Tag Archives: SONA

[From the web] Pagbabago ni Duterte: Karahasan, kahirapan, katraydoran sa bayan, panagutin! -PAHRA

Tatlong taong nagdaan, sanlaksang kasalanan ng gobyernong Duterte sa taumbayan.

Inilunsad ang giyera kontra droga noong Hulyo 2016 bilang pangunahing programa ng gobyernong Duterte, alinsunod sa pangako niyang sugpuin ang illegal na kalakalan sa droga. Ang madugong kampanya ang pumaslang sa higit 27,000 Pilipino kabilang na ang higit 100 kabataan at mga sanggol, na tinagurian niyang “collateral damage”. Pinatunayan ng isang survey na karamihan ng mga Pilipino ay ayaw sa nagaganap na patayan bagama’t sang- ayon silang giyerahin ang illegal na kalakalan ng droga. Nagsunud sunod naman ang panunupil sa mamamayang nagprotesta at kumondena sa malawakang extrajudicial killing, gayundin laban sa malayang pamamahayag. Umalagwa ang pamamaslang sa mga human rights defenders, mga kritiko at oposisyon. Iniulat ni Representative Edcel Lagman na 134 tagapagtanggol ng karapatang pantao ang pinaslang mula nang maupo si Duterte sa puwesto. Samantala patuloy ang pamamayagpag ng malalaking drug lords at pagpasok ng droga sa bansa. At si Duterte na mismo ang umaming lumalaki pa ang bilang ng nalululong dito. Dahil sa pananalasa ni Duterte sa karapatang pantao nasadlak sa pagsisiyasat ng International Criminal Court at United Nations Human Rights Council ang Pilipinas.

Ipinagmalaki ng gobyerno ang programang Build Build Build na popondohan ng mabigat na pagbubuwis ayon sa TRAIN law at utang sa dayuhang bansa kabilang na ang Tsina. Ito ang nagtutulak sa mga land reclamation, malalaking korporasyon ng minahan at mga dambuhalang dam projects sa lupaing ninuno, kapalit ng seguridad sa kabuhayan, pagkain, at kalikasan. Dumausdos ang kabuhayan ng mamamayan dulot ng patuloy na labor contractualization, deregulasyon, pribatasyon at liberalisasyon ng mga mahahalagang goods at services. Epidemya na ang HIV at dengue, at ipasasara ang mahigit 50 paaralan ng mga lumad. Iniulat ng International Labor Organization (ILO) na ang Pilipinas ang isa sa pinakamasamang bansa sa buong mundo, para sa manggagawa. 45% o 11.1 milyong Pilipino na ang may pagtinging sila ay mahirap.

Lumalawak ang pagtutol ng mamamayan ngunit susupilin ito ng magkakasunod na patakarang naglalayong ipitin ang mga kalayaan at karapatan sa pamamahayag, pag oorganisa at pagkilos. Matapos mamayagpag ang mga kandidato ng administrasyon sa katatapos lamang na halalan, inaasahan ang mabilis na pagpasa ng mga batas tulad ng parusang bitay, ang pagbababa ng edad ng criminal responsibility, ang pag amyenda sa Human Security Act, at Charter change. Naka amba pa rin ang unli-martial law sa Mindanaw at State of National Emergency due to Lawless Violence bilang pananggalang sa tumitinding protesta laban sa karahasan at kahirapan.

Matindi ang pagtarget ng gobyerno sa mga human rights defenders na matapang na tumitindig para sa interes ng mamamayang Pilipino.

Lumalala ang pangamba ng mamamayan sa usapin ng West Philippine Sea, kung saan sinakop na ng Tsina ang malaking bahagi ng karagatan at mga islang pag aari ng Pilipinas, at ang pambu bully nito sa loob mismo ng exclusive economic zone ng Pilipinas. Tatlong taon nang nakikipagsapalaran ang mga mangingisdang Pilipino sa karagatang ito upang may maipakain sa kanilang pamilya. Lubhang na alarma ang publiko sa pagsagasa ng barkong intsik sa bangkang Pilipino, pagkatapos ay pumanig pa ang pangulong Duterte sa mga Tsino. Sa kabila ng matinding batikos ay hindi matinag ang pagtatanggol nito sa dayuhang salarin.

Ngunit sa halip na kasuhan ang pangulong traydor sa bayan, inuusig ng pamahalaan ang mga oposisyon, mga mambabatas, mga taong simbahan, mga aktibista. Halos wasak na ang saligang batas at soberenya ng bansang Pilipinas sa loob lamang ng tatlong taon ni Duterte. Marapat na taumbayan na mismo ang magtanggol sa kinabukasan ng ating lipunan.

Biguin ang diktadurang tunguhin ni Duterte at ang imperyalistang disenyo ng dayuhang kasabwat nito. Panagutin ang gobyernong nanalasa sa karapatan, kapayapaan at kagalingan ng sambayanang Pilipino.

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[Statement] End impunity. Stand up for human rights. Uphold due process

End impunity. Stand up for human rights. Uphold due process
SONA STATEMENT of Citizens’ Council for Human Rights

Photo by Arnel Tuazon

Photo by Arnel Tuazon

In a little less than a month since his inauguration, President Rodrigo Duterte has delivered on his campaign promise to go after suspected drug pushers and users with little or no regard for human rights and due process.  Units of the Philippine National Police, under the command of his close associate General Ronald (“Bato”) de la Rosa, have turned many low-income neighborhoods in the country into free fire zones.  The bloody encounters taking place daily have polarized the country between those who support the president’s quick and dirty methods of dealing with drugs and crime and those who regard them as illegal, immoral, and self-defeating.

To date, more than 500 people had been killed in intensified anti-drug operations since the May 9 elections in which Duterte emerged as the victor.  The pattern is worrisome:  The police announce that drug pushers or users have been killed in an operation.  Slain people are shown on television, invariably with firearms near their hands.  The now routine police explanation:  “The victims resisted arrest and fired on us, so we had to shoot them in self defense.”  In some instances, the police story borders on the incredible.  In a Pasay City precinct, for instance, two manacled suspects are shown on television being led into jail.  Shortly thereafter, a policeman emerges to tell the press the father and son were shot dead inside the jail since they tried to reach for the police’s pistols and had to be killed “in self-defense.”

The suspicious  circumstances surrounding incidents like this and many others have convinced many that the killings are rub-outs by the police profiting from the illegal drug trade who are out to eliminate people who can connect them to drugs.  Others wonder if this anti-drug push might not be a case of killing the small fry but protecting the big fish since there have hardly been any big-time drug lords apprehended.

Whatever the causes of the wave of extra-judicial killings by police and unidentified people, the president must take responsibility for having encouraged them.  Throughout his campaign for the presidency, he claimed that criminals had no rights and that they were better off dead than alive.  During his victory speech in Davao on June 6, he asked people to take the law in their own hands and kill drug pushers, offering a higher bounty to people who killed suspected drug dealers than to those who brought them alive to the authorities.   He has repeatedly said that rehabilitation does not work and at the solidarity dinner at the Del Pan Sports Complex on the very night of his inauguration, he told people that “If you know of any addicts, go ahead and kill them yourselves as getting their parents to do it would be too painful.”  To the police who follow his orders, he has said more than once, “If in the process you kill one thousand persons because you were doing your duty, I will protect you.”

Fighting Drugs and Crime the Right Way

Those who uphold human rights and due process have been accused of not sharing the population’s concern with curbing crime.  This is a lie.
We do not question the goal of fighting drugs and crime. Indeed, we support it. But it cannot be achieved by trampling on human rights. No one has the right to take life except in the very special circumstance and in a very clear case of self-defense—not a police setup masquerading as “self defense.” Everyone is entitled to the right to life and its protection by the state.

Moreover, denying some classes of people these rights, as Duterte does, puts all of us on the slippery slope that could end up extending this denial to other groups, like one’s political enemies or people that “disrupt” public order, like anti-government demonstrators or people striking for better pay. In this connection, we cannot forget that candidate Duterte threatened to kill workers who stood in the way of his economic development plans and made the blanket judgment that all journalists who had been assassinated were corrupt and deserved to be eliminated.  That was no slip of the tongue.

A Dangerous Path

President Duterte’s explicit, indeed boisterous denial of human rights and due process to suspected wrongdoers makes him unique among those who have served as chief executive, most of whom explicitly promised to uphold due process even if some of them deliberately violated it in practice in pursuit of their political enemies.  Duterte would not, however, be as confident in his attack on the universality of human rights and the state’s duty to ensure due process to suspects were he not supported in his extreme views by many if not most of those who voted for him.  Duterte feels he has a blank cheque to disregard the law, and he is encouraged in this behavior by the rabid support he gets from many supporters who copy his aggressive style in expressing their views in the media.

