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More killings, arrests under Año’s leadership in DILG — rights group

MANILA, Philippines — Rights group Hustisya slammed the appointment of Eduardo Año as the officer-in-charge of the Department of Interior and Local Governmen Source link link: More killings, arrests under Año’s leadership in DILG — rights group.....»»

Category: newsSource: manilainformer manilainformerJan 10th, 2018

More killings, arrests under Año’s leadership in DILG — rights group

MANILA, Philippines — Rights group Hustisya slammed the appointment of Eduardo Año as the officer-in-charge of the Department of Interior and Local Governmen Source link link: More killings, arrests under Año’s leadership in DILG — rights group.....»»

Category: newsSource:  manilainformerRelated NewsJan 10th, 2018

Gordon assured Congress will prioritize bill on motorcycle crime prevention

Senator Richard J. Gordon, chairman of the Senate justice and human rights committee, welcomed the assurance from the House of Representatives’ leadership that they would prioritize the bill that imposes bigger plate numbers for motorcycles as a preventive measure to address the unabated killings perpetrated by gunmen on board motorcycles or what the police formally… link: Gordon assured Congress will prioritize bill on motorcycle crime prevention.....»»

Category: newsSource:  manilainformerRelated NewsJul 6th, 2018

2 years of Duterte presidency a rights calamity, says int’l group

New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) describes the second year of President Rodrigo Duterte in power in just four words: a human rights calamity. "On this day two years ago, Rodrigo Duterte took his oath of office as President of the Philippines --- and immediately unleashed a human rights calamity in the guise of a 'drug war' that has claimed the lives of thousands of men, women and children," Carlos Conde, HRW Asia researcher, said in a statement on Saturday. "This is a day of mourning, not celebration. Mourning for the thousands of poor Filipinos that have been subjected to brutal summary killings by the police and 'unidentified gunmen' --- who are often also state agents ---...Keep on reading: 2 years of Duterte presidency a rights calamity, says int’l group.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsJul 1st, 2018

Rights group to Albayalde: Show commitment to human rights by ending alleged police abuses

Philippine National Police chief Dir. Gen. Oscar Albayalde should demonstrate his commitment to human rights and rule of law by addressing alleged police involvement in drug war killings and other abuses......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsJun 28th, 2018

Rights group alarmed by recent killings of priest, journalist

Human Rights Watch on Thursday expressed grave concern over the recent killings of a priest and a journalist as well as the reported attacks against peasants and members of tribal communities......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsJun 14th, 2018

Stop the killings of human rights advocates, Duterte admin urged

Rights group Karapatan on Monday called on the Duterte administration to put an end to the killings of human rights advocates, as it sought justice for the murder of Fr. Mark Anthony Ventura on Sunday morning in Gattaran town, Cagayan province. Cristina Palabay, Karapatan secretary general, said her group also demanded an end to "the system that has made it rife for such murderers to exist without fear of accountability nor regard for people's rights." Ventura, 37, was gunned down around 8 a.m. while he was still in his altar vestments and was chatting with choir members and parishioners. The gunman, who wore a helmet, entered the hall through the back entrance, and shot Ventura...Keep on reading: Stop the killings of human rights advocates, Duterte admin urged.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsApr 30th, 2018

Endorse UN inquiry into drug war, HRW urges gov’t

THE PHILIPPINE government should “urgently support” a United Nations (UN)-led investigation into the killings in its war on drugs, New York-based advocacy group Human Rights Watch (HRW) said in a statement on Thursday. “The glaring disparity between the Philippine government’s official death toll and those of credible independent observers underscores the urgent need for a […] The post Endorse UN inquiry into drug war, HRW urges gov’t appeared first on BusinessWorld......»»

Category: financeSource:  bworldonlineRelated NewsFeb 1st, 2018

PH govt says top rights group giving misleading account of drugs war deaths

The Philippine government hit back at a prominent US-based human rights group on Monday for what it said was a misleading death toll of more than 12,000 in its war of drugs, putting the number at half of that and championing its rate of arrests and drug seizures......»»

