Advertisements


Amid human rights worries, solon not allowed to present witnesses

    Even as the year-long extension of martial law has sparked worries about the prolonged violation of human rights, Congress refused to allow Anakpawis Rep. Ariel Casilao to present a Mindanaoan who allegedly fell victim to its "brutality."   In Wednesday's joint session, lawmakers did not hear any other resource persons besides the security officials of executive branch who justified the request of President Rodrigo Duterte.   Casilao tried to present Jerome Succor Aba of the Sandugo alliance to speak about the so-called Lake Sebu 8 massacre---referring to eight indigenous T'boli and Dulangan Manobo farmers who were allegedly killed by troops ...Keep on reading: Amid human rights worries, solon not allowed to present witnesses.....»»

Category: newsSource: inquirer inquirerDec 13th, 2017

JUSTICE! Eight years after ‘Maguindanao massacre,’ justice still elusive for families of victims

COTABATO CITY – Families of 58 people brutally killed in Maguindanao province continue to cry for justice eight years after 200 gunmen, believed to be followers of the Ampatuan clan, massacred the victims, 32 of them media workers.  The massacre occurred in the village of Salman in Ampatuan town on November 23, 2009 while supporters and family members of Esmael “Toto” Mangudadatu were heading to the office of the Commission on Elections to file his candidacy for governor of Maguindanao and challenging Governor Andal Ampatuan, Sr. who was the patriarch of a clan that long held power in the province.  Mangudadatu invited journalists to cover the event and also to protect his group against alleged threats by the Ampatuans. Mangudadatu himself did not go with the convoy for fear that he would be ambushed and instead sent his wife and sisters and supporters to represent him.  True enough, a large group of armed men, many of them militias and policemen, taking orders from the alleged mastermind, Andal, flagged down the convoy on the highway of Shariff Aguak town, the clan’s stronghold, and held all in the group at gunpoint and brought the victims to a remote location in Ampatuan town and raked them all with automatic weapons. Andal’s son and namesake, Andal, Jr., then mayor of Datu Unsay town, and another son, Zaldy Ampatuan, then the regional governor, and several other clan members along with dozens more are now in jail after being implicated in the massacre. The accused have all denied the charges against them. And many witnesses to the gruesome crime had been killed while others were allegedly bribed to prevent them from testifying. The slow progress of the cases is also putting a stress – both psychologically and spiritually – to the families of those who perished in the massacre.  Murders Media watchdog National Union of Journalists of the Philippines said justice remains as elusive as it was 8 years ago and that journalists continue to be murdered with impunity with 178 murdered since 1986 – the last five killed in the year and a half since President Rodrigo Duterte took office.  It said of the 198 massacre suspects, only 115 have been arrested and 112 have been arraigned and that four had died in the course of the proceedings, including primary suspect Andal Sr.  Out of the 112, NUJP said 70 were allowed by the court to post bail, including Andal Sr.’s youngest son, Sajid Islam, who was freed in 2015 after posting P11.6-million bail. This number also included 17 police officers who were allowed by the court to post bail because of weak evidence.  As of July 11, 2017, it said 102 of the accused remain in detention, including main suspects Andal Jr.; Zaldy and also Chief Inspector Sukarno Dicay, then the police chief of the 15th Regional Mobile Group that was conducting the checkpoint when the convoy was stopped by gunmen.  “We have been informed that with only three more principal accused in the massacre trial still to present their witnesses, it would be reasonable to hope for a resolution by next year. We do hope so and pray it will be a triumph for justice. However, the numbers do not offer too much reason for optimism.”  “But as we have pointed out before, notwithstanding its shocking magnitude, the Ampatuan massacre was not an aberration but an inevitable result of the rotten system of governance that afflicts our country. It is a governance of expediency by which all presidents, bar none, court the loyalty of the warlords, crime lords and corrupt clans who infest Philippine politics and rule their bailiwicks like fiefdoms, because this is the only way they can rule effectively,” NUJP said.  Impunity Lawyer Jose Begil Jr, of the Union of Peoples’ Lawyers in Mindanao, said the massacre could potentially go down in history as one of the most long-drawn high profile cases, despite the Justice Department’s declaration that the case is now on its tail end.  He recalled that the late Senator Joker Arroyo had predicted that the trial could take 200 years with nearly 200 defendants and 300 witnesses. “Additionally, prosecution witnesses have either been killed under questionable circumstances, are missing, or were intimidated,” Begil said. “Eight years have passed, justice is nowhere in sight,” Begil said, adding, the culture of impunity, still pervades the Duterte government.  “The Arroyo government was responsible for this impunity against journalists, lawyers, and other human rights defenders. The Aquino government failed to deliver on its promise to attain justice for the victims. And now, the Duterte government has simply expanded this culture of impunity, this time not only against journalists but to drug offenders, and more viciously against human rights activists,” Begil said.  Letter to Pope In 2014, family members of journalists who perished in the massacre had written a letter addressed to Pope Francis and read by Grace Morales during the 5th commemoration of the killings in Ampatuan town.  Grace is the widow of Rosell Morales and sister of Marites Cablitas, circulation manager and publisher of News Focus, who was among those killed.  The letter reads: “Kami ay mga asawa, anak, magulang at kapatid ng mga pinaslang sa bayan ng Ampatuan, Maguindanao noong ika -23 ng Nobyembre 2009. Ang aming mga mahal sa buhay ay kasama sa masaker kung saan 58 ang nasawi kabilang ang 32 mamahayag.  Taun-taon ay bumabalik kami rito sa […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  mindanaoexaminerRelated NewsNov 25th, 2017

