CONSTITUTION OF THE TASK FORCE DETAINEES OF THE PHILIPPINES
as revised on 21 November 2008 at Augustinian Sisters, Tahanan Sta. Monica in Tagaytay City
The Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP), a mission partner of the Association of Major Religious Superiors of the Philippines (AMRSP), is a human rights organization.
It envisions a society wherein there is equality of peoples throughout the world, social justice in the country, and where human rights (civil, political, economic, social, cultural and solidarity rights) are fully enjoyed, protected and respected.
In pursuit of its vision, TFDP empowers, without discrimination the peoples of the Philippines to seek freedom for all political prisoners and justice for victims of violations of civil, political, economic, social, cultural and solidarity rights, to support structures and actions that promote human rights and to create awareness on human rights concepts and principles nationally and globally.
II. CORE VALUES AND GUIDING PRINCIPLES
Core Values of TFDP
DIGNITY OF THE HUMAN PERSON. TFDP believes in the inviolable dignity of the human person and his/her inalienable rights to life, to belief, to freedom, to the sources of subsistence and the means necessary and suitable for sustainable development of life.
PEACE AND HUMAN RIGHTS. The values of peace and human rights are at the core of TFDP. We are non-selective and inclusive in the provision of services and are dedicated to raising human rights awareness among peoples and communities.
SOCIAL JUSTICE. The preferential option for the poor is a church imperative. The needs and aspirations of the poor embodied in the promotion of human rights are among TFDP’s reasons for being. Thus their empowerment is our fundamental task so that they may claim and defend their human rights. We also commit ourselves to the process of social transformation to eradicate injustice and inequality among the people.
COMMITMENT. The kind of service that is demanded from TFDP inspires us to work with dedication and with discipline. This could only be possible with the commitment and volunteerism of the men and women of TFDP. To us human rights work is both a calling and a career. Together we move forward with one heart and mind.
PROCESS OF SOCIAL TRANSFORMATION. TFDP commits itself to the process of social transformation through an active, critical and creative participation in the historical process of social transformation. It shall involve all sectors, groups, and clusters in societal transformation that promotes fullness of life and dignity of persons. In solidarity with the poor and guided by human values and sound and concrete analyses of social realities and human values, it seeks to participate in and advance the struggle of the peoples of the Philippines for self- determination, gender equality, sustainable development, justice, equity, democracy and peace.
DEMOCRATIC PRINCIPLES. We value the voice of the individual in all the processes that affect him or her. We place a high significance to the establishment of structures and processes for genuine participation, empowerment and redress of grievances within the family, the organization and in society.
CHURCH OF THE POOR. TFDP commits itself to assisting in the building of the church of the poor and also preferential option of empowering and serving the poor in the spirit of ecumenism and inter-faith dialogue.
ADHERENCE TO INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS AND HUMANITARIAN PRINCIPLES AND PRECEPTS CONTAINED IN INTERNATIONAL AND DOMESTIC LAWS.
EVOLUTION OF HUMAN RIGHTS CONCEPTS AND PRINCIPLES. TFDP believes that human rights are dynamic and seeks to advance its concepts and principles in the course of historical and peoples’ struggles.
ADHERENCE TO PHILIPPINE HUMAN RIGHTS DECLARATION. TFDP adheres and takes reference to the Philippine Declaration of Human and Peoples’ Rights (PDHPR) and the Human and Peoples’ Rights Declaration of the Philippines.
SOLIDARITY. TFDP promotes solidarity with peoples struggling for human rights, democracy, peace and development.
TFDP shall have programs and services to achieve its goals in pursuance of its vision and mission in accordance with its guiding principles.
TFDP shall have for its membership, individuals who believe in the vision of TFDP, adhere to its principles and contribute to the defense, fulfillment and promotion of human rights.
The TFDP organization is based on the principles of integration, subsidiarity, participation and optimal service with minimum resources.
Integration adverts to the unity of purpose and the spirit of teamwork among its staff and members and complementation of different programs and coordination among different TFDP bodies.
Subsidiarity means that no higher body should perform a function which is the prerogative of a lower body, except temporarily when the lower body is not capable of such, and when the interest of the organization so requires.
Optimal Service with Minimum Resources principle refers to initiatives towards self-reliance as it recognizes the limitation of resources and the need to maximize these for greater effectiveness and efficiency.
Participation means meaningful and effective involvement of the members in the process of carrying out TFDP’s goals and objectives.
A. Policy-Making Body – the National Assembly, through the National Convention is the highest policy-making body of the TFDP. It shall elect the Board of Trustees every three years, which shall be the policy-making body in between assemblies.
B. Implementing bodies of the organization shall be the staff and chapters of members.
VI. PRINCIPAL OFFICERS AND SELECTION
The principal officers of TFDP are the co-chairpersons, and other officers of the Board of Trustees. The Executive Director and other officers shall be appointed by the Board and shall be co-terminus with the Board of Trustees.
