Tag Archives: Violations

[In the news] CHR raises alarm over arrests during COVID-19 quarantine -CNN Philippines

Violations made during the enhanced community quarantine in Luzon “should not be automatically meted with arrest,” the Commission on Human Rights said Friday.

CHR Spokesperson Jacqueline de Guia in a statement disclosed that they have received complaints of taxi drivers, a homeless senior citizen, and a number of minors being arrested for violating the curfew in some areas.

Cities in Metro Manila have imposed an 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew while an enhanced community quarantine is in place in the entire Luzon – restricting the movement of people – to contain the spread of COVID-19. Manila City Mayor Francisco “Isko” Moreno Damagoso on Thursday said 16 people have been arrested in the nation’s capital for curfew violations.

“In the first few days of the quarantine, many of these poor and homeless folks were arrested as many attempted to continue with their livelihood,” De Guia said.

While she called on the public to cooperate with the government’s guidelines, De Guia stressed that authorities should ensure that it is implemented as a measure to ensure people’s health and safety amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Read full story @cnnphilippines.com

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[Statement] Action by the UN’s premier human rights body is crucial to stem the violence ensure accountability -HRW

HRW reaction to UN HRC opening statement on Philippines

In her opening statement today at the 41st session of the UN Human Rights Council, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights expressed concern about the “drug war” killings in the Philippines and supported the call by Special Rapporteurs for action by the Human Rights Council. States at the Human Rights Council should urgently follow through and support the resolution initiated by Iceland, putting Philippines on the council’s agenda. The killings continue in the Philippines on a daily basis and action by the UN’s premier human rights body is crucial to stem the violence ensure accountability.

 

Laila Matar
Deputy Director for United Nations
in Geneva at Human Rights Watch

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[In the news] U.N. rights chief: Deaths in PH anti-drug operations a ‘most serious concern’ -RAPPLER.com

United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet on Monday, June 24, expressed concern over the “extraordinarily high number of deaths” in the Philippines in the context of President Rodrigo Duterte’s continuing anti-illegal drugs campaign.

“Even the officially confirmed number of 5,425 deaths would be a matter of most serious concern for any country,” she said in a statement delivered during the 41st session of the council in Geneva, Switzerland.

“My office is following the situation of human rights in the Philippines very closely,” Bachelet added.

The number cited in the rights chief’s statement only covers suspected drug personalities killed during police operations, as stated by the government. Human rights groups peg the total death toll to more than 20,000 to include those killed vigilante-style. (READ: The Impunity Series)

Out of all the killings, Rappler found that the government has let thousands go unsolved.

Bachelet also said she supports the calls of UN special rapporteurs for the UN Human Rights Council to conduct an independent investigation into the killings.

Read more @www.rappler.com

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[Press Release] General Iriberri Should Reform Discredited Rights Office; Hold All Violators to Account -HRW

Philippines: New Military Chief Should Ensure Rights Reforms
General Iriberri Should Reform Discredited Rights Office; Hold All Violators to Account

(Manila, August 5, 2015) – The Philippine military should take all necessary and appropriate action to prevent abuses by its personnel and to ensure accountability for human rights violators, Human Rights Watch said today in a letter to new Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff Gen. Hernando Iriberri. President Benigno S. Aquino III named Iriberri, the former commander of the army, to the position on July 10, 2015.

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“General Iriberri is now the point man for making sure the Philippine armed forces stop committing abuses and respect human rights,” said Phelim Kine, deputy Asia director at Human Rights Watch. “It’s his responsibility to ensure the military meets its international legal obligations throughout the Philippine archipelago.”

Iriberri should ensure prompt, transparent, and impartial investigations of abuses in which military personnel are implicated, and take appropriate action against personnel responsible, Human Rights Watch said.

Philippine military personnel continue to be implicated in violations of international humanitarian law in armed conflict situations involving the communist New People’s Army and Moro insurgents. Abuses include arbitrary arrests, torture and unlawful killings of civilians and rebel fighters in custody. The armed forces should uphold international humanitarian law in conflict areas and Iriberri should ensure accountability for AFP abuses.