Tanauan mayor’s slay ‘shows how rule of law has been abandoned’ – solon

The assassination of Mayor Antonio Halili of Tanauan in Batangas inbroad daylight "shows how the rule of law has been abandoned,"opposition lawmaker Akbayan Rep. Tom Villarin said Monday. Halili was shot and killed during the flag raising ceremony at city hall on Monday. READ:Tanauan mayor dead after flag ceremony shooting| Tanauan mayor gunned down while singing national anthem-- witnesses Halili had as been indicted for his alleged involvement in drugs and condemned by the Commission on Human Rights for his "walk of shame" campaign for drug pushers in Tanauan. His assassination, Villarin said, showed that"the cornerstone of Duterte's anti-illegal drug policy is the tombston...Keep on reading: Tanauan mayor’s slay ‘shows how rule of law has been abandoned’ – solon.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsJul 2nd, 2018

Palace: Phl not taking soft stance on China

The Palace denied it is going soft on China amid reports of a resumption of build-up over disputed portions of the South China Sea (SCS) that foreign ministers of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) have criticized. Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said the Philippines shares Asean leaders’ concern regarding China’s aggressive actions on what is said to be the world’s busiest waterways.The recently concluded Asean foreign and defense ministers in Singapore issued a statement that did not name China but said that “land reclamations and activities in the area . . . have eroded trust and confidence, increased tensions and may undermine peace, security and stability in the region.” The Asean ministers resolved to expedite the code of conduct (CoC) on how to negotiate with China regarding overlapping maritime claims.“Asean’s concern on the Chinese build-up is right because Asean, as a regional bloc, wants to adhere to discussions pertaining to the code of conduct,” Roque said.“We cannot be not joining the call because the Philippines is one of those concerned in this campaign,” he added.Roque also disputed views that Manila is not among those insistent in pressing Beijing to speed up the CoC drafting. “We are not being too soft (on China) but we have an established policy on that. Number one, of course, is we are one with Asean in recognizing that this is a concern for all Asean countries. Particularly that of the freedom of navigation in the West Philippine Sea,” Roque said.“Our common concern is peace security and stability in one of the world’s busiest sea lanes,” he added.During Manila’s hosting of the Asean last year, President Duterte did not cite the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) ruling that nullified Beijing’s sweeping claim over nearly the entire South China Sea.It was the Philippine government that contested China’s nine-dash-line claim before the Hague court. China, however, refuses to recognize it.Apart from the Philippines, other Asean countries also have overlapping claims at the South China Sea including Vietnam, Malaysia and Brunei.Reclamation to continueChina in its known mouthpiece Global Times said Beijing is concentrating on civil and not military construction on islands in the South China Sea but insisted that the Chinese “will expand land reclamation.”“Most of the construction on islands in the South China Sea were completed in 2015 and the pace then slowed. Civilian facility construction is the major focus of the South China Sea islands building and the portion of defense deployment is relatively small,” Global Times quoted Chen Xiangmiao, a research fellow at the National Institute for the South China Sea.The size of some South China Sea islands will be further expanded in future through more dredging in the South China Sea region, Chen said.The relationship between China and other Southeast Asian countries, such as the Philippines, has becalmed in recent years, providing a golden opportunity for China to upgrade these areas, he said.China and the Philippines are enjoying good terms as President Rodrigo Duterte maintains a friendly policy toward China, Chen said. “But there is still some domestic pressure that urges Duterte to take a tough stance on China and the South China Sea issue,” Chen said.Foreign media like to hype China’s construction in the South China Sea as they try to make excuses to prevent China’s activities in this region, Zhuang Guotu, head of Xiamen University’s Southeast Asian Studies Center, told the Global Times.“China has the right to build whatever it needs within its territory,” Zhuang said.China’s military deployment in the South China Sea region was “not for military expansion,” but to defend its security and interests, he said.Zhuang and Chen warned the US is the biggest threat to stability in the South China Sea.