The Medical Action Group (MAG), Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP) and Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA) has launched a campaign affirming the essential contribution of human rights defenders to the promotion of human rights, democracy,development and good governance, and calling on the government to support and safeguard their work, and to stop criminalization of human rights work.
The campaign, “I am a human rights defender”, is an offline and online awareness campaign by MAG, TFDP and PAHRA about human rights defenders who face risk and subject to attack by state and non-state actors because of their human rights work.
Every day land rights defenders, trade unionists, women’s rights activists among others are subjected to reprisal,intimidation and violence to prevent them from speaking out. Such attacks may take a variety of forms: personal threats or threats against members of defenders’ families, smear campaigns, death threats, physical attacks,kidnapping, judicial harassment, murder and other forms of police harassment o intimidation.
While human rights defenders play a crucial role in exposing and seeking accountability for human rights violations both by government and corporations, they have faced significant challenges on the field that in many cases, complaints by human rights defenders about alleged violations of their rights are not investigated or are dismissed without justification.
Cases such as filing of trump up charges leading human rights defenders arrested and detained is systematically used to suppress dissent and to silence and stifle freedom of expression and association.
For instance, the case of Barangay Chairperson Antonio L. Tolentino, human rights defender and one of the leaders of group of farmers and agrarian reform beneficiaries, Aniban ng Nagkakaisang Mamamayan ng Hacienda Dolores (ANIBAN), was arrested due to trumped up charges filed by private land developer and detained since April 16, 2014, due to lack of competent investigation by authorities into the charges filed by private security agency employed by land developer.
And the arrest and detention of Jose Aaron Pedrosa, Jr., lawyer and human rights defender, on November 25, 2014 in Mandaue City, shows to further erode any confidence in our judicial system. He was charged with obstruction of justice while pleading to authorities to stop harassing the residents of Sitio Mahayag, Barangay Subang Daku, Mandaue City.These acts of intimidation and harassment only show the inadequacy of laws to support the work of human rights defenders.
This demonstrates the spurious ways in which criminal laws are increasingly being used to target human rights defenders. https://www.fidh.org/International-Federation-for-Human-Rights/human-rights-defenders/annual-reports/16546-we-are-not-afraid
This campaign is a timely call which should be acted on at the national, regional and international levels. At the national level, the government should ensure that all threats and attacks against defenders are fully investigated and perpetrators held to account, and to enact enabling legislation which recognizes the role of human rights defenders and guarantees their rights as contained in the UN Declaration of Human Rights Defenders.http://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Issues/Defenders/Declaration/declaration.pdf
Protect Human Rights Defenders! Uphold,assert and defend human rights!
Stop criminalization of human rights work!
Enact a law for protection of human rights defenders!
Medical Action Group (MAG), Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP) and Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA)
Know more about the campaign, view "Protect HRDs" video athttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yyUkRIjVdk
The Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA), after judiciously discerning received reliable information, calls for the immediate removal of CHR Chairperson Etta Rosales, Commissioners Ma. Victoria Cardona and Norberto dela Cruz for committing a grave abuse of discretion in making a “midnight” and procedurally-flawed appointment of a person with questionable eligibility, Atty. Marc Titus Cebreros, as CHR Executive Director.
The 4th Commission on Human Rights has been earlier assessed by different human rights groups as under par in performance. Then came the Ombudsman’s historic decision of dismissing former Commissioner Cecilia Rachel V. Quisumbing due to graft and corruption and abuse of authority. This was followed by the en banc resolution of finding Com. Norberto dela Cruz of human rights violations and pending case in Ombudsman filed against him by a former staff for misconduct.Statement CHR on Midnight Appoinment
April 17 is International Day of Peasants' Struggles
In spite of the land rights claims of the Aetas and the farmers, corporate interests prevail in Hacienda Dolores, Pampanga. Government must step in to stop the corporate greed and violence against the poor. A farmers’ leader pointed out that “Kung noon ang kinukuha sa amin ay ang aming kabuhayan at ikinabubuhay, ngayon ang kinukuha na sa amin ay buhay”.
LAND RIGHTS DEFENDERS ARE HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDERS.
Protect Human Rights Defenders! #ProtectHRD
Uphold, assert and defend human rights!
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“Double budget? Illegal yan!” Jail Inspector Angelina Lumba Bautista of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) emphatically said in a press conference convened by human rights defenders from different civil society organizations. The said formations are concerned with the violations of human rights of persons deprived of liberty or inmates, as well as possible broader implications of alleged corruption related to “double budgeting” of inmates’ food subsistence.
JInsp. Bautista pointed out that the signing of a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between a Local Government Unit (LGU) and the BJMP could be taken advantaged of, citing documents, from the province of Bataan.
“The MOA between the Provincial Government of Bataan and the BJMP clearly states that the former will fund the subsistence allowance of inmates during the transition period,” Ms. Bautista said referring to a copy of the MOA duly signed by authorities both from the LGU and the BJMP. “And yet,” Bautista continued and showed other documents, “the BJMP reported expenditures for subsistence allowance, including the food needs of the inmates, for the same period.” “The accumulated amount from August 10, 2010 to August 2013,” Insp. Bautista elaborated, “could reach up to 50 million pesos.” This amounts to plunder which was included in the complaint filed by Bautista in the Ombudsman last March 20, 2015.BJMP Corruption statement
The Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA), together with its network organizations, respectfully recommend the following staunch human rights advocates and defenders as COMMISSIONERS of the COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS OF THE PHILIPPINES in place of the current commissioners whose term shall expire on May 4, 2015:
These nominees were carefully screened, deliberated upon and chosen out of twenty two nominations. They were collectively given approval by human rights organizations comprising PAHRA, and other civil society organizations within its network, based on the criteria of integrity and independence, courage, broad knowledge and deep grasp of human rights concepts and principles, as well as continuous and direct practice in the field of human rights for at least ten years, which were all exceeded more longer and by far by the nominees.CSO Nomination for 5th Commission of CHRP See Profiles of Nominees Atty. Laisa Alamia , Ms. Karen Gomez-Dumpit, Atty. Cecilia Jimenez, Atty. Marlon Manuel and Atty. Erin Tanada