This dangerous synergy between the Leader and his followers is normalizing the denial and ridiculing of human rights and due process. And this can only lead to the erosion of the foundational belief of the 1987 Constitution:  that each citizen of the Republic is endowed with fundamental, political, civil, social, economic, and cultural rights and is entitled to the protection of the law.  Further the Constitution’s Bill of Rights states that: “No person shall be held to answer for a criminal offense without due process of law.” And that “In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall be presumed innocent until the contrary is proved, and shall enjoy the right to be heard by himself and counsel, to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation against him.”

We demand that President Duterte order a halt to the extra-judicial killings and restore the rule of law and due process.  We urge him to desist from inflammatory rhetoric that can only turn this country into one vast killing field where a rogue police force and vigilantes roam with impunity.

But above all we ask our fellow citizens to come out and speak up for the inviolability and universality of human rights, the rule of law, and due process.  These gains that our people made in their long struggle for their fundamental rights and democratic rule are under threat. Impunity should neither be made the foundation nor should it be made to serve as a “counter-balance” or “exchange” for future economic and social development.
Acquiescence and silence in the face of the impunity that now reigns is the surest way to the loss of the rights of all.

CCHR is a broad coalition of non-government organizations (NGOs), people’s organizations (POs), human rights lawyers, religious sector and members of the academe that came together to defend and assert human rights for all.

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[Press Release] Respect for human rights in war vs drugs urged too: Workers call for war vs endo, poverty -PM

Respect for human rights in war vs drugs urged too:
Workers call for war vs endo, poverty

Photo from PM Fb page

Photo from PM Fb page

On the occasion of the opening of the new Congress and the SONA speech of President Rodrigo Duterte, the workers group Partido Manggagawa (PM) called on the government to wage a vigorous war against contractualization and poverty. At the same time, it urged that human rights and due process be respected in the war on drugs in the wake of hundreds of extra-judicial killings since the new President was elected.

PM members from Metro Manila and Calabarzon are joining a multisectoral mobilization from various militant groups. They will assemble at 1:00 pm along Commonwealth Avenue in Quezon City and then march towards Batasang Pambansa.

“Ikulong ang mga tulak ng endo at contractualization lords. Buhayin wag patayin ang human rights. Ito ang panawagan ng mga manggagawa,” urged Rene Magtubo, PM chair.

PM is also leading a mobilization of workers and poor in Cebu today to urge the administration to deliver on its campaign promise of ending contractualization. At the same time, PM in Cebu is calling for a stop to the wave of extra-judicial killings. Yesterday, the spouse of one PM-Cebu  leader was killed by police.

“Every Filipino deserves their day in court. Instead hundreds of poor people are being massacred in the course of the war on drugs,” declared Dennis Derige, PM-Cebu spokesperson.

“Contractualization, just like drugs, destroys lives, wreaks families and ruins the future of the youth. How can a decent life for a family be sustained when breadwinners are endos who are paid poverty wages without benefits and who lose their jobs after five months? We would like to see big time pushers of contractualization, among whom are the richest capitalists, be penalized as criminals,” exclaimed Magtubo.

Last July 1, PM and other labor and church groups held a rally at the Department of Labor and Employment and presented a 10-point proposal to end endo in a bid to engage the new administration on the contractualization issue.

The group’s SONA mobilization today is part of its anti-endo contractualization. PM vowed to escalate the campaign against endo and win pending labor dispute such as the outsourcing row at Philippine Airlines.

Press Release
July 25, 2016
Partido Manggagawa

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[Statement] ATM Statement on the SONA of Pres. Rodrigo R. Duterte

ATM Statement on the SONA of Pres. Rodrigo R. Duterte
July 26, 2016

atm-logoQuezon City – ATM welcomes the clear pronouncements of Pres. Duterte related to environment concerns.  Specifically, Pres. Duterte gave instructions that permits and contracts of mining, logging and other environment-sensitive projects will be reviewed.  He further stated that should it be needed, these permits and contracts will be amended, suspended or canceled.

This is consistent with the campaign statements that Pres. Duterte publicly espoused during the campaign.  The appointment of Sec. Gina Lopez at the Dept. of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is a continuing confirmation that the President is serious in addressing the many issues and concerns plaguing the mining industry.

Our alliance also welcomes the pronouncement of newly-elected House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez that Congress will consider the requirement of a legislative franchise for mining operations.  This proposal will require the review and amendment of the Philippine Mining Act of 1995 (RA 7942), and again, this is consistent with the demands of ATM that the Mining Act be opened for legislative review and the 17th Congress should now consider the proposed mining bills – including the Philippine Mineral Resources Act (HB 54 and HB 113 ), the EITI law and the new fiscal regime (tax) for mining. While we still need to study further the details of the legislative franchise requirement, we believe that this added layer of regulation will benefit all stakeholders, especially the mining-affected communities and the local government units.

We are grateful that President Duterte affirmed his correct decision in appointing Gina Lopez as DENR Secretary.  ATM fully supports the initiatives of Sec. Gina Lopez, in her effort to introduce substantial reforms at the DENR.  Mining-affected communities and support groups are ready to engage in the Mining Audit.  We will contribute in submitting evidences and documentations of the violations of mining companies and their abuse of human rights in mining communities, particularly of indigenous peoples.  We will participate in the schedule Environmental Summits at the various island-regions and specific provinces. This is crucial in order for the DENR to acquire the necessary feedback and peoples’ agenda on preserving and managing our forests and natural resources.

There are several concrete actions that Pres. Duterte and Sec. Lopez can immediately put in effect to fast-track the implementation of changes at the DENR.  Specifically, we recommend:

a)       The establishment of a Technical Working Group to study the policy issues and legislative measures that will operationalize the passage of a new mining law, including the requirement of a legislative franchise for mining operations.

b)       Issuance of a DENR administrative order clarifying the timeline, parameters and decision-making process of the on-going Mining Audit

c)       Review of all pending cases, complaints and petitions at the regional and national Mine Adjudication Boards. This is exceptionally important so that the suspension orders or cancellations of mining permits and contracts stand on strong legal basis

Alyansa Tigil Mina is hopeful and optimistic that substantial changes will happen at the mining industry and in DENR in general with the policy directions set by Pres. Duterte. #

For details, please contact:
Jaybee Garganera, ATM National Coordinator, nc@alyansatigilmina.net, (0917) 549.82.18

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[Press Release] Aquino Should Deliver on Rights Promises Final State of Nation Address Should Emphasize Reform -HRW

Philippines: Aquino Should Deliver on Rights Promises
Final State of Nation Address Should Emphasize Reform

(Manila, July 22, 2015) – Philippine President Benigno Aquino III should commit his administration to meaningful human rights reforms in his final State of the Nation Address on July 27, 2015, Human Rights Watch said today. Aquino’s address may be his last major public policy speech before his term ends after the next presidential election in May 2016. Under the Philippine constitution, presidents serve a single six-year term.

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Aquino won the 2010 election on a political platform that included explicit human rights commitments, including a promise to tackle the lack of accountability of the military and police. However, his five years as president have been marked more by rhetoric than concrete action to address serious human rights violations in the Philippines such as extrajudicial killings, torture, and enforced disappearances, Human Rights Watch said.

“President Aquino has an opportunity in his final State of the Nation Address to outline lasting measures to address the human rights problems too often ignored during his five years in office,” said Phelim Kine, deputy Asia director at Human Rights Watch. “This is Aquino’s best – and last – chance to demonstrate that his human rights commitments are not empty political rhetoric.”

In his inaugural speech on June 30, 2010, Aquino gave “marching orders” to the Department of Justice to “begin the process of providing true and complete justice for all.” Human rights violations during the term of his predecessor, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, were rampant, with hundreds of activists and journalists killed, tortured, or abducted.

In December 2010, during the commemoration of International Human Rights Day, Aquino said that “the culture of silence, injustice and impunity that once reigned is now a thing of the past.” In his second State of the Nation Address in 2011, Aquino reiterated this commitment, saying, “We are aware that the attainment of true justice does not end in the filing of cases, but in the conviction of criminals.”

That rhetoric has led to some significant, if limited, results for improving human rights, Human Rights Watch said. The government has worked closely with the Justice Department and the Supreme Court to implement programs designed to improve the investigative capacity of the police, the prosecutorial competence of the Justice Department, and the capabilities of the courts to handle cases. The government has appointed more judges and prosecutors to address chronic court volume congestion. The government has also convened the Human Rights Victims Claims Board and tasked it with making reparations to victims of the Ferdinand Marcos regime from 1972 to 1986.

However, the impunity of the Philippine security forces that Aquino promised to eliminate persists, Human Rights Watch said. Killings of both leftist activists and journalists continue. A “superbody” that Aquino created in 2012 to resolve these killings has not made significant progress. Torture by members of the security forces remains routine. Elements of the military continue to be implicated in serious abuses, particularly in the countryside as part of its counterinsurgency operations. Police have been linked to summary killings, particularly “death squad” operations carried out in complicity with local officials such as in Tagum City and other urban areas.

