Solidarity Message from Hon. Jose Midas P. Marquez

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Hon. Jose Midas P. Marquez

Court Administrator
Supreme Court
Republic of the Philippines


The struggle of the promotion and protection of human rights has been a long and arduous one. In the Philippines, as in the rest of the world, the fight for our most fundamental rights goes on, notwithstanding the gains we have posted through the years, as numbers of human rights violations continue to escalate.

Regardless of the right--be it the so-called first generation rights such as individual and civil rights, or second generation rights such as social, economic and cultural rights or finally, third-generation rights such as, the right to have a healthy environment, the right to development and the rights of indigenous communities--the government remains to this day as bearing the biggest responsibility for its protection. Necessarily, all branches of government must play an active role towards achieving this awesome goals.

Thus the task to protect our people's rights is not only lodged with the President and Congress, but also with the Courts. As such, rights have long been judicially protected, with the availability of such remedies as the writs of injunction and habeas corpus, and more recently, the writs of amparo, habeas data and kalikasan. The Court has also promulgated procedural rules for our courts, in keeping with our country's committment to international treaties. Among these are the Rules on the Examination of the Child Witness, Juveniles in Conflict with the Law, and Anti-Violence Against Women and Children.

These are only a few of the fruits of the Supreme Courts wielding of its Constitutionally mandated power to promulgate rules to protect the rights of our people. Together with the Philippine Alliance of Human Rights advocates, we hope to not only sustain these gains but also to "raise the human rights bar" so that soon we will all see the end of the plaguing culture of impunity and instead celebrate the triumph of the rule of law.