All members of TFDP, of good standing, shall have the right to vote and be voted upon.
Election of elective positions shall be held once every three years or when deemed necessary in cases of permanent vacancies in the Board of Trustees.
Elected officers may be recalled through a criteria and process determined by the Board of Trustees.
The Constitution may be amended by the National Assembly by not less than two-thirds (2/3) of votes cast by all delegates present in the National Convention. Proposed amendments shall be submitted to the Board of Trustees sixty (60) days before the National Assembly meets and shall be communicated by the Board of Trustees.
IX. SEPARABILITY CLAUSE
All provisions in the old Constitution are hereby repealed.
X. DATE OF EFFECTIVITY
The Constitution shall take effect upon the written declaration of the National Assembly
certifying its adoption by an absolute majority (2/3) of the delegates present in the National Convention.
AMENDED ON 21 NOVEMBER 2008 AT AUGUSTINIAN SISTERS OF OUR LADY OF CONSOLATION, TAHANAN STA. MONICA IN TAGAYTAY CITY, PHILIPPINES DURING THE TFDP 15TH NATIONAL CONVENTION.
BY LAWS OF THE TASK FORCE DETAINEES OF THE PHILIPPINES
ARTICLE I – MEMBERSHIP
Section 1: TFDP shall have for its membership, individuals who believe in the vision of TFD, adhere to its principles, and contribute to the defense and promotion of human rights, and take up tasks to implement the plans and programs of TFDP.
Section 2: The Board of Trustees shall create a Membership Committee (MemCom) which shall screen and recommend to the Board for approval prospective members of the organization, and which members are of good standing.
Section 3: The MemCom shall ensure a proportionate and gender-balanced distribution of members set by the BOT. It will also formulate and enforce a set of guidelines for screening and selection, development and reactivation, suspension, resignation, expulsion of members, and recall of elected officers subject to the approval of the BOT.
Section 4: Bona fide members shall have the right
(1) To be heard and to seek redress of grievances;
(2) To participate in all TFDP activities in accordance with the policies of the organization;
(3) To be updated on the developments of the organization
(4) To have access to any information materials subject to existing policies of the organization
(5) The members shall have the right to petition for the recall of elected officers and the revocation of appointed officers in accordance with the BOT determined process
Section 5: Only members of good standing shall have the right to vote and be voted upon.
Section 6: TFDP members shall have the following duties and responsibilities:
(1) To adhere to and uphold TFDP Constitution and By-Laws;
(2) To promote and defend the interest and integrity of the organization and its partner beneficiaries;
(3) To actively participate in programs and activities undertaken by the organization;
(4) To comply with membership policies and procedures;
(5) To belong to a chapter and attend its meetings
(6) To pay membership fees and annual dues
Section 7: Disciplinary Action
(1) Any TFD member and/or officer who after due process, is found to have violated the TFDP Constitution and By-Laws, or has committed acts inimical to the organization’s mandate and principles, or violated any of the provisions stipulated in the Membership Guidelines, Personnel Manual or any similar documents shall be meted out with appropriate disciplinary action
(2) The Board of Trustees shall create a Grievance Committee that will handle the case of any member/officer accused of having committed acts inimical to the organization as mentioned above.
(3) Any erring member meted out with the penalty for any disciplinary action may appeal to the Board of Trustees which shall decide by a majority vote.
ARTICLE II – THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY
Section 1: The National Assembly shall be the highest policy-making body of TFDP. It shall be composed of all delegates meeting in the national convention.
Section 2: The National Assembly shall define TFDP’s orientation and program thrusts for a definite period of time and when necessary, amend or revise the TFDP Constitution and By-Laws, and review/confirm decisions by the Board of Trustees. It shall approve the criteria for Board selection.
Section 3: The National Assembly shall be convened by the Board of Trustees in a national convention once every three years. The number of participants shall be determined by the Board provided that a written notice shall be communicated to all members not later than ninety days before the date thereof.
Section 4: The quorum of the National Convention will be composed of fifty percent plus one (50% + 1) of the total number of the delegates set by the Board of Trustees.
Section 5: The Board of Trustees at the request of not less than one-third of the TFDP membership, may call for an emergency national convention by giving all members a written notice not less than thirty days prior to such convention. The composition for such emergency session shall be determined by the Board.
ARTICLE III – BOARD OF TRUSTEES
Section 1: The Board of Trustees is the policy-making body of TFDP in between national assemblies. It shall be composed of the Chairpersons and members of the Board.
Section 2: The Board of Trustees shall be elected by all members of good standing for a term of three years subject to reelection.
Section 3: The Board of Trustees shall elect its officers from among themselves for a term of three years. Any BOT officer can be elected to hold the same position for only two terms.