Records released to Human Rights Watch in May 2015 by Task Force Usig, the main arm of the Philippine National Police for investigating and monitoring extrajudicial killings, show that the government has secured only one conviction out of the 130 cases of killings of activists it recorded since 2001. The domestic human rights group Karapatan recorded 262 extrajudicial killings from the time Aquino came to office in 2010.

Task Force Usig recorded 51 cases of journalist murders from 2001 to May 2015, 8 of which resulted in convictions.

In his State of the Nation Address, Aquino should make the following policy commitments to:

Direct the Philippine National Police and Task Force Usig to improve its investigation and documentation of cases of alleged extrajudicial killings, and submit a regular – preferably monthly – progress report on the status of these cases;
Direct the interagency body (the so-called superbody) created by Administration Order 35 and led by the Justice Department to expedite the inventory of the “priority cases” begun in 2012 and to make public the status of these cases, and require the “superbody” to provide monthly updates on the status of these priority cases and the reasons for any delay in initiating prosecutions;
Publicly disavow “death squads” in urban areas as a legitimate crime-control strategy and investigate and appropriately prosecute any government official involved in extrajudicial killings;
Issue a public order to all security forces rejecting the threat or use of force against political activists, unionists, and members of civil society groups for expressing their political views. In addition, reiterate to all forces the Internal Peace and Security Plan (IPSP) Bayanihan’s emphasis on international human rights and humanitarian law as one of its two “strategic imperatives”; and
Rescind executive order 546 signed in 2006 that allows local politicians to effectively form their own militias or private armies, such as that implicated in the Maguindanao Massacre in 2009.

“President Aquino’s record on human rights is five years of squandered opportunity,” Kine said. “Aquino should use his State of the Nation Address to demonstrate that that he will use his last year in office to focus on ending human rights abuses rather than turning a blind eye to them.”

For more Human Rights Watch reporting on the Philippines, please visit:
https://www.hrw.org/asia/philippines

http://www.hrw.org/news/2015/07/21/philippines-aquino-should-deliver-rights-promises

For Immediate Release

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[Event/Campaign] Sa SONA: #DapatTaoMunaHindiMina! #DapatAMMBisabatasNA!

Sa SONA: #DapatTaoMunaHindiMina! #DapatAMMBisabatasNA!

Fr. Christian Buenafe, O.Carm, Co-Chairperson of TFDP

Fr. Christian Buenafe, O.Carm, Co-Chairperson of TFDP

Dear friends,

We are launching a nationwide letter barrage campaign for  the 10 point Human Rights Agenda on Mining, endorsed by different human rights, environmental, indigenous peoples and women’s’ groups and which we aim to reach President Benigno Aquino III, the two Houses of Congress and leaders of LGUs.

DAPAT small

We would like to invite everyone to join us on July 23, 2014 in this nationwide letter sending campaign before the coming State of the Nation Address –SONA of PNoy and the opening of Congress (July 28, 2014). The SA SONA: DAPAT TAO MUNA HINDI MINA! DAPAT AMMB ISABATAS NA! campaign objective is for the 10 Human Rights Agenda on Mining to reach PNoy and leaders of our government and register our call to end large scale mining and prioritize the legislation of the Alternative Minerals Management Bill.

You may also print out the Appeal Letter for sign-on in your respective areas and fax to the contact numbers of concerned Government agencies indicated below.

Please send letter to the email addresses of President Aquino and concerned government agencies indicated below.

If you wish to make any inquiries please contact the following:
TFDP at 4378054 or email egay.advocacytfdp@gmail.com
ATM at 4403211 or email checkzab@gmail.com

The more letters we will be able to mobilize, the more we effectively register our calls.

We are also sending this to media and international partners.

WHAT TO DO?
1.    On July 23, 2014 send letter to PNoy and other concerned government agencies with the attached 10 pt. HR Agenda on Mining.
Email: corres@op.gov.ph / opnet@op.gov.ph
Sample letter http://taomunahindimina.wordpress.com/2014/07/19/sample-letter-to-pnoy/
2.    or Fax your letter (or the printed sample letter) to
Fax: +63 2 736 1010
Tel: +63 2 735 6201 / 564 1451 to 80

ONLINE CAMPAIGN SOCIAL NETWORKING SITE
1.    Post the following as your FB and Twitter status and TAG President Aquino
SA SONA: DAPAT TAO MUNA HINDI MINA
DAPAT AMMB ISABATAS NA! @PresidentNoy

Or
SCRAP MINING ACT OF 1995! Certify AMMB as urgent this SONA! @PresidentNoy

Or
Share the e-poster  (https://www.facebook.com/TaoMunaHindiMina/photos/a.442845412465332.1073741827.442839565799250/658101927606345/?type=1&theater) @PresidentNoy

2.    ENDORSE THE 10 PT HR AGENDA ON MINING

Take a photo of yourself holding the paper with the slogan “SA SONA: DAPAT TAO MUNA HINDI MINA! DAPAT AMMB ISABATAS NA!” written on it, post to your FB and twitter account and TAG @PresidentNoy

Also use the hashtag #DapatTaoMunaHindiMina! #DapatAMMBIsabatasNA! And don’t forget to share your post at Tao Muna Hindi Mina FB page (https://www.facebook.com/TaoMunaHindiMina) and SOS Yamang Bayan FB page (https://www.facebook.com/LikasYamanCaravan)

3.    You can also help by inviting others to do the same by sharing our posts.

4.    Join series of creative mass action on July 23-25 (For details pls contact TFDP at 4378054 or ATM at 4403211 or wait for further announcement)
Thank you.

For more information pls contact:
Egay Cabalitan, TFDP Advocacy Staff, 09288443717, egay.advocacytfdp@gmail.com
Check Zabala, ATM Media and Communications Officer, (0927) 623.50.66 checkzab@gmail.com

Sa SONA: Dapat Tao Muna Hindi Mina! Dapat AMMB Ipasa NA!
WEBSITE http://taomunahindimina.wordpress.com/2014/07/19/sa-sona-dapat-tao-muna-hindi-mina-dapat-ammb-isabatas-na/
FACEBOOK https://www.facebook.com/TaoMunaHindiMina
TWITTER @TaoMunaDiMina

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[Urgent Appeal] Violent Dispersal of Protest Action of Civil Society Organizations during the State of the Nation Address (SONA) of President Benigno Aquino III -TFDP

URGENT APPEAL

July 24, 2013

(PHILIPPINES) Violent Dispersal of Protest Action of Civil Society Organizations during the State of the Nation Address (SONA) of President Benigno Aquino III

Issues: Violent Dispersal; Harassment and Intimidation; Arbitrary Arrest and Detention; Human Rights Defenders; Freedom of Expression and Right to Organize; Physical Injuries; Command Responsibility

TFDP logo small

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Dear Friends,

The Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP) is forwarding to you an appeal regarding the violent dispersal of demonstrators perpetrated by members of the Philippine National Police (PNP) at the Southbound lane of Commonwealth Avenue, Quezon City, Philippines during the protest against the SONA of President Aquino on July 22, 2013 and is seeking your help to end violations against the Freedom of Assembly.

Around twenty (20) persons were hurt during the dispersal and one (1) person was arbitrarily arrested during the incident.

If you wish to make any inquiries, please contact the Research, Documentation and Information Program of TFDP at # 45 St. Mary Street, Cubao, Quezon City, Philippines 1109 or call +632 4378054 or email tfdp.urgentappeals@gmail.com.

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FACTS OF THE CASE

Around 20 demonstrators were hurt and 1 person arbitrarily arrested in a violent dispersal during a protest action in Commonwealth Avenue Quezon Cityon July 22, 2013 at around 3 PM. The protest was in line with the State of the Nation Address of President Benigno Aquino III.

The group of around 2,000 protesters led by the Freedom from Debt Coalition (FDC) were shifting towards the southbound lane of the avenue when around 250 members of the PNP immediately blocked them and instructed them to leave.

Leaders of FDC tried to initiate a dialogue and negotiate with the police to allow them to continue their protests. However, Police Ground Commander Senior Superintendent Norberto Mabagay allegedly instructed the members of the PNP to push the demonstrators back to the northbound lane of the avenue. They also started grabbing the streamers and flags of the protesters.

Further violence erupted when members of the PNP cornered and attempted to pull out FDC leaders from the group. Some protesters at the frontline fell to the ground as the PNP continued pushing them. After a while, some of the PNP started shoving their truncheons and wooden sticks against the protesters.

Some of the demonstrators claimed that they were punched and kicked by members of the PNP who were wearing combat boots. They also noted that many of the PNP were not wearing their name tags.