“The US, Australia, Japan and other allies will constantly provoke China over this issue and that will incite other neighboring South China Sea countries to do the same,” Zhuang said.China’s construction projects in the region covered about 290,000 square meters in 2017, including new facilities for underground storage, administrative buildings and large radar, according to a report released in December on the nanhai.haiwainet.cn website run by the National Marine Data and Information Service and People’s Daily Overseas edition. No foreign vessels at BenhamThe Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has not monitored any foreign vessels at the Philippine Rise, formerly known as Benham Rise, during its latest patrol in the area. Lt. Col. Isagani Nato, AFP-Northern Luzon Command (Nolcom) spokesman, said that based on the latest patrol conducted by Nolcom troops, there was no presence of foreign ships at Philippine Rise.“As of now, we don’t have a report that there is presence (of foreign vessels) in Benham Rise,” said Nato.Earlier, Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol announced that President Duterte has banned foreign ships at the Philippine Rise and ordered the military to patrol the area.The announcement came following an uproar from government critics after the Duterte administration allowed the Chinese to conduct scientific research at the Philippine Rise.Nato, however, said that Nolcom is yet to receive official order regarding the matter.But Nato maintained that with or without the latest directive, Nolcom has regularly conducted air and maritime patrols along Philippine Rise.Apart from Nolcom, the Air Force and the Philippine Navy, Nato said that the Philippine Coast Guard, the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) and the Philippine National Police-Maritime Group (PNP-MG) also conduct their own patrol in the area.He said the Nolcom uses air and naval assets of the Navy and the Air Force units under its jurisdiction.“We conduct our patrols regularly. It is a mandate of Nolcom forces so that is continuous with or without the directive from higher ups,” said Nato.According to Nato, Nolcom conducts three to four maritime and air patrol at Philippine Rise per month as part of the government efforts to secure the country’s maritime domain.ML ruling lauded, hitThe Supreme Court’s (SC) decision to uphold Mr. Duterte’s year-long martial law extension in Mindanao also drew mixed reactions.The High Court on Tuesday voted 10-5 junking militant groups’ petition and finding “sufficient factual basis” to extend martial law and suspend the privilege of wirt of habeas corpus in Mindanao until December 31, 2018.Roque welcomed the ruling saying that it affirms the need to continue protecting citizens from the threat of terrorist groups, primarily Islamic State (IS)-inspired fanatics.But for Left-leaning groups who petitioned the SC to lift martial law, the court decision opens up more crackdowns and human rights violations.The Palace official has insisted that human rights will be respected amid security operations.“The SC ruling underscores the unity of the whole government in its bid to defeat terrorism and prevent the spread in other parts of the country of DIWW and other like-minded local and foreign terrorist groups,” Roque said.“The majority of votes is a manifestation of confidence on law enforcement agencies that they shall, like they had been doing before, continue to protect our people, secure Mindanao, and pursue the bigger task of rehabilitation while upholding the rule of law, Human Rights, and International Humanitarian Law,” he added.Human rights watchdog Karapatan sees the contrary in the government’s motives, saying that the year-long military rule will boost attacks on the people.The continuous implementation of martial law in Mindanao will allow the unhampered massive rehabilitation in war-torn Marawi City and boost the security forces campaign to finish off the rebellion, the Department of National Defense (DND) said. In a statement, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said that the Supreme Court’s decision affirming the constitutionality of the one-year extension of martial law in Mindanao will definitely boost government efforts to rebuild Marawi City and address continuing rebellion.The defense chief welcomed the SC decision as a vote of confidence to the government security forces.“The DND – AFP is grateful for the trust and confidence of our public institutions and the support of the Filipino people,” said Lorenzana. Mario J. Mallari.....»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsJun 7th, 2018

Solon, CHR caution PDEA against releasing narco-list

The government and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency should observe due process and the presumption of innocence amid plans to release a list of politicians supposedly involved in the illegal drugs trade ahead of next month’s village and youth council elections, an opposition congressman and the Commission on Human Rights said......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsApr 25th, 2018

New law giving subpoena powers to PNP chief, CIDG exec ‘worrisome’ — HRW

MANILA, Philippines — The new law giving power to the country’s top cop to summon witnesses is “worrisome,” a human rights group said, amid unprecedented scr.....»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsMar 10th, 2018

