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[Event] Red-Baiting Forum 2013 -IPON

Red-Baiting Forum 2013

As a follow-up to our 2012 Red-Baiting Conference we cordially invite you to our
Red-Baiting Forum 2013

(on October 4th at UP Balay Kalinaw, Quezon City)

Based on the talks and results of the two previous forums, objective of the Red-Baiting Forum 2013 is to bring together Philippine state actors, international actors and national/international CSOs/NGOs to gather ideas and recommendations on a “Guideline to AFP ground line personnel on the prevention of Red-Baiting/Red-Labeling of HRDs and/or their legal organizations in conflict and non-conflict situations”.

IPON logo

Red-Baiting in the Philippines can be described as a political strategy to accuse, denounce and persecute individuals and groups as members of communist organizations like the CPP-NDF-NPA in order to obstruct their work. The most forceful and extreme examples of Red-Baiting related violations of human rights are enforced disappearances, torture and extralegal killings.

Funded by the German Federal Foreign Office, IPON emphasizes this crucial issue that deals with threats to the existence of civil society organizations and their members in the third year.
Among the victims of Red-Baiting, human rights defenders are particularly endangered. They become victims of physical and legal harassments because of their peaceful engagement in their demand for human rights. Therefore it is the responsibility of the Philippine state to particularly take measures to protect human rights defenders and provide a situation in which they can peacefully strive for their rights without any kind of repressions.

Together we want to share perspectives, find common grounds and work out practical steps towards possible solutions. We sincerely hope that you will support us with your expertise and knowledge in this important policy design process.

Please feel free to contact us in case of further inquiries.

Nina Johnen
(Country & Project Coordinator)

R.S.V.P. (until Sept 30th), n.johnen@ipon-philippines.org, +63 (0)92 797 016 75

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[From the web] PNP sued by peasant activists -hrdefenders.wordpress.com

PNP sued by peasant activists
hrdefenders.wordpress.com

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Not just the chief, but practically the entire police force in Carmen, Cebu, was sued by peasant activists yesterday (12 August 2013) afternoon “for fabricating evidence, perjury and other corrupt practices that state security forces employ habitually against political dissenters.”

Hauled before the Office of the Ombudsman were station commander C/Insp. Jason Mangaron, and troops SP03 Renerio Masacol, Jr., SP01 Rolen Pescalia, P03 Roger Delan, P02 Arnel Manos, and P01 Cristito Aresco.

They were charged for planting evidence against Erlinda Into, Chairperson of KMP-Cebu, and her husband Leonides, member of Cantipay Farmers’ Association, in the aftermath of an illegal raid on their home last year. They were also responsible for violently manhandling the victims during the abduction and subsequent detention of victims.

Read full article @hrdefenders.wordpress.com

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[Statement] Statement of support for the immediate passage of Alternative Minerals Management Bill (AMMB)- HRDP-Murciellagos Bay chapter

STATEMENT OF SUPPORT FOR THE IMMEDIATE PASSAGE OF ALTERNATIVE MINERALS MANAGEMENT BILL (AMMB)
August 10, 2013

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We the officers and members of Human Rights Defenders-Pilipinas, Murciellagos Bay chapter (Dapitan City, Sibutad and Rizal, Zamboanga del Norte; Sapang Dalaga and Baliangao, Misamis Occidental) express full support for the enactment of House Bill 984 entitled AN ACT TO REGULATE THE RATIONAL EXPLORATION, DEVELOPMENT AND UTILIZATION OF MINERAL RESOURCES, AND TO ENSURE THE EQUITABLE SHARING OF BENEFITS FOR THE STATE, INDIGENOUS PEOPLES AND LOCAL COMMUNITIES, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES otherwise known as the Alternative Minerals Management Bill (AMMB).

We, the mining-affected communities in Murciellagos Bay backed by our elected Barangay Council officials would not allow the entry and operation of any form of mining activities whether from Phelix Gold Phils. Inc. (PGPI) or otherwise within the Rizalina hills watershed and around the coastal watershed vicinity of Murciellagos Bay due to its destructive impact to the source of water supply, rice and coco farms, marine and fisheries ecosystems of Murciellagos Bay as well as to the over-all socio-economic and physical well-being of the affected Barangays.