The scuffle stopped when the demonstrators pleaded to the police to stop since there were already a number of persons injured. Among the casualties were Rasti Delizo, Aaron Pedrosa, Sammy Gamboa, Rapha-el Olegario and Alex Castro, who all obtained bruises and abrasions during the dispersal.

The police also claimed that they were also hurt during the dispersal and arrested Vincent Coronacion, 19 year old son of a member of the Alliance of Progressive Labor (APL) who came to the rally to accompany his mother. The police alleged that Vincent threw the rock that hit one of the police and were recommending that he be charged with multiple cases; resistance and disobedience upon an agent of a Person in Authority, Malicious Mischief, Direct Assault, Physical Injuries and Violation of BP 880. He was only released on July 23, 2013.

 

REQUESTED ACTION:

PLEASE SEND LETTERS TO THE CONCERNED GOVERNMENT AGENCIES TO:

a) Investigate officers and members of the PNP deployed in Commonwealth Avenue, Quezon City during the SONA for their violent dispersal and if they are found to have committed grave abuse of authority for their excessive use of force against the Civil Society demonstrators and be held accountable for their actions.

b) Assurance from the PNP will use Maximum tolerance during protest activities and no similar violent action will be taken against protesters.

c) Guarantee the means for demonstrators to express and act freely in conformity with the bill of rights and freedoms as stated in the Philippine Constitution;

d) Guarantee the respect of human rights and the fundamental freedoms in accordance with international human rights standards.

SAMPLE LETTER

Dear _________________,

RE: Violent Dispersal of Civil Society Group

I am writing you to draw your attention regarding the violent dispersal of a protest rally during the State of the Nation Address of President Benigno Aquino III.

I have learned that around 250 members of the Philippine National Police (PNP) tried to disperse 2,000 demonstrators affiliated with the Freedom from Debt Coalition FDC) by using excessive means that elicited violence, that caused the injury of around 20 protesters.

It was also brought to my attention that after the incident, a young man from the group, Vincent Coronacion was arbitrarily arrested by the Police and recommended to be charged with multiple cases and was only freed a day after his arrest.

I am asking the concerned government agencies to investigate the actions taken by the PNP, as well as appropriate sanctions to be given if they have used excessive force.

I am also asking for the assurance of the concerned government agencies that no such repeat of this violence be done to protesters.

Finally, in view of the above mentioned information, I urge you to act quickly to correct this situation and ask that you inform us of the outcome of your investigation.

Respectfully yours,

____________________

PLEASE SEND YOUR LETTERS TO:
1. Mr. Benigno Simeon Aquino III

PRESIDENT

Republic of the Philippines

Malacañang Palace

JP Laurel Street, San Miguel

Manila 1005

PHILIPPINES

Fax: +63 2 7361010

Tel: +63 2 7356201/5641451 to 80

Email: corres@op.gov.ph/opnet@ops.gov.ph

 

2. Mr. Mar Roxas

Secretary

Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG)

A. Francisco Gold Condominium II

EDSA cor. Mapagmahal St., Diliman

Quezon City

Philippines 1100

Fax: +63 2 9250332

Tel: +63 2 9250330/9250331

Email: mar@marroxas.com/maia@marroxas.com/mbunico@dilg.gov.ph

 

3. Mr Herber Bautista

Mayor, Quezon City

3rd Floor, High-Rise Building

Elliptical Road, Brgy. Central

Diliman

Quezon City

Philippines 1100

Fax: +632 9216750

Tel: + 632 9884242 local 8300 to 8307/ 9243592

Email: mayor@quezoncity.gov.ph/ http://www.quezoncity,gov.ph

 

4. Police Director Alan LM. Purisima

Chief

Philippine National Police

Camp General Rafael Crame

Quezon City

Philippines

Fax: + 632 7248763/7230401

Tel: + 63 2 7264361/4366/8763

Email: feedback@pnp.gov.ph

 

5. Chairperson Loretta Ann P. Rosales

Commission on Human Rights (CHR)

SAAC Bldg. Commonwealth Avenue

U.P. Complex, Diliman

Quezon City

Philippines

Tel: +632 9285655/9266188

Fax: +632 9290102

Email: rosales.chr@gmail.com

________________________________________________________________________________

Kindly inform or copy-furnish tfdp.urgentappeals@gmail.com of urgent appeals sent to above government officials for monitoring purpose. Thanking you in advance for your time on this important and urgent matter.

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[Press Release] Aquino too insecure for this year’s SONA — CTUHR

Aquino too insecure for this year’s SONA — CTUHR

CTUHR logo

The Center for Trade Union and Human Rights (CTUHR) criticized the very tight security employed by the police by installing razor sharp wires along Commonwealth Ave. to keep the protesters away from Batasan Complex in time for the President’s State of the Nation Address (SONA) this afternoon, July 22.

“Maybe President Aquino is too insecure of his performance to resort to installing those barbed wires kilometers away from where he is going to deliver his SONA” Daisy Arago, Executive Director of CTUHR asked.

Arago also said that such security measure is ominous of what is forthcoming to those who refused to be lured if not fooled by the rosy picture of SONA which [Pres. Aquino] wants the nation to believe.

“The razor sharp wires sharply show that P-Noy is willing to listen only to those who agree to what he has to say and is meant to harm those who are critical or opposed to his administration’s programs and policies. And clearly, it is the protesting people largely coming from the marginalized section of society whom the government is trying to bar.” Arago said.

Thousands of protesters coming from various sectors—workers, peasants, students, professionals, women, urban poor among others—is staging a rally to demonstrate the “real” state of the nation.

“Surely, the President will boast again of the growing economy, the administration’s fight against corruption, its public private partnership and 4Ps program. But alongside these so-called achievements, unemployment remains high at over 10%, the gap between the poor and the rich is widening and the human rights situation is still appalling,” Arago added.

Arago also said that in the last three years of this administration, “we have seen how the interest of the capitalists, foreign investors, and foreign allies such as the US has been favored by the Philippine government over national sovereignty and the welfare of the people.” Arago cited the Balikatan exercises, the move to change the Constitution to allow full foreign ownership of land and property, higher prices for basic utilities, and dismantling of homes and displacement of the poor as some glaring examples pro-rich, pro-US and neo-liberal policies of the administration.

“The worsening situation for the majority of Filipinos will definitely prompt the people to question, if not reclaim, the Aquino administration’s authority. But unless the administration realizes that he is walking the wrong path and reverses his anti-people policies, then more and bigger protests will surely flood the roads leading to Batasan and Malacanang no matter how sharp and strong wires those barricades are made of.” Arago said.

RELEASE
22 July 2013
For reference: Daisy Arago, CTUHR Executive Director, 09162484876

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[Press Release] Workers challenge to PNoy’s SONA: Address inequality -PM

Workers challenge to PNoy’s SONA: Address inequality

#SONA2013 Photo by Partido ng Manggagawa

#SONA2013 Photo by Partido ng Manggagawa

pmLogo1

In time for President Benigno Aquino III’s fourth State of the Nation Address, the labor group Partido ng Manggagawa called on the government to address the “central problem of inequality.” “We echo the Catholic bishops call to PNoy that he should do more for the poor even as workers specifically ask that government address the core issue of inequality. Despite GDP growth, mass poverty has remained unchanged and income equality has widened because only 40 wealth families are monopolizing the gains of economic development,” insisted Renato Magtubo, PM national chairperson.

PM together with allied labor groups under the umbrella of Nagkaisa! will mobilize this afternoon in a counter-SONA rally along Commonwealth Avenue. Workers and poor from Nagkaisa!, Freedom from Debt Coalition and Kampanya para sa Makataong Pamumuhay will assemble at 1:00 p.m. near Tandang Sora and then march towards the direction of the Batasang Pambansa.

“The next three years will just be more of the same if PNoy does not face reality. To address inequality, government must stop blaming the National Statistical Coordination Board’s data and instead fault the policies that exacerbate the gap between the rich and poor,” Magtubo asserted.

He added that “PNoy’s SONA will undoubtedly focus on proposals that serve as his legacy to the nation. But without measures to respond to the problem of inequality, PNoy’s legacy will be poverty amidst growth.’

“In his SONA, PNoy will pay lip service to inclusive growth but programs such as CCT are mere token reforms that are targeted and not universal. Workers demand comprehensive measures to solve mass unemployment, job contractualization, starvation wages and high prices of basic goods and privatized services such as water and electricity,” Magtubo elaborated.

Citing a study of Cielito Habito, Magtubo averred that “Just 40 rich families control 76% of the country’s GDP. Their combined wealth of US$ 57 billion is more than the current annual budget of government.”

He furthered that “They have not only monopolized the country’s wealth but have also taken control of our lives. They own the corporations that supply water and electricity to our homes, the biggest banks that command financial capital, the real estate businesses that have expropriated the land in the cities to the detriment of the poor, the providers of telecommunications services which everyone uses daily and even the media networks that shape popular culture and ideas.”

