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Honoring women human rights defenders (HRDs) and uniting with women HRDs against impunity -PAHRA
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Monday, 11 March 2013 16:33
Honoring women human rights defenders (HRDs) and uniting with women HRDs against impunity
March 8, 2013
On the occasion of International Women’s Day, the Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA) salutes and honors all women who defend human dignity – their own and that of others, who assert women’s rights as human rights and who fight to end impunity against women as persons and against their struggles.
We particularly salute and honor on this day all women who made the supreme sacrifice with their lives in their struggles for justice and for human rights, not only for their own gender but for the communities wherein they live and for the country as a whole.  The extrajudicial killing of a woman human rights defender is a concern of and a threat to all human rights defenders.
The recent killing of Cristina Jose, a kagawad (Barangay Councilor) of Barangay Binondo, Baganga, Davao City, raises further alarm and a red flag denoting urgent warning to all human rights defenders (HRDs) that calling attention to and protesting against the violations of the State obligations of respecting, protecting and fulfilling its constituents’ human rights either by commission or by omission can provoke a death-dealing action on one’s own life.
Immediately prior to Jose’s assassination last March 4, she was concerned with her Barangay constituents’ urgent need for daily food due to the devastation wrought by Typhoon Pablo on the communities sources of subsistence and capabilities for livelihood. Both the local government and local  branches of national offices prioritized other concerns and consequent actions that eroded due diligence and curtailed significantly the availability and accessibility to the people’s right to adequate food.  Willful delays and the lack of transparency resulting in the adverse effects on the health of vulnerable persons in the communities make particular government officials and offices accountable for the violations.  These delays and effects breach core elements of human rights.
Silence on the part of government, both national and local, on the killing of Cristina will further encourage similar retaliations on other just protests.
In reality, the premeditated murder of Mrs. Cristina Jose is a consequent of the earlier impunity against other women human rights defenders.  It is the impunity that perpetuates human rights violations against which women as sisters and mothers and their families in different sectoral struggles.
It is the impunity that pervades areas where government and security forces allow and encourage development aggression to sacrifice lands and lives, like that of Juvy Capion and her two children who were massacred in Kiblawan, Davao del Sur, last October 18, 2012 to allow, at that time without an Environmental Clearance Certificate (ECC),  the Sagittarius Mining Incorporated (SMI) to operate.  The Capion family protested against the mining company’s forced and armed intrusion into the B’laan people’s ancestral land.  PAHRA condemns Juvy and her children’s deaths as well as demands speedy investigation so that justice may be meted on the military perpetrators.
It is the impunity that is spawned from the struggle of agrarian reform lands that Kathy Alcantara, woman leader-organizer of the Pambansang Kilusan ng Makabayang Magbubukid (PKMM)- [National Movement of Nationalist Farmers],fought against and was killed by unindentified men mid-morning of December 5,2006 in Brgy. Gabon, Abucay, Bataan in Central Luzon.  PAHRA salutes Kathy and her kind.
It is the impunity that has embedded itself with armed hacienda security guards in Negros Occidental that Task Force Mapalad members (TFM) Edna Sobrecaray, Charie and Estrellita Celes, Visitacion Garay,  and Sharon Macapal successfully challenged.  Their courage had legally gained them their lands as well as inspired other women to follow their path.  PAHRA stands with Edna and all the women with her.
PAHRA will continue to struggle alongside women against unjust structures, systems and institutions which are obstacles to the full implementation of fundamental freedoms and human rights.  PAHRA calls on all human rights defenders to fight with women and eliminate impunity so as to obtain dignity and justice for us all.
Against the unity of human rights defenders, none will be able to resist.
Honoring women human rights defenders (HRDs) and uniting with women HRDs against impunity
March 8, 2013
pahra_logo_copyOn the occasion of International Women’s Day, the Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA) salutes and honors all women who defend human dignity – their own and that of others, who assert women’s rights as human rights and who fight to end impunity against women as persons and against their struggles.
We particularly salute and honor on this day all women who made the supreme sacrifice with their lives in their struggles for justice and for human rights, not only for their own gender but for the communities wherein they live and for the country as a whole.  The extrajudicial killing of a woman human rights defender is a concern of and a threat to all human rights defenders.
The recent killing of Cristina Jose, a kagawad (Barangay Councilor) of Barangay Binondo, Baganga, Davao City, raises further alarm and a red flag denoting urgent warning to all human rights defenders (HRDs) that calling attention to and protesting against the violations of the State obligations of respecting, protecting and fulfilling its constituents’ human rights either by commission or by omission can provoke a death-dealing action on one’s own life.
Last Updated on Monday, 11 March 2013 16:37
 
