Tag Archives: SONA 2018

[Statement] Duterte’s two years in power a human rights calamity -AIph

Philippines: Duterte’s two years in power a human rights calamity

President Duterte has presided over a disturbing regression on human rights that has left the Philippines a more perilous place than when he came to power, said Amnesty International, ahead of his third state of the nation address marking the second anniversary of his presidency.

“President Duterte came to power on the back of a ‘strongman’ image and a promise to be tough on law and order. The reality is, just two years into his presidency, his disastrous policies have made the country a more dangerous place, particularly for the poorest Filipinos,” said Rachel Chhoa Howard, Amnesty International’s Philippines Researcher.

“Instead of combatting a difficult social problem, his ‘war on drugs’ has caused untold damage and misery. President Duterte’s policies – which include directly encouraging unlawful killing – have seen thousands of people murdered with total impunity amid growing lawlessness, with extrajudicial executions in homes and on the country’s streets still happening on a daily-basis.

“As the killing continues, and with no sign of any counter-action at the national level, it is time for the international community including the UN Human Rights Council to mandate an investigation into the Philippines’ appalling approach to tackling drug-related issues.”

Read more @www.amnesty.org

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[Statement] Instead of investing in a life of dignity for the poor, the government pursues the path of killing and retribution -iDEFEND

Instead of investing in a life of dignity for the poor, the government pursues the path of killing and retribution

Photo by Jhay de Jesus

Human rights advocates led by In Defense of Human Rights and Dignity Movement (iDEFEND) Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA) and Freedom From Debt Coalition (FDC) gathered as early as 10:30 Monday morning near the Diliman Doctors Hospital in Commonwealth Avenue in Quezon City to fly banners that show the latest human rights statistics in the two years of President Duterte’s term.

iDEFEND highlighted the human rights crisis in the country triggered by the government’s war on drugs, which they said crippled democratic processes and institutions and created a culture of fear, violence and death even among the youngest Filipinos.

Spokesperson Ellecer Carlos said that the failure of the drug war hinged on the fact that “instead of investing in a life of dignity for the poorest in society, the government pursues the path of killing and retribution; instead of strengthening the rule of law and due process the President employs political persecution against his critics and undermines the democratic foundations of the country; instead of a rights-based governance, the President neutralized government’s check and balances.”

“The result is the continued proliferation of drugs in the country, the exoneration of big drug personalities, increased abuse and corruption among law enforcement agencies, 27,000 victims of extra judicial killings, and no lasting solution to the drugs issue,” he added.

“Amidst these are the rising prices of goods, utilities and transportation brought on by the TRAIN Law which exacerbates people’s economic suffering and removes opportunities for Filipino families to uplift themselves from poverty, and may make them doubly vulnerable to drug related activities” ” added Rose Trajano, PAHRA Secretary General.

The group also condemned the proposed charter change being pushed at the House of Representatives, saying it is nothing more than an attempt to consolidate power for Duterte towards establishing his brand of dictatorship.

“The draft federal constitution removed a strong human rights framework and weakened constitutional guarantees against human rights violations,” Ms. Trajano said, “that means impoverished, struggling Filipinos may have lesser access to justice and protection from abuse under the proposed federal system.

In the afternoon the group joined the United People’s SONA mobilization in Commonwealth Avenue.

Follow iDEFEND @
Website: iDEFEND.ph
Facebook: @iDEFENDofficial
Twitter: @idefendHR

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[In the news] Bayan secretary general Renato Reyes thanked Duterte for being the force who untied groups in protest of his administration -PhilStar.com

Bayan secretary general Renato Reyes thanked Duterte for being the force who untied groups in protest of his administration.

Photo credit to PhilStar.com

“He has united workers and labor groups in protest against his administration. He has united workers and labor groups against contractualization. He has united women’s groups against misogyny,” Reyes said.

He added: “He has united religious groups offended by his statements. He has united different political forces against charter change and dictatorship. Monday’s United People’s SONA sends a strong message that the people will oppose tyranny and dictatorship in whatever form.”

Read full article @www.philstar.com

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[From the web] SONAY -State of Nanays Address -Oriang

SONAY -State of Nanays Address

Photo from ORIANG FB

Sama-sama po ang mga Nanay mula sa batayang sektor ang magpapahayag ng tunay nilang karanasan sa dalawang taon na pamumuno ni Duterte.

Sa panahon na mataas ang bilihin dahil sa TRAIN Law, sa panahon na hindi sustenable ang produksyon ng pagkain ng bansa dahil walang pa rin sapat na ayuda sa magsasaka, sa panahon na kontraktuwal pa rin at hindi sapat ang sahod ng manggagawa, sa panahon na maraming pinapatay na kabataan dahil pinaghihinalaang adik, sa panahon na hinuhuli ang tambay, nakukulong at yun iba ay napapatay sa tortyur.

