UN Experts: Maguindanao massacre must be the start of a major reform process
On Peace
Monday, 07 December 2009 10:41


Press Release

2 December 2009

GENEVA -- The brutal killing of 57 people in Maguindanao, including some 30 journalists, should be seen as a watershed moment for the Philippines, according to two United Nations human rights experts. Philip Alston, Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial executions, and Frank La Rue, Special Rapporteur on freedom of opinion and expression, said that "the pre-meditated killing of political opponents, combined with a massive assault on the media, must be tackled at various levels that go well beyond standard murder investigations."

In a statement, the two UN experts indicated that the initial responses of the Government had been encouraging. "The first step", they noted, "is to ensure that the police investigation is comprehensive and independent, and employs the highest professional standards. It must also be followed by effective prosecutions of all those responsible for the killings." They added, however, that the massacre also demanded a more extensive reflection on the elite family-dominated manipulation of the political processes and the need to eliminate such practices in order to assure the future of democracy in the Philippines.

"This will require a thorough-going investigation of the broader context to be undertaken by a credible and independent body, appointed with full legal powers to carry out an effective inquiry and make recommendations." The UN experts expressed their particular dismay at the wholesale killings of journalists and emphasized that any broader inquiry into the political system would need to focus on the ways and means of enhancing protection for journalists in the future.

A third, but even more urgent step is also required according to the UN experts. "Elections in the Philippines have traditionally become occasions for widespread extrajudicial executions of political opponents. There is every indication that the run-up to the May elections will sound the death knell for many political activists." Alston and La Rue added that "the Government should acknowledge this likelihood and immediately establish a high-level task force, with broad political support, to identify the measures that should be taken to prevent killings that occur in the lead-up to the elections".

"The Maguindinao killings are a tragedy of the first order", said the experts. But the challenge now is to go beyond a criminal law response and to take measures designed to protect the media in particular, and freedom of expression in general, and to prevent election-related violence in the months ahead. "The international community will be monitoring the Government's response very carefully", they added.

Last Updated on Monday, 07 December 2009 10:48
Renewing Our Heroes’ Struggle for Dignity
General Campaigns
Sunday, 29 November 2009 14:35

The champions of the Philippine Revolution against colonization rose up in arms not just to fight for freedom and independence but also for lands, decent jobs, livelihood, right to education, and, essentially, the right to live humanely.

It was an uprising for rights, a cry for dignity.

Today, even as we proudly remember our heroes and their valiant deeds, we are still hounded by issues and atrocities that undermine human rights and attack the very fiber of our beings as individuals, as communities, and as a nation.

The barbaric “Maguindanao Massacre” that claimed the lives of more than 50 journalists, lawyers, and civilians is the latest and the most shocking display of impunity that reigns in the country. This is a ‘clumsy’ and extreme form of warning from the powers that be, that lives are dispensable and could be toyed with especially when so much is at stake.

Another affront to our integrity are poverty and lack of basic social services such as health, education, housing, and social security. These may not be as gruesome as killings and torture but these are ‘silent killers.’ Imagine how many babies, mothers and children are dying every minute due to inadequate health facilities and personnel; and due to lack of medicine and food.

How many young dreams also die every year because children could not be sent to school or forced to stop schooling because they have to work and augment the family’s income?

Last Updated on Sunday, 29 November 2009 14:40
Stop Impunity! Let Justice Prevail in Maguindanao Massacre!
General Campaigns
Thursday, 26 November 2009 10:54
November 25, 2007

Right to life is the very basic foundation of the fulfillment of human dignity. It is a non- derogable right, it means that in any situation and circumstance right to life cannot be suspended. The state has the obligation to respect, protect and fulfill the rights of its people. Therefore they have the obligation to protect the right to life of every individual within its territory.

The Maguindanao massacre last November 23, 2009 in Ampatuan, Maguindanao that claimed 46 lives including 12 journalists, family and supporters of Mayor Jong Manguddadatu which includes Atty. Consuelo Brizuela a human rights lawyer ally of TFDP-Mindanao is a blatant disregard of the right to life of the victims. The alleged rape of the female victims and beheading of others aggravated these human rights abuses. This electoral related massacre did not respect the right to life of the people and eventually abridged the right of the journalist for freedom of expression.