Iriberri should also investigate and appropriately punish military elements implicated in the harassment of activists, which includes red-baiting – the practice of publicly smearing government critics as state enemies – that in many instances has resulted in attacks against the subjects of the harassment.

The chief of staff should likewise ensure effective command and control of paramilitary groups, which have long been responsible for serious human rights abuses. Until such abusive units are disarmed and disbanded, the AFP will be responsible for ensuring that they act in accordance with the law, Human Rights Watch said.

To start with, the AFP’s Human Rights Office should be reformed because it has not lived up to its mandate and responsibilities. Transforming the AFP Human Rights Office into a more responsive arm of the military requires a clear statement from Iriberri regarding the importance of this office to promote and protect human rights.

The military should also join the new international Safe Schools Declaration, which has been signed by 47 countries. The declaration is a political commitment to do more to protect students, teachers, and schools from the negative consequences of armed conflict.

“General Iriberri has the time and the opportunity to make greater respect for human rights a priority of the Philippines armed forces,” Kine said. “It is long overdue for the Philippine military to deliver on its human rights rhetoric.”

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

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[Urgent Action] The Military Presence and their Unwanted Behavior Sow Fear and Restlessness in the Community of an Indigenous People in Pampanga -TFDP

URGENT ACTION

May 29, 2014

(PHILIPPINES) The Military Presence and their Unwanted Behavior Sow Fear and Restlessness in the Community of an Indigenous People in Pampanga

Issues: Harassment, Threat and Intimidation; Violation against the Right to Self-Determination and Liberty of Abode and Travel; Denied of Means of Subsistence

Dear friends,

The Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP) is forwarding to you an appeal regarding the problems and day-to-day struggle currently facing the Aeta community from the hands of the Military and the Citizen Armed Force Geographical Unit (CAFGU) in Barangay Camias in Porac, Pampanga.

TFDP logo small

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; email: tfdp.urgentappeals@gmail.com and tfdp.1974@gmail.com; or call: +632 4378054.
______________________________________________________________________________

Case Title: Harassment of Porac Aetas
Case: Harassment, Threat and Intimidation; Violation against the Right to Self-determination and Liberty of Abode and Travel; Denied of Means of Subsistence
Name of Victims: (Names withheld for Security Reasons)
Date of Incident: From 2008 up to Present
Place of Incident: Barangay Camias, Porac, Pampanga
Alleged Perpetrators: members of the 7th Infantry Division of the Philippine Army (PA) and the Citizen Armed Force Geographical Unit (CAFGU)
Motive: Suspected supporters of the New People’s Army (NPA) / Development Aggression
______________________________________________________________________________

Accounts:

The Aeta community in Barangay Camias, Porac, Pampanga is continuously being threatened by the presence of government forces in the area and their unwarranted actions.

The military and paramilitary personnel manning the tribal community are currently deployed within the ancestral domain covering 18,067 hectares of land claimed by the Aetas. The former health center where Aetas seek health related assistance is currently being occupied and utilized by the military allegedly under supervision of the 7th Infantry Division of the Philippine Army (PA) and Citizen Armed Force Geographical Unit (CAFGU) as one of their outposts.

The Aetas are usually confronted and questioned by the military about their activities. Traditional practices of the Aetas are currently under suspicion and being examined by the military and CAFGU. Customary practices of their tribe are no longer observed since the military are barring them from doing so.

A recent incident was when the Aetas were restrained from hunting wild birds and animals because the military cast doubt on their method of hunting. For instance, when the Aetas hunt, they have a distinct way of chasing the wild birds. They blow a whistle so that birds will come down from the trees and are caught by the Aetas. The military suspected that this method was a secret signal to give information rebels groups.

On several occasions, the Aetas are not allowed to go to the municipal proper to buy food supplies, medicines and things needed in their community. Worse, the military confiscate their rice and other food items. They also seize some of their livestock and kitchen utensils. They are accused of supporting the New People’s Army (NPA) by giving them food.

They instructed minors and forced them to do errands for them particularly to fetch water from a faucet or well. The education of the children is affected. It causes fear to the children and they are apparently traumatized.