Protecting Women from Enforced Disappearance
Other campaigns
Friday, 08 March 2013 16:55
Joint Statement
International Women’s Day
8 March 2013
Protecting Women from Enforced Disappearance
Women everywhere are deeply affected by the global scourge of enforced disappearance. They are the wives, mothers, grandmothers, sisters, and daughters who are in the abysmal state of uncertainty and in perpetual search for their disappeared loved ones.  They are often left behind to bear the socio-economic and psycho-emotional brunt of enforced disappearance. In cases when women are made to disappear, theyare particularly at great risk of sexual and other forms of violence.
Many of them have been able to transform their personal anguish and sufferings into courage and determination to sustain the arduous struggle for justice. For a long time, the Philippines lacked the specific mechanisms that protect individuals including women and children from enforced disappearance. But the 16 years of uphill battle of victims’ families and human rights advocates to have enforced disappearance criminalized has finally borne fruit in the recent passage of Republic Act No. 10353 or the Anti-Enforced Disappearance Act of 2012. This special penal law officially recognizes not only the gravity of the offense but also the distinct sufferings endured by the victims and their families, especially by women and children.
The Anti-Enforced Disappearance Act of 2012 is without doubt, a major advancement in human rights legislation. Nevertheless,the law is only as good as its implementation. While the speedy crafting and joint promulgation of the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) by appropriate government agencies and organizations of families sought to expedite the Act’s implementation, a strong political will is required to ensure the full realization of the law’s objectives.
While a law defines mandates, translating them into concrete actions lies in the collective will of all stakeholders. It is for this reason that we organized a forum-workshop on the “Effective Implementation of Republic Act No. 10353” with the support of the Embassy of Canada and the UP Asian Center on 6 March, 2013 at the GT Toyota UP Asian Center Auditorium. The forum brought together various stakeholders not only to instill the letter and spirit of the law in their hearts and minds, but most importantly to generate collective action that will ensure the effectiveness of the law, more particularly in strengthening accountability and combating impunity.
We also hope that the new law will facilitate the Philippines’ signing and accession to the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance to complement and reinforce the domestic protection mechanisms.
As we commemorate the International Women’s Day today, we pay tribute to all women who have indefatigably struggled and risked their lives to make our world free from enforced disappearance and other forms of violence. Ending this odious offense will greatly contribute to the liberation of all women in the world from discrimination and violence.
Protecting Women from Enforced Disappearance
AFAD_FIND_ICAEDWomen everywhere are deeply affected by the global scourge of enforced disappearance. They are the wives, mothers, grandmothers, sisters, and daughters who are in the abysmal state of uncertainty and in perpetual search for their disappeared loved ones.  They are often left behind to bear the socio-economic and psycho-emotional brunt of enforced disappearance. In cases when women are made to disappear, theyare particularly at great risk of sexual and other forms of violence.
Many of them have been able to transform their personal anguish and sufferings into courage and determination to sustain the arduous struggle for justice. For a long time, the Philippines lacked the specific mechanisms that protect individuals including women and children from enforced disappearance. But the 16 years of uphill battle of victims’ families and human rights advocates to have enforced disappearance criminalized has finally borne fruit in the recent passage of Republic Act No. 10353 or the Anti-Enforced Disappearance Act of 2012. This special penal law officially recognizes not only the gravity of the offense but also the distinct sufferings endured by the victims and their families, especially by women and children.
The Anti-Enforced Disappearance Act of 2012 is without doubt, a major advancement in human rights legislation. Nevertheless,the law is only as good as its implementation. While the speedy crafting and joint promulgation of the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) by appropriate government agencies and organizations of families sought to expedite the Act’s implementation, a strong political will is required to ensure the full realization of the law’s objectives.
Last Updated on Friday, 08 March 2013 17:07
 
