Families of Desaparecidos and EJK Victims light thousand candles on All Souls ’ Day to call for end to state violence
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Friday, 03 November 2017 14:00

Families of Desaparecidos and EJK Victims light thousand candles on All Souls ’ Day to call for end to state violence

LightingPhotos by Anni Mustonen

On November 2, 2017, All Souls’ Day, about 50 families of victims of involuntary disappearance and extrajudicial killings lead a gathering of more than a hundred religious, human rights advocates, and activists in lighting thousands of candles and offering prayers for victims of state violence.

While most Filipinos remember their dearly departed on All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day, families of desaparecidos have no closure as to the fate of their loved ones and no graves to visit. Members of the Families of Victims of Involuntary Disappearance (FIND) traditionally gather to remember their loved ones. This year, they spend All Souls’ Day with the families of victims of extrajudicial killings (EJKs) under the government’s war on drugs at the Bantayog ng mga Bayani Memorial Center in Quezon City.

Mask_and_candles_small“The families of victims of enforced disappearances and extrajudicial killings are one in holding the State accountable for these heinous and violent transgressions of human rights,” Nilda Sevilla, FIND Co-chairperson said. “Together, they must break their silence – demand truth, justice, reparation, and guarantees of non-repetition – in order to break impunity,” she added.

According to the group, the event dubbed as “Libong Kandila at Panalangin para sa Libu-libong Biktima ng Karahasan” aims to remember victims, assert the truth about the human rights situation in the country, and urge the Duterte administration to stop perpetrating violence against the people.

“The government in the past few weeks denies that there are EJKs committed under the war on drugs.  We light thousands of candles to symbolize our assertion of the truth. Thousands were killed. Many innocent lives were wasted. Many of our fellow Filipinos witnessed rampant violations of due process under the bloody war on drugs.  Ano ang tawag mo sa patayan at karahasan ng pamahalaan? Paglabag ‘yan sa karapatang pantao,” pointed out Emmanuel Amistad, Executive Director of the Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP).

During the mass at the said gathering, Fr. Flaviano ‘Flavie’ Villanueva, SVD, Mission and JPIC Coordinator of SVD Central underscored the sanctity of life. “Ang bawat buhay ng tao ay nagmula sa Diyos. Dahil nagmula sa Kaniya, ang buhay ay sagrado. Ito’y dapat kalingain at pagyamanin. Ngunit kung ating babastusin, binabastos din natin ang Diyos.”

Last Updated on Friday, 03 November 2017 14:13
Oral Statement of Franciscans International at 36th Session of the U.N. HRC
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Wednesday, 27 September 2017 17:50

36th Session of the Human Rights Council

Agenda Item 6: UPR Adoption – Philippines

Oral Statement of Franciscans International

Delivered by: Sr Crescencia Lucero sfic


22 September 2017

Thank you Mr President,

Franciscans International, Association of Major Religious Superiors in the Philippines and Task Force Detainees of the Philippines would like to express our concerns on the serious and deteriorating human rights situation in the Philippines.

While UPR is expected to be a constructive engagement of state in improving their human rights situation of the state under review, the Government of Philippines fails to accept key recommendations such as cases of extrajudicial executions in the frame of government’s policy on war on drugs. The government also rejects to collaborate with other UN mechanism, especially the UN Special Procedures on Extrajudicial, summary and arbitrary execution for a country visit.

Mr President,

We express our grave concern on violent policies of the current government against its own people. Now we are experiencing the return of Presidential dictatorship and tyrannical ways of leadership, which we thought ended 31 years ago.  Due process and the rule of law are set aside for the poor and powerless while politicians charged with plunder are set free on bail. The war on drugs policies has indifferently killed more than 12 000 Filipinos, including innocent children. Most of victims are those coming from the poor and marginalized background.

We also observe the obsession of the government to apply Martial Law, as currently happens in Mindanao, which leads to more than 300’000 people being internally displaced.

We, human rights defenders, continue to receive threats from the government, as shown by the public statement of the President in  16 August,  who stated that those working on human rights should be shot by the police for ”obstructing justice”.  Recently, Bishop Pablo Virgilio David was threatened with an obstruction of justice charge by no less than the Department of Justice Secretary for giving sanctuary to witnesses in the Kian Loyd delos Santos killing.

Finally, we would like to strongly support the recent call from the Conference of the Catholic Bishop Conference of the Philippines, "In the name of God, stop the killings! May the justice of God come upon those responsible for the killings!"  Justice and human rights have to be restored in the Philippines.  I thank you.


Last Updated on Wednesday, 27 September 2017 17:59
TFDP calls for Filipinos to oppose violent policies of the Government, resist dictatorship!
General Campaigns
Friday, 22 September 2017 16:07

Photo_by_Brenda_De_GuzmanPhoto by Brenda De Guzman

TFDP calls for Filipinos to oppose violent policies of the Government, resist dictatorship!

Rights group calls for the Filipino people to oppose President Rodrigo Duterte’s violent policies and resist dictatorship in a press conference in Quezon City on September 19, 2017.

In line with the 45th commemoration of the declaration of Martial Law, Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP) launches its campaign dubbed as “Mamamayan Ayaw Sa Karahasan (MASK)” (People against violent policies).

“Ang mamamayang Pilipino ay nasa tungki ng ilong ng diktadurya, at ang  bayan ay kinukubabawan ng masamang espiritu ng karahasan laban sa karapatang pantao,”  said Sr. Crescencia Lucero, SFIC, TFDP Chairperson. (The Filipino people are on the brink of dictatorship, and our nation is possessed by the evil spirit of violence directed against human rights)

“We are deeply concerned that as we remember the Martial Law atrocities in its 45th Anniversary, we now have a President who repeatedly expressed his obsession with declaring Martial Law under his term. We are saddened that we are again under an administration with violent policies and tyrannical ways of leadership,” she added.

Last Updated on Friday, 22 September 2017 16:13
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