We believe that we need a new mining law that would effectively address the policy gaps and enforcement inefficiencies and other infirmities of RA 7942 or the Philippine Mining Act of 1995. We need a new mining law that:
1. Rationalizes the extraction of minerals, based on the development needs of our country and our people, in areas duly designated for mining, in a period that would allow ample time for operations and rehabilitation.
2. Ensures the equitable share of government on mineral wealth, and consenting communities; provides for the timely and effective collection of just taxes from mining operations and the creation of rehabilitation fund;
3. Promotes and protects the rights of indigenous peoples to give their genuine free, prior and informed consent and participate in decision-making regarding mining projects;
4. Ensures that local governments exercise their local autonomy in effectively managing and regulating mining projects in their jurisdictions, and therefore, chart their sustainable local development;
5. Respects and recognizes human rights and peace concerns as a consequence of a stable rules governing regarding mining applications and mining operations;
6. Complies with and integrates new realities such as climate change, disasters and geo-hazards, and compels mining projects to adhere to our environmental laws and policies such as protected areas and conservation of key biodiversity areas;
7. Adheres to the government’s international obligations and multi-lateral commitments such as Agenda 21, UNDRIP, UNCERD and other human rights norms and standards, as well as international standards on transparency and accountability in the extractives industry.

We believe that proposed Alternative Minerals Management Bill exemplified in House Bill 984 and Senate Bill 43 embodies all of the above, knowing that it has been a product of years of consultations, negotiations, legal analysis and dialogues with affected communities and a broad spectrum of civil society.

We demand for the immediate passage of the bill.

(Sgd)
LOPE B. CULANAG
President

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[People] Skin whiteners damage people and national dignity By Fr. Shay Cullen, Mssc

Skin whiteners damage people and national dignity
By Fr. Shay Cullen, Mssc

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Imagine the scene in a charity clinic where a teenager was brought threatening suicide. Barbara, 17 years old, was crying out in her anguish, beating her clenched fists on the table and screaming, “I can’t live with a face like this, I am better off dead, dead”. She wailed and wept and the nurses could see the cause of her anger and frustration, uneven dark and white blotches had disfigured her face, the result of dangerous toxic skin whitening creams. She wanted to look like a movie star but it all went wrong.

Barbara was persuaded to calm down and get counseling and help to reverse the condition. We have reason to fear and ban the deadly disease-causing products that disfigure young people, who are feeling insecure and inferior because of a darker complexion. With therapy and counseling, Barbara overcame her trauma and was later empowered enough to be an advocate for racial equality. Those products are truly racist for wrongly promoting the white skinned Caucasian as a superior being and by implying everyone else is a lesser human being.

Whatever skin cream you use, be sure that it is non-toxic and not a skin whitener or bleaching agent. The Philippine Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has banned 16 dangerous skin whitening products containing toxic cancer-causing substances. They are suspected of containing high levels of heavy metals such as lead, cadmium, mercury, and arsenic. “Continuous use of these products may cause adverse or allergic reactions that can result to severe or irreversible skin problem”, FDA said last week.

Even worse can happen when the dangerous chemicals are absorbed into the bloodstream and can cause skin cancer, liver, and kidney damage or poisoning. Hydroquinone, a toxic substance is found in many of the skin whitening and bleaching products; they are very dangerous and can disfigure a person’s face over time. (See http://www.preda.org/mailings/mail.cgi/r/preda/732551950078/hronlineph/gmail.com/ and Youtube)

Young people need to be given affirmation and positive re-enforcement and assurances that they are good, valuable, and loved persons irrespective of race, creed, or skin colour. They need a positive self-image based on good character, spiritual values and not based on outward physical appearance and how one looks. They need to accept themselves as they are, not how cosmetic surgical procedures or skin whitening will make them look. It’s what you are as a person, not how you physically look that matters.

They need help to understand that “true face” is based on integrity and comes from their belief in their own inner goodness, their abilities to help others, being unselfish and authentic and having awareness and respect for human rights and dignity.

Having “face” is an important Asian value; it is the respectful self-image, the dignity of a nation, family and the individual. It is supposedly based on a reputation for goodness, honor, and being true to your word. To lose “face” is to be humiliated, have one’s name besmirched and thus to lose the respect of others or be dishonored or diminished in some way. Everybody needs and deserves the respect and dignity due to every person.

The lack of integrity, cheating and lying, and hypocrisy are the common practice in society and among the greatest cheats are those who make false claims and peddle false images of health and beauty. The advertising, fashion, makers of cosmetic products such as skin whiteners and some medical practitioners do the greatest damage. Instead of giving the “face” that comes from spiritual values, they have created a false image of so called “beauty” that is racist and discriminates against all who do not fit that image. We are made in the image and likeness of God, not that concocted by a beautician.

