Peace campaign
A Human Rights & Peace Agenda in Good Governance*
On Peace
Monday, 08 February 2010 16:19


Dr. Nymia Simbulan, Executive Director of Philippine Human Rights Information Center (PhilRights) presents the Human Rights Agenda During the Forum on Human Rights and Peace in Good Governance


The Filipino nation is in the midst of difficulties and challenges. Poverty, unemployment, hunger, urban blight, environmental destruction, extrajudicial killings, insurgency, and corruption: these are among the glaring manifestations of human rights violations that persist in the country and at the same time, the root causes of conflict and violence in Philippine society. Consider the following statistics:

Last Updated on Saturday, 31 July 2010 14:26
Presidentiables scared of human rights?
On Peace
Thursday, 04 February 2010 19:19


Photos by Rommel Yamzon

Presidential candidates seem to be scared to face and commit themselves to human rights and peace.  This may be a sign that another president with no human rights platform is coming to town come May 2010 election.

Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP) got this impression after the presidentiables snubbed the forum on human rights and peace in good governance held last January 27 in De La Salle College of Saint Benilde (DLS-CSB).  Only Nicanor Perlas gave his time to grace the event and share his views and answer questions from the audience of more than 600 composed of students from various universities, the religious and civil society organizations.

Last Updated on Saturday, 31 July 2010 14:20
No To Proclamation 1959! No To Martial Law!
On Peace
Monday, 07 December 2009 14:34

Press Statement
December 7, 2009

Task Force Detainees of the Philippines calls on the Philippine Congress to reject Proclamation 1959 or the declaration of martial law in Maguindanao as it will only give unsurpassed power to a military and police force that has a long record of human rights violations, and as such will only exacerbate the worsening human rights situation in the country.

Last Updated on Saturday, 31 July 2010 14:33
UN Experts: Maguindanao massacre must be the start of a major reform process
On Peace
Monday, 07 December 2009 10:41


Press Release

2 December 2009

GENEVA -- The brutal killing of 57 people in Maguindanao, including some 30 journalists, should be seen as a watershed moment for the Philippines, according to two United Nations human rights experts. Philip Alston, Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial executions, and Frank La Rue, Special Rapporteur on freedom of opinion and expression, said that "the pre-meditated killing of political opponents, combined with a massive assault on the media, must be tackled at various levels that go well beyond standard murder investigations."

In a statement, the two UN experts indicated that the initial responses of the Government had been encouraging. "The first step", they noted, "is to ensure that the police investigation is comprehensive and independent, and employs the highest professional standards. It must also be followed by effective prosecutions of all those responsible for the killings." They added, however, that the massacre also demanded a more extensive reflection on the elite family-dominated manipulation of the political processes and the need to eliminate such practices in order to assure the future of democracy in the Philippines.

"This will require a thorough-going investigation of the broader context to be undertaken by a credible and independent body, appointed with full legal powers to carry out an effective inquiry and make recommendations." The UN experts expressed their particular dismay at the wholesale killings of journalists and emphasized that any broader inquiry into the political system would need to focus on the ways and means of enhancing protection for journalists in the future.

A third, but even more urgent step is also required according to the UN experts. "Elections in the Philippines have traditionally become occasions for widespread extrajudicial executions of political opponents. There is every indication that the run-up to the May elections will sound the death knell for many political activists." Alston and La Rue added that "the Government should acknowledge this likelihood and immediately establish a high-level task force, with broad political support, to identify the measures that should be taken to prevent killings that occur in the lead-up to the elections".

"The Maguindinao killings are a tragedy of the first order", said the experts. But the challenge now is to go beyond a criminal law response and to take measures designed to protect the media in particular, and freedom of expression in general, and to prevent election-related violence in the months ahead. "The international community will be monitoring the Government's response very carefully", they added.

Last Updated on Monday, 07 December 2009 10:48
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