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Lift Martial Law, Uphold Human Rights
General Campaigns
Thursday, 08 June 2017 18:05

Lift Martial Law, Uphold Human Rights

In recent days, details of what has happened and is happening in Marawi are coming out.

The bases for the declaration of martial law stand on shaky grounds. No less than DND chief Delfin Lorenzana has admitted they could contain the Maute Group without martial law and in fact he did not recommend its imposition.

Now the President threatened to suspend the writ of habeas corpus in the Visayas.

So far what has been revealed is that a failed “surgical operation” to capture Isnilon Hapilon triggered the Marawi crisis.

Government forces have responded in a heavy-handed manner with continuing aerial strikes. Sadly, it has destroyed Marawi but has miserably failed to flush out the terrorists.

Internally displaced persons now number in the hundreds of thousands. Homes and lives have been ruined. Marawi, used to be a melting pot of different peoples and cultures, is now a “no-man’s land”.

This war must stop. This madness must end.
Last Updated on Thursday, 08 June 2017 18:08
 
No to militarist approaches to solve the nation’s problems!
General Campaigns
Wednesday, 24 May 2017 14:10

No to militarist approaches to solve the nation’s problems!

Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP) is deeply concerned with the Mindanao-wide declaration of martial law and its effects on human rights.

To begin with, Proclamation No. 55 declaring a state of national emergency on account of lawless violence is still in place.

Is the Duterte administration admitting that it is powerless to curtail and contain lawless elements without special powers such as martial law? Is not the response too heavy-handed to handle the Maute group?

TFDP believes that the declaration of martial law in Mindanao is a slippery slope and will be at the expense of human rights, justice and peace. Innocent civilians will become the victims. We might end up creating a bigger monster – a dictator – rather than solving the age-old problems of injustice, discrimination and maldevelopment in Mindanao and the entire country.

History has proven that martial law under the Marcos regime did not solve the nation’s problems. It only created longer-lasting problems which we still grapple with to this very day – poverty, inequality, maldevelopment, injustice, exclusion.

History has also proven that a hardline, militarist approach to resolve issues underlying the secessionist and even the religious fundamentalism now spreading will not result to a climate of peace and justice. It will only fan the flames of protest and rebellion.

Criminal elements in Mindanao and elsewhere are a police matter. Let excellent police work anchored on human rights and solid investigation efforts be allowed to proceed.

Revoke the martial law declaration!

No to militarist approaches to solve the nation’s problems!

 

EMMANUEL AMISTAD

Executive Director

Task Force Detainees of the Philippines

Last Updated on Wednesday, 24 May 2017 14:11
 
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
 
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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