Category: newsSource:  interaksyonRelated NewsJan 22nd, 2018

Popovich s odd alliance with red state fans

By Shaun Powell, NBA.com SAN ANTONIO -- About 400 people gathered at the Oak Hills Country Club in June 2016 and paid $500 to $250,000 to sip iced tea and nibble hors d’oeuvres next to a golf course designed by noted architect AW Tillinghast, who built many. One is owned by the man who was feted at this political fundraiser, Donald J. Trump. The presidential campaign was in full blast and saltier than the crackers on the cheese plate being passed around. Fresh off the plane, Trump thanked the Republicans for the big ‘ole Texas welcome, witnesses say, before launching a blistering attack on the usual targets: Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, illegal immigration. Then, near the end of his 30-minute lunchtime appearance, in an effort to connect with the locals, he pivoted and mentioned perhaps the most famous man in town: Gregg Popovich. Witnesses say Trump called Popovich “a great coach” and said “he does a good job” and then there was some fidgeting in the room when the soon-to-be polarizing leader of the free world said this: “I don’t know if the coach is on my side.” Confirmation came emphatically, right after Trump won a divisive election that November. The coach of the Spurs lit into the President over the next several months with a handful of rants that had the stealth of Kawhi Leonard ambushing a timid ball-handler. In no particular order, here were Pop’s Greatest Hits, all issued through the media and without prompting or provocation: “The disgusting tenure and tone and all the comments … have been xenophobic, homophobic, racist, misogynistic. I live in a country where half the people ignored that to elect someone.” And: “He is in charge of our country. That’s disgusting.” And: “The man in the Oval Office is a soulless coward who thinks he can only become large by belittling others.” And: “We have a pathological liar in the White House ... You can’t believe anything that comes out of his mouth.” Popovich didn’t stop there with a President whose sensitivity and intelligence he questioned and accused of being guilty of “gratuitous fear-mongering.” When he took Trump to task for criticizing NFL players who knelt during the National Anthem and defended their rights to do so, Popovich also suspected a measure of the public outrage was racially motivated. “Our country is an embarrassment to the world,” he said. A 68-year-old wealthy white man, therefore, became a sports voice with weight in the political and social justice arena, where the NBA league office has greenlighted players and coaches to speak up. Popovich has done so with clarity and insight to gain national applause in certain corners. He wasn’t the first or the last in sports to verbally spank the president or tackle right-leaning sensitivities, yet he’s certainly the most unique in one respect. As a graduate of the Air Force Academy who works in a military town, and a five-time NBA champion coach who might symbolize the city more than The Alamo, Popovich has long been elevated to icon status, perhaps permanently so, in San Antonio, where folks are mad about the Spurs. Still, this is mostly conservative Texas, one of the most Republican of states based on the state legislature and the congressional delegation, a state that voted Republican in 10 straight presidential elections and saw 52.6 percent of voters punch for Trump. While voters in San Antonio-proper lean liberal, the surrounding areas swing solidly the opposite. Julianna Holt, the Spurs CEO and Popovich’s boss since March after assuming the position held for 20 years by her husband Peter, supported various Republican presidential candidates before eventually donating $5,400 to Trump’s campaign and $250,000 to the Trump Victory Fund, according to Federal Election Commission records. Popovich is therefore a blue blood in a red state and the contrast makes for strange if not uncomfortable alliance between a beloved coach and a group of conflicted Spurs worshippers. His views have in fact shattered the sacrilege by generating hostility from a segment of the basketball flock, something no coach with his credentials would ever feel. The constant winning and acts of charity do not insulate him from those who would prefer Popovich stuff a sweat sock in his bullhorn. Party lines not Popovich's focus “While we all believe Gregg Popovich has the right to his opinions, where was Popovich when Hillary called half of us a 'basket of deplorables?’Many were Spurs fans who are now tired of being insulted ... many of us will never pay to