The Military and militia personnel also barred the Aetas from gathering in groups. Often times, the government forces fire their guns while they are under the influence of alcohol.

The military and CAFGU started deployment in Barangay Camias, Porac, Pampanga in 2008. Later on, the area was eventually declared as an insurgency free zone.

Around 1,800 families with 3,000 individuals are affected in Barangay Camias alone.

Alleged Reasons for the Military Deployment:

The Aetas alleged that the deployment of government troops has something to do with the infrastructure and development projects funded by private corporation with consent from both the national and local government. They alleged that the military are being mobilized to protect vested interests of investors as well as government officials who benefit from these projects. They added that soldiers might also be utilized to suppress the rights of people to express their sentiments and the right to oppose for they are the ones affected.
According to the tribal group, the Aboitiz Power Corporation is currently in the process of exploring the geothermal power source in some 20,000 hectares of land in Pampanga that cover the Aetas’ ancestral domain and nearby Zambales.

The company is presently conducting exploration in Porac and Floridablanca in Pampanga; and San Marcelino and Botolan in Zambales.

An investment amounting to $300 million is for the planned 100-MW plant in the area largely owned by indigenous tribes based in the two provinces.

The Aetas are fighting to defend their ancestral domain. Until now, the Certificate of Ancestral Domain Title (CADT) or a formal recognition of ownership has not been issued to the Aetas. The CADT or other certification such as the certificate of ancestral land title (CALT) shall be obtained from the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP)-Ancestral Domains Office (ADO), or by securing a certificate of title by virtue of “Commonwealth Act 141, as amended, or the Land Registration Act 496.”4.

Another private corporation, the Clark Development Corporation (CDC), is also involved in a dispute with the IP communities. The Aetas are accusing the company of land grabbing in establishing a golf course and water park inside the Freeport. Five thousand (5,000 hectares of supposed ancestral land are being occupied by CDC.

The third issue is the copper, gold and silver extraction project by the Shuley Mine Inc. (SMI) within the tribe’s ancestral domain in Barangay Camias. The project covers 1,160 hectares of Aetas’ ancestral land.

According to the tribal leaders, lowlanders would be affected when wastes from the mines drain down to Gumain River toward Lubao and Sasmuan towns and Manila Bay. The sites, they said, are used by Aetas for recreation, hunting, source of materials for weddings (tangan) and medicinal herbs.

Another entity, the developer LLL Holdings Inc. is said to have grabbed 18,000 hectares of the land tilled by the farmers and Aetas.

Suggested Actions:

Please write a letter to concerned government agencies urging them to:

  • Conduct an inquiry and investigation regarding the violations of government troops such as Harassment, Threat and Intimidation; Violation against the Right to Self-determination and Liberty of Abode and Travel; Denied of Means of Subsistence;
  • Recall the presence of the military and paramilitary group since the area has already been declared as ‘insurgency free zone’;
  • To provide immediate protection for the IP group especially their leaders against possible physical and emotional harm;
  • Guarantee the means of the victims to cultivate crops, hunt wild birds and animals and raise their livestock, provide food for their community, and to move freely within their community without any fear of getting threatened and intimidated;
  • Guarantee the respect of human rights and the fundamental freedoms enshrined in the 1987 Philippine Constitution and international human rights standards.

Sample letter:

Dear___________,

I am writing to draw your attention regarding the problems and day-to-day struggle currently facing the Aeta community from the hands of the Military and the Citizen Armed Force Geographical Unit (CAFGU) in Barangay Camias, Porac, Pampanga. The Aetas are continuously being threatened by the presence of the government forces in the area and their unwarranted actions.

The military and paramilitary personnel manning the tribal community are currently deployed within the ancestral domain claimed by the Aetas covering 18,067 hectares of land. The former health center where Aetas seek health related assistance is currently being occupied and utilized by the military allegedly under supervision of the 7th Infantry Division of the Philippine Army (PA) and the Citizen Armed Force Geographical Unit (CAFGU) as one of their outposts.

They are usually confronted and questioned by the military about their activities. Traditional practices of the Aetas are currently under suspicion and being examined by the military and CAFGU. Customary practices of their tribe are no longer observed since the military are barring them from doing so.

