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Task Force Detainees of the Philippines
Inform, Assert, Defend - What is “the respect and protect HRDS campaign?”
General Campaigns
Friday, 01 May 2015 12:43

WHAT IS “THE RESPECT AND PROTECT HRDs CAMPAIGN?”

EDUCATE – (INFORM)

HRD_logo_female_and_male_copyIt is an information campaign with our networks about who human rights defenders (HRDs) are. It will highlight, publicize, and discuss cases of human rights violations perpetrated against HRDs. This aims to generate solidarity and public awareness.

 

It is a campaign to inform the public that those who defend human rights often face risks and challenges.  They become victims of harassment, arrest and detention, vilification campaign, sometimes even torture, or worse, enforced disappearance, or extra-judicial killings.

 

It is an awareness campaign on the rights that HRDs as individuals have and which the State has the obligation to protect.

 

ASSERT – (CLAIM OUR RIGHTS)

Provide network with a platform to present HRDs’ work to encourage the public to assert and defend human rights.

 

That there is a Declaration for the Protection of HRDs adapted by the United Nations (UN) that recognizes the risks HRDs face. That it recognizes and acknowledges the vital role of HRDs in human rights issues, both in international and domestic levels.

 

  • Everyone has the right to promote and strive for the protection and realization of human rights and fundamental freedoms;
  • Everyone has the freedom of assembly, association and the right to communicate;
  • Everyone has the right to know, seek, receive and disseminate human rights information and form/hold opinions on the matter for public attention;
  • We have the right to develop new human rights ideas and advocate for their acceptance;
  • We have the right to effective access and participate in the conduct of public affairs, and to submit proposals and criticism;
  • We have the right to an effective remedy and protection from violation, the right to complain about official acts, the right to observe trials, and the right to unhindered access to international bodies;
  • Everyone has the right to participate in peaceful activities publicizing human rights violations and to be protected against violence or adverse discrimination.

DEFEND – (TAKE ACTION)

Generate support and mobilize participation in creative actions in calling for the government to respect and protect HRDs.

 

Initiate a solidarity campaign for all issues concerning different sectors. Initiate actions to support individual cases of HRDs and call for accountability of perpetrators towards ending impunity.

Mobilize advocates to call on the government to respect and protect HRDs and urge people to assert and defend human rights.

 

GENERAL CALL:

A CALL FOR GOVERNMENT TO RESPECT AND PROTECT HR AND HR DEFENDERS

  • Protect Human Rights Defenders!
  • Stop criminalization of HR work!
  • Stop the killings and harassment of HRDs!
  • End impunity of human rights violations against HRDs!
  • Enact a law protecting human rights defenders!

 

A CALL FOR PEOPLE TO ASSERT AND DEFEND HR

  • Uphold, assert, and defend human rights!

 

Last Updated on Friday, 01 May 2015 12:49
 
Urgent Appeal: Killing of a Human Rights Defender
Other campaigns
Monday, 25 May 2015 11:53

URGENT APPEAL

May 21, 2015

(PHILIPPINES) Killing of a Human Rights Defender

Dear friends,

The Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP) is forwarding to you an appeal regarding the killing of a former priest who is a human rights defender.

If you wish to make any inquiries please contact the Research, Documentation and Information Program of TFDP, kindly send email to  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or call +632 4378054.

___________________

Title:                                        Labastilla EJK

Case:                                       Extra-Judicial Killing

Victim:                                    Teresito Mula Labastilla, 46 years old

Date of Incident:                    February 12, 2015

Place of Incident:                    Dionisio Micayabas Street, North Poblacion, Maramag, Bukidnon

Perpetrators:                            Unidentified motorcycle-riding men

Motive:                                    Land-related; connected to victim’s advocacy in helping the CARP beneficiaries

____________________

Account of the incident:

A former priest and human rights defender of indigenous people and farmers was killed by unknown assailants on a motorcycle at Dionisio Micayabas Street, North Poblacion, Maramag, Bukidnon last February 12, 2015, around 7:45 in the morning.

Teresito Mula Labastilla, also known as Fr. Sito, 46 years old, dropped his son at Maramag Central School on the morning of the day of the incident. While Labastilla was about to leave the school premise, he was peppered with bullets by the two motorcycle-riding men. His son Tristan Matthew, who just got down from the vehicle, heard a series of gun shots and heard his father calling him. He saw their Isuzu Samurai vehicle accelerate toward the concrete wall, skidded and overturned with his father still inside.

Shocked onlookers ran towards the overturned vehicle and helped Labastilla get out. The men aboard the motorcycle sped off. The victim was bloodied and unconscious. The onlookers helped lay him down on the concrete road while they waited for a vehicle to bring Labastilla to the Bukidnon Provincial Hospital in Maramag. He was declared dead on arrival. He sustained three gunshot wounds in his neck, face and chest. The attending physician said that all the bullets went through his body. The police investigated the crime scene and recovered four empty cartridges of a .45 caliber gun.

Arline Amigo, Labastilla’s live-in partner, learned about what happened when someone went to their house in Barangay Base Camp, Maramag to fetch her and accompany her to the hospital. But at that time, she thought that Labastilla was only injured. When she arrived at the hospital, she was directed to the morgue. Amigo was distressed and disoriented. She and Labastilla were soon to be married.

