The Philippines Faces Barrage of Concerns at the UN Human Rights Council
Other campaigns
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
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!



Executive Director

Task Force Detainees of the Philippines

Last Updated on Wednesday, 24 May 2017 14:11
Human Rights Defenders to Government: Comply with UPR Recommendations -iDEFEND
Other campaigns
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).
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