Press Release
July 22, 2013
Partido ng Manggagawa
Contact Renato Magtubo @ 09178532905

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[Press Release] Groups call on PNoy: Likas Yaman Depensahan, Karapatan Proteksyunan Enact three green bills—NLUMA, FRB, AMMB

Groups call on PNoy: Likas Yaman Depensahan, Karapatan Proteksyunan
Enact three green bills—NLUMA, FRB, AMMB

Photo by PhilRights

Photo by PhilRights

Days before President Benigno “PNoy” Aquino III’s State of the Nation Address (SONA), at least five hundred advocates and activists marched to the House of Representatives in Batasan to call on the President and Congress to defend the Philippine’s natural resources and protect people’s rights through the enactment of three green bills.

Calling for the enactment of the National Land Use Management Act (NLUMA), Forest Resources Bill (FRB) and Alternative Minerals Management Bill (AMMB) are the Campaign for Land use Policy Now! (CLUP Now!), Sagip GUBAT and SOS Yamang Bayan networks.

The “Green Groups” urged PNoy to recognize these urgent concerns in his SONA and to certify urgent the three “Green” bills that will not only address our environmental problems but also protect the rights of Filipino communities to a thriving environment and livelihood opportunities.

Erwin Quiñones, national coordinator of SOS Yamang Bayan explained: “Two years ago we asked the President: gawing luntian ang tuwid na daan. Unfortunately, he failed us. Now we call on the government again to prioritize these three environment bills that will address land use problems, deforestation and minerals management.

“Eventually, these legislative measures will contribute to the rehabilitation and stability of our eccosystems and will raise our capacity to fight the impacts of climate change and a growing population ,” he added.

Photo Green March (pre SONA 2013) with our lead green champions at the House of Representatives. greenresearch.gwen@gmail.com

Photo Green March (pre SONA 2013) with our lead green champions at the House of Representatives. greenresearch.gwen@gmail.com

Reps. Barry Gutierrez III of Akbayan Partylist, Teddy Brawner-Baguilat Jr of Ifugao, Jorge “Bolet” Banal of the 3rd Distict of Quezon City, and Kaka Bag-ao of Dinagat, who support these bills met the group as they arrived in Batasan. The group is composed of indigenous peoples, farmers and fisherfolks, urban poor, women, human rights advocates, environmentalists and students.

Rep. Gutierrez urged President Aquino to ‘paint’ his administration green and champion important laws to safeguard the environment.

“President Aquino during the start of his administration used the color yellow as a symbol in the people’s campaign to fight for transparency and end a corrupt past and then employed the color purple in the struggle for the passage of the Reproductive Health law. It’s just fitting that, in the remaining years of his presidency, he should also paint his administration green and push for the passage of laws crucial for the protection of the environment,” according to Gutierrez.

NLUMA already has the support of President Aquino which he mentioned in his SONA in 2010 and certified as urgent piece of legislation last Congress. However, the bill was derailed in the Senate after it was reverted back to the Second Reading with the motion of reconsideration at the last minute by Senator Marcos, Enrile, and Villar. NLUMA was also excluded in the list of agenda last 2 session days in the Senate ending its chances of being passed into law last 15th Congress.

Reps. Kaka Bag-ao, Teddy Baguilat, and Jorge Banal refiled the National Land Use and Management Act last July 1. In the Senate, Sen. Gregorio Honasan also refiled the National Land Use bill that will rationalize the holistic and just allocation and use of our country’s land and natural resources.

Rep. Banal, principal sponsor of NLUMA stressed “We have pushed for the enactment of a National Land Use and Management Law during the 15th Congress and we are steadfast in fighting for its passage.”

He also encouraged everyone to support this campaign for NLUMA for this will “ensure sustainability and ecological balance, distributive justice in the allocation of land and water resources”.

Meanwhile, re-elected Ifugao Rep. Baguilat eagerly refiled the Forest Resources Bill last July 1.

“I strongly believe it is imperative that Congress pass all three green bills because they address the lack of a proper framework for the use and management of our natural resources. Our lands, waters, forests and minerals are not just sources of raw materials to be exploited but are resources that should be wisely managed for the benefit of present and future stakeholders. We hope Malacanang will support all three bills as well and not just fiscal incentives for investments,” stressed Rep. Baguilat.

The three bills have been filed in both Houses of Congress as House Bill No. 108 and Senate Bill No. 63 (NLUMA), House Bill No. 95 and Senate Bill No. 45 (FRB), and House Bill 984 and Senate Bill No. 43 (AMMB), respectively.

Rep. Bag-ao promised: “In this 16th Congress, we will not let the opportunity pass to enact the NLUMA, AMMB and FRB into laws. These three environmental bills must be prioritized by this Congress to jumpstart the deliberations and debates towards the speedy passage of these laws. ”

The networks challenge this Congress to be “Green Heroes” and immediately tackle and pass these bills.

The Executive Branch led by President Aquino is also called on to support the urgent passage of these critical resource laws, together with promoting a better policy and fiscal environment for investments. .

Press Release
July 17, 2013

For more information, contact:
Kim Alvarez, CLUP Now!, 0918-6545059 kbalvarez@gmail.com
Eric Dorente, Sagip GUBAT Network, 0922-8151938 advocacy@haribon.org.ph
Farah Sevilla, SOS Yamang Bayan Network, 0923-5122374 policy@alyansatigilmina.net

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[In the news] IPs and the Sona: Benign neglect -INQUIRER.net

IPs and the Sona: Benign neglect
By: Rina Jimenez-David, Philippine Daily Inquirer
July 26, 2012

The President’s State of the Nation Address could have been three hours long (it lasted an hour-and-a-half, his longest Sona so far) and still there would have been disgruntled groups unhappy at their exclusion from this speech.

This is because the speech is meant to be a year-end “report card” on the administration’s accomplishments, as well as a “road map” on where it wants to go in the near-future, preferably with help from the legislature by way of passing priority bills.

The common belief is that a mention in the Sona is a sign of the President’s high approval (note the smiles on the faces of the Cabinet members he had singled out by name), or the high priority that an official, person, group or sector will receive in the future. By this yardstick, I would think police and military personnel have good reason to look forward to more “goodies” (housing, rising salaries, guns and weaponry) from the P-Noy government.

But what if the President neglected to mention you at all? What is that a sign of? Does it mean he takes you for granted, or is truly unhappy with your performance, believing silence is the better part of discretion? Or does it mean you or your sector simply don’t register on P-Noy’s radar? That among the vast range of the President’s concerns, you hardly register a blip or a nod of acknowledgment?

Read full article @ opinion.inquirer.net

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[From the web] A feminist reading of 2012 Sona -RAPPLER.com

A feminist reading of 2012 Sona
by Josephine Acosta-Pasricha, RAPPLER.com
July 28, 2012

I may be wrong or I am incredulously right. Of President Benigno Aquino‘s State of the Nation Addresses, the third is both pro-woman and anti-woman.

Sona III may have high marks of achievement on three areas.

First, transparency, accountability and good governance; savings, due diligence, clear consistent rules, and a fair playing field. The vision of “Kung Walang Corrupt, Walang Mahirap”, and the Process of “Daang Matuwid” are diligently observed, at least in the highest levels of government. Those who do not follow are warned and punished, even impeached. Those who do their jobs efficiently and contribute to the achievements of their departments will be given performance ratings. Their yearly bonuses can also go as high as P35,000, besides across-the-board Christmas bonus. Old age and disability pensioners will also receive higher monthly pensions of P5,000 for their basic needs of water, power, food.

Second, the idea of “Bayanihan”, the Filipino translation of “convergence” or the coming together of people to collaborate, network and help each other. Thus, “It is great to be a Filipino”. Within this context, GDP grew by 6.4%, the highest growth in South East Asia; second only to China in the whole of Asia! While Good Governance is defined in terms of agriculture, food production, prices that do not fluctuate, stable wages resulting in a stronger, resilient and dynamic economy that is a defense against global uncertainty.

Read full article @ www.rappler.com

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[People] Indigenous Women on SONA 2012 by Judy A. Pasimio

Indigenous Women on SONA 2012

NOTE from Judy A. Pasimio,
LILAK (Purple Action for IP Women’s Rights)

Judy Pasimio. File photo source: allvoices.com

These are words and reactions from the indigenous women who listened and watched Pnoy deliver his SONA. For one and half hours, they waited for Pnoy to say something about his program for the indigenous people, or something that will indicate that they are part of his development plan, his vision, his dreams for the Filipino people.