A recent incident was when the Aetas were restrained from hunting wild birds and animals because the military cast doubt on their method of hunting. For instance, when the Aetas hunt, they have a distinct way of chasing the wild birds. They blow a whistle so that birds will come down from the trees and are caught by the Aetas. The military suspected that this method was a secret signal to give information rebels groups.

I have also learned that the Aetas are not allowed to go to the municipal proper to buy food supplies, medicines and things needed in their community. Worse, the military confiscate their rice and other food items. They also seize some of their livestock and kitchen utensils. They are accused of supporting the New People’s Army (NPA) by giving them food

It was also brought to our attention that the military and militia personnel also barred the Aetas from gathering in groups. Often times, the government personnel fire their guns while they are under the influence of alcohol.

Furthermore, they instructed minors and forced them to do errands particularly to fetch water from a faucet or well. The education of the children is affected. It causes fear to the children and they are apparently traumatized.

We now urge you to call upon competent authorities to carry out a prompt, effective, thorough, independent and impartial investigation or inquiry into these events, and ensure that adequate, effective and prompt action is granted favorably to the Aetas.

Lastly, we hope that the government will continue to guarantee the respect of human rights and the fundamental freedoms enshrined in the 1987 Philippine Constitution and international human rights standards.

I look forward to your urgent action in this case.

Yours sincerely,

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Please send your letters to:

1. Hon. Benigno Simeon Aquino III
President
Republic of the Philippines
Malacanang Palace
JP Laurel Street, San Miguel
Manila 1005
Philippines
Fax: +63 2 736 1010
Tel: +63 2 735 6201 / 564 1451 to 80
Email: corres@op.gov.ph / opnet@op.gov.ph

2. Chairperson Loretta Ann P. Rosales
Commission on Human Rights (CHR)
SAAC Bldg., Commonwealth Avenue
U.P. Complex, Diliman
Quezon City
Philippines
Tel: +63 2 928 5655, +63 2 926 6188
Fax: +63 2929 0102
Email: rosales.chr@gmail.com

3. Ms. Marlea P. Muñez
Executive Director
National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP)
373-95-34 / 575 12 00 Loc. 1012
Email: ncipexecdirector@gmail.com

4. Mr. Bayani D. Sumaoang
Commissioner
National Commission on Indigenous Peoples-Region 3
Tel: +63 2 575 12 00 Loc. 1006
Email: commissioner.region3@gmail.com

5. Lt. Gen. Emmanuel T. Bautista
Chief of Staff
Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP)
Camp General Emilio Aguinaldo
Quezon City, Philippines
Tel: +63 2 911 61 93; +63 2 911 04 88
Email: odr.dnd@gmail.com / odr.pdt@dnd.gov.ph

6. Police Director General Alan LA Madrid Purisima
Chief, Philippine National Police
Camp General Rafael Crame
Quezon City, Philippines
Fax: +63 2 724 8763/ +63 2 723 0401
Tel: + 63 2 726 4361/4366/8763
Email: feedback@pnp.gov.ph

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[In the news] Aquino administration’s human rights policy: Big in words, too little in action -Bulatlat.com

Aquino administration’s human rights policy: Big in words, too little in action
By Ronalyn V. Olea, Bulatlat.com
January 3, 2013

bulatlatMANILA – Early on, President Benigno Aquino III vowed to put an end to the killings and bring perpetrators to justice.

Aquino signed in November Administrative Order No. 35, creating a nine-member “Inter-agency committee on Extra-Legal Killings, Enforced Disappearances, Torture and Other Grave Violations of the Right to Life, Liberty and Security of Persons.” The so-called super body is mandated to investigate old and new cases of human rights abuses “with greater priority” to those committed under the past administration of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

The super body is headed by Justice Secretary Leila de Lima. Members include the chairman of the Presidential Human Rights Committee (PHRC), the secretaries of the interior and local government and national defense, the presidential adviser on the peace process, the presidential adviser for political affairs, the chief of staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), the director general of the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the director of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).