Witnesses recounted to her that the two assailants rode a white or blue XRM motorcycle that had no plate number. Both men were wearing masks. The victim was about to leave the area after he brought his son to school when the back rider of the motorcycle shot the back tire of Labastilla’s vehicle. The victim was then shot three times. Tristan Matthew was almost hit by the motorcycle. He told his mother that he already noticed the motorcycle-riding men since December 2014. The suspects usually stood by the front of his school and he saw them every time his father dropped him off at school.

Labastilla was a well-known environmental activist in the province. He was a priest for 14 years and was assigned in Malaybalay City, Lantapan, and San Fernando, Bukidnon diocese. He left the priesthood in 2000 and had his own family.

He ran for mayor in Lantapan, Bukidnon in 2010, but lost. The current mayor filed a case of Oral Defamation against Labastilla. A day before he was killed, he was convicted and had the penalty of imprisonment for ten days and was ordered to pay ten thousand pesos (P10,000). During his campaign, Labastilla said that he desired for honest and sincere services to be given to the people of the municipality. His main advocacy was for the issues of land and water to be resolved for the farmers and indigenous people in his area.

He is also the spiritual adviser and consultant of the local organization called Bukidnon Agrarian Reform and Agri-Business Multipurpose Association (BARAMA). The organization was established last February 3, 2008. It promotes organic farming among the IPs and farmers in the province.

Agrarian reform beneficiaries in Barangay Base Camp, Maramag were having difficulties in occupying the awarded 34 hectares of land after a former owner sent private armies to the area and harassed them. The beneficiaries solicited advice from Labastilla and he accommodated them. He used his vehicle and drove for the farmers when they needed to make follow ups regarding their case. Amigo and the other people close to Labastilla think that this might be the reason why he was killed.

Maramag Police Chief Jose Sevillero recently visited Amigo and showed her a cartographic sketch of one of the suspects. She said that she hopes that the case will be resolved soon and that justice will be served.

Amigo now fears for her life and her children’s. They have noticed motorcycle-riding men going around their residence.

Last Updated on Monday, 25 May 2015 11:57
 
Golden treasures of a tormented land
Y4R activities
Monday, 07 June 2010 11:47

IMG_1957

“Gintong Yaman ng Sinirang Bayan” is a satirical play about dreams, lives and relationships of families in a community in Northern Luzon that is being affected by the impending mining operation in the area.

The play is set in a barrio in Nueva Vizcaya during the course of a foreign mining company’s application in the province. The residents of the community find themselves with differing stands and opinions regarding the mining operation which poses to offer the residents with a golden opportunity.

IMG_1933IMG_1897

Ruben, in his search for the golden dream and his quest to make it big, grabbed the scholarship grant from the mining company, much to his mother’s dismay.  Other inhabitants of the community engage themselves in heated debates regarding the positive and negative effects the mining operation will bring.  

Ruben must decide.  Will he go after his golden dream despite the disapproval of his loved ones and the destruction of his native land?  What is the truth behind his father’s death and what will its implication be on Ruben’s decision?

Last Updated on Monday, 07 June 2010 12:08
 
Rights and environmental defenders challenge PNoy, Congress and Senate to be green
On Mining
Friday, 05 June 2015 17:01
Photo_by_ATMPhoto by ATM

RIGHTS AND ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENDERS CHALLENGE PNOY, CONGRESS AND SENATE TO BE GREEN

In celebration of the World Environment Day 2015, human rights and environmental defenders launch a campaign that tells the public and the government that “It’s Never Hard to be Green.”  

Green defenders led by SOS Yamang Bayan Network (SOS YB), Campaign for Land Use Policy Now (CLUP Now!), Forest Resources Bill Network (FRB) and Youth for Rights (Y4R) are behind the campaign in push for the enactment of three green or environmental bills pending in the 16th Congress.

“The campaign seeks to enlist the support of the youth. It proposes an innovative approach through the appropriation of “COSPLAY” into CAUSEPLAY to highlight the seriousness of the issue packaged in a popular form.” Explained Y4R spokesperson Danica Duno.

According to the group, the campaign will inform and inspire the public about the international standards set by the United Nation Environment Program, that safe, balanced and healthy environment is essential to the realization of human rights not only of the present but of the future generation.

Rep. Teddy Brawner Baguilat Jr, one of the main sponsors of the three bills—Alternative Minerals Management Bill (AMMB), Forest Resources Bill (FRB) and the National Land Use Act (NLUA)—emphasized the importance of the three bills in addressing the environmental concerns in the country. He said: “The three bills is a call for fundamental change – in mindset, in behavior, in our whole lifestyle—and it is timely that we remind ourselves our roles as mere stewards of the earth on World Environment Day.”
Last Updated on Friday, 05 June 2015 17:07
 
Human rights essential to democracy – UN Expert
Human Rights Defenders' Activities
Friday, 03 December 2010 18:23
PRESS RELEASE
3 December 2010

Human rights essential to democracy – UN Expert

December 2 , Manila -- The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of Human Rights Defenders, Margaret Sekaggya, yesterday urged governments in Asia to recognize and protect persons working on human rights issues as “essential” to building democracy.

Sekaggya said, “human rights play an indispensable role in the defense of democracy” as she observed that democracy is at a cross roads in many countries in the region, where the military and conservative parties are making a comeback.

Ms Sekaggaya is in Manila in an unofficial capacity to participate in a regional forum of human rights defenders from 2 to 4 December, in which some 100 human rights activists from 16 countries in Asia are participating.

The UN independent expert from Uganda explained that “criticism and dissent are the lifeblood of a healthy democratic society.”
Last Updated on Saturday, 04 December 2010 14:49
 
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