New era, new challenges emerge for Warriors

By David Aldridge, TNT Analyst "It’s the lack of faith that makes people afraid of meeting challenges, and I believe in myself. He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life. I figured that if I said it enough, I would convince the world that I really was the greatest." -- Muhammad Ali Ali defended his heavyweight championship 20 times, during two eras: when he was young and unstoppable, after beating Sonny Liston in Miami in 1964, and when he was old and vulnerable, after beating George Foreman in Zaire in 1974. He was the fastest heavyweight ever in the first era; he was smart and could take a punch in the second. A generation later, the Golden State Warriors are defending their NBA title for a second time, in three years. But they, too, are doing so in two eras. In 2014, no one had seen anything like what Golden State did on a basketball court, and how Stephen Curry’s and Klay Thompson’s shooting range changed the geometry of NBA defenses. They stretched to the breaking point trying to get out to Curry and Thompson. They couldn’t figure out how to handle the Warriors’ five-man switching defenses. They couldn’t stand up under Golden State’s withering pace. There is no need to hold a telethon yet for the Warriors, three years later. They are 49-14 today, with four All-Stars among their five starters, including Kia MVP candidate Kevin Durant, in the prime of his career, who wasn’t there when the Warriors first beat the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2015 Finals. They are still first in the league in Offensive Rating, first in True Shooting Percentage, first in Effective Field Goal Percentage. They still are unsolvable to most opponents. But maybe not all, not anymore. The margin of separation between Golden State and the rest of the league is still there, most of the time. But there are tiny signs of slippage. Tiny. You recall what Warriors assistant coach Bruce Frasier said in the preseason, when no one is injured and everyone thinks they’re going 82-0. “Teams are starting to figure us out a little bit,” he said then. “We’re talented, so that sometimes overrides strategy. But I feel like teams are figuring certain things out to do to counter what they’ve seen. Year one, it was really hard, because it was all new. The pieces have changed a little bit, but I feel like our challenge will be to see if we can layer on some of the offense, our fluid movement, and counters, and change things up, and execute better. Defense is always big, too, so I wouldn’t go into the complacent (problem). I think it’s going to be more execution, and how smart can we really be, and can we keep that energy up through this year?” In each of their previous three seasons, the Warriors led the league in margin of victory -- 10.1 points in 2014-15, 10.8 points in 2015-16 and 11.6 points last season. This year, though, they’ve fallen to third, behind the Houston Rockets and Toronto Raptors -- and their win margin is down to 8.5 points per game. Two years ago, the Warriors were fourth in the league in Defensive Rating (100.9). Last season, Golden State was second (101.1). This season, the Warriors are fifth, at 103.4. In 2014-15, they were 14th in the league in points allowed in the paint; this year, they’re 24th (to be fair, they were 23rd last year, when they won it all anyway). Are they bored? Tired? Aging? Is their bench inconsistency this year the result of vets saving themselves for the playoffs, or guys just getting old? And will it matter against anyone other than Houston? “Once you start getting a little older, it’s harder and harder,” guard Shaun Livingston said last week. “We definitely need the youth, we definitely need the health. We’ve got to be healthy. We’ve got to be healthy. Sometimes you see teams that maybe are over the hill -- they have the experience, but maybe not (the ability). It’s human nature. Obviously, I don’t think we’re there yet. We’ve got guys that are still in their prime. It’s mental now.” In the Jean-Pierre Coopman phase of their latest title defense (oh, how one misses spectacles like Ali fighting Coopman, the “Lion of Flanders” -- with Pat Summerall and Tom Brookshier on the call!), the Warriors came to Washington last week. There was no White House visit on the docket, only time with D.C. area kids and a trip to the African-American History Museum, with owner Joe Lacob and GM Bob Myers on the trip as well. They have been in the public eye for five years now, back to Mark Jackson’s last season as coach, when the Splash Brothers exploded into the national consciousness. That’s a long time for one NBA team to have all that light and heat on it. For a minute, the Warriors tried to convince themselves that there was a backlash building against them nationally, that people had grown tired of their 3-pointers and video game point totals. It was, of course, a ridiculous posit -- Golden State and its players are more popular than ever, the love for Curry such that he felt perfectly comfortable posting a photo of the glass table he accidentally smashed in his hotel room on Instagram, any criticism surely to be muted amid America’s love for the two-time MVP.   when you feel like you’re on the @pgatour so you gotta get some swings going in the hotel room 😂😂😂 #idiot A post shared by Wardell Curry (@stephencurry30) on Mar 1, 2018 at 1:33pm PST “There was a little guy who was probably eight years old, and he came up and introduced himself,” Steve Kerr said. “His name was Ryan, and I’m talking to him, and he goes ’oh, my God, there’s Quinn Cook!’ And he ran over to Quinn Cook. Not Steph, not me -- he loved Quinn Cook. That was cool.” Throughout the Warriors’ run, they’ve faced down different challengers in the Western Conference -- the first iteration of the Rockets with Harden, a hybrid inside-out attack where Houston unhappily and unsuccessfully tried to meld Harden and Dwight Howard in the post. The Durant/Russell Westbrook one-two combo in Oklahoma City. The Spurs, morphing from the Tim Duncan/Tony Parker-led team to the Kawhi Leonard-dominant one. The “Lob City” Clippers, followed by the Chris Paul/Blake Griffin halfcourt version. But this season’s Rockets, with Paul at the point, may be the most unique and dangerous threat to the Warriors. They are much more than a team that just rains 3-pointers on you -- though they most certainly do that, and do it historically well. They’re also an outstanding defensive team, with the additions of P.J. Tucker and Luc Mbah a Moute giving them a grit they haven’t had in past seasons to pair with the shot blocking and rim presence of Clint Capela. The numbers are stark: Houston is 32-1 this season when Paul, Harden and Capela all play, including two wins over the Warriors The Rockets have no obvious weakness. They have no fear of Golden State, either, having won two of the three meetings with the Warriors this season. It’s not just that they’re good, it’s how they’re good that makes them look like the greatest challenge yet to Golden State’s hegemony in the West. “I mean, yes, because they do it a different way, I guess,” Curry said last week. “They adopted the power of the three ball and try to use it as a main weapon, and obviously with James and CP together. Honestly, we know that they’re playing well. We’re chasing that number one seed and keeping tabs on how they’re playing and whatnot. But at the end of the day, we’ve got a lot of time left before we have to face them again. We know they’re serious. But so are we.” The Warriors have had to deal with great adversity during their run, to be sure. The biggest challenge came about this time last year, when a collision between teammates -- Zaza Pachulia and Durant, in D.C., ironically -- culminated in a Grade 2 MCL sprain and bone bruise for Durant, taking him out of the lineup at the worst possible part of the season. Golden State had just ripped off wins in 23 of its previous 27 games since a lamentable Christmas Day loss to the Cavs. Curry had started to figure out how to play with KD, and vice versa. They were in the middle of a brutal stretch of seven road games in eight overall, with the one brief return home to play the Celtics. When Durant went down, the initial fear was that he’d torn his ACL and would be out for the season. The Warriors’ locker room was funeral after the Wizards game. “Obviously, we were trying to figure out if he was like ’done-done’ for the year, or whether or not there was going to be a chance he’d return,” forward David West said. “We were, at the time he got hurt, we were just starting to figure out the sort of roles, everybody was getting comfortable with roles. We basically had to reset., change some of the functions we were doing. We lost a few games  trying to literaly just figure out and recalibrate and re-balance. That was one of those periods where we were just looking at each other, trying to start this thing -- we lost this huge, huge piece.” Yet the Warriors figured it out on the fly. And how they responded then provides a big clue to how they might respond to the challenge the Rockets present to them now. “It took us, I think we needed to get home before we were able to stablize,” Kerr said. “I want to say we lost three of the last four on the trip or something  (they did lose three of four, but one of the three losses was at Oracle in that one home game with the Celtics). We got home and righted the ship and got going. But sometimes (an injury is) a galvanizing force when a guy gets hurt, and you have to do certain things. Like, for us, when Kevin got hurt, we talked about it and we said we have to be the best defensive team in the league. We don’t have that luxury of throwing the ball to Kevin and saying ’get us 30 points tonight.'” During that stretch without Durant (March 2, 2017 to April 5, 2017), who returned just before the start of the playoffs, the Warriors led the league in the league in Defensive Rating (100.0, just head of San Antonio’s 100.2), first in opponent field goal percentage (.429), tied for second in opponent 3-point percentage (.316) and fourth in opponent points allowed per game (100.9). And once Durant returned for good, the Warriors again flexed. They tore through the West, winning all but one game en route to a third straight NBA Finals. And they took the Cavaliers apart in five games for their second title in three years. “You could see Draymond, Klay, Andre, Shaun, those guys, even Loon (Kevin Looney), were like, ’we didn’t have KD last year,’ ” West said. “For someone like myself, I just followed their lead. Klay got a little more aggressive. Draymond sort of settled everybody defensively. And we started winning.” That muscle memory will come in handy this year. Durant and Curry have missed time with injuries, and Golden State hasn’t figured out things at center just yet. (Would it shock me if rookie Jordan Bell played a big role there down the stretch? No, it would not.) But the Warriors still are smoking people in the second halves of games; per teamrankings.com, the Warriors lead the lead in third-quarter scoring margin at 5.3 points per game, more than double the margin of the second-place Denver Nuggets. Whether it’s adjustments or something else (“mainly, fiery halftime speeches, Knute Rockne style,” Kerr opines), they have again put a lot of opponents away with 12 minutes to spare. Since the All-Star break, they’re fourth in the league in opponent field goal percentage (.433) and Defensive Rating (100.3). “This year, obviously, knock on wood, we want to stay healthy,” Curry said. “We want to continue to push in the right direction. Every year’s different. That’s the fun part about this league. No matter how much success you’ve had and what your expectations are, it’s a different journey every year. We’re right in the middle of that right now. We have an amazing record, considering how we’ve played. I think we’d all say we haven’t lived up to our own expectations. That’s okay. We have an opportunity to build the right habits and the right momentum going into the playoffs this year and do it, all 15 guys.” Longtime NBA reporter, columnist and Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer David Aldridge is an analyst for TNT. You can e-mail him here, find his archive here and follow him on Twitter. The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA, its clubs or Turner Broadcasting......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMar 6th, 2018