Read full article @bulatlat.com

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[People] AN ENCOUNTER by Judy A. Pasimio

AN ENCOUNTER

by Judy A. Pasimio
LILAK (Purple Action for Indigenous Women’s Rights)

Juvy Capion in the middle with arms crossed, and her son John on her right. Photo by LRC-KSK.

Imagine this.

It was past 6:00 in the morning. The sun has risen, and nature was already awake. And so were Daguil and Jordan Capion. They were having coffee just outside their small hut of a farmhouse in Sitio Fayahlob, Barangay Datal Alion, Kiblawan, Davao del Sur. It would have been a good Nescafe commercial scene – father and son, having a moment with their cups of hot coffee in a crisp, October morning. What would they be talking about – plans for the farm, or plans for the 13-year old son? Daguil could have been telling Jordan that as the eldest son, he should be responsible enough to take care of his pregnant mother, and his two younger siblings. Or, Daguil was probably just sipping his coffee in silence with Jordan. Inside, Juvy and her children were still fast asleep.

And then the silence, the father-son bonding, the talk over coffee, the sleep of the mother and children – all of these – were broken by a burst of gun fire spraying through the nipa hut. These gunshots were heard from the house of Aileen Capion, a relative, who immediately ran, along with another woman, to check what was happening. On a normal day, her house would have been a good 30-minute walk from Daguil’s. That day was far from normal. In the fact sheet drawn up by the Task Force Detainees, based on Aileen’s account, when she reached the area of the farmhouse, she saw that Daguil’s daughter Vicky, and Ressa, a relative, were able to run to a neighbor’s house. Ressa, 11-years old, was covering Vicky, from the military men who were poking guns at them. Vicky, 4 years old, was bleeding as her right ear was shot. Aileen shouted at the military “ayaw ninyo unsaa ang mga bata, akoa na ng mga bata” (Don’t harm the children, I will take custody of the children), but the soldiers replied “mas maayo nga tiwason ang mga bata para wala’y witness” (Better to finish off the children, so that there will be no witnesses).

Aileen heard Juvy shouting “tama na ayaw namo sige ug pabuto kay naigo nako” (Please stop firing your guns because I’m already wounded). To which, the military responded with another round of strafing of the house. Then there was silence. A few moments after, Aileen saw Juvy, with a gunshot wound on her chest, her left leg broken by gunshots. John, 8 years old, who was sleeping at the right side of his mother, had a gunshot wound at the right side of his head, which exploded at his right ear.

A few meters away from the house, Jordan was lying on the ground face down. Blood was coming out of the gunshot wound at the back of his head.

Daguil was nowhere to be found. He knew he could not stay long with his family, but undoubtedly, he did not know he would leave his family in that horrible state. Daguil was being hunted down by the military for his militant stand against the Tampakan Project of the SMI mining in their ancestral domain for more than a year now.

Juvy, 27 years old, was a member of Kalgad, a Lumad organization opposed to large-scale mining in their ancestral domain. When the military started branding Daguil as bandit and went after him, it was Juvy who stepped up and continued the campaign against SMI, and the defense of their domain.

This is what Lt. Col. Lyndon Paniza, spokesperson of the Army’s 10th Infantry Division, the unit that has jurisdiction over Kiblawan and Tampakan, called a “legitimate encounter”.

Imagine that.

Aileen further recounted that when she first arrived in the scene, there were 13 soldiers near the house, and she saw the nameplate of the team leader of the group, named 1LT. Dante Jimenez. Jimenez is the Commanding Officer of Bravo Company under the command of the Lt. Colonel Noel Alexis Bravo, 27th Battalion Commander. As per the news report (PDI, 10-19-12), Lt. Col. Alexis Bravo said law enforcers went to Barangay Kimlawis after receiving a tip that Daguil Capion was in the area. He said that his men were first fired upon. And that “the lawmen returned fire.”

The farmhouse was washed and cleaned, with the clothes of the family thrown outside, when Aileen came back with the police investigators. The bodies of Juvy, Jordan and John were kept in military custody for hours, before they were brought home in Datal Biao at 2:00 pm.

According to Paniza, 9 soldiers were relieved, including Lt. Jimenez because of “operational lapses” – a military term for the massacre of the Capion family – Juvy, Jordan and John. A military probe on the incident is ongoing.

