Microsoft word - pahra hrday 2010 statement.doc


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
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
. 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
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
. 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).



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