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Task Force Detainees of the Philippines
TFDP to PNoy: release all victims of political incarceration to show genuine mercy and compassion not as “pakitang-Pope lamang”
On Political Prisoners
Saturday, 10 January 2015 14:16
PRESS RELEASE
January 09, 2015
TFDP to PNoy: release all victims of political incarceration to show genuine mercy and compassion not as “pakitang-Pope lamang”
Human rights group Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP) challenged President Benigno Aquino to prove his sincerity by acting not only on the cases of common prisoners but also on the release of political prisoners as a genuine gesture of mercy and compassion in line with the visit of Pope Francis in the country.
“While we welcome Government’s move to grant executive clemency to sickly, elderly and long held prisoners, Secretary Leila De Lima and President Aquino should act on this not as a mere PR stunt but as a sincere commitment to human rights and justice. Not as a “pakitang-Pope lamang.”   Emmanuel Amistad, TFDP’s Executive Director said.
“If the Government really meant to grant clemency for prisoners for mercy and compassion, they must not forget the cases of victims of political incarceration, who have also been long and unjustly held, who are sickly and those who have reached senior citizenship behind bars,” Amistad added.
According to TFDP, there are 347 political prisoners and detainees across the country and they need to be unconditionally released because they were victims of human rights violations and a weak justice system.
“Most suffered unimaginable torture, others were disappeared before they surfaced in detention,  still others are victims of mistaken identity and fall guys who are suffering for crimes they did not commit, trumped up charges that criminalize their political activities and human rights defender like Cocoy Tulawie who were detained because of his human rights work.” Amistad said.
“We had several dialogues with the DOJ and we start to doubt their sincerity because up to now nothing has been accomplished. In fact, there are 5 political prisoners who were supposed to be released through the PCBREP under DOJ, but there has been no progress until now, ” Amistad lamented.
Relatives and former political prisoners sent a letter of appeal today to President Benigno Aquino for the release of all their loved ones and comrades.
The letter signed by the organization Ex-Political Detainees Initiatives states that “…kinasuhan ang mga ito (Political Prisoners) ng mga kasong tulad ng sa ordinaryong kriminal, upang wasakin ang kanilang kredibilidad at dignidad. Upang supilin ang mga ito sa kanilang pagtatanggol ng mga demokratikong karapatan ng mga manggagawa at maralitang seksiyon ng ating lipunan.”
Included in their letter of appeal is a list of political prisoners held in the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) based on TFDP’s records.
###
For more details pls contact:
Emmanuel Amistad, TFDP Executive Director, 4378054, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Egay Cabalitan, TFDP Advocacy Staff, 09288443717, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
PRESS RELEASE
January 09, 2015
TFDP to PNoy: release all victims of political incarceration to show genuine mercy and compassion not as “pakitang-Pope lamang”
Human rights group Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP) challenged President Benigno Aquino to prove his sincerity by acting not only on the cases of common prisoners but also on the release of political prisoners as a genuine gesture of mercy and compassion in line with the visit of Pope Francis in the country.
“While we welcome Government’s move to grant executive clemency to sickly, elderly and long held prisoners, Secretary Leila De Lima and President Aquino should act on this not as a mere PR stunt but as a sincere commitment to human rights and justice. Not as a “pakitang-Pope lamang.”   Emmanuel Amistad, TFDP’s Executive Director said.
“If the Government really meant to grant clemency for prisoners for mercy and compassion, they must not forget the cases of victims of political incarceration, who have also been long and unjustly held, who are sickly and those who have reached senior citizenship behind bars,” Amistad added.
According to TFDP, there are 347 political prisoners and detainees across the country and they need to be unconditionally released because they were victims of human rights violations and a weak justice system.
“Most suffered unimaginable torture, others were disappeared before they surfaced in detention,  still others are victims of mistaken identity and fall guys who are suffering for crimes they did not commit, trumped up charges that criminalize their political activities and human rights defender like Cocoy Tulawie who were detained because of his human rights work.” Amistad said.
Last Updated on Saturday, 10 January 2015 14:19
 