see a Spurs game again.” -- Donna Howington  “The money I will save this year not attending Spurs games should buy me a nice set of golf clubs. Thanks Pop!” -- Jake Ingorgia  “I will never watch them again until Popovich is gone. He is just like all the other leftist celebrities.” -- Lee Harbach, Bulverde They arrive on cue, most from the dusty towns that orbit around San Antonio, some from the city itself. Popovich has unloaded three times this year on Trump, once after the election, once at the start of training camp and most recently by cold-calling Dave Zirin, a friend and liberal writer from The Nation, a progressive magazine. And each time, the letters land in the office of Ricardo Pimentel, the editor who coordinates the comments section of the Express-News, San Antonio’s newspaper of record. “It’s a cycle,” says Pimental, with a sigh. “He speaks out. People who disagree with him send us letters to the editor, then people who object to their disagreement write us letters to the editor defending Pop. Then they respond to one another.” The initial reaction, he said, is always stacked against Popovich and many identify themselves as Spurs fans ripping up their tickets or promising to never attend or watch games again. Even if those who made threats actually carried them out, the change in the Spurs’ home attendance is a blip, from 99.2 percent capacity last season to 98.6 so far this season. Popovich, of course, has been big for business since his first full season as coach in 1997-98. Besides the titles, the Spurs have reached the playoffs every season and won 50 games every season (except for the lockout-shortened 50-game 1998-99 campaign, when they won 37). In short, Popovich's Spurs have a track record beyond reproach in the NBA. If the 2017-18 Spurs stay on pace, it’ll be 20 straight winning seasons for Popovich, one more than Phil Jackson for the all-time NBA record. He hasn’t been this politically vocal until lately, due to Trump, yet was always politically aware, say those who know him. Well-versed through his readings and observations, Popovich welcomes discussion with acquaintences about classism, leadership, government and preferably over a bottle of wine. His two-decades exposure to young black men from humble beginnings raised his awareness and sensitivities about race and bias. Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr once played for the Spurs and lately has echoed many of the same thoughts as Popovich. But Kerr coaches in the Bay Area, where folks nod their heads in agreement. Kerr said he can only imagine the flak Popovich catches in Texas. “Here’s this iconic coach who stands for everything that’s right and for honor and integrity, he served in the military, you see him stand at attention for the American flag — man, Pop loves his country,” Kerr said. “And in the middle of Texas for him to be questioning the Republican President, some of the people down there are probably confused. Like, 'I don’t get it, we love this guy but he’s on the other side from us.' “What I love about Pop is that it’s not about party, not about politics. It’s about integrity and character and that’s what people need to pay attention to. It’s not about some policy, not about how much we pay in taxes. If we can just get back to the point where character matters, then we’ll be in better shape. The problem is, it’s clear character has gone down the tubes in many leadership positions in our country. That’s what Pop is calling out.” True enough, Popovich never publicly attached himself to a political party; to suggest he is against Republicans might be as misleading as believing Colin Kaepernick is against the military. When he played for Popovich, Kerr couldn’t recall a time when the coach was this annoyed by the country’s leadership. “The country was in a better place in terms of a relatively peaceful time back then,” Kerr said. “Yes, 9-11 happened and the whole world changed. But we didn’t have quite the same partisan nature, not only in politics but the national conversation. And so people could just admire Pop for who he was and people might not have been aware of his political leanings because they didn’t ask. When we won and went to the White House, Pop and the team went when Bush was in office. We went in ’99 when President Clinton was there. Republican, Democrat, didn’t matter. The times are so different now.” Kerr laughed quickly when asked about the semi-serious groundswell of social media support for a Kerr-Popovich ticket in 2020. Kerr said he hopes to be on his fifth NBA title as a coach then, but turned semi-serious about Popovich. “Our country needs