Many years ago, the “beauty” industry chose to promote a particular image or “most desirable face” that others would be urged to imitate. Their principle beauty model of the ideal movie star celebrity image is one that is slim, white-skinned and looks Caucasian. They seemingly set out to develop and exploit a colonial mentality. In the world of fashion, there are exceptions. Cosmetic surgeons and skin whitening makers are raking in billions of dollars around the world from straightening noses, doing face lifts, eye alterations, bleaching skin white and giving other cosmetic enchantment procedures.

Skin whitening products are considered “racist”, they, by their very existence, promote the false, insulting and racist belief that darker skin colour is indicative of an inferior person or lower race or connotes ugly and not attractive. They promote the attitude that “white is right”. It’s a business that destroys the honor of the people and a loss of true “face”, the one that means self respect and personal honor as a people. These products must be roundly denounced and people of all nations must boycott and shun them. shaycullen@preda.org,www.preda.org. Postal: St. Columbans, Navan, Ireland.

(Fr. Shay’s columns are published in The Universe, The Manila Times, in publications in Ireland, the UK, Hong Kong, and on-line.)

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[From the web] Pol Prisoner Holds Hunger Strike for Fr.Romano and All Victims of Rights Abuse – hrdefenders.wordpress.com

Pol Prisoner Holds Hunger Strike for Fr.Romano and All Victims of Rights Abuse
by yoyong, hrdefenders.wordpress.com
July 15, 2013

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A political prisoner in Cebu marked the 28th year commemoration of the abduction and disappearance of Redemptorist priest Rudy Romano on July 11, 2013 with a hunger strike until the Presidential State-of-the-Nation Address on July 22, 2013.

Subsisting exclusively on fluids, Ramon Patriarca timed his protest on the day of the activist priest’s abduction to support call of KARAPATAN for truth and justice on Romano’s fate.

Read full article @hrdefenders.wordpress.com

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[In the news] Amnesty International to elected execs: Act on rights abuses | Sun.Star

Amnesty International to elected execs: Act on rights abuses | Sun.Star.
By Abigail C. Malalis
May 29, 2013

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AMNESTY International-Philippines (AIPh) challenged newly elected government officials to act further on the rising number of victims of human rights abuses in the country.

AIPh made the call on Tuesday as it launched the Amnesty International Report 2013 in Cagayan de Oro City, 15 days after the May 2013 midterm elections.

The launch was simultaneously held with its 52nd anniversary.

The AI Report compiled facts on the state of the world’s human rights, covering 159 countries and territories.

Dr. Aurora Corazon A. Parong, AIPh director, said insecurities were observed even in areas where armed conflict is absent and the number of people living below poverty line is growing.

“The world is becoming increasingly dangerous especially for refugees and migrants including Filipinos. We see insecurity in our country even in areas where there is no armed conflict. Poverty and unemployment persists. The local government officials play a key role in turning around the situation of misery and insecurity,” Parong said in a statement.

Read full article @www.sunstar.com.ph

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sign petiton2 smallPhoto by TFDP

 

[In the news] Another OFW injured in attack on dorm in Taiwan -GMA News

Another OFW injured in attack on dorm in Taiwan
May 19, 2013

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At least one more overseas Filipino worker in Taiwan was injured in an attack on a dormitory for Filipinos Saturday night.

One of the OFWs, Marissa de Guzman, said the incident occurred Saturday night when a group of Taiwanese suddenly broke into their dormitory.

“Kagabi… binasag ng sumalakay ang harap at pintuan ng dormitoryo (Last night, a group of Taiwanese broke into the dormitory),” she said in an interview on dzBB radio.

She said one of the OFWs was injured and may have suffered a fractured hand.

Read full article @www.gmanetwork.com

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[In the news] Zambales Participated in the Launching of “Tao Muna Hindi Mina” -www.allvoices.com

Zambales Participated in the Launching of “Tao Muna Hindi Mina”

allvoicesThe peoples of Zambales, one of the 80 provinces of the Philippines took the streets to join other nine provinces in the launching of the national campaign against mining dubbed as “Tao Muna Hindi Mina”.

The campaign is pushing for the enactment of the Alternative Minerals Management Bill and the respect for human rights in areas where there are mining operations.