CBCP-NASSA and ATM Joint Statement on the Mining Issue During the Visit of Pope Francis Manila and Tacloban in the Philippines: 15-19 January 2015
On Mining
Friday, 16 January 2015 13:09
CBCP-NASSA and ATM
Joint Statement on the Mining Issue During the Visit of Pope Francis
Manila and Tacloban in the Philippines: 15-19 January 2015
"Do not defile the land where you live and where I dwell (Num. 35:34)."
In two instances, the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) has published statements on the mining issue in the Philippines.  In 1995, the CBCP asked for the repeal of the Philippine Mining Act (RA 7942) citing the “devastating effects and the adverse social impacts of mining that will destroy both environment and people and will lead to national unrest”. The Bishops expressed their support for the many local petitions against mining operations in the Philippines.  Then in 2006, CBCP re-affirmed their stand for the repeal of the Mining Act of 1995, believing that “the Mining Act destroys life”.  The Bishops stated that “allowing the interests of big mining corporations to prevail over people’s right to these sources amounts to violating their right to life. Furthermore, mining threatens people’s health and environmental safety through the wanton dumping of waste and tailings in rivers and seas.”
Last Sept. 9, 2013, Tarcisio Cardinal Bertone read the message of Pope Francis to the mining industry during the Day of Reflection between the Mining Industry and the Vatican. The Holy Father reminded everyone that “ the great challenge of business leaders is to create a harmony of interests, involving investors, managers, workers, their families, the future of their children, the preservation of the environment on both a regional and international scale, and a contribution to world peace.”
CBCP-NASSA and ATM believes that any meaningful dialogue or engagement with the mining industry must be strongly built on the Catholic Social Teachings and informed by the principles of:
a)    Integrity of Creation - The interrelatedness and interconnectedness of nature and man within nature, must be recognized, and that large-scale destruction of forests by mining operations must be contained to preserve ecological sustainability.
b)    Responsible Stewardship – Human extractive activity must not disrupt sustenance of current needs nor the needs of future generations.  Human activity must promote harmony and development that correspond with God’s plan, paying close attention to consequences of these actions
c)     Human Dignity – mining projects must not exploit the already marginalized people, including the mine workers who are not justly compensated, or the farmers who lose their irrigation, or the fishers who see their waters contaminated or the indigenous peoples who not only lose their lands, but their livelihoods and culture as well, and women and children lose their access to health and well-being
d)    Preferential Option for the Poor – communities affected by mining loss their access to land and water, leaders are bribed and corruption breeds bad governance, and the benefits of mineral extractions are cornered by the elites.
To this end, we implore the Holy Father to support and stand with the communities, local organizations and popular movements who are responding to the challenges of the mining industry.  We urge Pope Francis to:
1.     Support the call of Philippine Bishops and the mining-affected communities to repeal the Philippine Mining Act (RA 7942) and the clamor for a new mining law that recognizes the environment and ecology, respects human rights and ensures that negative impacts of mining are completely addressed and avoided;
2.     Ensure that the voices of the marginalized and the poor are heard and given space in any dialogue or interaction between the Church and the mining industry, from the local up to the global levels;
3.     Encourage the Catholic leadership as well as other religious leaders, to practice their stewardship role in facilitating harmony, peace and social justice to address the issues brought by mining and other extractive industries.  The way forward must include a true discernment incorporating the attempt to correct historical injustices, promoting greater transparency and seeking and working for alternatives to the market-driven and consumerist-materialist economic system.
We are confident that the Holy Father will be the inspiration of Filipinos who struggle to convert and renew themselves, and become true stewards of God’s creation. We continuously invoke the grace of the Holy Spirit to bless us with spiritual fervor, and we are ever grateful to Mary, Mother of Jesus and our Mother, for her intercession.
Signed.
Catholic Bishop’s Conference of the Philippines
National Secretariat for Social Action (CBCP-NASSA)
and
Alyansa Tigil Mina
(Alliance Against Mining)
CBCP-NASSA and ATM
Joint Statement on the Mining Issue During the Visit of Pope Francis
Manila and Tacloban in the Philippines: 15-19 January 2015
"Do not defile the land where you live and where I dwell (Num. 35:34)."
cbcp_nassa_atmIn two instances, the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) has published statements on the mining issue in the Philippines.  In 1995, the CBCP asked for the repeal of the Philippine Mining Act (RA 7942) citing the “devastating effects and the adverse social impacts of mining that will destroy both environment and people and will lead to national unrest”. The Bishops expressed their support for the many local petitions against mining operations in the Philippines.  Then in 2006, CBCP re-affirmed their stand for the repeal of the Mining Act of 1995, believing that “the Mining Act destroys life”.  The Bishops stated that “allowing the interests of big mining corporations to prevail over people’s right to these sources amounts to violating their right to life. Furthermore, mining threatens people’s health and environmental safety through the wanton dumping of waste and tailings in rivers and seas.”
Last Sept. 9, 2013, Tarcisio Cardinal Bertone read the message of Pope Francis to the mining industry during the Day of Reflection between the Mining Industry and the Vatican. The Holy Father reminded everyone that “ the great challenge of business leaders is to create a harmony of interests, involving investors, managers, workers, their families, the future of their children, the preservation of the environment on both a regional and international scale, and a contribution to world peace.”
Last Updated on Friday, 16 January 2015 13:13
 