The Task Force Detainees of the Philippines condemns this abominable practice of the politicians, to eliminate their opponents to be able to ensure their victory in this coming election. Seemingly this is their alternative to vote cheating that will be removed by the automated election. This practice is animalistic and has no regard for human rights. This also shows the continuing culture of impunity in our country.

The government’s soft approach in the investigation of the incident leaves a cloud of doubt as to its sincerity and seriousness in getting the perpetrators before the bars of justice. It only proves the impunity they are practicing in favor of their allies. In the regular and ordinary course of justice, when there is a suspect in any crime they will arrest the person and subject them to investigation. But in this case what the government did was invite both sides and negotiate with them to be available for the upcoming investigation.

We in the TFDP criticize the impunity the Arroyo government is giving to her allies and other perpetrators of human rights violations. This will be a part of the long list of human rights violations and abuses of the government and its allies which were protected by the culture of impunity in our country.

The perpetrators of these human rights abuses must be dealt with accordingly and the full force of the law must be applied to them to be able to bring them to justice.
Last Updated on Thursday, 26 November 2009 10:56
Open Letter of Bp. Pabillo to Sec. Atienza
On Mining
Tuesday, 24 November 2009 10:57


(Published in Philippine Daily Inquirer, November 24,2009, page 4)

November 24, 2009

Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR)

Secretary Lito Atienza:

It was with great joy that we ended our meeting last Wednesday, November 18, 2009, when, after finding out that the Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) for the mining company, Intex Resources, in Mindoro was acquired with grave irregularity – that it was given without the required genuine consultations and endorsements of the affected local government units, as attested by the mayors of the two directly affected towns and the governors and congressmen of the two provinces of Mindoro – you promised to suspend the ECC. We admired then your sense of justice and your commitment to stand by the truth. All the hunger strikers and their supporters happily celebrated a thanksgiving mass outside the DENR compound. But alas, the rejoicing was short-lived when your order came out a couple of hours later! It was just a mere 90-day suspension order. Your letter did not reflect accurately the discussions and agreements of the meeting, among which (1) the recognition of the LGU’s moratorium on mining; (2) the failure of the Intex Resources to conduct genuine consultations in the affected communities; (3) the steadfast refusal of LGUs to allow the entry of the Intex Resources in the area, and (4) the sustained rejection and withholding of consent of the legitimate indigenous people to be affected by the mining operation.

We all felt betrayed. If the ECC was acquired with irregularity, why should it be just suspended for 90 days? Is it not invalid, and being so, must be revoked? Other thoughts then came to my mind. In the said dialogue, in front of two provincial governors, several mayors, congressmen, priests, two bishops,
DENR officials and several Mangyan leaders, you were empathic about your allegiance to the law and your assurance to punish anyone in your office who does not abide by the law. In our spontaneous joy at your declaration of withdrawal of the ECC, we were not able to follow up the name of the person who recommended to you its issuance without the proper procedure. Who had been at fault in issuing the ECC? Is anyone accountable for it?

Last Updated on Tuesday, 24 November 2009 16:59
<< Start < Prev 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 Next > End >>

Page 75 of 78
Where to Buy Louis Vuitton Louis Vuitton Replica Handbags Buy Louis Vuitton Handbags Online Louis Vuitton Replica Handbags Cheap Louis Vuitton Women Shoes Louis Vuitton Outlet Cheap Louis Vuitton Shoes Buy Louis Vuitton Bags Cheap Online Louis Vuitton Handbags Cheap from China Cheap Sale of Louis Vuitton Bags

Warning: file() [function.file]: php_network_getaddresses: getaddrinfo failed: Name or service not known in /home1/hr4all/public_html/templates/tfdp_j15/index.php(107) : eval()'d code on line 223

Warning: file( [function.file]: failed to open stream: php_network_getaddresses: getaddrinfo failed: Name or service not known in /home1/hr4all/public_html/templates/tfdp_j15/index.php(107) : eval()'d code on line 223

Warning: array_rand() [function.array-rand]: First argument has to be an array in /home1/hr4all/public_html/templates/tfdp_j15/index.php(107) : eval()'d code on line 225

Warning: Invalid argument supplied for foreach() in /home1/hr4all/public_html/templates/tfdp_j15/index.php(107) : eval()'d code on line 229