Imagine this – Daguil, wounded, in hiding. He may not have been killed, but he must be dying inside, knowing his pregnant wife and his sons have been brutally killed. As a father, he must be dead worried about Vicky, and who would be taking care of her. As a leader, he must be terribly concerned about the volatile situation of his B’laan community.

As a response to what happened in her municipality, and her constituents, Kiblawan Mayor Marivic Diamante announced that the hunt for Daguil “has been intensified.” She further said that a bounty on his head is being offered at P300,000. No statement from Mayor Diamante on the “operational lapses” of the military; no expression of concern for the condition of Vicky. Instead, she raises the tension further by warning of “pangayaw”, a declaration of tribal war that she predicts would ensue after the killings. “We are now preparing for this,” Diamante said.

Imagine that.

What is unimaginable is this – that Col. Bravo, Jimenez and Paniza, supposedly under a new Commander-in-chief, can still have the gall to spin this obvious deadly web of lies and expect that people will still believe, and accept, that children can be dismissed as collateral damage; that a massacre of a family can be mere operational lapses; that the hunting down of women and men leaders of communities defending their territories against mining are military operations against rebels. This was supposed to be part of the terrible history under the past administrations, not under the Aquino administration, which prides itself of crafting a new peace agenda, particularly in Mindanao.

Still unimaginable is that in just a month, three indigenous children have already been killed, in the name of their fathers – in Sept. 4, Jordan Manda, 11 years old have been killed in an ambush, along with Subanen Timuay Lucenio Manda, a staunch defender of their ancestral domains, in mine-infested Bayog, Zamboanga del Sur.

Robina Poblador, a Blaan woman active in the campaign against SMI mining, said that what happened was unacceptable. As a mother, she grieves, for the death of Jordan and John. As a B’laan, she grieves for Juvy, who was an active defender of their rights. Robina calls for the withdrawal of SMI mining company from their province, which presence has caused the escalation of violence among the B’laan communities. “SMI has caused deaths among the B’laans. It has to leave. Now.”

Of course, Mayor Diamante has a different, perverse reading of the situation, “I appeal to the people to please cooperate with us in capturing (Daguil) so we could bring back peace and order to this town.” (PDI/10.21.12)

Unimaginable.

10.23.12
judy.lilak@gmail.com


LILAK (Purple Action for Indigenous Women’s Rights)

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Lilak-Purple-Action-for-Indigenous-Womens-Rights/446251688730248

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[In the news] Not one human rights violator prosecuted under Aquino, says NY-based watchdog -InterAksyon.com

Not one human rights violator prosecuted under Aquino, says NY-based watchdog

Lira Dalangin-Fernandez
May 21, 2012

MANILA, Philippines — President Benigno Aquino III’s human rights record after nearly two years in office remains wanting as his government failed to successfully prosecute a single suspect in pending cases, the New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) said Monday.

Elaine Pearson, HRW deputy Asia director, said Philippine officials should expect a “grilling” when they make a report at the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) at the United Nations Human Rights Council on May 29.

The UPR is a process which involves a review of the human rights records of all 192 UN Member States once every four years.

In a report, the rights group said that the Aquino government should do more that train state security forces to respect human rights, saying this “deflect attention from the more serious problem of failing to investigate, arrest and prosecute those responsible for abuses.”

“Members of the military continue to commit abuses because they know they can get away with it,” Elaine Pearson, deputy Asia director at HRW, said in a news conference, adding that trainings should go hand-in-hand with prosecution of erring officials.

Read full article @ www.interaksyon.com

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[Press Release] Human Rights Report of the Philippines to the UN lacks measurable results -Action Network Human Rights-Philippines

Human Rights Report of the Philippines to the UN lacks measurable results

On 29 May 2012, the Philippines will be reviewed as part of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) before the UN Human Rights Council on the implementation of its human rights obligations.

The Philippine government receives in advance the opportunity to explain in a government report, what measures it has taken to improve the human rights situation in the country and to fulfill its international human rights obligations.