Alex Hermoso of PREDA said that the mining companies and the government have been claiming that mining will help develop the Philippines, but in reality not one of the many mined areas in the country improved the lives of the people, study shows that after the mining operations, the people became poorer because their basic forms of livelihoods were destroyed.

Read full article @www.allvoices.com

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[Blog] On Candidates Criminally Hugging Trees by Rodne Galicha

On Candidates Criminally Hugging Trees

by Rodne Galicha

Rod Galicha2On candidates wanted to be elected as public servants, I once asked this question: How many of our leaders now are willing to stand up selflessly for the general welfare, for a healthful and balanced ecology?

Once elected and sworn into office, these ‘chosen’ people, depending on the position won, shall either make or implement laws. How can we measure the seriousness of these people – their honesty? How can we expect them to really make and implement sensible policies? How can we be sure that they themselves will follow those policies enacted?

Simply, let us learn from the words of a Greek philosopher named Aristotle: “He who cannot be a good follower cannot be a good leader.”

Once political wannabes signed their respective certificates of candidacy, they have sworn ‘to support and defend the Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines and will maintain true faith and allegiance thereto.’ Significantly, affixing their signatures, they promised to ‘obey the laws, legal orders and decrees promulgated by the duly constituted authorities,’ and pledged to ‘impose this obligation upon myself voluntarily, without mental reservation or purpose of evasion.’

The campaign period started in February for national candidates including partylists and last week of March for local ones. The city life becomes more colorful and the once lush green rural villages are now filled with a kaleidoscope of smiling images and super promises of heavenly lives. Literally.

Read full article @rodgalicha.com

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[Event] Kalbaryo ng Kawalang Katarungan, Ang Pitong Wika: Paninilay at Panalangin ng mga Iwinala -FIND

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A lenten activity of FIND this Holy Wednesday. Kalbaryo ng Kawalang Katarungan, Ang Pitong Wika: Paninilay at Panalangin ng mga Iwinala.

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[In the news] Group to Aquino: Declare right to adequate food a national policy -InterAksyon.com

Group to Aquino: Declare right to adequate food a national policy
By InterAksyon.com
March 3, 2013

InterAksyon logo2MANILA, Philippines – With more than three years left to the current administration, President Benigno S. Aquino III should declare right to adequate food a national policy in order to leave a legacy that is beneficial to the present and future generations, the National Food Coalition (NFC) said in a news release.

In an event dubbed “National Conference on the Right to Adequate Food: A Collective Action for Policy Reform,” Aurea Miclat-Teves, NFC convenor, said there is a need for the government to come up with an enabling law that will rectify existing incoherent, non-complementary and conflicting legal mechanisms.

The conference was attended and participated in by more than 100 human rights defenders, rural development advocates, pro-environment groups, indigenous peoples, people’s and non-governmental organizations from various parts of the country and representatives of different national government agencies last February 27 to 28.

Read full article @www.interaksyon.com

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[Featured Site] A project in honor of the Nameless Heroes and Martyrs Launched

A project in honor of the Nameless Heroes and Martyrs Launched

namelessIn time with the commemoration of the 27th Anniversary of the EDSA people power and the signing of the Compensation Act for Victims of Martial Law, a project called “Nameless” was launched last February 20 2013, during a “Forum on the Relevance of Activism Today”, at the University of the Philippines CSSP Audio-Visual Room, Room 207.

The Forum and the launch were presented by the College of Social Sciences and Philosophy of the University of the Philippines (Diliman) in cooperation with UP PADAYON and UP SAMASA.

CSSP UP Diliman Assistant Dean Neil Santillan welcomed the participants. Ruben Felipe of the Nameless Collective talked about the Project Nameless, and their web site. Messages from Alan Jazmines and PAHRA were delivered and a video of “Ang mga walang pangalan,” produced for the launch was premiered. Poems were read. The Forum featured Teddy Rigoroso, Raffy Aquino, Bong Bongolan, and Liza Dacanay as speakers.

The Project Nameless Collective

The Project Nameless Collective looks after The Nameless web site. The Collective is composed of volunteers, who contribute content to the web site and perform other tasks to keep the site running. The Collective also works on other projects, such as mobile exhibits about the heroes and martyrs honored on this web site; it also collaborates with individuals, groups and organisations to maintain and grow the site, and other related projects. Collective members are comrades, relatives and friends of the heroes honored on this virtual shrine.