De Lima seeks probe into summary killings of 17 women rights defenders

December 13, 2017. With the incessant attacks against human rights defenders under the present administration, Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima today called for a Senate investigation into the reported deaths of 17 women activists summarily killed amid the rash of extrajudicial killings in the country. In filing… Source link link: De Lima seeks probe into summary killings of 17 women rights defenders.....»»

Category: newsSource:  manilainformerRelated NewsDec 13th, 2017

Leftist solon fears rise in rights violations amid terror tag on Reds

Cases of alleged human rights violations might rise with the government move to put a terror tag on the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA), a leftist lawmaker said on Saturday. Source link link: Leftist solon fears rise in rights violations amid terror tag on Reds.....»»

Category: newsSource:  manilainformerRelated NewsDec 9th, 2017

Myanmar’s great hope fails to live up to expectations – The Guardian

The script called for the lead actor, a Nobel prize winner, to seize control of a country, bring peace where there was conflict and prosperity where there was poverty. A nation emerging from years of military dictatorship was to become a beacon of hope not only for its cowed population but also for much of a fractured and turbulent south-east Asia. But like many political dramas – especially over the past 12 months – the script has not been followed by Myanmar and its de facto leader, Aung San Suu Kyi. Now, a year since one of the world’s most famous prisoners of conscience came to power in the specially created position of state counsellor, the talk is not of progress. Instead, it is of drastically escalating ethnic conflicts that have simmered and sporadically exploded for decades; a new Rohingya Muslim insurgency that has prompted an army crackdown some say may amount to crimes against humanity; a rash of online defamation cases that have fostered a panic over freedom of speech; and a repressive legal framework that allowed the generals to jail so many still being in place. And all the while, Aung San Suu Kyi is accused of remaining mostly silent, doggedly avoiding the media. Many who led the campaign [to free her] were on the liberal side. I think she’s closer to a Margaret Thatcher. Interviews by the Guardian with more than a dozen diplomats, analysts and current and former advisers reveal frustrations with a top-down government struggling to cope with immense challenges. Aung San Suu Kyi’s questionable leadership style, her inability or unwillingness to communicate a vision, and her reluctance to speak out against the persecution of minorities have raised the question of whether the popular narrative is misplaced. And although some defend her, saying it takes time to right the wrongs of decades, others see a fundamental misunderstanding of the woman herself. “Many of the people who led the campaign [to free Aung San Suu Kyi] … were more on the liberal side of the spectrum,” one diplomat put it. “I think she’s closer to a Margaret Thatcher.” It’s a stark contrast to the Aung San Suu Kyi who, during 15 years of house arrest at her lakeside villa on University Avenue in Yangon, stood on rickety tables and delivered speeches about human rights over the gate. “And she was electric,” said David Mathieson, a longtime Myanmar researcher for Human Rights Watch who is now an independent consultant. “She was funny. She was informative. She was principled … And I think it’s lamentable that she’s not doing the equivalent of that now.” Five hours north by car from Yangon, Myanmar’s dystopian capital Naypyidaw stands surrounded by densely forested mountains. It is here, in the so-called Abode of Kings supposedly built to insulate Myanmar’s generals from attack, amid a landscape of deserted 20-lane highways and grandiose hotels, that Aung Sun Suu Kyi lives her life in power. The 71-year-old is a disciplined ruler. Her habit, established during imprisonment, is to wake before dawn and meditate in the house she shares with her pet dog and a small retinue of maids. She has breakfast with an adviser, often Kyaw Tint Swe, a former ambassador who spent decades defending the junta’s actions. An aide, Win Htein, says Aung San Suu Kyi eats very little. “The amount of food she is taking is like a kitten,” he said. “She doesn’t eat carbohydrates. Fruit and vegetables. No pork, or mutton, or beef. Only fish.” Her few indulgences include a vast wardrobe of luxurious silk longyis and evening film viewings, musicals being her favourite. Win Htein recently gave her a copy of La La Land. But mostly she works. And there is a lot of work. As well as state counsellor – a position created to get around the military-drafted constitution that bars her from the presidency – she is foreign minister, minister of the president’s office and chair of numerous committees. Widely described as a micromanager, she pores over documents after hours. A source close to the attorney general’s office says she asks to see a copy of every draft bill before it is submitted to parliament. Ministers routinely pass decisions upwards. “The problem is there are no policymakers in her cabinet,” said Burmese political analyst Myat Ko. People who know her say Aung San Suu Kyi inspires both devotion and fear. She is variously described as charming and charismatic, and sharp and authoritarian. “She feels like a real leader,” one diplomat said. “Intelligent, quick-witted, quite funny.” At the same time, he added: “I would say that she has appeared to be very keen to be the sole decision-maker to have no chance of establishing rival power centres.” Echelons above her subordinates in stature, the state counsellor is often depicted as living in a bubble, surrounded by a cabal of advisers who are too nervous to convey hard truths. A Yangon-based analyst working on the peace process said bad news often does not reach her. “In meetings, she is dismissive, dictatorial – in some cases, belittling,” said a senior aid worker who, like many others interviewed for this story, insisted on anonymity because he works with the administration. The government, he said, has become “so centralised, there is complete fear of her”. This is not the administration many hoped for when the National League for Democracy (NLD) took over the government [&'].....»»