Once again, President Noynoy Aquino failed the indigenous women. The non-mention of the plight of the IPs – karaniwan na po ito. The glossing over the fact that the government’s anti-poverty program do not reach the real poorest of the poor, which includes the IPs, especially the IP women – karaniwan na po ito. The non-inclusion of the human rights violations happening within the country, which are experienced by the IPs and the rural poor – karaniwan na po ito. The fact that under his administrations there are already 50 killings, including IP leaders struggling against powerful industries, is ignored, as he declared that criminality has gone down – karaniwan na po ito.

And so if the IP women are deeply disappointed, more frustrated, and angrier – Pnoy, ikaw ang gumawa nito.

If the IP women have lost trust in you, and in your government – Pnoy, ikaw ang gumawa nito.

But as they have said, they will continue to strengthen and organize themselves, as they defend their land, and their rights; and we will continue to support them, as the real changes will come from the people. Sila, Kami, ang gagawa nito.

—-

Sabi ni Pnoy “Kung may inaagrabyado’t ninanakawan ng karapatan, siya ang kakampihan ko. Kung may abusado’t mapang-api, siya ang lalabanan ko. Kung may makita akong mali sa sistema, tungkulin kong itama ito.”

– Masarap pakinggan, pero arang may mali, dahil karamihan sa aming mga katutubo ay matagal nang inaagrabyado at niyuyurakan ang aming mga karapatan – Karapatan na mamuhay na mapayapa at matiwasay sa loob ng aming lupaing ninuno; na uminom at maligo sa malinis na tubig; na makalanghap ng malinis na hangin at ipagpatuloy ang aming cultural belief and practices. Lahat ng mga karapatang ito ay nilabag, tinapakan at ninakaw na sa amin ng mga mining companies. Nasaan ka mahal na Pangulong Pinoy bakit hindi mo kami kinampihan at hindi mo nilabanan ang mga minero na siyang sumisira sa mga buhay naming katutubo?

Sabi ni Pnoy, di nya kaya ang “Forgive and forget”. Kami din – Forgive and forget na lang ba para sa aming mga katutubo ang grabeng human rights violations na nangyari dahil sa pagmimina, na hanggang ngayon ay hindi pa nabibigyan ng hustisya? Di rin pwede sa amin ang Forgive and forget ang mga ninakaw at sinira ng mga mining companies na aming kaisa-isang source ng aming pang araw-araw na pangkabuhayan at siyang puso ng aming spiritual belief.

Sabi ni Pnoy, “Kung walang corrupt, walang mahirap.” Sabi namin, Kung walang mining sa loob ng aming lupaing ninuno, walang mga katutubo na lalong naghihirap.

Pnoy said, “Where a citizen is oppressed, he will find me as an ally; where there is an oppressor, I will be there to fight; where I find something wrong in the system, I will consider it my duty to right it. Something seems to be wrong, because majority of us Indigenous Peoples have been disadvantaged and our rights have been trampled upon – our right to live peacefully within our ancestral domain; to drink and bathe in clean waters; to breathe clean air; to continue practicing our cultural beliefs. All of these rights have been violated, trampled upon by the mining companies. Where is our dear president, why are you not on our side, and why are you not fighting against the mining companies who ruin the lives of indigenous peoples?

Pnoy said that to Forgive and forget is unacceptable. And so it is with us – it will not be forgive and forget for us IPs the grave human rights violations committed against us because of mining, to which until now justice has not been served. It cannot be just forgive and forget for the mining companies who have taken from us and destroyed our source of livelihood and the heart of our spiritual belief.

Pnoy said “If there is no corruption, there is no poverty.” We say – if there is no mining within our ancestral domain, there is no indigenous community who is made poorer. – Wilma Tenoro, Subanen, Midsalip, Zamboanga

“Bakit kaya ang hirap hirap banggitin ang mga salitang Indigenous Peoples pagdating sa SONA? Hindi ba kami tinuturing na kasama sa mga Juan at Juana dela Cruz na kinakausap nya? Kawawa naman kami. Lagi na lang absent sa kanyang mga plano at pangarap sa bansa. Kailangang palakasin pa ang sigaw, at ang aming pwersa. Maski NCIP, hindi naming maasahan na ilagay kami sa isipan ng Pangulo.”

Why is it difficult to utter the words ‘indigenous peoples’ during SONA? Are we not considered part of the Juan and Juana dela Cruz that Pnoy talks to? We are pitiful. We are always absent in his plans and vision for the country. We really need to make our voices louder, and our force stronger. We cannot even depend on NCIP to place us in the consciousness of the President.” – Judith Menares, Ibaloi, Baguio City

“Ayon kay PNOY, Nasabat ng barko natin at nasabad sa kanilang mga barko ang endangered species. Buti pa ang endangered species, nabanggit. Kaming mga indigenous peoples, na maari nang maging endangered, ay di man lang nabanggit. . . Ang hina naman ng NCIP, at hindi man lang kami nasama sa SONA.”

Pnoy reported – Our patrol boats intercepted some of their ships, which contain endangered species. The endangered species are in a better position than us, as the President made special mention of them, while us, indigenous peoples, who are soon to be endangered, have not been mentioned at all. . . NCIP proved to be weak, as it was not able to register the IP issues in the SONA.”- Bae Rose Undag, Higaonon, Misamis Oriental

“Pnoy pahirap sa mga katutubo. Ang totoong boss nya ay ang mga mayayaman na bansa, Lopez, Tan, Cojuangco, Sy at mga multinational companies. Talamak ang di pagkilala sa karapatan ng mga katutubo sa aming lupaing ninuno. Lalong malupit dahil sa EO79 na talagang ibibigay sa MMCs ang mga lupain. Dahil dito lalong lumala ang HRVs sa mga komunidad. Massive displacement. Pinapatupad ang oplan bayanihan sa kanayunan at pagkakahati sa mga IPs.

Sinabi nyang naahon sa hirap ang mga mamamayan. May milyong-milyong piso para sa 4Ps subalit hindi angkop sa totoong kalagayan ng mga katutubo. Ang solusyon ay pagkakaisa ng mga katutubo sa buong bansa pag iralin ang pagtaguyod tungo sa sariling pagpapasya. At i-expose ang programa ni pinoy na kontra mamamayang katutubo.”

PNOY – burden to the indigenous peoples. His real bosses are rich countries, Lopez, Tan, Cojuangco, Sy and multinational companies. Human rights violations against indigenous peoples are still rampant. EO79 is worse, blatantly giving away our lands to multinational mining companies. And this is why HRVs are worsened in our communities. Massive displacement. Oplan Bayanihan is implemented in our communities and this has caused division among us.

Pnoy said that Filipino people have been lifted from poverty. But this is misleading. Millions of pesos have been allocated for the 4Ps but this program is not applicable to the real situation of the indigenous peoples. The solution is the unity of all indigenous peoples within our country and assert our right to self-determination, and expose the programs of Pnoy as anti-indigenous peoples. – Norma Capuyan, Manobo, Apo Sandawa Lumadnong Panaghiusa sa Cotabato (ASLPC)

“Malaki ang pag-asa ko habang nanonood ako ng SONA ni pnoy na baka ngyaon mabanggit man lang kaming mga katutubo subalit hanggang sa matapos ang SONA di man lang kami nabanggit kaya nanlumo ako at nalungkot. Talagang wala kaming puwang na mga katutubo kay pnoy samantalang isa kami sa mga naglukluk sa kanya sa pwesto. Kailangan na uli magwangwang kaming mga katutubo upang sa susunod na sona ay mapasali man lang. mga d armas ang kanyang mga pinangangaralangan kaming mga nanahiimik at payapang namumuhay di man lang naisali sa sona.”

I was really hoping while watching SONA of Pnoy that this time, we will be mentioned, but until the very end, no mention of the indigenous peoples. We really do not have a space in Pnoy, even if we were part of those who put him in his position now. We really need to use wang-wang again, so that in the next SONA, we will be part of it. He honored the men in arms, but did not even mention us who try to live in peace in our communities. – Conchita Bigong, Alangan-Mangyan, Mindoro Oriental

“Frustration. Wala kaming naramdaman na impact ng mga anti-poverty reduction program sa nai-report nya dito sa aming barangay o munisipyo. At kahit sa programa nya na LPRAP (Local Poverty Reduction Action Plan) na dapat daw bida ang basic sectors, kung saan isa sa mga basic sectors ang IP. At baka hindi alam ni Pnoy na may ng exist na IP kaya hindi kasama sa mga usapin, at hindi mabanggit.

