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The Philippines Faces Barrage of Concerns at the UN Human Rights Council
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Friday, 09 June 2017 12:12
The Philippines Faces Barrage of Concerns at the UN Human Rights Council

forum_asia_logo(Bangkok/Geneva, 8 June 2017) – The Philippines faced international opprobrium on Wednesday at the UN Human Rights Council (Council) where 32 States jointly urged the Government to end extrajudicial killings and threats against human rights defenders. The joint statement, delivered by Iceland called on the Philippines to cooperate with human rights mechanisms by allowing the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial executions to visit the country without conditions, and to accept and implement the recommendations that it received during its Universal Periodic Review last May.

The statement followed a presentation by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, who expressed concern about personal threats and insults faced by the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial executions, as a result of her work on the Philippines.

Despite a high level of international attention on the human rights situation in the Philippines, the Government has not taken any steps to address concerns. ‘The joint statement on the Philippines by the 32 States shows that there is sustained attention on the human rights situation in the country despite its repeated attempts to deny that there is a problem when defending its ‘war on drugs’ at international forums,’ says Rosanna Ocampo of the Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA).
Last Updated on Friday, 09 June 2017 12:15
 
Human Rights Defenders to Government: Comply with UPR Recommendations -iDEFEND
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Monday, 22 May 2017 14:58
1_copyQuezon City- Human rights advocates today held a press conference to report on the events at the recently concluded UN Universal Periodic Review in Geneva. The UPR’s report on the Philippines has been received by the government, which has until September to respond formally to the body. In the interactive dialogue of the review, 95 delegations made statements following the presentation of the Philippine delegation. Most of them  focused on the need to put an end to, and investigate, extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearance, torture, human trafficking, and to stop efforts at reintroducing capital punishment and lowering the minimum age of criminal responsibility. Recommendations also urged the government to allow the Special Rapporteur to conduct her investigation into the summary killings without conditions.


iDEFEND and PAHRA sent a team to Geneva to participate in UPR side events organized with regional and international NGO networks, as well as to conduct dialogues, public action and networking in conjunction with the UPR.


“As expected, government presented before the UPR a report blatantly denying state responsibility for more than 8,000 deaths under the war on drugs or that a surge of extrajudicial killings is happening. Government blamed media for exaggerating the number of deaths, the Special Rapporteur for being biased, and the Commission on Human Rights for changing the definition of extrajudicial killing” noted Ms. Nilda Sevilla, Chairperson of FIND (Families of Victims of Involuntary Disappearances).
 
Open Letter to the Senate of the Philippines On the Approved House Bill 4727 by the House of Representatives on 7 March 2017
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Thursday, 23 March 2017 18:00
Open Letter to the Senate of the Philippines
On the Approved House Bill 4727 by the House of Representatives on 7 March 2017


To Excellency:

Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III (Senate President)
Senator Ralph G. Recto (Senate President Pro-Tempore)
Senator Vicente C. Sotto III (Majority Leader)
Senator Franklin M. Drilon (Minority Leader)
Senator Sonny M. Angara
Senator Paolo Benigno Aquino IV (Assistant Minority Leader)
Senator Maria Lourdes “Nancy” S. Binay
Senator Alan Peter “Companero” S. Cayetano
Senator Leila De Lima
Senator Joseph Victor G. Ejercito
Senator Francis “Chiz” G. Escudero
Senator Sherwin Gatchalian
Senator Richard J. Gordon
Senator Gregorio B. Hosanan II
Senator Risa Hontiveros
Senator Panfilo M. Lacson
Senator Loren B. Legarda
Senator Emmanuel “Manny” D. Pacquiao
Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan
Senator Grace L. Poe
Senator Antonio “Sonny” F. Trillanes IV
Senator Joel Villanueva
Senator Cynthia A.Villar
Senator Juan Miguel “Migz” F. Zubiri

Honourable Senators,

We, the undersigned civil society organisations from the Southeast Asia region, express our grave disappointment at the decision of the House of Representatives of the Philippines to approve the House Bill 4727, which seeking to reinstates the death penalty. Such a decision sends an alarming signal to the ASEAN region given the Philippines’ role as the current Chair of ASEAN, a regional body that will celebrate its 50th anniversary this year.

As a State Party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and its Second Optional Protocol aiming at the abolition of the death penalty, the Philippines had played an important role among the Asian states in campaigning for a moratorium and abolition of the death penalty. The Philippines is the first country in Asia to abolish the death penalty in 1987. Despite being restored in 1994, the death penalty was abolished for the second time in 2006.

In the midst of the administration’s highly-criticised ‘war on drugs’, with more than 7,000 people have been killed, the Bill represents another baseless argument that the death penalty for drug-related offenses is the way forward to ending the drug menace in the country. To date, there is no ample and conclusive evidence proving that the death penalty can act as a deterrent of crime. Similar to the use of extrajudicial killing that targets mostly the poorest members of the community, the use of the death penalty will likely target the marginalised people who are mostly defenceless in the judicial system. The use of the death penalty often overlooks the root of crimes in the society, such as poverty and inequality.
Last Updated on Thursday, 23 March 2017 18:02
 
Our Hope Lies With Our People: Truth Will Prevail! Justice Will Flow!
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Wednesday, 09 November 2016 10:47

INDIGNATION_SMALL

TFDP Statement on the Supreme Court Decision on the Burial of Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani

Our Hope Lies With Our People:
Truth Will Prevail! Justice Will Flow!

Justice was bludgeoned today. Nine magistrates of the Supreme Court chose to take a myopic and narrow view of justice and allowed the burial of the late dictator at the Libingan ng mga Bayani (LNMB). The tyrant and despot rejoices in his glass enclosed tomb. His family and minions are ecstatic with the “magnanimity of the rule of law”.

But sometimes, the law does not equate with justice. To recall, the law was used to enslave a nation and its people for 14 long years. The law was used to plunder the coffers of our nation. The law was used to justify the gross human rights violations committed against our people. More than 100,000 direct victims have been scarred by martial law.

But even then, Ka Pepe Diokno, Ka Tani Tañada, Jovito Salonga, Rene Saguisag, and many others saw the majesty and grandeur of law, as well as its pitfalls and limitations. They went within, around, and beyond the law to advocate for justice.
It is time to do so once more.

Truth was mangled today. The truth that Marcos was a human rights violator. The truth that Marcos was a plunderer. The truth that Marcos is no hero. The truth that darkness fell when martial law was declared, and for 14 years, our people were violated, its resources pillaged by a few, and impunity was at its peak. The truth that democracy was dead from 1972 to 1986 and a fascist dictatorship held reign.

The Supreme Court chose to wash its hands of the raging controversy. It simply said there are no legal impediments to burying Marcos at the LNMB just as its predecessors did in declaring martial law legal.

Indeed, the decision ultimately now rests with the butcher now sitting in power. With him, there is no hope.

Our redemption, our hope lies with the people. It is their hearts and minds that we must win over. Our collective memory of those harrowing times must not be lost. It must be shared, again and again and again. Memory shall be our sword and our shield against the revision of history and the return of tyranny.

Upon the graves of our martyrs and heroes, by the sacrifices of those who were killed, tortured, and disappeared, we swear again – Truth will prevail. Justice will flow.

November 8, 2016

Last Updated on Wednesday, 09 November 2016 11:37
 
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