Media Launch of the International
UP College of Engineering Theater
UP Diliman, QC
March 12, 2015
International People’s Tribunal | Philippine Coordinating Secretariat
Trunkline: +63 2 927 7061 to 62 loc. 208 | Fax: +63 2 927 698 | Email:email@example.com
International Tribunal to Hear Rights Violations in the Philippines Launched
QUEZON CITY, March 12, 2014 – An international tribunal to try cases of human rights violations under the presidency of Benigno S. Aquino III has been launched today at the University of the Philippines, Diliman Quezon City.
Dubbed as the International People’s Tribunal (IPT), the initiative will bring into focus the ongoing human rights violations in the Philippines and hold Pres. Aquino and the government of the United States as represented by Pres. Barrack Obama to account before the international community.
“Beneath the liberal-democratic façade of the Aquino regime, brutal repression of people’s civil and political rights abound, with hundreds of cases of extra-judicial killings and forced disappearances and massive displacement of families,” according to Cristina Palabay of Karapatan, one of the complainants to the IPT.
The IPT will also probe into the role of the increasing US military presence and intervention in the Philippines in worsening the state of human rights in the country.
“The Mamasapano operation raises questions over the extent of the US military’s involvement in Philippine domestic security. Meanwhile, the Philippine government’s failure to assert jurisdiction over US marine officer Joseph Scott Pemberton for the murder of Jennifer Laude highlights how unequal ties between the US and the Philippines invite impunity,” according to Vanessa Lucas of the US-based National Lawyers Guild, one of the convenors of the IPT.
The Chairperson of the International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines and another IPT Convenor, Reverend Canon Barry Naylor, explained that the IPT, although judicially non-binding, is symbolic and significant.
“People’s tribunals have had success in directing international attention to grave abuses of human rights in various countries including the Philippines during the Marcos and Arroyo regimes. The IPT draws inspiration and builds on the momentum of previous peoples’ tribunals to advance human rights and hold governments to account,” he said.
In 2008, a US Senate investigation on human rights violations in the Philippines under former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo led to restrictions on a portion of the annual US military aid package to the Philippine government tied to the implementation of strong human rights recommendations by US advocates.
The IPT is set to convene on July 16-18, 2015 in Washington DC. Former US Congresswoman and peace advocate Cynthia McKinney will be among the distinguished panel of jurors who will hear live testimonies of witnesses from the Philippines.
Conveners of the tribunal include the International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines (ICHRP), the National Lawyers Guild (NLG), the International Association of Democratic Lawyers (IADL), and IBON International.
For more information on the International Peoples Tribunal, visitinternationalpeoplestribunal.org. ###
|Paul Quintos, International People’s Tribunal Philippine Coordinating Secretariat|
Rev. Barry Naylor,International
Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines
|Cristina Palabay, KARAPATAN Secretary General|
|Atty Edre Olalia of the National Union of Peoples' Lawyers|
Karapatan calls for the release of women political prisoners
"The Aquino government has no respect for women," Cristina Palabay, Karapatan secretary general said as their group and other organizations staged a picket protest in front of the Justice Department in preparation for the international women’s day. "Among the 491 political prisoners, 43 of these are women who face criminal trumped up charges. We call on the Department of Justice to dismiss their cases and immediately release them," Palabay said.
"This includes Andrea Rosal and Miradel Torres who are jailed in Taguig City Jail," Palabay said. Rosal and Torres are mothers who were pregnant during their arrests. Rosal gave birth to a girl only to lose her two days after. Torres had to fight to keep her son after birth and nurse him in jail.
"Women peace consultants of the National Democratic Front of The Philippines Wilma Austria-Tiamzon and Loida Magpatoc are also incarcerated. These women who exercise their right to take part in political affairs are contained in jails because they are unjustly seen as threat to the BS Aquino government," Palabay said.
"Of the 224 victims of extrajudicial killings under the BS Aquino government, 18 are women victims, 3 girls were raped. None of these cases were solved in court, nor its perpetrators were put to jail," Palabay said. "What good is this government if it cannot prosecute those who killed these women and keeps on arresting and jailing innocent but principled women?" Palabay said.
"Taking the lives of our sisters such as Cristina Jose, a leader of typhoon survivors, and many young girls in communities struggling for land is an unforgiveable offense. We will stand with the rest of the women and the Filipino nation on March 8 to call for BS Aquino's resignation," Palabay concluded.
|Vanessa Lucas, UN National Lawyers Guild (via Skype)|
Arraignment of detained peace consultants, proof of violation of JASIG
"Exactly 20 years since the signing of the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG), at least 13 NDFP peace consultants have been missing and 16 are currently detained for trumped up criminal charges. The Philippine government has only engaged in doubletalk as it continues to disregard and violate the JASIG," Cristina Palabay, Karapatan secretary general said during the scheduled arraignment of several peace consultants of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) at the Manila Regional Trial Court.
Karapatan writes UN WGAD on Amal Alamuddin's defense of Glora Arroyo
No room for justice for Ampatuan massacre victims while Aquino is President
|Karapatan human rights workers|
|Mothers of abducted UP students Karen and Sheryl|
|Documents to be presented to the International People's Tribunal|
IBON Survey | 12 March 2015
IBON SURVEY: MAJORITY OF FILIPINOS THINK ECONOMY HAS NOT IMPROVED UNDER AQUINO
Most Filipinos think that the country's economy under the Aquino administration has not changed or even worsened, according to the latest nationwide survey by research group IBON. Many respondents also believe that poverty have not lessened in the past three months.
Asked what they can say about the country's economy under the Aquino administration, 17.6% of the 1,501 respondents said that it is better. Majority of the respondents think that the economy did not improve, with 50.7% who said that the economy is the same, and 21.5% who said that it is worse.
Meanwhile, 7 out of 10 of the respondents (71.7%) said that they don't think that there is less poverty in the country in the past three months, while 17.1% answered that poverty is less.
Last week, government released the latest official poverty incidence data, which also showed that the number of poor Filipinos rose in the first semester of 2014. According to the National Development Authority, poverty incidence among Filipino families increased to 20 percent.
The IBON nationwide survey was conducted on January 19-30, 2015 across various sectors in 16 regions with a marginal error of plus or minus three percent. (end)
Below are the tabulated results of the people's perception on the economy and poverty in the country.
What can you say about the country’s economy under the Aquino administration?
In your opinion, was there less poverty in the country in these past three (3) months?
*For details on the January 2015 survey, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call IBON at tel. 9276986 or 9277060 loc. 421.
IBON Foundation, Inc. is an independent development institution established in 1978 that provides research, education, publications, information work and advocacy support on socioeconomic issues.