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
 
[Urgent Appeal] Death of a human rights defender, Elisa Tulid, exacts a huge toll on physical and mental health conditions of victim’s relatives
General Campaigns
Friday, 01 May 2015 12:36
URGENT APPEAL

April 30, 2015

(PHILIPPINES) Death of a human rights defender, Elisa Tulid, exacts a huge toll on physical and mental health conditions of victim’s relatives

ISSUES: Right to an Effective Remedy, Access to Justice

______________

Dear friends,

The Medical Action Group (MAG) is forwarding to you an appeal regarding provision of prompt, immediate and effective medical care to the relatives of Elisa L. Tulid, who was a victim of extrajudicial killing due to her human rights work as a human rights defender and a member of Samahan ng Magsasakasa Barangay Tala at Camflora (Organization of farmers in Barangay Tala and Camflora), in San Andres, Quezon.

If you wish to make any inquiries, please contact the Medical Action Group (MAG) through e-mail address: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or call +632 4547513, website: www.magph.org


__________________

Description of the case:

Elisa LascoñaTulid, a human rights defender and agrarian reform beneficiary, was a leader of the farmers’ group, Samahan ng Magsasaka sa Barangay Tala at Camflora, was killed on October 19, 2013 at around 2:00PM, at Sitio Kumbenyo, Barangay Tala, San Andres, Quezon.

Based on documentation by the Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP), Ms. Tulid was walking along with her husband and her four-year-old daughter when she was shot point-blank by a man who was identified as Mr. Rannie Bugnot, suspected trustee of Mr. Edwin Ausa, an alleged land grabber in the area.Ms. Tulid who suffered gunshot wounds in the nape, mouth, left eye and left thigh, was pronounced dead on the spot. Her husband and daughter both managed to run away. Her husband rushed to a nearby military camp in Barangay Tala to seek help and report the incident. The military called the police and requested their assistance. The police arrested Mr. Bugnot on the same day at his house in San Andres, Quezon and charged him later for murder.

As of this writing, suspect Mr. Bugnot is in detention at Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) Gumaca District Jail, Quezon. The case is pending before the Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 62 in Gumaca, Quezon.

Background information

There is a persistent agrarian conflict in Bondoc Peninsula where San Andres, Quezon is located, where almost 80 percent of households depend on subsistence farming mainly banana and coconut mono cropping as well as fishing.
Last Updated on Friday, 01 May 2015 12:42
 
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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