Pakinggan po natin ang karanasan at damdamin ng mga Nanay na direktang apektado nitong hindi maka-mahirap at hindi maka-taong polisiya ng pamahalaan ni Duterte.

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[Statement] Duterte, just like his predecessors, has only used the SONA to promote himself, preserve the status quo and advance the interests of the economic elite -BMP

Photo extracted from Sonny Melencio FB

The Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP) explained that Philippine society is divided into ‘two nations’. On one hand, a nation of rent-seeking property-owners and another nation of paupers who are forced to sell their labor-power and have always been at the losing end of state policies.

“Year in, year out the toiling masses have yearned for presidents to institute pro-people policies to lift them from dire poverty. The present abject misery of the poor is enough proof that all past SONAs have failed them and all presidents up to this present regime have neglected them,” BMP president Luke Espiritu said.

“Duterte, just like his predecessors, has only used the SONA to promote himself, preserve the status quo and advance the interests of the economic elite with programs that liberalize the economy, deregulate industries, privatize social services and cheapen labor, leaving the poor grappling with poverty and social injustice,” he added
He reasoned that “what Duterte and his economic managers consider as accomplishments are actually dilemmas for the toiling masses. What they call a vibrant economy is actually belt-tightening measures on the part of millions of working class families”.

To prove its point, BMP illustrated that the recently released 68-page report the administration presented as part of its achievements two days before the SONA is in fact a collection of disservices of the Duterte administration to the poor majority.

BMP noted that in the report the 14.76 percent, or P106.5 billion increase in revenue collection in the past five months is better than the same period in 2017, indicating that this successful tax collection was due to the TRAIN Law.

The group maintains that the amount was primarily collected from the low-income families as both oligarchs and white collared employees were awarded with tax reductions and exemptions under the 6-month old tax regime.

Also cited as accomplishment was the P195.7 billion worth of investment approvals from January to April 2018 by the Board of Investments. BMP claims that these investments will not only produce limited job openings but will also raise negligible revenues due to the multiple tax concessions offered by the government to lure multinational companies.

“The report is a perfect picture of how policies differ in impacts between the affluent minority and the destitue majority. Both multinational companies and this authoritarian regime feed off the surplus value created by laborers, fattening themselves with profits and taxes at our expense”.

“There’s no denying anymore that TRAIN triggered the cost of basic commodities to increase sharply and that it gave rise to the 5.2% inflation rate as the latest survey SWS revealed that 48 percent of the respondents viewed themselves as poor in the second quarter of 2018,” Espiritu asserted.

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[Statement] Invest in education to win war against drugs, crimes and corruption-TDC

Invest in education to win war against drugs, crimes and corruption

Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte rose in tremendous popularity by attacking the evils of illegal drugs, criminality and corruption on his road to presidential campaign. The formula proved to be very effective that it brought him to power and become the president of the Philippines by a vote of 16 million people.

However, the president has also pockets of promises for some sectors. During the campaign for 2016 presidential elections, the Duterte camp has promised to give the P10, 000 across the board increase for government teachers, along with the promise to double the salaries of military and uniformed personnel, yet after two years the increase in our salaries were pegged under the context of the salary standardization law (SSL-4) which only provides for a little over P500 increase from year 2016. Meanwhile, the military and uniformed personnel, or at least their entry level position increased by 100 per cent. For us teachers, there were occasional pronouncements, but these are not manifested in policies.

Worse, earlier this year, the government thru the statement of DBM Secretary Ben Diokno confirms that it does not prioritize the increase in our salaries and discussions for these proposals will only begin on 2019, or after the Aquino’s SSL 4 lapses.

Today, as the president delivers his third State of the Nation Address and present his accomplishments as well as further promises, we would like to reiterate the public school teachers’ call for augmentation of our salaries, better compensation packge, benefits and incentives for us as well as protection and welfare for our teachers, at present and in in the future.

By doing so, we challenge the President and the concerned government agencies to act on these three main demands:

1. Enactment of the P10, 000 increase in salaries of teachers;
2. Fully implement of Magna Carta for Public School Teachers (RA 4670) by providing the necessary fundng for this vintage law;
3. Reform the GSIS and employ policies that would provide benefits for teachers and government employees and truly secure our retirement; and
4. Apportion budget in education sector based on the needs of the field.

These are not sectoral demand, but rather a proposal that would benefit the nation, especially our most important resources- our people.

After two years, it seems that the government is losing its war against illegal drugs, criminality and corruption. The trend may continue, unless it shifts to a better course of battle- thru education. Crimes, drug problem and even corruption may be reduced or even eliminated if the people are well-educated and employed and social services are accessible. The “Tunay na Pagbabago” slogan will only be achieved if the government would invest in education at the very least and ensure social justice, at most. #

Reference: Benjo Basas, 09273356375

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