Frustration. We do not feel the impact of his report on anti-poverty reduction program here at the barangay or municipal level. Even the LPRAP (Local Poverty Reduction Action Plan) which should benefit the basic sectors, which includes the indigenous peoples. Maybe Pnoy is not aware that indigenous peoples exist, and that is why we are not involved, and have not been mentioned. – Zenaida P. Mansiliohan, Talaandig, KALALAGAN, Brgy. Dona Flavia, San Luis, Agusan del Sur

Pakiramdam ko nabale wala na naman nya ang katutubo. Pakiramdam ko nagalit talaga ako sa nangyayari, parang hindi kami Pilipino, hindi tao para kay pinoy. Sa lahat ng kanyang sinabi sa mining hindi yan. Hindi ang klase ng mining, tulad ng sa SMI (Xstrata), ang makakatulong sa mga tao, at lalong hindi sa aming mga katutubo. At sa 4Ps ng gobyerno, sabi nya ang mga pinakamahirap ay naabot nito. Isa kami sa mga pinakamahirap, pero di naman kami nakaka-avail ng programa – kapitan lang at tribal chieftain. Kaming mga pinaka wala, di naman maka-avail.

Noon pa bale wala na ang katutubo sa gobyerno. Kaya’t nasa amin talaga na mga katutubo na labanan ang mina sa aming komunidad, at kami na rin talaga ang mag aahon sa amin sa kahirapan.

I felt that indigenous peoples were again ignored. I really felt mad with what’s happening, it’s as if we are not Filipinos, not even people, for Pnoy. Everything that he said about mining is not true. It is not the kind of mining, especially that of SMI (Xstrata), that will help people, especially us indigenous people. As for the 4Ps program of the government, he said that it has reached the poorest of the poor. We are the poorest of the poor but we have not been able to avail of this – except for our barangay captain, and our tribal chieftain. For us who have nothing, could not avail.

For the longest time, the government has not paid any attention to us indigenous peoples. It is really up to us, indigenous peoples, who should work hard to fight mining in our communities, and to uplift ourselves from poverty. – Robina Poblador, B’laan, Saranggani Province

Contact:
judy.pasimio@gmail.com / 09175268341

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[Photo Blog] Penoy ang napala ng mga Pinoy kay P-Noy by Life in a Box

Penoy ang napala ng mga Pinoy kay P-Noy
by Life in a Box

Photo by Rommel Yamzon

Napakasarap naman talaga ng penoy tulad ng balot. Walang kadudaduda na ito’y masustansya dahil mayaman sa protina at paborito ng masa. Subali’t tulad ng itlog, ang penoy ay isa ring simbolo ng kasalatan sa maraming kahulugan. Kaya’t kung penoy ang napala ng mga Pinoy kay P-Noy, Penoy din ang grado mo sa amin.

See more photos @ rommelyamzon.blogspot.com

[In the news] Bukidnon Lumad leaders on SONA: Silent again on indigenous peoples -Mindanews.com

Bukidnon Lumad leaders on SONA: Silent again on indigenous peoples
By Walter I. Balane
July 24, 2012

MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNew/23 July) — “Silent again on indigenous peoples.”

This was the reaction of Lumad (indigenous peoples) leaders here to President Aquino’s nearly 90-minute State of the Nation Address Monday afternoon.

Datu Mayda Pandian, a provincial board member representing the indigenous peoples said Aquino forgot about the IPs. “There was zero mention of his plans or the development of his visi on for us,” Pandian, the IP’s mandatory representative to the provincial board, said.

He said there was even no mention about the Lumads when he cited his position on mining in the country.

Last Wednesday, Pandian told the provincial board the government must harmonize its local and national mining policy with the real interests of the IPs.
“Are the Lumads really benefiting from the mining propositions in their ancestral domains?,” he added.

He watched the SONA from his house in Panadtalan, Maramag town and was disappointed. But he declined to comment on the content of the President’s speech.

Read full article @ www.mindanews.com

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[Press Release] SANLAKAS condemns PNP’S violence against peaceful SONA 2012 marchers and to file charges against NCRPO AND QCPD officials

SANLAKAS condemns PNP’S violence against peaceful SONA 2012 marchers and to file charges against NCRPO AND QCPD officials

SANLAKAS totally condemns yesterday’s multiple violent attacks by the PNP (Philippine National Police) against peaceful SONA (State of the Nation Address) activists who marched towards the House of Representatives in Quezon City yesterday afternoon.

The PNP’s NCRPO (National Capital Region Police Office) and QCPD (Quezon City Police District), specifically their CDM (Civil Distrurbance Management) units and their ground commanders are to be blamed for the direct violations of human and political rights, including Batas Pambansa No. 880 (Law on Public Assemblies and Rallies).

In particular, SANLAKAS will file charges against NCRPO Regional Director, P/Director Alan Purisima and QCPD District Director, Chief Superintendent Mario Dela Vega as the overall commanders in charge of yesterday’s police forces tasked to block peaceful rallies. These charges stem from the fact that many rally leaders and organizers, including SANLAKAS Spokesperson Rasti Delizo, were slightly injured by the violent assaults of the joint-QCPD-NCRPO CDM personnel. Likewise, SANLAKAS views the illegal police actions as a direct violation of our human rights (physical injuries), political rights (the blocking of peaceful rallies) and also BP#880’s own provision stipulating that all PNP-CDM personnel shall be in proper uniform with nameplates prominently visible on their uniforms. In the case of the latter, several CDM personnel were spotted without any nameplates.

According to Rasti Delizo, “I already personally warned Generals Purisima and Dela Vega last July 16 during a dialogue between the NCRPO and SONA rally leaders, that SANLAKAS will file administrative charges against them should any violations occur during the SONA rallies. In fact, I specifically warned them about the no-nameplate concern which was already a problem from past rallies. But I also assured them that our rally shall be peaceful and that if any violence will occur, it will not come from our ranks but from the police themselves. And now, we were correct because that is exactly what happened yesterday.”

SANLAKAS is a lead Convenor of the ‘Martsa para sa Alternatibong Ekonomiya’ that mobilized over 5000 activists from various broad formations, sectoral organizations and political blocs. These include the FDC (Freedom from Debt Coalition), Nagkaisa, KAMP (Kampanya para sa Makataong Pamumuhay), PAHRA (Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates), PMCJ (Philippine Movement for Climate Justice), YAD (Youth Against Debt), and the Stop the War! Coalition. At around 3p.m. yesterday, SANLAKAS and its allies marched along Commonwealth Avenue in order to proceed to the HoR to face PNoy during his SONA as his Bosses. Expectedly and unsurprisingly, PNoy ordered the PNP to block our contingent as we crossed into the Southbound lane at a U-turn slot along Commonwealth Ave. within the vicinity of the Diliman Preparatory School.

The PNP’s CDM blocking forces from the QCPD-NCRPO immediately assaulted our frontline of mass leaders. The SANLAKAS spokesperson, who was one of the frontline leaders and a lead negotiator with the PNP, attempted to reach out to Gen. Dela Vega repeatedly but was screened out by a certain S/Supt. Pagdilao and a certain Supt. Obon. Instead of holding any peaceful negotiations, Pagdilao and Obon told Delizo that he was interfering in police operations as they kept on barking out orders to the CDM forces to disperse our peaceful rally.

Lastly, SANLAKAS Spokesperson Delizo stated that, “It now seems that Gloria Arroyo’s old CPR (Calibrated Preemptive Response) policy has just been revived by the PNoy Regime after yesterday’s violent ‘No-Maximum Tolerance’ attacks by the PNP against peaceful rallyists. This is a contravention of the Supreme Court’s April 2006 ruling declaring the reactionary CPR policy as anti-democratic and unconstitutional. And so now, if this is the case today, then PNoy should already declare it to be so to his own Bosses, and just as his immediate predecessor did so herself on September 21, 2005. If he is really a democratic leader and we the masses are his Bosses, then PNoy should not be afraid to face us publicly and to talk to us openly without unleashing the brutality of his blue-uniformed goons upon his own Bosses. Otherwise, we shall bring this matter to a proper court and PNoy would be politically.” ###

*For more information/details, please contact:
Mr. RASTI DELIZO (SANLAKAS Spokesperson)
@ Cellphone No.: 09998092461

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[Press Release] Mining digs holes on P-Noy’s ‘tuwid na daan’ -ATM

Mining digs holes on P-Noy’s ‘tuwid na daan’
Groups laud president’s call for environmental protection and fair revenue sharing before mining

President Aquino might have already realized that mining industry is a big challenge on his roadmap for good governance, said Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM) reacting on P-Noy’s pronouncement in SONA that mining will not be allowed if it will result to environmental degradation.

“It’s a good indication that the president is recognizing that the current policy on mining has not guaranteed good returns in terms of revenue and economic benefits for the country and the local communities,” said Jaybee Garganera, national coordinator of ATM.

ATM with its partner organizations also mentioned that P-Noy’s proposed reforms in the mining industry are already outlined in the Alternative Minerals Management Bill (AMMB) that is now being heard in the Natural Resources Committee in the House of Representatives and is supported by communities, civil society groups and the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines.

On agricultural lands
In his SONA the president also enumerated his accomplishments in increasing the country’s agricultural productivity and exclaimed goals for exporting rice next year. However, the groups reminded the president that mining is posing threats to this aspiration.

