HR Situationer
Human Rights Situationer 2012: A Mid-term view of the PNoy Presidency
HR Situationer
Monday, 13 May 2013 00:00

Human Rights Situationer 2012: A Mid-term view of the PNoy Presidency


On September 21, 2012, the human rights community commemorated the day of the signing of Martial Law 40 years ago by then President turned Dictator Ferdinand E. Marcos. It was a couple of days later, on September 23, 1972 when it was declared over nationwide television along with massive arrests of political opponents, rivals and dissidents of the administration.


The slogan and theme of the activities were mostly, Never Again… never again will the Filipino people let a government curtail its rights and freedoms… never again to martial law but irony of ironies… nine days before the 40th commemoration of the declaration of Martial Law, the current administration, declared RA 10175, the Cybercrime law, a law that will curtail freedom of expression over the internet.



In 2010, on the first automated presidential election in the country, Benigno Simeon Aquino III became the president of the Republic of the Philippines


High hopes and expectations were given to his presidency. For one, it was refreshing to have a reluctant president.  In the beginning of the presidential election, Aquino was not even a candidate. He was convinced to run after the death of his mother Former President Corazon Aquino where we witnessed a huge outpouring of grief and sympathy reminiscent of the wake and funeral procession of Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr. in 1983.  After a time, he later announced his presidency. His seeming reluctance to run was the total opposite from the impressions made by his predecessor, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. Even when she announced that the elections will push through, there were fears that a No-el (No elections) scenario could happen.


Last Updated on Friday, 26 July 2013 12:11
HR Situationer
Monday, 12 March 2012 00:00


Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP)


July 19, 2011 marked a first for Philippine President Benigno Simeon Aquino III or PNoy. On this day, he granted the first executive clemency under his administration.


The recipient of the said executive clemency was Mariano Umbrero, a political prisoner at the National Bilibid Prison (NBP). The Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP) and other human rights organizations have lobbied for the release of Umbrero since the early part of 2011 when he was diagnosed with cancer.  Initially, the appeal was for him to get better treatment to have a greater chance to recover.   Within a short period however, his cancer progressed to its fourth and final stage.  Lobby for his release intensified.


After a series of meetings and dialogues with various government agencies, among them the Department of Justice (DOJ), the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP), and the Commission on Human Rights (CHR), PNoy signed the papers for Umbrero’s conditional pardon. Ironically, this came four days after Umbrero’s demise.


Umbrero’s case is just an example of how the PNoy administration regards the issue of human rights.




After Umbrero’s death and the delayed executive clemency given him, the political prisoners and political detainees nationwide went on fasting and hunger strike. This was their expression of their indignation on the government’s failure to heed a dying man’s request to be with his family during his final days.


The political prisoners were also pushing for the reconstitution of the Presidential Committee on Bail, Recognizance and Pardon (PCBREP) to facilitate the review of their cases for their immediate release.

Last Updated on Friday, 26 July 2013 12:09
Human Rights under the Arroyo Government
HR Situationer
Monday, 15 February 2010 12:24


Hopes were high with regard to the respect, protection and fulfilment of human rights when Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo assumed the presidency in 2001.  She was, after all, catapulted to power by the people’s bold exercise of their rights and freedoms in the historic ouster of former President Joseph Estrada, now known as People Power II (EDSA Dos).

During Arroyo’s first year as president, however, the people experienced a rude jolt, which worsened throughout Arroyo’s administration.

The Arroyo government continued to perpetrate the same cases of human rights violations, either by commission or omission, it inherited from the previous administrations.  It has also tolerated, sometimes even supported and lauded, abusive acts committed by its military and police forces against the civilian population.

Confronting the Culture of Impunity
HR Situationer
Saturday, 31 December 2005 00:00
Human Rights Under the Arroyo Government
January to December 2005

Political crisis rocked the nation in 2005. Violence and conflict remained unabated. The economy continued to plunge. The poor and marginalized had not recovered. Indeed, it was a year beset with problems and issues that affected the peoples’ civil, political, economic, social, and cultural rights. In this report, the Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP) has put together data on cases of human rights violations gathered by its field staff for the period of January to December 2005. Major issues and events which happened during the year are also included in this report to give a holistic view of the human rights situation during the second term of Mrs. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo as President of the Philippines.

As a human rights organization, TFDP uses as framework the state obligations to respect, protect and fulfill human rights as bases of its analyses and assessments. These obligations are part of the International Bill of Rights (the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights) to which the Philippines is a State party.

Download the entire document here.
Last Updated on Monday, 05 October 2009 11:23
Blood Stains the Arroyo Government
HR Situationer
Saturday, 31 December 2005 00:00
Human Rights Under the Arroyo Government
January to December 2004

The Task Force Detainees of the Philippines presents this midyear report on the Philippine human rights situation as documented by its field personnel. It covers the period from January 1 to December 31, 2004. Consistent with its expanded mandate, the report records civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights violations.

This report presents the major events that have had an impact on human rights, the number and scope of the violations and gives general trends based on the data culled from the TFDP regional reports. It also presents case highlights that we consider to be gross violations of human rights.

Download the entire document here (PDF).
Last Updated on Monday, 05 October 2009 11:23
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