Tag Archives: PAHRA

[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

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

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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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[Joint Statement] On disproportionate impact Covid-19 is having on women -OMCT and PAHRA

Geneva and Manila, 02 June 2020 – The members of the Women and Torture Working Group, a joint regional initiative of the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) and the Philippines Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA), express concern over the disproportionate impact Covid-19 is having on women. The social, political, and economic sectors, in which women already face inequalities, have all been adversely affected by the pandemic.
In many countries, families share limited rooms, and homes have become particularly crowded spaces that exacerbate risks of increased domestic violence. In Bangladesh, a phone survey conducted by civil society organizations in April revealed that at least 1672 women experienced their first incidents of domestic violence during the lockdown.
Judicial, police and health services, which often provide limited assistance to victims of gender-based violence even under normal circumstances, have now shifted their priorities as a result of the pandemic or are finding themselves unable to help. In several countries, such as Sri Lanka and Nepal, the police have repeatedly refused to register domestic violence complaints.
Nepal is also one of several Asian countries where fewer cases of domestic violence are being reported under lockdown. Rather than an actual decrease in the commission of violence, this is a reflection of women’s inability to access help and report incidents under gender-blind lockdown measures. Abusers are exploiting women’s inability to escape or obtain help, and civil society actors can no longer access victims. This creates significant challenges in the collection of accurate data.
In most countries, the pandemic shines a light on already inadequate systems of protection and assistance for victims of gender-based violence. Covid-19 has merely exposed these existing gaps and vulnerabilities across the region. In the Philippines for example, there is no national hotline that specifically caters to women victims of domestic violence. The dramatic increase of violence against women is often linked to the inability of national institutions to adequately address this issue. In most countries, women were already frequently reluctant to report torture and other forms of violence, including domestic violence, and refrain from seeking justice.
In light of the above, the members of the Women and Torture Working Group call on governments in Asia to:
§  Design and implement a gender-sensitive response to the pandemic and guarantee the right of women to live free from torture and other ill-treatment. The pandemic requires national authorities to acknowledge the differential impact of Covid-19 on women and to implement rigorous measures that respond to the increase of gender-based violence.
§  Prioritize and integrate measures providing support to women victims of violence in national response plans to Covid-19. Measures include, but are not limited to:
o   Ensuring that all services of assistance for women victims of gender-based violence be considered essential services during the pandemic, and therefore remain accessible;
o   Addressing pre-existing gaps in gender-based violence response frameworks by developing all necessary services to ensure the protection of women;
o   Guaranteeing that shelters remain open and receive the resources necessary to adapt to quarantine needs;
o   Designating safe spaces for women to report incidents of abuse, such as in pharmacies, and ensuring that employees of such safe spaces are provided with a clear protocol to follow in these situations;
o   Adapting services to the pandemic situation by, for instance, moving assistance online;
o   Strengthening advocacy and communication campaigns about gender-based violence, including those targeting men. For instance, the hashtag #AntiDomesticViolenceDuringEpidemic has proven useful in China.
§  Guarantee women’s access to justice within the context of the pandemic, through measures that take into account current challenges as well as travel restrictions.
§  Guarantee the immediate release of women human rights activists and political prisoners and ensure that they are not subjected to torture and other ill-treatment while in custody.
§  Guarantee that women take an active and meaningful part in decision-making processes related to the pandemic and its aftermath.
                                                                                          
In times of emergency, violence against women increases. Covid-19 is no different. Political leaders in Asia have now an opportunity to demonstrate that this cycle can be broken. We call on governments to abide by international standards and ensure that women live free of torture and other ill-treatment, including gender-based violence.
Signatories
Members of the Women and Torture Working Group
·       Cristina Sevilla, Phillippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA), Philippines
·       Muna Baig, Association of Women for Awareness and Motivation (AWAM) and National Commission for Justice and Peace (NCJP), Pakistan
·       Habibun Nessa, Naripokkho, India
·       Prachi Lohia, Mahila Sarvangeen Utkarsh Mandal (MASUM), India
·       Roshani Giri, Advocacy Forum, Nepal
·       Sayed Hussain Anosh, Civil Society & Human Rights Network (CSHRN), Afghanistan
·       Semkidmaa Choijil, Psychological Responsiveness NGO, Mongolia
·       Shreen Saroor, Women’s Action Network / Mannar Women’s Development Federation Muslim Women Development Trust, Sri Lanka
·       Sopheap Chak, Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR), Cambodia
·       World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT), Switzerland

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[Statement] Philippines: Proposed Anti-Terrorism Law will solidify abuse of State power -Forum-Asia

Philippines: Proposed Anti-Terrorism Law will solidify abuse of State power

(Bangkok, 2 June 2020) – The railroading of the Anti-Terrorism Bill in the Philippines will further erode human rights in the country, rights groups said today.