“He should not forget the magnetite mining in MacArthur, Leyte that had caused two consecutive fish kills in Lake Bito this year and had ransacked vast agricultural land in the province,” said Fr. Edu Gariguez, executive secretary of Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines-National Secretariat for Social Action (NASSA) and 2012 Goldman Prize Environmental Awardee.

Gariguez challenged the president to be true to his principle of going against the entities oppressing communities, “He should instruct environment secretary Ramon Paje to act quickly and with resolve on the issue against NICUA mining in Leyte that had deprived fisherfolk around Lake Bito of their livelihoods ”

On human rights violation
ATM reminded the president to also not forgive and forget the human rights violations of several mining firms in the country.

“He should bear in his mind that in January 2011, the Commission on Human Rights had recommended to him the revocation of the mining contract for Oceana Gold Philippines, Inc. (OGPI) in Nueva Vizcaya for committing grave violations against human rights of the communities opposing the mining project,” Garganera added.

ATM also lamented that while the president enumerated his accomplishments and targets in eradicating shortages in chairs and classrooms for Filipino students, many children and youth in Mindanao face threat of displacement because of the proposed Tampakan mining project in South Cotabato, and nearby provinces, especially in CARAGA region, known as the mining capital of the Philippines. Meanwhile, Pnoy tallied the improvements in the Armed Forces and the National Police, as civil society groups are also concerned with the increasing trends in extra-judicial killings in the country.

IP-blind
The group also lamented the apparent lack of recognition of indigenous peoples. Making up at least twelve million Filipinos, the IPs represent more than 10% of the population, are the most vulnerable and considered as the poorest among the poor. They are aslo the most threatened sector by mining. And yet, the whole 1-1/2 hours of the SONA failed to mention them, and their daily struggles against mining to protect their ancestral domains.

Ganun na lang ba’ yun?
“We can not just also forgive and forget mining firms that caused unbearable burden to the communities and the country as a whole. Even EO 79 will not solve the problem. Ganun na lang ba ‘yun? Of course not, if we want positive changes in our minerals management, then AMMB has to be passed immediately,” Garganera concluded.

Alyansa Tigil Mina is an alliance of mining-affected communities and other civil society organizations who are opposing the aggressive promotion of large-scale mining in the Philippines. 30)

For more information:

Fr Edu Gariguez, CBCP-NASSA Executive Secretary, 09198005595
Jaybee Garganera, ATM National Coordinator – 09277617602
Farah Sevilla – policy@alyansatigilmina.net; 0915-3313361
Edel S. Garingan – communications@alyansatigilmina.net; 0922-8918972

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[Press Release] Growth is inequitable under privatization and deregulation policy –KAMP

Growth is inequitable under privatization and deregulation policy –KAMP

President Aquino may have good numbers to show in his 3rd State of the Nation Address (SONA) but activists are putting up a major challenge on those figures: prove that the country’s economic growth is equitable.

The Kampanya para sa Makataong Pamumuhay (KAMP) which joined Nagkaisa!, Freedom from Debt Coalition (FDC) and the Philippine Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA) in the “Martsa para sa Alternatibong Ekonomiya”, said growth can only be meaningful if it gives people the chance to live a life of dignity.

The present reality, the group said, show otherwise. Despite more than a decade of growth, millions of Filipino remained poor while prices of goods and services are getting more inaccessible:

 there is a property boom, but urban poor families are being uprooted out of the cities
 despite the 6% growth half of the labor force are self-employed and unpaid workers while more than a third work as contractuals
 there is also a boom in private led medical tourism but poor Filipinos suffer deteriorating public health services
 private power and water utilities enjoy super profits while the people suffer one of the highest electricity and water rates in the world

“How can this growth become equitable when the most part of it went to the private sector, when the combined income of the top 40 Filipino billionaires is more than the combined income of the bottom 30% of the population?” lamented KAMP lead convenor Ana Maria Nemenzo.

Nemenzo said growth will always remain inequitable as long as privatization and deregulation remain the governing policy of the Aquino administration. She cited a study made by the PIDS which showed that 3 trillion of our Gross Domestic Product went to corporate
income while only 2.4 trillion went to family income.

Furthermore, the combined net worth of the top 40 billionaires (which receive numerous incentives from the government) amounted to PhP2 trillion, almost equivalent to the proposed 2013 national budget, while select poor families receive Php1,400 a month only from the palliative Pantawid Pamilya program of the government.

“Kung mayorya ng ating populasyon ay hirap na hirap na nabubuhay sa sariling sikap habang ang pribadong sektor ay kumakabig ng guaranteed profit sa kanilang negosyo na nagdudulot naman ng mataas na presyo ng mga bilihin at serbisyo, hindi talaga magiging patas ang kaunlaran na
ito,” added Nemenzo.

KAMP is calling for the de-privatization of essential services such as power and water. It is also demanding for decisive and immediate government intervention to ensure guaranteed employment and decent work for all, universal quality healthcare, and an on-site\in-city decent housing program for the poor. (30)

PRESS RELEASE
23 July 2012
Contact: Wilson Fortaleza
09053732185

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[Press Release] “New path of development” called for in counter-SONA -PM

“New path of development” called for in counter-SONA

Several thousand workers joined the counter-SONA protest yesterday to call for a “new path of development” and “alternative economics” as they insisted that poverty and unemployment has not been eradicated despite a decade of economic growth. “The anti-corruption campaign of President Aquino will not solve the problem of destitution and joblessness. The answer lies in taking a new path of development away from the Aquinomics of privatization, contractualization and globalization,” declared Renato Magtubo, Partido ng Manggagawa (PM) chairperon.

Some 1,000 members of PM  join the “March for Alternative Economics” together with the labor coalition Nagkaisa (United) and the multisectoral alliances Freedom from Debt Coalition and Kampanya para sa Makataong Pamumuhay (Campaign for a Humane Life). A total of 7,000 rallyists will march for “alternative economics” starting at 1:00 pm from the corner of Luzon and Commonwealth Avenues then proceed to the Batasang Pambansa.

“It is expected that PNoy will trumpet inclusive growth under his administration. But for workers and the poor, GNP growth only means increasing numbers of ‘Gutom Na Pilipino,’” Magtubo added.

Gerry Rivera, president of the Philippine Airlines Employees Association (PALEA), said that “Even as PNoy garners the confidence of investors for the privatization projects under the Public-Private Partnerhip program, he has earned the ire of workers for his approval of outsourcing and contractualization at Philippine Airlines.”

Meanwhile PM echoed the criticism of the Reproductive Health Advocacy Network (RHAN) against President Aquino for omiiting the Reproductive Health bill among his government’s priority bills and the House of Representatives for its indifference and utter disregard to the plight of poor and working women.

“This is PNoy’s third SONA and women’s mortality rate has increased to 221 per 100,000 live births in 2011 from 162 per 100,000 live births in 2009. Besides the fact that the Philippines must lower the maternal mortality rate to 52 per 100,000 live births, the important matter is how the executive and legislative view women’s right to reproductive health care.” explained PM secretary-general Judy Ann Miranda.

“Regular job and living wages are needed not the conditional cash transfer which is a band-aid solution at best. From 2003-2009 the economy grew by an average of 4.8% but the number of poor Filipinos increased from 19.8 million to 23.1 million. Poverty will not be dented no matter how many cases are filed against former president Gloria Arroyo and how many of her minions are jailed together with ex-Comelec chief Benjamin Abalos,” Rivera stressed.

Magtubo reiterated that “Among the ASEAN nations, the Philippines have the most persistent incidence of poverty (defined as living on less than US$1.25 a day). The Philippines has the highest percentage of slum population as a percent of its urban population among six Asian countries” ###

Press Release
July 23, 2012
Partido ng Manggagawa
Contact Renato Magtubo @ 09178532905

[From the web] Karapatan, SELDA calls on flash mob dancers for political prisoners’ freedom

Karapatan, SELDA calls on flash mob dancers for political prisoners’ freedom
July 22, 2012

A day before Pres. Noynoy Aquino’s 3rd State of the Nation Address (SONA), Karapatan and SELDA today launched via http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HnCjfcdJ-vY&feature=youtu.be a call out video for flash mob as part of the campaign to release all political prisoners. Following yesterday’s launch of the “Awit ng mga Detenidong Pulitikal,” by the Concerned Artists of the Philippines (CAP), members of Anakbayan in Sampaloc and San Juan danced to the song that describes the plight of political prisoners and calls for their immediate release.

Karapatan spokesperson, Cristina Palabay said that the “video enjoins not only dancers but also all those who believe in the justness of the call to release all political prisoners to take part in the campaign, specifically in creating their own dance version, or MTVs on political prisoners, or by simply sharing and showing the video and the song.”

Read full article @ www.karapatan.org

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