The impeachment proceedings against Chief Justice Renato Corona has began. One of the immediate and foremost issues of contention was that of due process which must be accorded to the accused.
The Constitution is clear that due process is a sine qua non in one’s defense for life, liberty and property. At the same time, according to former Chief Justice Artemio V. Panganiban: “…An impeachment proceeding is sui generis; has its own unique genre, and is equal to no other.” (“More political than legal”. PDI, January 8, 2011, p. A13) The process then that is due the defendant in the impeachment case is laid down by the Senate jurors.
(A Statement on the 63rd Human Rights Day & the 13th Anniversary of the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders)
On the 63rd celebration of the International Human Rights Day (December 10), we pay tribute to thousands of human rights defenders (HRDs) who offered their lives in the cause of freedom and dignity of life. We take pride in the continuing assertion of others amid violent repression. We salute those who have never wavered for the cause of human rights.
More than ever this year is a witness to the blossoming of human rights as an ideal and value in action. The uprisings that spring from the Arab world, the protests that sweep major cities and urban centers in Europe, the Americas and Africa, the continuing difficult situations in Asia, all of which highlight the mainstreaming of human rights in governance and the aspiration of peoples for respect, protection, promotion and defense for human rights. These conditions bring out the core spirit of people to be human rights defenders. Young and old, male and female or whatever sexual orientation, rich and poor, summon all their voices together in pains of oppression in crying out mantras of non-discrimination, people empowerment and development, equality and human rights for all.
This submission was prepared through facilitation of the Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA) with assistance of the Philippine Human Rights Information Center (PhilRights) in coordination with sixty-three (63) civil society organizations (see annex 1). Four (4) national workshops and consultations including one with Commission on Human Rights of the Philippines (CHRP) were conducted to gather inputs and recommendations for this report.
PAL terminated more than 2,600 employees affecting three departments, which PAL labels as “non-core”, was based on the pretext of that “It was motivated by a pressing need to prevent further financial drain and thus, save PAL from eventual collapse.” And that such a move “is necessary for to this very day, PAL’s economic downturn continues to threaten its survival.”
But this is belied by the fact that PAL earned a total comprehensive income of US$ 72.5 MILLION (net income of US$65.5 Million plus other income) for the fiscal year which ended on March 31, 2011.
The Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA) believes that issues discussed in ASEAN Summits are the concerns of the ASEAN peoples individually and collectively as members of ASEAN. It is for this reason that civil society organizations coming from the member countries engage ASEAN both on the national and regional levels as issues emerging from the three pillars of ASEAN cannot be insulated, much less severed from human rights concerns. Peoples’ experiences of gross human rights violations in the economic, civil, cultural, political and social arenas in the regional level which are consequent, directly and indirectly, of ASEAN policies must be discussed and resolved on the same level. It should not to be solely the concern of the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR). Human rights are to permeate the framework and workings of the three pillars of ASEAN.