Project Nameless Collective members include:

Maria Teresa Battad
Mario L. Cuezon
Viol de Guzman
Ma. Katherine De Jesus-Clarin
Ruben Felipe
Ferdinand Llanes
Nini Matilac
Eileen Matute
Christian Ramilo
Louie Rogado
Veronica Uy

For more information on the Collective, write to info@nameless.org.ph.

http://www.nameless.org.ph/

https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Nameless-Unsung-Heroes-Martyrs/233694680077990?fref=ts

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[In the news] New IP law to ‘liberalize’ right to personal use, not remove it –IPOPHL -GMA News

New IP law to ‘liberalize’ right to personal use, not remove it –IPOPHL
Marc Jayson Cayabyab, GMA News
February 20, 2013

gmanewsonlineRecent amendments to the Intellectual Property (IP) Rights Law would actually allow Filipinos to bring home more copyrighted materials from abroad instead of preventing it, a lawyer from the IP Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) said, allaying fears that stemmed from a blogger’s criticism of the measure last week.

In an interview on GMA News’ “News To Go” on Wednesday, IP rights lawyer Atty. Louie Calvario said the contested deletion of the “personal use provision” basically Filipinos to bring home any number of copyrighted materials as they want, so long as these are “legally bought” and not pirated.

According to Section 190 of the unrevised Republic Act 8293, there is no need to seek permission from the copyright owner as long as the material is only for personal use, meaning it “is not for sale but for the use only of any religious, charitable, or educational society or institution duly incorporated or registered, or is for the encouragement of the fine arts, or for any state school, college, university, or free public library in the Philippines.”

Read full article @www.gmanetwork.com

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[Statement] Walang demolisyon hangga’t walang maayos na relokasyon, ayon sa mga maralita sa mga estero’t tabing-ilog

Walang demolisyon hangga’t walang maayos na relokasyon, ayon sa mga maralita sa mga estero’t tabing-ilog

Mga maralita mula sa mga estero, tabing-ilog at ilalim ng tulay, o yaong tinatawag na “waterways” ang may banta ng demolisyon. Ayon kay DILG Usec Francisco Fernandez (Agence France-Presse, Enero 12, 2013), may tinatayang 105,000 pamilyang iskwater na naninirahan sa mga waterways o tabing-ilog at estero sa Kalakhang Maynila (NCR). May inilaan umano silang P10B ($246M) para sa proyektong demolisyon at naghahanda umano sila para magtayo ng mga “medium-rise building” bilang tahanan ng mga iskwater.

Nababahala ang mga maralita kaya nais nilang sa maagang yugto pa lang ngayong Pebrero ay malaman na nila ang buong plano ng pamahalaan upang hindi sila mabigla sa pagdating ng demolisyon sa Hunyo. Kailangan nila itong paghandaan at depensahan ang kanilang mga karapatan. Handa silang lumaban at kung kinakailangan ay makipagbatuhan kung sapilitang tatanggalan sila ng kanilang tahanan, kahit barungbarong man iyan. Kailangan ng maayos na negosasyon. Kailangang ihayag at ilabas ng pamahalaan ang lahat ng dokumento at plano na tatama sa mga maralita. Maaaring sabihin ng DILG, sa Hunyo na lang ito pag-usapan matapos ang eleksyon. Ngunit para sa maralita, dapat na sa maagang yugto pa lang ngayong Pebrero ay malaman na nila ang buong plano upang kanila itong paghandaan.

Tanong ni Glen Mendina, tagapagsalita ng Koalisyon Kontra Demolisyon (KKD), “Itatapon ba ang maralita sa malalayong lugar na walang serbisyong panlipunan, malayo sa kanilang trabaho, at di sapat na pabahay? Ang nais ng maralita ay in-city relocation dahil malapit ang ganito sa kanilang pinagkukunan ng ikabubuhay, at nais nilang sapat, maayos, matibay at ligtas ang mga bahay na pagdadalhan sa kanila.”

Huwag itago ng pamahalaan ng totoong proyekto, dahil baka walang kasiguruhan ang proyekto ng pamahalaan kung pagbabatayan ang iba’t ibang lugar ng relokasyon kung saan itinapon sa mga relocation sites ang mga maralita na naniniwalang aayos ang kanilang buhay doon, ngunit kabaligtaran ang mga nangyayari – walang tubig, di matibay na bahay, malayo sa trabaho, gutom ang inaabot ng mga pamilya, banta sa kalusugan, malayo ang serbisyong panlipunan.