Mutual defense, mutual respect for human and people’s rights:Not partnership for impunity
Other campaigns
Wednesday, 13 February 2013 13:51
Mutual defense, mutual respect for human and people’s rights:Not partnership for impunity
Being both State signatories to the Universal Declaration on Human Rights (UDHR), the Philippines and the United States of America have the trinity of obligations to respect, protect and fulfill the human and people’s rights of its own constituencies but also the people of each other’s country.  The UDHR, since December 10, 1948, has become a main feature of international customary law.  Many of the aspirations of the UDHR have come from the Constitutions of both countries.  These aspirations which later evolved into international human rights laws were meant to enhance also its own laws and policies governing relations with each other.
The signing of the Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT) in Washington, D.C. on August 30, 1951 forged a “common determination to defend themselves against external attack”  as well as a “collective defense for the preservation of peace and security  pending the development of a more comprehensive system of regional security in the Pacific area”.
The Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) is an implementing agreement of the MDT.
Certainly, the MDT and the VFA are also obliged to mutually implement the trinity of State obligations, not tolerate human rights violations, much less put up with impunity.
The MDT and the VFA are not meant:
To have a death before a medical mission. On July 2004, a 54 year old Moro woman was reported to have died of heart attack when two helicopters suddenly landed in their corn land in barangay Manarapan, Carmen, North Cotabato. The two helicopters were used by the American troops in the clearing operations before the medical mission could be conducted in the barangay.
To refuse cooperation and transparency, by Filipino and American authorities, in deaths like that of Gregan Cardeno, a contract worker from Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay hired by SkyLink Security Agency, who was reported to have committed suicide last February 23, 2010 inside a military camp in Camp Ranao, in Datu Saber town, the home of the 103rd Brigade of the Philippine Army.  Indications led Gregan’s family to  think that Gregan was sexually abused due to his enlarged scrotum, the enlarged opening of his anus and the injuries of his head.  The Bulatlat report further said that an autopsy by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), upon the request of the Cardeno family, revealed puncture wounds on Gregan’s right foot, on the left inner part of the leg and on the upper right arm.  These could be signs of serious ill- and inhuman treatment.
To include massacres as part of a “joint exercise” as in February 4, 2008, wherein eight civilians, including three women and two children were killed when forces from the Army’s Light Reaction and the Navy’s Special Warfare Group attacked barangay Ipil, Maimbung, Sulu.  US troops were said to be involved in the massacre.
To violate the Filipinos’ economic, social and cultural rights by wandering without updated guidance and consequently destroyed last January 17, 2013 the protected Tubbataha marine sanctuary, declared by UNESCO as one of the World’s Heritage Site.
Lives and rights - one too many have been sacrificed with impunity by the MDT and the VFA.
PAHRA will join those who work for the abrogation of both the MDT and the VFA.
PAHRA shall also contribute in forging Defense Agreements from a rights-based and an International Humanitarian Law approach which strengthens especially command responsibility, accountability and upholding Philippine sovereignty.
February 12, 2013
Mutual defense, mutual respect for human and people’s rights:Not partnership for impunity
pahra_logo_copyBeing both State signatories to the Universal Declaration on Human Rights (UDHR), the Philippines and the United States of America have the trinity of obligations to respect, protect and fulfill the human and people’s rights of its own constituencies but also the people of each other’s country.  The UDHR, since December 10, 1948, has become a main feature of international customary law.  Many of the aspirations of the UDHR have come from the Constitutions of both countries.  These aspirations which later evolved into international human rights laws were meant to enhance also its own laws and policies governing relations with each other.
The signing of the Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT) in Washington, D.C. on August 30, 1951 forged a “common determination to defend themselves against external attack”  as well as a “collective defense for the preservation of peace and security  pending the development of a more comprehensive system of regional security in the Pacific area”.
The Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) is an implementing agreement of the MDT.
Certainly, the MDT and the VFA are also obliged to mutually implement the trinity of State obligations, not tolerate human rights violations, much less put up with impunity.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 13 February 2013 13:56
 
Notice to victims of human rights violations under the Marcos regime
Other campaigns
Friday, 08 February 2013 18:10
NOTICE TO VICTIMS OF HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS UNDER THE MARCOS REGIME


“AN ACT PROVIDING FOR REPARATION AND RECOGNITION OF VICTIMS OF HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS DURING THE MARCOS REGIME, DOCUMENTATION OF SAID VIOLATIONS, APPROPRIATING FUNDS THEREFOR AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES” was already ratified by both houses of Congress and is set to be enacted into law upon signing of President Aquino expected on Feb. 25, 2013 during the EDSA People Power Commemoration

The Act will provide for :
  • Monetary reparation by point system based on gravity of HRV suffered
  • Non-monetary reparation in terms of services/programs  by appropriate government agencies
  • Recognition in Roll of HRV Victims to be memorialized through the establishment of a Memorial/Museum/Library

The law will only be implemented within 2 years after its signing.  Filing of claims/waiver is only within 6 months upon completion of the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR)  which should be completed 15 days after the appointment of the Human Rights Victims’ Claims Board by the President.
Last Updated on Friday, 08 February 2013 18:15
 
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