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Philippine Human Rights Updates
CHR on the Dialogue on Oceanagold Operations and the HR Situation in Barangay Didipio, Nueva Vizcaya
Volume 23 Number 1
Thursday, 12 January 2012 10:43
THE COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS OF THE PHILIPPINES
on the Occasion of the Dialogue on Oceanagold Operations and the Human Rights Situation in Brgy. Didipio, Nueva Vizcaya
Provincial Capitol, Bayombong
Nueva Vizcaya, Philippines
05 November 2009
OPENING STATEMENT
delivered by
LEILA M. DE LIMA
Chairperson, Commission on Human Rights of the Philippines
THE COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS OF THE PHILIPPINES
on the Occasion of the Dialogue on Oceanagold Operations and the Human Rights Situation in Brgy. Didipio, Nueva Vizcaya
Provincial Capitol, Bayombong
Nueva Vizcaya, Philippines
05 November 2009
OPENING STATEMENT
delivered by
LEILA M. DE LIMA
Chairperson, Commission on Human Rights of the Philippines
Magandang hapon po sa inyong lahat!
What we have before us today is a moment to examine not only all the issues before us that had given rise to an atmosphere of unrest and violence in Barangay Didipio, Kasibu, Nueva Vizcaya. We have on our table our practices in response to this atmosphere. We must sift through in particular the bad or ineffective practices that all stakeholders have employed with unnerving repetition – and that has paved the way for a protracted, unsettling human right situation. What calls us to action now, more than ever, is the realization that the violence that attends the dispute in Didipio is not only that it is appalling, but that it was balefully familiar – and worse, it was predictable. It was clear back in July 2008 that at the trajectory taken back then, human rights violations would be inflicted. More than a year later, ironically, some are still surprised that violations persist. This should not be the case.
 
THE BIRTH OF HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDERS – PILIPINAS (HRD – Plipinas)
Volume 23 Number 1
Thursday, 12 January 2012 10:43

by Jonal Javier

The Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP) initiated the organizing of the human rights defenders (HRDs) nationwide, which was later launched as a formal organization named Human Rights Defenders – Pilipinas (HRD – Pilipinas). The launching was held last December 2, 2009 at the De La Salle – College of St. Benilde (DLS-CSB).

The formal formation and launching happened on the last day of the three-day human rights defenders conference. The first two days of the conference were devoted to the meeting of 36 HRDs coming from various mining areas nationwide, namely, Kasibu and Quezon in Nueva Vizcaya, Luzon; Homonhon and Manicani in Eastern Samar, Visayas; and Sibutad and Rizal in Zamboanga Del Norte, Mindanao.

 
The Need for an Alternative Mining Law
Volume 23 Number 1
Thursday, 12 January 2012 10:43

A Position Paoer of the Task Force Detainees of the Philippines

Note: The 14th Congress of the Philippines has already adjourned for the campaign period and the elections in May 2010.  It has failed to act on the alternative mining bill, among other important pending legislative measures.  It is the hope of human rights advocates that in the coming 15th Congress, the alternative mining bill will be re-filed and enacted into law for the respect, protection and fulfillment of human rights of the people, especially those in mining areas.
Human dignity is above all. Human rights ensure the enjoyment of peoples’ lives for dignity. In all aspects of human life, the respect, protection and fulfillment of human rights should be of utmost importance. In any economic development or poverty alleviation plan, this principle must be the primary consideration.
Note: The 14th Congress of the Philippines has already adjourned for the campaign period and the elections in May 2010.  It has failed to act on the alternative mining bill, among other important pending legislative measures.  It is the hope of human rights advocates that in the coming 15th Congress, the alternative mining bill will be re-filed and enacted into law for the respect, protection and fulfillment of human rights of the people, especially those in mining areas.
Human dignity is above all. Human rights ensure the enjoyment of peoples’ lives for dignity. In all aspects of human life, the respect, protection and fulfillment of human rights should be of utmost importance. In any economic development or poverty alleviation plan, this principle must be the primary consideration.

 

 
EDITORIAL:Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP) strongly condemns the acts of torture perpetrated by military personnel against four (4) Dumagats and one Tagalog in Dingalan, Aurora. It is a despicable violation of Republic Act 9745 otherwise
Volume 23 Number 1
Tuesday, 10 January 2012 12:37
coverTask Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP) strongly condemns the acts of torture perpetrated by military personnel against four (4) Dumagats and one Tagalog in Dingalan, Aurora.  

It is a despicable violation of Republic Act 9745 otherwise known as “The Anti-Torture Act”.  It is a continuing abuse of human rights that challenges the government’s political will to completely stop the use of torture in the Philippines and among its ranks by enforcing the law and putting its perpetrators before the bars of justice.

This recent commission of torture by military men shows how deeply rooted the culture of impunity is in the country.  It is a showcase of how fearless the military are in violating a non-derogable right that is not only internationally unacceptable but now punishable through the recently enacted RA 9745.

The torture of Junjun Acleto, Rolan Corpuz, Ricky Torres and Lolit Agbayani, all Dumagats and Edwin Borreo, a Tagalog, that took place from December 1 to 4, 2009 while the world was celebrating Human Rights Week, is a grave affront to human rights and an insult to laws of the land. It is an addition to the Philippine government’s record of inability to protect its people.     

Or shall we say a proof of government’s lack of will and genuine concern to really stop the use of torture among its rank.   

Torture was used against the five (5) victims to make them confess their alleged involvement with a rebel group (New People’s Army/NPA).  For four days, the victims were physically and mentally abused after being illegally arrested. They were forced to reveal an alleged hiding place of firearms of the NPA after they were kicked and punched in different parts of their body and were manhandled for every unacceptable response and were threatened to be killed. According to the five, they were also threatened to be beheaded if they would not cooperate.

RA 9745 was a product of decades of lobby and campaign to protect the people from torture which has been consistently and strongly denied by government.  Now that torture is officially a crime under Philippine law, we call on the government to act immediately and impose this law against its erring military personnel. Let this case be a test of government’s sincerity in doing away with torture.

The “Anti-Torture Act” was a real milestone for a government with a bad human rights performance but implementing it is another matter.  Justice for victims may now be available if government exercises its political will. But jailing its own abusive military personnel is alarmingly the next big question. The ball is in government’s hands and there can be no time out for torturers!

Justice for torture victims!
Enforce RA 9745!
Break impunity! Jail torturers!
 
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