somebody like Pop who can actually lead and unite from a position of authority and credibility,” Kerr said. “This guy served in the military, grew up in a melting pot, understands leadership. More than anything, he’ll cut through all the [expletive].” Since going nuclear on Trump, Popovich declined invites from the national political shows (and wouldn’t comment for this story). That proves what friends have maintained all along: Popovich doesn’t want to be anyone’s political hero or pundit. He’d rather speak when the moment calls for it, then be left alone. That last part is tricky, though. Empathy often marks Popovich's way “Can you imagine being Republican on the Spurs? Would you feel welcome? He’s like Berkeley -- for free speech unless you disagree with him. Shut up and coach, Gregg.” -- Shannon Deason  “When it comes to coaching basketball or drinking wine, Popovich has experience. When it comes to our country, his opinion is no better than anyone else’s." -- Harold Siemens, Seguin  “Open letter to the NBA referee who ejected Pop from the Warriors-Spurs game: Don’t feel bad about what Gregg Popovich called you. He called the POTUS worse and got away with it.” -- Larry Peabody Once the wheels touched down, the pilot jokingly announced over the loudspeaker: “Welcome to Gregg Popovich International Airport,” and one particular passenger noticed that nobody on the plane thought it was strange. Sean Elliott always knew how deeply rooted Popovich is with San Antonio. Aside from the famous Spanish missions and the River Walk, the city is known for the only professional sports team in town. And while George Gervin, David Robinson and Tim Duncan have come and gone, the one lingering reminder is a sometimes gruff and scruffy coach, maybe the NBA’s best ever. “He’s one of the pillars of the community,” said Elliott, twice an All-Star with the Spurs. “He’s looked at with great admiration. He is as respected as anyone who has ever lived in or been part of the city. It’s not just because he’s a basketball coach. Pop has been a big part of the community, huge contributor to charitable functions, good leader.” Elliott was a Spurs rookie in 1989 when their relationship began and he saw the start of Popovich’s reach in the region. Popovich then was an assistant coach under Larry Brown and just planting his feet in the NBA. That summer, Elliott and Popovich piled into a van with the team's "Coyote" mascot and conducted basketball clinics in San Marcos, Corpus Christi, Laredo and similar places. They were signing autographs in malls and running kids through drills in 100 degree heat, never hearing a complaint from the coach. Elliott said folks in those small conservative towns loved him. “If you sit and hear him talk about something, you tend to agree with him,” Elliott said. “He’ll put it in a logical way and he’s very thoughtful, well read and super intelligent, maybe the most intelligent person I’ve ever known.” The owner of the Spurs then was Red McCombs, a homespun Texan who made his fortune in car dealerships and media companies. McCombs didn’t give Popovich the coaching job after firing Brown, telling Popovich “you’ve got a chance to be a great coach” if he got more experience, which he did, going to the Warriors to work for Don Nelson. Popovich returned to San Antonio two years later as general manager, then became coach and the rest is history. Now 90, McCombs said: “Popovich has become the distinguished part of the franchise. He wears it well. Can’t say enough about what kind of man he is and what he’s meant to San Antonio. God has blessed us with Gregg Popovich.” McCombs loves to tell how Popovich, by chance, learned that a local family needed a car. The coach wrote a check, gave it to the father and walked away. McCombs said it was “typical Popovich” who has empathy for those with less. McCombs, curiously, has traditionally been one of the biggest Republican bankrollers in the state, who gave to the Trump campaign and is fully aware of what Popovich thinks of his choice for President. And so one of the most powerful men in Central Texas, who leans politically to the color of his nickname, had a strong reaction to that. “He’s earned the right to give his comments about citizenship or Trump or anything else,” said McCombs, voice rising. “Yes, he made some statements that others might disagree with. But I’ll tell you this: Popovich would be elected to anything he wants to in San Antonio.” Remaining silent never an option “Our country is not an embarrassment to the world. I will tell you what an embarrassment is. It is an American citizen who got a free education from the