PRESS STATEMENT 10 December 2010 PAHRA challenges PNOY:
DISMANTLE 10 ROADBLOCKS TO ENJOYMENT OF HUMAN RIGHTS
In celebration of the International day of human rights, the Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA) along with its partner organizations challenge President Aquino to dismantle major roadblocks to the enjoyment of human rights by the poor, marginalized and vulnerable sectors within ten days from December 10. Clear positions and appropriate steps regarding these human rights issues should be contained in a national human rights action plan and determinedly implemented with due diligence. Ten (10) roadblocks to PNOY's tuwid na daan towards the realization of human rights consist of the following: Ban and dismantle private armies and paramilitary groups. Private armies and paramilitary groups have been consistently used by political and influential families to sow terror in provinces and regions. The case of the Ampatuan killings in Maguindanao is a clear reminder of how these organized groups are being paid to commit acts of torture, killings and extreme harassment by the Ampatuan family. Prosecute cases of EJKs, arbitrary arrest and detention, release all political prisoners. Victims of extrajudicial killings, arbitrary arrest and detention still await justice. Prosecuting the guilty parties remains a challenge among the victims, witnesses and civil society especially with a witness protection program that needs further development. Political prisoners meanwhile, still continue to languish behind bars. Stop Contractualization. The Philippine workforce has been enslaved by contractualization. Workers have been deprived of a sufficient income under this widespread practice and have further prevented their access to rights such as food and housing. Stop Enforced Disappearance. The phenomenon of enforced disappearances must end now! Justice must be served to the perpetrators who have committed the inhumane act of disappearing individuals usually human rights defenders and those suspected of being members or fronts of armed groups. Complete land acquisition and distribution - Justice to victims of agrarian-related violence. The Department of Agrarian Reform should ensure that lands duly awarded to the farmer beneficiaries will be honoured. In the course of their assertion on the land they
till, agrarian reform beneficiaries are persecuted by landowners and individuals acting on their behalf. Implement the Anti-Torture Law. In spite of its passage last year, the Anti Torture law is yet to be fully implemented. The prolonged drafting of the Implementing Rules and Regulations of law has contributed to the delays in immediate service and attention to torture victims. General Moratorium on demolitions. Instead of relocating urban poor communities, the administration should begin addressing inequities in income distribution and access of the community to basic social services during a moratorium period. Reform PhilHealth and uphold reproductive health rights. Philhealth must be extended to cover all Filipinos including the indigents. Recognition of the reproductive health rights should be similarly addressed by the Aquino administration. As indicated in the Magna Carta of Women (RA 7610), women have the right to a gender-responsive health service and programs and reproductive health care. Uphold IP rights, Stop large scale mining and Revoke E.O. 270-A. The Aquino administration must uphold the rights of indigenous peoples and scrap policies and laws that allow the further exploitation of the marginalized sectors. The destruction wrought by large scale mining must also be put to an end. The Executive Order 270-A known as the National Policy Agenda on Revitalizing Mining in the Philippines, must be revoked by President Aquino for it further exacerbates the already grave situation of the mining- infested IP and rural communities. Adopt climate justice framework. The Aquino administration must begin adopting a climate justice framework as a national policy and making adaptation as a priority over mitigation. Adaptation strategies and measures including low-carbon development must be pursued and reflected in the Medium-Term Development Plan (MTPDP). Corresponding actions to draw in both national and international assistance will help the President in dismantling the roadblocks: strengthen the Commission on Human Rights (CHR), sign and ratify international treaties - Optional Protocol on the Convention Against Torture (OPCAT), Optional Protocol on the International Convention on Economic Social and Cultural Rights (OP-ICESCR), International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance. President Aquino must also certify urgent and pass human rights bills pending in congress such as the bill criminalizing enforced disappearances, the CHR charter and the bill protecting internally displaced persons among others. Today is the most appropriate time for President Aquino to issue a clear directive and statement on human rights violations and abuses plaguing the nation. The period of adjustment has long been over. He must firmly act on the issues now.
Max M. de Mesa Chairperson PAHRA Note: The 10.10.10 Human Rights Violations (HRV) STOPs is organized by the Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates in partnership with Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM), Philippine Movement for Climate Justice (PMCJ), Partido ng Manggagawa (PM) and Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP).
CAMSTRAND Conference 2nd July 2013 (pre-conference events on 1st July) University of Westminster New Cavendish Street London, W1W 6UW. ‘Improving the patient experience’ Programme Conference website: CAMSTRAND 2013 Programme Monday 1st July Venue: University of Westminster, 115 New Cavendish Street, London, W1W 6UW 12.