The Chief Executive and the Commander-in-Chief’s response to the incident at the Manila Peninsula revealed further its distorted human rights values. The right to information in such a crisis had been contained in plastic handcuffs. [ See: http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/topstories/topstories/view_article.php?article_id=103853
People’s right to a free and informed vote in the elections of 2004 has been passed as the democratic will according to the formula prescribed in the “Garci tapes”. [ See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hello_garci
People’s economic bankruptcy has been deceptively lauded by National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) as increasing family incomes.
Servicing people’s basic needs has meant prioritizing the payment of foreign debt which include behest loans.
Presumed regularity in due process and protection of human rights take the guise of warrant-less arrests, enforced disappearances and torture.
Truth has been expressed in denial of custody of abducted human rights defenders.
Human security obtained a new definition of violated civil and political rights in the anti-terrorism law, R.A. 9372.
The sacredness of life through the abolition of the death penalty has metamorphosed into extrajudicial executions.
This administration is not only an obstacle to its state obligations to respect, protect and fulfill human rights, IT IS A VIOLATOR OF HUMAN RIGHTS!
Reject this morally bankrupt governance with distorted human rights values!
Uphold dignity and justice for all! http://www.philippinehumanrights.org
On the occasion of the 59th International Human Rights Day
In the occasion of the 59th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, we remind the government on the real condition of human rights in the country.
= 409 cases of illegal arrest and detention affecting 1,460 individuals were recorded from the period of January 2001 to September 2007. This figure does not yet include media practitioners accosted during the Manila Peninsula siege. Philippines is second most dangerous place for working journalists with many media practitioners killed under Gloria Macapagal Arroyo (GMA) government next to Iraq;
= 125 cases of torture were documented affecting 267 individuals;
= 259 cases of involuntary disappearance as of December 10, 2007;
= 225 political prisoners and detainees as of March 2007 are languishing in jails;
= There is a continuing profiling of Muslims as terrorists.
= 52% or about 9 million Filipino families rate themselves poor as of the third quarter of 2007. The survey also revealed that 43%t, or about 7.5 million consider themselves poor in terms of food. 17.6 million Filipinos are calorie-deficient, 2.2 million Filipino children under five years old are underweight and point-three million Filipino children die each year before their fifth birthday from lack of nutrition.
= An estimated 15 million Filipinos are living on just $1 a day and 43 million others with only $2 a day.
= An estimated 40,000 people were displaced due to war in Maguindanao province; 2,293 families were in Basilan due to the military pursuit operation after the beheading incident in Tipo-tipo in July 2007; Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has recorded an estimated 98,000 families internally displaced due to war in 2006.
= Indigenous peoples’ rights to meaningful and active participation, free and prior informed consent, right to life, security and liberty, individual and collective rights were violated with the encroachment of mining companies in their ancestral domains and as reflected in government’s mining-related policies.
= Only 42% of the population has access to potable water.
= The upsurge in deployment of migrant workers becomes a forced-option due to stark poverty and unemployment domestically. But their stories are replete of abuse from their employers, and lack or absence of adequate protection and welfare mechanisms provided by the Philippine government.
= In the school year 2005-2006, participation rate in elementary education went down to 84.41 percent from 90.10 percent recorded in 2001-2002. Dropout rates posted record levels in both elementary (10.57 percent) and secondary schools (15.81 percent). The DepEd reported that more learners drop from the system particularly in the lower grade levels even before functional literacy is acquired.
= Only P310.43 billion proposed budget for social services are to be divided for education, health, housing, land distribution, education compared with P725 billions appropriation for debt servicing.
= Unemployment rate remains at 11%.
No amount of Medalla de Oro would erase this record but a sincere resolve of the government to change the reality of the Philippine Society. The Philippine human rights community reminds this administration of its primary obligations to protect and respect the rights of its citizens and provides effective mechanism for their realization. We demand this government to honor these obligation and commitments to human rights! We call on her to uphold the rule of law; make all necessary efforts to end impunity and serve justice to victims of human rights violations. We demand that this government would cease to become the very obstacle to the foundation of a human rights regime.
We demand a stop to State terrorism! http://www.philippinehumanrights.org