great Air Force Academy ... and then has the audacity to say that the greatest nation in the world is an embarrassment because the President rightly demands that Americans stand for the anthem. Popovich should be ashamed of himself.” -- Nick DeLouis, Fair Oaks Ranch  “Nowhere on God’s green Earth do they have the right to disrespect our flag and the men and women who died to keep us free. I’m appalled that you stooped so low to join in that disrespect. Shame on you!” -- Fred Martin, Fair Oaks Ranch  “Coach Pop has squashed my love and enthusiasm for the team. A national treasure, he is not. Coach Pop has a voice, but not my voice." -- Jo Ivan A few years ago Popovich was in New York with his daughter to catch a Broadway play when the coach had a last minute change in strategy. He learned that John Carlos was giving a lecture at New York University that night. So Popovich told his daughter to take one of her friends instead; said he was going to see “Dr. Carlos” speak. “When he came in I was surprised and delighted,” Carlos said recently. “Quite naturally, everyone knew who he was but he just wanted to sit and listen.” A year later, in 2015, Popovich flew Carlos to San Antonio to address the team and Carlos admitted to being star struck around Tim Duncan and others. Yet Carlos was most curious about Popovich and why the coach took a strong interest in an Olympic sprinter who raised a fist on the victory stand in 1968, which is frozen as an iconic civil rights moment. “Being with the Spurs gave me an opportunity to check his character out,” Carlos said. “I knew he was a whiz at putting players together to bring out their best ability. But through my conversations with him it became apparent that he was a social activist himself at one point in his life. He was teaching his players about activism and to be concerned about their fellow man and what was going on around their lives, not just basketball. “I was impressed. He just wanted them to know they had a larger role than just playing basketball in the society in which they live.” Carlos, therefore, was not surprised to see Popovich defend the rights of kneeling black football players who came under attack from Trump. On the first day of training camp in September, Popovich said: “Obviously race is the elephant in the room and we all understand that. Unless it is talked about constantly it is not going to get better.” What followed was another swirl of exchanges between Popovich critics and supporters in San Antonio, and Popovich acknowledged receiving mail from both sides. The anti-Pop mail, though, was jarring to Carlos, given the coach’s work in town. “When people write and lambast him for taking leaders to task for what they’re doing to society, that’s like water rolling off a duck’s back, man,” Carlos said. “When they write negative things about him, it encourages him to keep doing what he’s doing. Those people are the problem. Go ahead and throw stones and it just motivates him to do his job. “Look, I’m a black man who spoke out. Imagine what they think of him as a white man who speaks just as strong, to try and get people to see things in a better light? They throw stones at him even more, like, 'Hey you’re white, you have a great life. Keep your mouth shut.’ Well, God points people in certain directions. We know who we are. We do what we do.” And what Popovich does is enlist the help of giants in the social justice world and bring them into his world. He did that with Cornel West, the Harvard professor and civil rights activist, last fall. Popovich invited West to San Antonio to speak at an East Side community center with a few hundred mostly black and Latino students and their parents. Done without TV cameras or media invitation, the discussion was about the importance of education, the imperfect world, self respect and how to help communities. This was an audience that, presumably and unanimously, connected with a white man who didn’t live among them, but was with them. They were the people Popovich had in mind when he attacked present leadership. This was not the audience that writes to the Spurs and the Express-News asking him to take a vow of silence, though he is aware of them, too. “Some responses make you wonder what country you live in,” Popovich said, “and other responses make you very hopeful … overall, it renews my feeling that something must be done because there is enough people willing to listen.” Veteran NBA writer Shaun Powell has worked for newspapers and other publications for more than 25 years. You can e-mail him here or 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 NewsJan 5th, 2018