Ngayong Pebrero na ito pag-usapan, ayon sa mga maralita. Huwag sa Hunyo kung saan mabibigla sila sa agarang demolisyon.

Para sa karagdagang impormasyon at katanungan, mangyaring makipag-ugnayan kina Glen Mendina, spokesperson ng KKD sa CP # 09398149517 at Tita Flor Santos sa cp# 09164816585

KOALISYON KONTRA DEMOLISYON (KKD)
PRESS STATEMENT
Pebrero 8, 2013

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[Featured Site] C2C -Children Talk to Children

C2C logo

Children Talk to Children About the UN CRC is a project that monitors the implementation of children’s rights in the Philippines.

The Children Talk to Children (C2C) About the UN CRC Project, a joint initiative of four child-led organizations that are based in Caloocan, Cavite and Pasay aims to strengthen the meaningful participation of greater number of children in CRC monitoring and campaign.

Know more and like their page @https://www.facebook.com/C2C.Ph

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[In the news] THE ERICSON ACOSTA STORY | Running home, almost free -InterAksyon.com

THE ERICSON ACOSTA STORY | Running home, almost free
Text and photos by Elizabeth Lolarga, VERA Files
January 17, 2013

InterAksyon logo2CALBAYOG CITY, Samar—Political prisoner Ericson “Eric” Acosta, who had long stopped counting the days he had spent in jail at this city’s sub-provincial jail in Western Samar, was sprung an unanticipated pre-Valentine gift on Thursday: The court allowed the poet-composer and former Philippine Collegian editor to leave jail on early Friday to fly to Manila on humanitarian grounds. (Acosta is expected to arrive in Manila at 8:15 a.m. on Friday at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3.)

Chief Public Attorney Persida Rueda-Acosta (not a relative of the accused) quickly moved for Acosta’s temporary release before the Gandara regional trial court after a medico-legal consultant of the Public Attorney’s Office examined him and found he has nephritis, a condition characterized by blood in the urine (hematuria), lower back pains, high fever and painful urination (dysuria), all of which require urgent confinement.

The doctor, Erwin Erfe, was accompanying Rueda-Acosta on a medical mission to the jail and had gone over Acosta’s medical history.

Read full article @www.interaksyon.com

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[Off-the-shelf] Read less know more Primer on the Anti-Torture Act of 2009 published -CLRD

Read less know more
Primer on the Anti-Torture Act of 2009 published
by Children’s Legal Rights and Development Center (CLRD)

CLRD ATL primer cover

Part of the anniversary celebration the CLRDC was the soft launching of the “Primer on the
Anti-Torture Act of 2009”. Although printed copies are already available, the CLRDC team
opted for the “soft launching” coined to mean a publication of the primer’s soft copy in the
blog site of the organization. Printed copies were distributed to some NGOs on December
20, 2012 in time for CLRDC’s decade of service. The primer is also one of the contributions of
CLRDC to the civil society in its advocacy against torture.

For the electronic text of the primer, kindly visit http://clrdc.wordpress.com/.

The primer seeks to respond to issues and questions frequently asked in the Anti-Torture Act
of 2009, from the definition of torture, the acts constituting the crime of torture, the penalties
involved, the legal remedies that maybe availed of by the victims of torture, the principles of
command responsibility explained, as well as the rights of a person under custodial
investigation. The readers of the said Primer can better appreciate the law by reading its
concise and simplified form and presentation. Reading less but learning more about the
right not to be tortured.

The primer was the collective efforts of the members of the United against Torture Coalition
(UATC) and was written by the CLRDC team. Special thanks goes to the Medical Action
Group (MAG) for financing the printing and reproduction of the cover page.

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[Featured Video] Feminist Flashmob for Women’s Rights -PH TakeBacktheTech

Feminist Flashmob for Women’s Rights [Philippines – Full Version]
PHTakeBacktheTech

Take back the techDuring the International Human Rights Day, December 10, 2012, a feminist flashmob dance to the tune of “I am Woman” led by World March of Women – Pilipinas was held at Plaza Miranda (in front on Quiapo Church, Manila, PH), at noon.