“The recently submitted report lacks the transparent and objective evaluation of concrete and measurable steps taken by the Philippine government to improve the human rights record in the country in a sustainable manner” says Maike Grabowski, coordinator of the German-based Action Network Human Rights-Philippines (“Aktionsbündnis Menschenrechte-Philippinen” – AMP).

As an example, the Philippines government points to the establishment of human rights offices within the military and its decades-long integration of human rights education in training institutions as indicators of improving the human rights situation. However, the government and the military have not truthfully evaluated such steps in the face of increased human rights violations, particularly politically motivated killings and enforced disappearances in the same periods.

In fact, civil society observed weak implementation of command responsibility that led to the impunity of the above mentioned violations.
Further, the Philippine report states that the government cooperates closely with national civil society organizations. Many of our civil society partners in the Philippines do not accept this vague generalized term of engagement with government,” criticizes Grabowski.

The national human rights organization, Philippine Alliance for Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA) has pointed out, for instance, that consultations with civil society prior to the drafting of the National Report and the National Action Plan for Human Rights were wanting in planning, thoroughness in discussions and formulations of unities and differences in views.

“The institutional and legislative progress mentioned in the National Report is to be welcomed, however, the real benchmark for the improvement of the human rights situation and the sincerity of the current government must be the professional investigation of human rights violations with due diligence and the indictment and conviction of the perpetrators and their string pullers staying in the back,” demands Michael Schirmer, chair of the German human rights alliance on the Philippines. Impunity is still one of the main reasons for continued human rights abuses in the Philippines.

The eight member organizations of the AMP are therefore calling on Member States of the United Nations to analyze the national report of the Philippines critically and ask the Philippine delegation during the interactive dialogue of the UPR to set concrete and measurable steps to enable an effective impact assessment of the Philippine human rights policy. This is the only way for the Philippine government to prove its proclaimed change in policy on the issue of human rights.

For more information on the UPR, as well as potential questions and recommendations to the Philippine government please contact:
Maike Grabowski, Action Network Human Rights-Philippines
grabowski@asienhaus.de, +49201-8303828
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Action Network Human Rights-Philippines
Press Release

May 16, 2012

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[Event] Launching of CSO-Peoples Monitoring Mechanism (CSO-PMM)- PAHRA

Dear Human Rights Defenders and Advocates,

Greetings from the Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA) !

PAHRA and its member organizations have been in the forefront of promoting, defending and protecting human rights for decades now. Specifically, one of its major contribution to our human rights struggle is to document and monitor human rights violations and abuses so as to campaign against such violations and obtain justice for all victims.

In our mutual desire to end the perpetuation of impunity in our society, PAHRA deemed it necessary to be more systematic and programmatic in our monitoring work by enjoining the broadest network of CSOs nationwide that will now include monitoring of  all rights economic, social and cultural, civil and political rights . Thus, we will be launching the CSO-Peoples Monitoring Mechanism (CSO-PMM).  This mechanism will complement the critical work of CHR in documenting and investigating cases of HRVs while at the same time provide the PHRC the information on how the treaty bodies signed by the Philippines are implemented in the ground. Please refer to attached document on the concept of the CSO-PMM.  The CSOs on the other hand will have relevant and consolidated data that we can use in filing of legal cases as well as in our advocacy work.  Your participation as part of the CSO-PMM is highly encouraged and anticipated.

Thus, we are honoured to invite you to the presentation of the CSO-Peoples Monitoring Mechanism and a symbolic filing of  selected cases  of PAHRA and networks   to CHR. The launch will be on December 8, 2011 , 2:00 pm at the of the Commission on Human Rights after the CHR’s Ulat sa Bayan. Please refer to attached brief concept note and program.

Your participation and presence in this activity is critical in our continuous pursuit of promoting and defending human rights. Maraming salamat.

Karapatan at dignidad para sa lahat!

Max M. De Mesa
Chairperson

Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA)
53-B Maliksi St. Bgy. Pinyahan
Quezon City, Philippines (1100)
Tel/fax (632) 436-26-33
Mobile : 0906-553-1792
E-mail:  pahra@philippinehumanrights.org
pahracampaigns@gmail.com
Fb account: philippinehumanrights