Dear Members of the Executive Board:
We understand that, as a result of a June 15 informational meeting held in Paris, the Executive Board will be addressing the UNESCO-Obiang Nguema Mbasogo International Prize for Research in the Life Sciences at its next session in October. We write to urge you to use that upcoming opportunity to cancel the prize definitively.
We appreciate the action taken on June 15 by UNESCO's leadership, including Director-General Irina Bokova and the members of the Executive Board, to delay the awarding of the UNESCO-Obiang prize and allow for further consultation, in light of concerns and objections raised by scientists, press freedom advocates, scholars, public health professionals, Nobel laureates, UNESCO prize winners, governments, parliamentarians, and global civil society.
Panahon na para manindigan ang mga manggagamot laban sa Tortyur, lalo na ang mga manggagamot sa hanay ng Sandatahang Lakas ng Pilipinas lalo na ng Pambansang Kapulisan.
Mabigat ang papel na gagampanan ng mga manggagamot sa hanay ng kapulisan at kasundaluhan lalo na ngayon na mayroon ng batas laban sa tortyur. Ang RA 9745, ang bagong batas laban sa tortyur ay nananawagan ng masusing dokomentasyon para sa mga pinaghihinalaang kaso ng tortyur. Hindi na sapat ang dating ginagawa ng mga medico-legal practitioners ng SOCO at NBI na dokumentasyon at pagkategorya ng mga kapansanan bunga ng pananakit o pagmamalupit. Dapat na nilang tawaging TORTYUR ang TORTYUR, hindi na slight, less serious o serious physical injuries atbp.
The recent series of publicized incidents have revealed that the use of Torture is prevalent in the Philippines. They have also shown that the Filipino public does not tolerate such excesses by the ones who are entrusted to protect the security of the people. The public outrage, the response of institutions of state security forces and statements of condemnation from various sectors of society indicate that government is now receptive to the reform proposals that civil society groups have long called for.
In the wake of the atrocious acts of torture perpetrated against Lenin Salas, Rodwin Tala, Jose Gomez, Daniel Navarro and Jerry Simbulan in Pampanga on August 3 and the victim of Torture, Enforced Disappearance and Extra Judicial Execution shown severely suffering on the Manila Torture Scandal at the precinct station on Asuncion Street, Tondo on the 3rd of March, the United Against Torture Coalition and the Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates now put forward the most important considerations for the Aquino administration in the steps it should take to stamp out torture and other excesses by state security forces in the Philippines. It has become clear that these are not isolated incidents but are indicative of the serious need to internalize the human rights culture in the security forces as called for by the chief executive himself.
From July 5-9, the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH)and the Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA) jointly conducted a mission of political dialogue with representatives of the newly elected administration to discuss the progress of the implementation of relevant United Nations human rights mechanisms' recommendations. FIDH and PAHRA welcome the commitments made by your administration to address the human rights situation in the Philippines, in a context of ongoing grave violations of human rights,in particular extrajudicial killings, torture and enforced disappearances, and of a persistent culture of impunity.
According to Max De Mesa, Chairperson of the Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA), PNoy “should put human rights at the heart of his governance” and adopt policies that will put a stop to killings and forced disappearances of militants and journalists.
Meanwhile, Teody Navea of the NGO-PO Network for ESC Rights also stressed that the PNoy administration should also give equal importance to economic, social, and cultural rights particularly food, housing, education, work, and health.