The Asian Forum of Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA) and its member organisations Balaod Mindanaw, Dakila, Karapatan, LILAK (Purple Action for Indigenous Women’s Rights), Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA), and Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP) warned that the proposed law would lead to a crackdown on civic space and fundamental freedoms.

‘We have seen the systematic intimidation of civil society, from human rights organisations to journalists and the general public under the Duterte regime. The Anti-Terrorism Bill would institutionalise and facilitate abuse of power, leading the weaponisation of the law against its people,’ the groups said.

On 1 June, President Rodrigo Duterte certified House Bill 6875 or the Anti-Terrorism Bill as urgent, which would allow the House of Representatives to fast-track its approval.[1] The bill is expected to be passed before Congress adjourns on 5 June. The House of Representatives had earlier adopted the Senate version of the bill, approved in February 2020, to facilitate its passage into law.

The proposed anti-terror law contains provisions that effectively erode civil liberties and remove necessary checks in power. Vague language in the bill, including on the definition of terrorism which includes acts committed ‘regardless of the stage of execution’ would allow for broad interpretation and overreach.[2]

The bill allows for a lengthened period of warrantless detention, and surveillance that goes beyond stipulations in existing national security legislation. It would lead to the creation of an Anti-Terrorism Council, comprised of State officials, which would have the power to authorise the arrest and detention of a person suspected of being a terrorist – a power reserved for the Courts.

Under Duterte’s administration, repressive laws and policies have been used as tools of intimidation and reprisals against human rights defenders and critics. Executive Order No. 70, adopted in 2018, led to the consolidation of the country’s agencies towards a whole-of-nation approach against national insurgency. This policy was used to justify surveillance activities and raids against organisations accused of being communist fronts.[3]

Citing ‘national security’, State officials have regularly released lists tagging human rights defenders, including United Nations Special Rapporteur Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, as terrorists. FORUM-ASIA’s members Karapatan, PAHRA, and TFDP have also been labeled as terrorists for speaking out against human rights violations in the country. These accusations threaten their security and compromise the ability to conduct their work.

The administration has used existing legislation, including on cyber-libel and sedition to target critics, while pushing for new laws that dismantle Constitutional guarantees and stifle dissent. The recently introduced Bayanihan to Heal as One Act included a ‘fake news’ provision which has been used to arrest individuals posting online criticism of the government’s response to the pandemic.

‘Fast-tracking the Anti-Terrorism Bill at a time when the country is grappling with the effects of a public health emergency demonstrates a complete disregard for any trust the public has placed in its Government. Members of the Philippine Congress should take a strong stand against this bill and demonstrate that they are capable of upholding democracy and not just the wishes of their President,’ urged the rights groups.

[Joint Statement] Philippines: Proposed Anti-Terrorism Law will solidify abuse of State power

About FORUM-ASIA:

The Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA) is a regional network of 81 member organisations across 21 Asian countries, with consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council, and consultative relationship with the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights. Founded in 1991, FORUM-ASIA works to strengthen movements for human rights and sustainable development through research, advocacy, capacity-development and solidarity actions in Asia and beyond. It has sub-regional offices in Geneva, Jakarta, and Kathmandu. http://www.forum-asia.org
For further information, please contact:
East Asia and ASEAN Programme, FORUM-ASIA at ea-asean@forum-asia.org

For media inquiries, please contact:
Yi-Lan, Communication and Media Programme, FORUM-ASIA at communication@forum-asia.org

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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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[From the web] Open letter to Department of Justice: Decongest jails in the Philippines to contain the COVID-19 pandemic -Forum-Asia

Open letter to Department of Justice: Decongest jails in the Philippines to contain the COVID-19 pandemic

To: THE HONORABLE MENARDO GUEVARRA, Secretary, Department of Justice

Padre Faura Street, Ermita, Manila
1000 The Philippines

6 May 2020

Re: Decongest jails in the Philippines to contain the COVID-19 pandemic

Dear Hon. Secretary Guevarra

We, the Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA), an Asia-based human rights network, and its member organizations in the Philippines including KARAPATAN, the Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA) and the Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP) are writing to express our concern on the deteriorating state of persons deprived of liberty in jails. We reiterate the call of human rights organizations to decongest the country’s jails, as the country struggles to contain the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Philippines has one of the highest rates of jail congestion in the world, at almost 400 percent overcapacity. We urge your office to heed the call of UN High Commissioner Michelle Bachelet to release every person ‘detained without sufficient legal basis, including political prisoners and others detained simply for expressing critical or dissenting views.’ We also ask that your office prioritize the immediate release of persons deprived of their liberty who are vulnerable to the COVID-19 pandemic, including pregnant women, the elderly, and those with medical conditions including mental health issues.

