Tag Archives: Philippine Supreme Court

[Urgent Appeal] Justice for Dusit Hotel Workers

Dear Friends,

The undersigned is the current Executive Director of the Labor Education and Research Network (LEARN) a trade union ngo founded after the EDSA Revolution in 1986 in the Philippines .

Prior to my work in LEARN, i was the local president of the NUWHRAIN-Dusit Hotel Nikko Chapter, which is an affiliate of the Alliance of Progressive Labor (APL) and the IUF.

While we are supposed to be a democratic society, our constitutional right to freedom of expression and association in the context of labor relations is being undermined by the decision of Justice Presbitero Velasco of the Philippine Supreme Court. Not only it is anomalous but also unconstitutional.

The issue pertains not only to us but to all workers in the Philippines since the decision penned by Justice Presbitero Velasco of the 2nd Division of the Court ruled, by twisted and tortured logic, that by exercising our right to freedom of expression by shaving our heads will be treated as an illegal strike – despite the absence of work stoppage and slowdown. Far worse would be the plight of public sector workers, having no right to strike and full bargaining rights, with this decision their right to peaceful and lawful concerted activities will now be undermined as well.

Fortunately, because of the complaint of the IUF along with other 19 Philippine trade union organization cutting across the political spectrum, was one of the 8 cases investigated by the ILO High Level Mission in the Philippines in September 2009. Last November 2010, the ILO Committee on Freedom of Association disagrees with Philippine Supreme Court decision and finding the Philippine Government of violating ILO Convention 87 and 98.

it is a welcome development for us, however nothing substantial has happened until now. So we are now appealing to you and help us in our campaign. Hereunder is a link to a video documentary entitled “Hoy Kalbo Tanggal ka sa Trabaho (Hey Baldhead Your Fired!) as well as a petition on-line addressed to our President. Similarly, we also would like to request your help if you could also fax an attached letter to our President as well as the Department of Labor Secretary of your support and concern to our plight. We request further if you could share it with your friends as widely as possible. It will be a big help to our cause. Finally, we enjoin all our friends not to patronize the Dusit Thani Hotel Manila.

link to the video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ve82oihAsCQ

link to the petition:
http://www.petitiononline.com/20110501/petition.html

Thank you in advance for your support and solidarity. if you need further information just write to us and will be willing to reply as soon as possible.

We remain.

Rey C. Rasing
(P.S. if you faxed the petition letter,if you have time is it possible to inform us?)

[Opinion] Human Rights and Tourism – preda.org

By: Father Shay Cullen

(Fr. Shay’s columns are published in The Manila Times,
in publications in Ireland, the UK, Hong Kong, and on-line.)
Source: http://www.preda.org

Fr. Shay Cullen

Berlin. The case of a 14 year-old child, call her Angel, who was sold by her parents to an Australian tourist at Baloy Beach, Olongapo city and made the child as his live-in sex toy caused me to speak more forcibly than usual at the International Tourist Exhibition in Berlin (ITB) held last 9th to 13th March. As a member of a panel to discuss Human Rights and Tourism, the fact that thousands of children and youth are being sold as sex-slaves to foreign tourists with the connivance of local authorities in the Philippines and elsewhere, gave a critical edge to my speech.

During the exhibition (the world’s biggest), I joined the press conference and with the international child rights organizations ECPAT and Tourism Watch, we called for justice for child victims in tourism and for governments, tourist associations and operators to put human rights before profits.

Sex-tourism is one of the worst aspects of the industry where violations of human rights occur. Millions of women and children are trafficked and sold into prostitution yearly around the world – an estimated 100,000 in the Philippines alone.

When children as young as 11 can be picked-up and sold to sex tourists on the streets of Angeles city (although the authorities deny it happens), we have to take a stand and speak out. The city and town mayors give the permits and licenses for the brothels and clubs to operate. It does great harm to the child victims, the community and the Filipino people. It is a cause of shame and embarrassment to Filipinos everywhere but not to the officials behind it. They make the big money.

As announced at the ITB tourist associations and travel agencies that have signed up to the tourism code of conduct (the code.org) and agreed to send their customers to countries that have clean tourism and child protection as a priority. Checking some of the travel agencies brochures offering holidays in Asia, I could not find a single one offering the Philippines as a destination.

That’s because the dirty side of Philippine tourism is showing. Street pimps, vendors, taxi drivers, waiters, hotel staff and even police are pimping minors to foreign tourists. Foreign guests in a Manila five-star hotel were offered young girls and they reported it. The Preda foundation offered to give free child protection seminars to the hotel management and staff but they were refused. Next time the offers of sex in the hotel will be videotaped and posted on YouTube. Name and Shame is perhaps the only way to protect the children. Complaints made to the International Tourist Agencies who signed the Code of Conduct will result in the blacklisting of the offending resort or hotel. (Report abuse to preda@info.com.ph)

Angel was rescued from the sex-tourist and taken from Baloy beach to the Preda Children’s home for healing and protection. She was just finding her childhood again when the Australian’s defense lawyer persuaded the Olongapo judge to return her to the parents who pimped her, this, despite overwhelming medical evidence that she was continually abused by the suspect and in grave danger. Every judge is supposed to act in the best interests of the child. The court’s decision has been sent to the Court Administrator at the Philippine Supreme Court for evaluation. Let the Senate investigate too. Now the child will be prevented from testifying against her abuser.

There are some people who believe that young Filipino girls, even underage, ought to be available for the sexual gratification of older Caucasian foreign men, especially if they are willing to pay large sums of money. How else can we explain the almost total absence of prosecutions and convictions of foreign child sex abusers in the Philippines? Even the conviction of traffickers of persons is so low that the Philippines is on the watch list of the US State Department for non-compliance with international standards. Unless there are just prosecutions and sound convictions, the anti-trafficking and child protection law appears to be a useless scrap of paper and the system looks like a game where everyone is making money. The chief justices ought to act and save the justice system. If not, there will be many more victims like little 14 year-old Angel unless there is serious reform. END