Category: newsSource:  mindanaoexaminerRelated NewsMar 31st, 2017

In west Mosul, ‘nowhere is safe for civilians’ – Al Jazeera

The Iraqi army on Sunday resumed operations against ISIL in Mosul after a one-day pause, amid growing concerns over an escalating civilian death toll as fierce fighting spreads to the city's most densely populated areas. The offensive was briefly put on hold after local officials and residents in west Mosul said suspected US-led coalition  air raids last week had killed scores of civilians at the ISIL-held al-Jadida  district. Security forces on Saturday did not permit journalists to get to where the strikes were said to have taken place, but the  coalition admitted that it had struck the area on March 17, and said it was investigating the reports of civilian deaths. Details about what exactly happened on March 17 are difficult to confirm as Iraqi forces battle with Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) fighters to recapture the heavily populated parts of the western half of Mosul, the armed group's last stronghold in Iraq. Witnesses and local officials said that more than 200 bodies were pulled from a collapsed building after a coalition air raid. But in a statement on Sunday, the Iraqi army said there was no sign that the destroyed structure had been hit by a strike &'' blaming its collapse on booby traps set by ISIL instead. &'8220;A team of military experts from field commanders checked the building where the media reported that the house was completely destroyed. All walls were booby-trapped and there is no hole that indicates an air strike,&'8221; it said, adding that 61 bodies were recovered from the rubble. READ MORE: Grief and questions amid wreckage of Mosul air strikes Al Jazeera's Hoda Abdel-Hamid, reporting from a hospital in Erbil, northern Iraq, spoke to people who confirmed that they had lost family members in the air raids of March 17. &'8220;We've been speaking to some of the patients and certainly the words air strikes come up a lot in the conversation,&'8221; she said, referring to a man who said 22 of his relatives had been killed in an air raid, while he had to spend several days under the rubble before being rescued. &'8220;When you ask them what happened … people here say the main problem is that you have ISIL fighters who are roaming around, going in and out of houses, on top of rooftops to take positions and then disappearing. &'8220;So apparently many of the air strikes, according to the people we spoke here, hit the wrong target &'' simply by the time the air strike arrives and is called in, the ISIL fighters have disappeared.&'8221; The US-backed offensive to drive ISIL out of Mosul, now in its sixth month, has recaptured most of the city. The Iraqi government announced that eastern Mosul had been recaptured from ISIL in January, but residents still report almost daily fighting in some areas. Iraqi security and medical sources on Sunday said a t least 16 civilians, including two children, were killed by ISIL shelling in a popular marketplace in  eastern Mosul. Another 43 civilians were wounded in the attack, according to the sources. In western Mosul, the Iraqi army's advances have stuttered in the past two weeks as fighting enters the narrow alleys of the Old City, home to the al-Nuri Mosque where ISIL group's leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi declared a caliphate spanning large areas of Iraq and Syria in 2014. Iraqi forces on Sunday deployed snipers to target ISIL fighters who were using civilians as human shields, Joint Operations Command spokesman Brigadier General Yahya Rasool told the AFP news agency. The military was relying on &'8220;light and medium weapons, among them sniper [rifles], to hunt for Daesh [ISIL] members&'8221; located among civilians, he said. Rasool accused ISIL of gathering civilians together and then blowing up explosives-rigged vehicles nearby to make it look like &'8220;Iraqi forces &' are targeting innocent civilians&'8221;. However, Iraqi forces have also frequently fired mortar rounds and unguided rockets during the battle for west Mosul &'' weapons that pose a much greater risk to residents of areas where fighting is taking place. Hundreds of thousands of civilians are still inside the Old City and are exposed to the intense fighting. &'8220;Patients here say there is nowhere safe in western Mosul for civilians,&'8221; Al Jazeera's Abdel-Hamid, reporting from the hospital in Erbil, said. &'8220;They say the fight in western Mosul is not the same as the fight that happened in the east part of the city. They say it's much more brutal, with many more air strikes and much more shelling.&'8221; According to Iraqi authorities, more than 200,000 people have fled west Mosul since the operation to retake the area was launched on February 19. But the United Nations has said that about 600,000 are still present inside the city. Caroline Gluck, a senior public information officer in Iraq with the UN's refugee agency, said the situation is deteriorating daily. &'8220;The fighting is coming closer to people's homes. It's a very densely packed area, particularly in the Old City, so families have been terrified by the mortars, the shelling and the air strikes,&'8221; she told Al Jazeera from Baghdad. Gluck said a major factor in many residents' &'8220;very difficult decision&'8221; to flee is growing hunger. &'8220;Families have told us they rely on one meal a day &'' and that meal is really just water and flour. People are getting desperate; there is no fuel, no heating, and they are burning furniture and old [&'].....»»