Detention centers pose a significantly heightened risk for the spread of COVID-19 for persons deprived of their liberty and personnel working in detention facilities, including healthcare staff. Over the past weeks, persons deprived of liberty and prison guards have tested positive for COVID-19. We appreciate the recent release of 10,000 persons deprived of liberty, but would also like to draw your attention to how such actions must be sustained if they are to have a lasting impact. With the impossibility of physical distancing within these detention centers and significant gaps in health resources within prisons, more are expected to test positive within the coming weeks. The current health infrastructure would be unable to cope with such a crisis. Clearly, prison health implicates public health.

We are also concerned that the continuing arrests and detention of lockdown violators are further compromising the safety and welfare of these individuals – persons deprived of their liberty and custodial staff. With an already overstretched prison system, these individuals are often deprived of access to basic needs, as well as legal and medical services. These arrests, often without warrants, also undermine the people’s trust in the country’s institutions.

Please click the link to read the complete letter:

Open letter to Department of Justice: Decongest jails in the Philippines to contain the COVID-19 pandemic

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

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

 

 

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SILANG MGA KALASAG.
Pagkilala.Pagkumusta.Pakikiisa sa mga frontliners sa gitna ng CoVid

iDEFEND Live

May 2, 2020, 4:00PM/ SEE LINKS.
SILANG MGA KALASAG

Kasama sina:

Dr. Faith Mesa Gaerlan
Emergency Room Consultant

Dr katerina Abiertas
Municipal Health Officer , Motiong, Samar
President, Samar AMHOP

Dr. Ela Romano
Psychiatrist ,
Bicol Medical Center

Dr. Nemuel Fajutagana
Chairperson,
Medical Action Group

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Kasama sina:

Val Vibal
Aniban ng Manggagawa sa Agrikultura (AMA)

Judy Ann Chan-Miranda
Partido Manggagawa

Atty. Luke Espiritu
Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino

Joshua Mata
Sentro ng mga Nagkakaisa at Progresibong Manggagawa

Ellene Sana
Center for Migrants Advocacy

Primo Amparo
Workers for Peoples Liberation

Tagapagpadaloy:
Joseph Purugganan
Focus on the Global South

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Diavlog nina:
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sa panulat ni: Layeta P. Bucoy

Mga tula ni:
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Mga musika at awit ng:
Teatrong Bayan
Sining Dilaab
Galo Tepangan
Alyansa Tigil Mina Youth
Youth 4 Rights

At nina:
Joseph Puruganan ng Village Idiots
Melascom “Miyak” Van Vugt
Ja Quintana

At sayaw ni:
Sasa Cabalquinto

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Situation of Women and Children Under Lockdown

Kasama sina:

Jelen Paclarin
Executive Director,
Women’s Legal and Human Rights Bureau (WLB)

Dr. Maria Lourdes Mendoza
Women and Children Protection Unit,
Northern Mindanao Medical Center

Julie Ann Regalado
Division Chief, Child Rights Center
Commission on Human Rights

Rowena Legaspi
Executive Director,
Children’s Legal and Research Development Center (CLRD)

Krissi Shaffina Twyla Rubin
OIC,
Center for Gender Equality and Women’s Human Rights
Commission on Human Rights

Moderator:
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Executive Director,
Balay Alternative Legal Advocates for Development in Mindanaw Inc. (BALAOD Mindanaw)

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#MassTestingHOW
The Challenges of Mass Testing in Curbing the COVID-19 Pandemic
iDEFEND

April 23, 2020
4:00 pm – 6:00 pm

Organized by: In Defense of Human Rights and Dignity (I-DEFEND), LAPIS, Scientists Unite Against COVID-19, #MassTestingNowPH and DAKILA,

Joshua Miguel Danac
BSc Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, UPD-NIMBB
Scientists Unite Against COVID-19

Edel Hernandez
Executive Director
Medical Action Group

Atty. Camille Maranan
BSc MBB, UPD-NIMBB and Juris Doctor, College of Law UP Diliman
Chevening Scholar, Queen Mary University of London

Sharon Yvette Angelina Villanueva
Professor
Department of Medical Microbiology, College of Public Health, UP Manila

Moderator: Stephanie Marie Tan
Board of Director
DAKILA – Philippine Collective for Modern Heroism

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