Intl lawyers’ group urges ‘brother in the profession’ Duterte to end killings, uphold rights

An international lawyers’ organization called on their “brother in the profession,” President Rodrigo Duterte, to end the extrajudicial killings that have characterized his war on drugs and to “respect human rights and fundamental liberties.”.....»»

Category: newsSource:  interaksyonRelated NewsDec 22nd, 2017

Philippines tops bloody year of land-rights killings – report

More than two people were killed every week on average this year defending their right to land and resources, with the Philippines recording the highest number of casualties amidst a government crackdown on rural communities, a rights group said. Source link link: Philippines tops bloody year of land-rights killings – report.....»»

Category: newsSource:  manilainformerRelated NewsDec 15th, 2017

Pinoys in Netherlands to picket vs killings, rights violations under Duterte

MANILA, Philippines — A group of Filipinos in the Netherlands will hold a protest in The Hague to condemn the alleged extrajudicial killings and human rights.....»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsDec 8th, 2017

Karapatan: Cases forwarded to UN filed in Phl agencies, courts first

MANILA, Philippines — Human rights group Karapatan filed cases with Philippine agencies and courts before bringing the issue of summary killings to the Unite.....»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsDec 4th, 2017

Palace describes leftist group s complaint as propaganda

PRESIDENTIAL spokesperson Harry Roque said the complaints filed by a leftist group against President Rodrigo Duterte over alleged extrajudicial killings in the country only serve propaganda purposes. On Saturday, local human rights watchdog Karapatan sent to United Nations Rapporteurs Agnes Callamard and Michael Frost a letter blaming 25 killings on state agents in the course… link: Palace describes leftist group's complaint as propaganda.....»»

Category: newsSource:  manilainformerRelated NewsDec 3rd, 2017

Karapatan reports 25 new alleged EJK cases to UN special rapporteurs

Militant human rights group Karapatan submitted on Saturday a letter of allegation concerning 25 cases extrajudicial killings (EJK) to United Nations special rapporteurs Agnes Callamard and Michael Forst. Source link link: Karapatan reports 25 new alleged EJK cases to UN special rapporteurs.....»»

Category: newsSource:  manilainformerRelated NewsDec 2nd, 2017

Rights group files more EJK complaints vs Duterte with UN experts

A human rights organization said it has filed more cases before United Nations experts over extrajudicial killings committed in the course of the Duterte government’s counterinsurgency campaign......»»

Category: newsSource:  interaksyonRelated NewsDec 2nd, 2017

Duterte Order: ‘Shoot to Kill’