Category: newsSource:  mindanaoexaminerRelated NewsMar 27th, 2017

PH to present human rights record before UN committee

AMID allegations of human rights violations relative to the Duterte administration's massive campaign to rid the country of illegal drugs, the Philippines is scheduled to present its combined 5th and 6th periodic reports under the International Covenant o.....»»

Category: newsSource:  mb.com.phRelated NewsSep 26th, 2016

‘PH gov’t election to UN rights body does not absolve Duterte of accountability for rights abuses’

A human rights organization said the recent election of the Philippine government to the United Nations Human Rights Council does not in any way absolve President Rodrigo Duterte of gross human rights violations amid claims that it goes to show how human rights is respected here......»»

Category: newsSource:  davaotodayRelated NewsOct 17th, 2018

Cayetano hails Philippines’ uncontested election to UN rights body

The Philippines’ successful bid to win a seat in the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) shows member-states remain “convinced” that the government respects human rights, the country’s top diplomat said Saturday, amid simmering criticisms from rights groups......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsOct 13th, 2018

Military seeks more time to answer allegations re 7 slain in Patikul, Sulu

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 05 Oct) — Citing “ongoing military operations and other programmed command / unit activities,” three military officials in Sulu on Monday asked the Regional Human Rights Commission (RHRC) of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao for an extension until October 15 to answer claims of the families and witnesses that the […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  mindanewsRelated NewsOct 6th, 2018

Patikul update: RHRC asks 3 military officials in Sulu to answer claims 7 killed were not Abu Sayyaf members

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 29 Sept) — The Regional Human Rights Commission (RHRC) of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao has asked three military officials in Sulu to answer allegations in the affidavits of families and witnesses that the seven persons slain in Patikul town on September 14 were civilians harvesting fruits and not Abu […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  mindanewsRelated NewsSep 29th, 2018

New U.N. panel to prepare indictments over Myanmar atrocities

GENEVA, Switzerland – The UN Human Rights Council voted Thursday, September 27, to set up a panel to prepare criminal indictments over atrocities committed in Myanmar, amid allegations of genocide against the Rohingya minority. The top UN rights body voted to "establish an ongoing independent mechanism to collect, consolidate, preserve ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsSep 28th, 2018

New UN panel to prepare indictments over Myanmar atrocities

GENEVA, Switzerland – The UN Human Rights Council voted Thursday, September 27, to set up a panel to prepare criminal indictments over atrocities committed in Myanmar, amid allegations of genocide against the Rohingya minority. The top UN rights body voted to "establish an ongoing independent mechanism to collect, consolidate, preserve ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsSep 27th, 2018

Malaysia’s Anwar tells Duterte to ‘ensure vibrant democracy’ amid arrest order vs Trillanes

At a press conference on the sidelines of a business conference in Manila, Malaysian opposition icon Anwar Ibrahim highlighted the importance of due process, the rule of law and human rights when asked about his thoughts on the perceived trend of political persecution in the Philippines......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsSep 4th, 2018

House panel okays P689-M CHR 2019 budget in under 5 minutes

MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) breezed through its budget briefing at the House of Representatives on Tuesday, September 4 – a stark contrast to what happened in 2017.  With only two lawmakers present, the House committee on appropriations approved CHR’s ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsSep 4th, 2018

UN demands urgent action amid climate of fear in Nicaragua

GENEVA, Switzerland – The United Nations called on Wednesday, August 29, for urgent action to prevent Nicaragua from descending further into turmoil after months of violent repression of protests against President Daniel Ortega's rule. In a fresh report, the UN human rights office detailed a wide range of serious violations, ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsAug 29th, 2018