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End the Killings. Uphold Human Rights. Defend Democracy -iDEFEND
General Campaigns
Thursday, 22 September 2016 16:17

END THE KILLINGS. UPHOLD HUMAN RIGHTS.
DEFEND DEMOCRACY
Photo_by_PhilRights

Photo by PhilRights

Today is the International Day of Peace.

Development and peace go together, and this is why the United Nations sees as central to the achievement of sustainable development the drastic reduction of all forms of violence, the promotion of the rule of law, and equal access to justice for all.

This day is especially significant for our country since for the last three months, the country has been wracked by seeming government-sponsored violence and lawlessness, by a war the administration has declared, ostensibly against drugs but which has become a war against poor and marginalized Filipinos. Since the election of President Rodrigo Duterte, over 3000 people, practically all of them alleged drug users from the poor sector of Philippine society, have been subjected to extra-judicial execution either by the police or by vigilante groups.  While President Duterte’s subordinates invent ever more complex arguments to exonerate him, he  has made little attempt to conceal his preference for the extra-judicial execution of suspected drug dealers and users and his impatience with due process.  He has also enthusiastically given the green light to vigilantes to shoot pushers and users. And he has made it very clear that he does not believe in rehabilitation, which is the principal policy of all other governments towards users.

Not surprisingly, the president’s approach to the drug problem has earned him widespread notoriety internationally, to which he has responded by cursing his critics, including world leaders, and threatening to take the Philippines out of the United Nations.

While the police and vigilante groups go on a killing spree, his rabid followers intimidate those who stand for human rights and due process, branding them as protectors of drug lords.

Adding to the spreading sense of threat to basic rights among the citizenry is the president’s determination to bury the remains of dictator Ferdinand Marcos in the Libingan ng mga Bayani.  By enshrining the dead dictator as a hero, this move would legitimize his 14-year reign of terror, from 1972 to 1986, with its countless violations of human rights, political rights, and economic and social rights. It would constitute an airbrushing of history.

Democracy is under threat today.

In Sept. 4, the President has put the whole country under a State of Emergency due to lawless violence, indefinitely. Recently, we witnessed the most vivid manifestation of the failure of democracy being the Malacanang-directed ouster of Senator de Lima as head of the Justice Committee.  This is the latest move of  the Executive  to gain total control of Congress.  As for the president’s stance toward the Supreme Court, the whole country witnessed how he angrily threatened to declare martial law when the Court asserted its authority in the investigation of judges that Malacanang had linked to drugs.

Forty four years ago today, Marcos declared martial law.  Today, we face a similar  if not a greater threat to our lives, liberties, and democratic rights .  These rights, for which so many of our people fought and died for, are enshrined in our constitution.  We cannot allow anyone to take those rights away from us.

Thus, on this International Day of Peace, we demand that the Duterte administration put an end to extra-judicial killings. We demand that this administration:

·       respect human rights and due process,

·       refrain from subverting the separation of powers,

·       uphold democratic processes instead of curtailing them.

But above all, we call on our fellow citizens to join us in defense of our rights, our liberties, our democracy.  For as the old saying goes, “The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is that good women and men should stand by and do nothing.”

(Statement of iDefend Coalition, Sept. 21, 2016)

Last Updated on Thursday, 22 September 2016 16:31
 
We Refuse to Forget!
Other campaigns
Friday, 02 September 2016 14:17
We Refuse to Forget!

Task Force Detainees of the Philippines adds its voice to the many voices opposed to the burial of the late dictator Ferdinand E. Marcos at the Libingan ng mgaBayani.

It was TFDP’s committed staff, together with other freedom-loving Filipinos who documented the gross violations of human rights perpetrated by Mr. Marcos and his minions.

Today, we say: Hindi kami maaaring makalimot. Hindi kami makakalimot hanggang katarungan ay hindi nakakamtan. Walang kapatawaran hanggang walang pag-amin sa paglabag sa karapatan ng buong bayan.

We refuse to forget the 101,538 human rights violations perpetrated by the Marcos dictatorship.

We refuse to forget the robbery in band of the nation’s coffers to feed the insatiable desire of the Marcos family for wealth, privilege and profit.

We refuse to forget the insidious attempts by the Marcoses to change the story of repression and violence into a grand tale of greatness and peace.

Our younger generation must learn lessons from our history. Every one of us should stand up for what is right. Every individual should learn to defend, not only her/his rights but also the rights of others. United action is never doomed to fail.

Dictatorship has been interred in the graveyard and the current generation must forever be vigilant that it never rises again.

Human rights must be vigorously promoted, defended and progressively realized as our contribution to the struggle for human dignity.
Last Updated on Friday, 02 September 2016 14:24
 
Anti-mining advocates launch fresh bid for alternative mining law
General Campaigns
Monday, 22 August 2016 19:10
Alyansa Tigil Mina
PRESS RELEASE

Anti-mining advocates launch fresh bid for alternative mining law

MANILA, 22 August 2016  – Civil society network Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM) today launched a  series of mobilizations and other actions this week to push for the  passage of the Alternative Minerals Management Bill.

A highlight  of their solidarity week of actions, set to coincide with an  international mining conference, will be Senator Risa Hontiveros’ filing  of the AMMB in the Senate on Thursday.

Hontiveros,  who led the filing of a 2013 petition to the Supreme Court which  challenged the constitutionality of the 1995 Mining Act, said she  supports ATM’s call to suspend all mining operations in the country and  comprehensively review all existing mining applications.

“I also  support the call for a thorough investigation on the economic benefits  of mining. Once and for all, let the facts speak for themselves if the  mining industry truly serves the strategic interests and welfare of our  nation,” she added.
Last Updated on Monday, 22 August 2016 19:12
 
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