the declaration of martial law, and true to form, media organizations have been calling the Eggie Apostol Foundation to request permission to use footage from our landmark video documentary “Batas Militar.” Political science and history students doing research on martial law have been reaching out to us as well.

Our reply has always been that they are welcome to use the footage they need for their own video productions, provided that they run the acknowledgement “Footage from ‘Batas Militar’ courtesy of the Eggie Apostol Foundation” preferably as a runner every time the footage appears onscreen.

In the midst of this renewed media interest in martial law, it occurred to me that almost all of the researchers who were getting in touch with us by phone or by e-mail, particularly those from national television, were born after 1986. Were it not for the Eggie Apostol Foundation’s education reform advocacy, I would have been appalled at their very superficial appreciation of the impact of martial law on Philippine society and culture.

As it is, I am the least bit surprised because I know for a fact that history is not being taught as it should be in our schools. I recall that at one conference on the Department of Education’s Schools First Initiative with then Education Secretary Butch Abad, the late Mario Taguiwalo was outlining how DepEd would strengthen instruction in English, science and math as these were seen as critical 21st-century competencies.

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[Press Release] Violence, demolition threaten Calamba community – Partido ng Manggagawa

Shots were fired and stones were hurled at the houses of two leaders of an urban poor community that is being threatened by demolition. The incidents happened late night of Friday as residents of a community at Purok 3, Barangay Makiling in Calamba, Laguna were resting and sleeping.

“We call on Mayor Jun Chipeco of Calamba and newly reappointed DILG Secretary Jesse Robredo to assist the urban poor of Calamba who are being threatened by an illegal demolition,” stated Ramil Cangayo, coordinator of the Calabarzon chapter of Alyansa ng Maralitang Lungsod (AMP), a national network of urban poor organizations that is campaigning for a moratorium on demolitions, reforms in the housing policy and housing security of informal settlers.

At 11:45 pm last Friday three shots were fired at a light bulb in the house of Zeny Martirez, treasurer of the Samahang Magkakapitbahay Magkakaibigan Kapuso (SMMK). The shards fell on the face of her child who sustained injuries. The family recovered two bullet fragments inside their house. Earlier at 10:00 pm stones were thrown at the house of Mike Brendes, auditor of the group. Martirez and Brendes filed a report at the barangay yesterday about the incidents. SMMK leaders suspect the violent harassment is connected to the demolition being threatened by barangay captain Soliman Lajara and a certain Cao of Galaxy Realty Corp which owns the lot on which the community stands.

“Some 86 families are now living in fear because of the harassment and threats. Cao and Lajara are warning the residents that they must leave tomorrow or else be demolished. However there is no demolition order so clearly this is illegal,” Cangayao explained.

The leaders and members of SMMK had staged a rally and held a dialogue with Mayor Chipeco last May 10. Negotiations with the mayor’s office are still ongoing.

file photo source: flickr.com

Renato Magtubo, national chair of Partido ng Manggagawa, called on President Benigno Aquino III to sign a draft executive order providing for a moratorium on demolitions and evictions. “The spate of violent demolitions in Metro Manila, Calabarzon and Metro Cebu reveal the need for a moratorium on evictions. During the pendency of the moratorium, government must hold an honest dialogue with the urban poor for strategic solution to the problem of housing for the poor,” he explained.

PM and AMP and are involved in the consultations held by the cabinet level task force headed by Secretary Robredo with the mandate to formulate and recommend policy resolutions on the housing issues confronting the urban poor. An executive order for the moratorium drafted as a result of the consultations has remained unsigned by President Aquino.

Press Release
May 29, 2011
Partido ng Manggagawa
Contact Ramil Cangayao @ 09108676990