DAVAO CITY – President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered soldiers to shoot and kill armed communist rebels as security forces are readying to fight the New People’s Army following the total collapse of the peace talks. Duterte, who previously supported the rebel group when he was mayor of Davao City, gave the order recently and assured members of the armed forces that he shall take sole responsibility for it. He tagged the NPA as a terrorist group and vows to finish off the rebels who are fighting to overthrow the democratic government and install its own. “So what will be my orders to the? Shoot them, they will kill you anyway. So if there is an armed NPA there or terrorists, if he’s holding any firearms, shoot and tell any…ako na ang magsagot, you just shut up. Do not answer if that issue of human rights, you say, go to Duterte. It is and was his order para tumahimik ka, sabihin mo. And so? You are destroying my country, you expect me to pat you in the back and say, dahan-dahan ka lang,” Duterte told soldiers. He said an executive order declaring the NPA as terrorist group would be out soon. He said human rights organizations and fronts allied with the communist rebels would also be branded as terrorists. “I am preparing now. They are preparing the executive order declaring them to be terrorists and they will be afforded the treatment of being criminals. There will be no filing of cases under the public security like rebellion because rebellion is considered sometimes a noble undertaking, it’s only because you want your country to do better,” the tough-talking President said. Duterte said he would no longer negotiate peace the communist rebels, who also vowed to intensify their attacks on government and military targets. No. 1 Terrorist Communist rebel chieftain Jose Maria Sison also branded Duterte as the “No. 1 terrorist” in the country and accused him of mass murder after the President scrapped the peace talks. “Duterte is the No. 1 terrorist in the Philippines. He is culpable for the abduction, torture and mass murder of an increasing large number of poor people suspected drug users and pushers, peasants and indigenous people in suspected guerrilla fronts and Moro people suspected of aiding the Dawlah Islamiyah from the time of the indiscriminate bombing of Marawi City to the present in several Bangsamoro areas,” Sison, who is self-exile in The Netherlands since 1987, said in a statement sent to the regional newspaper Mindanao Examiner. Duterte has threatened to outlaw the Communist Party of the Philippines, which Sison founded; and its political wing, the National Democratic Front of the Philippines and jail its leaders, including leftist and human rights organizations conniving with them. He scrapped the peace talks after rebels declined to sign a ceasefire accord and continue attacking government and civilian targets despite on-going negotiations. Sison called Duterte as a “bloodlust” politician whose mania for mass murder are boundless. “Duterte´s blood lust and mania for mass murder are boundless. He expects to wipe out through arbitrary arrests, torture, indefinite detention and massacre of suspected revolutionaries and legal social activists both the armed revolutionary movement and the legal democratic movement in order to set up a fascist dictatorship in the service of US imperialism and his fellow oligarchs among the big compradors, landlords and corrupt bureaucrats,” he said. “And yet Duterte is utterly malicious and shameless in threatening and scheming to label and outlaw as terrorists the suspected members and entireties of such revolutionary organizations as the National Democratic Front of the Philippines, the Communist Party of the Philippines and the New People´s Army and even such legal patriotic and progressive organizations as BAYAN and its affiliates,” added Sison, a former university professor. He said the Duterte administration, backed by the United States, is hell-bent on frustrating the people´s clamor for peace negotiations to address the roots of the civil war through the adoption and implementation of social, economic, political and constitutional reforms as the basis of a just and lasting peace. Sison said the Duterte government is striving to intimidate the people with its own terrorist scheme and crimes in order to seize absolute autocratic power for the President and limitless opportunity for the bureaucratic corruption of his family and ruling clique. He said the rebel forces now have no choice, but to wage all forms of resistance and fight for national sovereignty, democracy, economic development, social and cultural progress and independent foreign policy. “The Filipino people and revolutionary forces waging the people´s democratic revolution have no choice but to intensify the people´s war through an extensive and intensive guerrilla warfare in rural areas and partisan or commando operations in urban areas. The legal democratic forces and broad opposition have no choice but to develop the underground and encourage endangered activists to become fighters in the people´s army.” “Duterte is already discredited as a mass murderer, political swindler, a sycophant to foreign powers and a corrupt bureaucrat. These characteristics of his and the ever worsening chronic crisis of the semi-colonial and semi-feudal ruling system will surely limit his ability to stay in power and accelerate the growth and rise of a revolutionary united front against his rule of greed and terror,” Sison said. He said even within the armed forces and police, there are already rumblings against the “despotic, criminal and corrupt character of […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  mindanaoexaminerRelated NewsDec 2nd, 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

AI urges Trump to tell Duterte to end ‘unlawful’ killings

As US President Donald Trump is set to meet top world leaders during the 31st Association of Southeast Asian (ASEAN) Summit this week, human rights group Amnesty International (AI) Philippines called on the American chief executive to raise alleged human rights violations and extrajudicial killings under President Rodrigo Duterte’s campaign against illegal drugs. Source link link: AI urges Trump to tell Duterte to end ‘unlawful’ killings.....»»

Category: newsSource:  manilainformerRelated NewsNov 11th, 2017

‘So the killings of loved ones won’t be a template’ for their own deaths, San Andres Bukid families file for writ of amparo

Human rights group Center for International Law (CenterLaw) on Wednesday filed a petition for writ of amparo (court protection order) before the Supreme Court in behalf of the 39 family members and neighbors of persons killed in tokhang operations in San Andres Bukid district in Manila, and as a class suit in behalf of all its residents......»»

Category: newsSource:  interaksyonRelated NewsOct 18th, 2017