Philippine Human Rights Updates
The UDHR: 60 Years of Struggling for Dignity and Justice
Volume 22 Number 4
Tuesday, 19 January 2010 15:15
On December 10 the world will celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). The UDHR is the fundamental document that serves as the internationally accepted standard as to how the different States in every country of the world should fulfill its obligation to respect, promote, and protect the rights and welfare of its citizens.

What is remarkable about the UDHR is the fact that the then 58 member States of the United Nations who have ratified this document in December 10, 1948 represented a range of political ideologies, political systems and religious and cultural backgrounds, and level of economic development – yet they managed to come to an agreement about what constitutes the fundamental rights of every human being. The UDHR is universally accepted by virtually every nation in the world, and it has been translated into nearly 350 national and local languages, and is the best known and most frequently cited document in the whole world. The UDHR also forms the foundation of international law and serves as the model for various international treaties and declarations and is incorporated in the laws and constitutions of different countries.
Editorial: Advancing Human Rights Movement, Defending Human Rights Defenders
Volume 22 Number 2
Tuesday, 19 January 2010 14:14

volume_22_no._2__3by Sr. Cres Lucero, SFIC

(as delivered on the 18th of September, 2008 at the 9th Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates Public Forum entitled “Defending Human Rights Defenders”)

Allow me in closing to be a little bit nostalgic. Twenty one years ago we formed the Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates. It has been twenty one long years – from the total war of Corazon Aquino, the Philippines 2000 of FVR, the short-lived presidency of Erap and now the strong republic of PGMA. Twenty one years of advancing human rights from the dark shadows of Marcos to the “democratic rule” of four presidents.

And from these four presidents we were witness to Total War, peace negotiations, war in Mindanao and the emasculation of democratic institutions today. We were witness to the continuing depredations on life, human dignity and liberty.

Impunity: A Spreading Malignancy in the Philippine Human Rights Situation
Volume 22 Number 2
Tuesday, 19 January 2010 14:14

by Teodoro M. de Mesa
Chairperson, Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA)
Convenor, Citizens’ Council for Human Rights (CCHR)

Introduction:  Impunity Cutting Across All Human Rights

A leader of the National Federation of Sugarcane Workers (NFSW), Armando Dolorosa, 45 was gunned down by three masked men in Manapla, Negros Occidental on 6 June 2008.  Negros is part of a group of islands called the Visayas Islands in the Philippines.

According to Dolorosa's wife, Janetta, she suspects that her husband's murder had something to do with the implementation of the agrarian reform program. She said her husband and 36 other agrarian reform beneficiaries were given certificates of land ownership award by the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) last year, to own a portion of a sugar estate. Mr. Dolorosa was the third local NFSW leader slain in Manapla since 2003, local police records show.

Struggle for Bangsamoro Human Rights
Volume 22 Number 2
Tuesday, 19 January 2010 14:14

by Daniel Conejar

Many continue to claim that the reported number of human rights violations against the Bangsamoro people in Mindanao, especially in the Muslim autonomous regions wherein communities experience constant fear and intimidation as the war rages on, is way below the actual number. The conflict between the government and the separatist groups compounded by the drive against the acts of terrorism resulted to the massive number and grave cases of human rights violations. But these are not fully exposed due to the risk and difficulty of monitoring and documentation, lack of cooperation of the victims and worst, suppression of truth that comes out in the media. This is not only true at the present state of virtual lawlessness and subtle repression, but also during the martial law years and post EDSA revolution. The Bangsamoro people suffer poverty, corporate aggression and now the unnerving war on terror. Nowadays, when you are a Muslim or when your name sounds like one, you are already fifty-percent tagged as a potential terrorist, worse if you are engaged in human rights advocacy, media, counseling and even as a mere sympathizer to their plight. In any case, a simple slip of the tongue or action against the government will make you a terrorist. This sounds absurd but this is the reality in Mindanao.

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