Women dancers-activists first blended with the vendors, with some holding balloons, as fortune-tellers, beggars, etc. Three dancers started clapping to the tune of the music, then seven dancers joined releasing purple balloons bearing the logo of the World March of Women. They were joined by another 20 coming from the crowd, until it grew to 70. The last batch of dancers, students from the University of the Philippines –Manila made it a throng. On the last minute of the song, as steps turned to hip-hop, dancers took off their costumes, revealing white shirts which defiantly bore words “RH Now” in the face of continued delay in its passage in Congress. Some shirts shout “Climate Justice!”, in the face of ongoing negotiations in Doha, Qatar and the devastation of typhoon Pablo in Mindanao. Other shirts carried slogans such as “Women Need FOI!”, “Secure Jobs for All!” and “Scrap VFA!”

Around 100 participated in the flashmob from Alliance of Progressive Labor (APL), Bagong Kamalayan, Batis Center for Women, Buklod, Center for Migrant Advocacy (CMA), Coalition Against Trafficking in Women – Asia Pacific (CATW-AP), Focus on the Global South, Foundation for Media Alternatives, KAISA – Nagkakaisang Iskolar para sa Pamantasan at Sambayanan – UP Diliman, KAISA-KA, Pambansang Koalisyon ng Kababaihan sa Kanayunan (PKKK), Partido ng Manggagawa, Sarilaya, TIGRA Philippines, UP Manila students, WomanHealth Philippines, Women’s Crisis Center (WCC), and Youth and Students Advancing Gender Equality (YSAGE)

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This Video Production is part of 16 days x 16 stories of Take Back the Tech campaign
Produced by Foundation for Media Alternatives (FMA)
Editor: Hazel Tan
Videographers: Eric Sister, Hazel Tan, Johanna Acielo, Hazel of Sarilaya

Here is a vimeo version of this video – http://vimeo.com/55371741

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[Statement] Unabated human rights violations continually hurt God and the Church -VCDG

Unabated human rights violations continually hurt God and the Church
Most Rev. Gerardo A. Alminaza, D.D.
Head Convenor, Visayas Clergy Discernment Group
December 10, 2012

Bp Gerardo Alminaza 2Blessed John Paul II commended the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the United Nations on 10 December 1948, as “a true milestone on the path of humanity’s moral progress” (JP 2, 34th General Assembly of the United Nations).

But as we commemorate the 64th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Universal Human Rights Day, we continue to assert that the unabated human rights violations in the country are fundamental breaches of the laws of God and the teachings of the Church.

Genesis 1:27 says that God created man in his own image. The human individual, then, possesses the dignity of a person, who is not just something, but someone (Catechism of the Catholic Church [CCC], 357). We see in our neighbors, the living image of our Creator, and we show our love of God and neighbor through respecting our neighbor’s dignity.

But the Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders of the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) and the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) recently condemned the continuing human rights violations in the country under the Aquino government, particularly cases of extrajudicial killings of human rights defenders.

In Cebu, we support the advocacies of the Archdiocesan Discernment Group led by Cebu Archbishop Jose S. Palma in defending the rights of our marginalized brothers and sisters in the rural and urban areas.

The labor sector in the Mactan Export Processing Zone and in other factories in Cebu has to contend with unjust labor practices, union busting, contractualization, and many other oppressive and anti-labor practices.

In Barangay Luz of Cebu City, urban poor households were demolished even without adequate relocation sites facilitated. Former President Ramon Magsaysay gave them the relocation site in the said Barangay in the 1950’s.

The land tilled by farmers in Aloguinsan, Cebu since the time of their ancestors are now claimed by a rich landed family.

The local government is reclaiming seabeds in Cordova, Cebu in order to build golf courses and five star hotels. This will surely wipe out the livelihood of poor fisherfolks in the area, and will destroy seagrass beds and the ecosystem of corals connected to the double-barrier reef of the Danajon Bank in Bohol.

In other areas of the country, we are alarmed of the killing of anti-mining advocates who fight against large-scale mining.

The current human rights situation show that as a community, we have been remiss in respecting the dignity of our neighbors and the integrity of creation; and if this continues, justice and peace would be impossible to achieve.

As a community of persons, we must be steadfast in our duty to work for the good of all, the common good: to destroy the structures of sin, and build a society of justice, love and peace. May Jesus, the Prince of Peace of Christmas, defend the human rights of His brothers and sisters here in the Philippines and in the whole world.

For Reference:

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

VISAYAS CLERGY DISCERNMENT GROUP
E-Mail Address: visayasclergydiscernment@yahoo.com

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