Section 4: Membership to the Board of Trustees shall be from TFDP members and AMRSP BOT. There will be eleven (11) BOT members – Executive Director, 2 AMRSP, 3 Island Representatives, 5 at-large. The Executive Director and liaison officers appointed by AMRSP Board shall be ex-officio members of the Board of Trustees with voting powers. The BOT elects the Chairpersons.
Section 5: The Board of Trustees shall have the following functions:
(1) To make policies in accordance with the Constitution and By-laws and policies set by the National Assembly and inform the members thereof;
(2) To approve the budget;
(3) To initiate in the sourcing of funds;
(4) To appoint the Executive Director and other appointive officers who shall serve their terms co-terminus with the BOT;
(5) To review appointive positions and renew appointments, and to terminate appointment for just cause;
(6) To approve the admission, resignation, suspension and expulsion of members brought on appeal, and to determine members of good standing;
(7) To create committees deemed necessary for the effective operations of the organization;
(8) To approve the creation or dissolution of office;
(9) To issue policy statements; and
(10) To elect its officers.
Section 6: The Board shall meet at least once every four months. Special meetings may be called upon by the Chairperson Board, or upon the written request of the simple majority. A quorum shall consist of simple majority (50% + 1) of the BOT members.
Section 7: Vacancies in the Board of Trustees
(1) In the event of death, incapacity or non-performance of responsibilities as BOT, the Board may declare vacancies and appoint replacements in an acting capacity until the next assembly. The Board shall ensure that the number of appointed members will not exceed the number of elected officers.
(2) The Board of Trustees shall call for a special election if the number of the remaining Board members is less than the number required to declare a quorum.
ARTICLE IV – CO-CHAIRPERSONS
Section 1: He/She shall preside over the meetings of the Board of Trustees and the National Convention.
Section 2: He/She shall represent the organization in major activities.
Section 3: He/She shall take other functions as may be assigned by the Board of Trustees and the National Assembly.
ARTICLE V – CHAPTERS OF MEMBERS
Section 1: The chapters shall be composed of all members of the three major island groups.
Section 2: The island representatives shall convene the chapter assemblies at least twice a year.
Section 3: The chapters shall have, among others, the following functions:
(1) Elect the island representative every three years prior to the national convention;
(2) Draw up, implement and assess its annual plan;
(3) Collect dues.
ARTICLE VI – EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Section 1: The Executive Director shall be the Chief Executive Officer of the organization. He or she shall have the following functions:
(1) To oversee the implementation of program objectives as approved by the BOT;
(2) To oversee the overall administration of the organization;
(3) To represent the organization in functions together with or in behalf of the Chairperson;
(4) To assume such other tasks and responsibilities as may be delegated by the Board.
ARTICLE VII – RELATIONS WITH AMRSP AND OTHER ORGANIZATIONS
Section 1: TFDP relates and will cooperate primarily with organizations and alliances which share similar vision and principles and not contradictory to that of TFDP.
Section 2: As a mission partner of AMRSP:
(1) TFDP works together with religious and lay partners especially the members of AMRSP;
(2) TFDP Board of Trustees or representative meets with AMRSP Board or representative for dialogue and support at least once a year;
(3) TFDP submits a yearly report of activities and financial report to the AMRSP Board; as well as statements to the AMRSP secretariat;
(4) TFDP representative attends AMRSP Convention, Mission Partner’s Convention and meetings.
ARTICLE VIII – ELECTORAL COMMITTEE
Section 1: The Electoral Committee shall be formed by the Board of Trustees not later than two months before the scheduled national election. It shall be composed of not more than five members to be appointed by the Board. Its members shall be disqualified for any elective position.
Section 2: The Electoral Committee shall formulate and adopt guidelines, rules and regulations that may be necessary to ensure the fair and orderly conduct of the elections.
Section 3: The members of the Electoral Committee shall inform the members of the electoral guidelines not later than sixty (60) days before the National Convention.
ARTICLE XIV – RATIFICATION
Section 1: The By-laws shall be considered ratified and approved by a majority of the votes cast in the National Convention and shall supersede the previous By-laws.
ARTICLE IX – AMENDMENTS
Section 1: This By-laws may be amended by the National Assembly by not less than two-thirds (2/3) of votes cast by all delegates present in the National Convention. Proposed amendments shall be submitted to the Board sixty days before the National Assembly meets and shall be communicated by the Board to all members of the National Assembly for study.
ARTICLE X – TRANSITORY PROVISION
All decisions made, and committees and structures created by the previous BOT shall be deemed in place until the new BOT shall decide otherwise.
ARTICLE XI – DATE OF EFFECTIVITY
Section 1: This By-laws shall take effect upon the written declaration of the National Assembly certifying to its adoption by 2/3 of the delegates present in the National Convention. AMENDED ON 28 SEPTEMBER 2005 IN TAGAYTAY CITY, PHILIPPINES DURING THE TFDP 14TH NATIONAL CONVENTION.