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Terrorism-accused United Nations expert ‘at grave risk’ in Philippines

PARIS – Vicky Tauli-Corpuz has spent four decades campaigning for indigenous people in her native Philippines, but never  feared for her life......»»

Category: newsSource: philstar philstarMar 24th, 2018

Terrorism-accused UN expert at grave risk in Philippines

Vicky Tauli-Corpuz has spent four decades campaigning for indigenous people in her native Philippines, but never feared for her life......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsMar 24th, 2018

Philippines Terrorist Petition Virtual Hit List

The Philippine government is putting at grave risk more than 600 people - among them a United Nations human rights expert and dozens of leftist activists - by labeling them as members of the Commun.....»»

Category: newsSource:  manilanewsRelated NewsMar 9th, 2018

Esperon briefs UN body on Philippines anti-terror plan

National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr. laid down before the United Nations anti-terror body in New York City the Philippine government’s strategy to combat terrorism in the country......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsJun 30th, 2018

ICC to inquire on raps vs Rody

ROQUE: MERE PROCESS TO DETERMINE BASIS President Duterte intends to defend himself, “if need be,” on the crimes against humanity charges that his opponents filed against him before The Hague-based International Criminal Court (ICC), presidential spokesman Harry Roque said yesterday. Roque, an international law expert, explained that the ICC’s recognition was simply a proceeding to determine if the case has basis to proceed or not.Roque said Malacañang has received ICC’s notice for a “preliminary examination” on the complaints filed by the lawyer of self-confessed Davao Death Squad (DDS) assassin Edgar Matobato, who is under the care of Duterte’s chief critic Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV.Roque said the 72-year-old Chief Executive is ready to submit himself before the proceedings once he is summoned to The Hague.“The President and I met about this extensively for two hours last night. The President welcomes the preliminary examination because he is sick and tired of being accused,” Roque told reporters. “Obviously, this is intended to embarrass the president. They will fail. The President said that if need be, he will argue his case before the ICC,” he added.Matobato’s counsel Jude Sabio, in April last year, submitted to the ICC a petition against Mr. Duterte on the basis of his apparent admission of “killing” suspected drug traffickers and criminals in Davao City when he was still its Mayor.By June, Trillanes and Magdalo Partylist Rep. Gary Alejano filed a supplemental complaint against the Chief Executive also at the ICC. The complaint is based on the series of extrajudicial killings attributed to the Duterte administration’s narcotics crackdown.Sabio, in a text message, claimed that the given development is already a victory on their end.“I feel so elated and vindicated. Finally, Mr. Duterte and his cohorts will face criminal investigation by the ICC prosecutor as a prelude to formal criminal investigation,” Sabio said. “It is a huge triumph toward justice. Duterte’s system of death squad killings that he continued in his war on drugs will be investigated and hopefully an arrest warrant will be issued against him and justice will be done,” he added.“I am confident that, based on my communication, as well as that of Sen. Trillanes’ and (Magdalo) Rep. (Gary) Alejano’s, we will hurdle this first big step, and hopefully a warrant of arrest will be issued soon by the ICC against Duterte and his cohorts,” he added. Critics overjoyedTrillanes, for his part, claimed that the ICC’s recognition of their complaint should remind Mr. Duterte that he is not above the law.“This development should jolt Duterte into realizing that he is not above the law. More importantly, this is the first step for the victims’ families’ quest for justice,” the senator said.But Roque said Trillanes and his group should not celebrate yet.“No one should claim victory… If they think the President has been indicted, they are so wrong,” he said.“There will be no formal investigation to be conducted in the country because at the level of the preliminary examination, where the Court does not include the budget for the prosecutor to come to the Philippines because it is not yet a preliminary investigation,” he said.“Now the objective is to determine if there is reasonable basis to proceed with the formal investigation,” he added.In Sabio’s complaint addressed to ICC chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda, he said that the international criminal court’s action “would... be the beginning of the end of this dark, obscene, murderous and evil era in the Philippines.”“Crimes against humanity are crimes of universal jurisdiction, but where a State like the Philippines fails to assume such universal jurisdiction for crimes against humanity continuously being committed in its very own territory, then the International Criminal Court will have to intervene into a situation that is grave by any human standard,” Sabio said.“The grim statistics of more than 7,000 drug-related killings cannot be anything but grave, especially if viewed in the context of just seven months since Rodrigo Duterte became the President, compared to only about 3,000 committed during the 20-year Marcos regime. These more than 7,000 drug-related killings translate to roughly 1,000 killings per month,” he added.Two other opposition senators urged Malacañang, instead of criticizing this development, to deal with the issues being hurled at the President.“That shouldn’t come as a surprise considering the magnitude of deaths reaching thousands upon thousands in less than two years,” Sen. Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan.“This is the chance for the government to answer the accusations raised against them. There is no reason to be afraid if the administration is not hiding anything,” Sen. Bam Aquino said.Aquino said this should be a welcome opportunity for the administration to make their case to an unbiased and globally respected tribunal. Villarin wants Roque charged, tooAkbayan Rep Tom Villarin said the entry of the ICC into the issues raised against Duterte gives hope to the thousands killed under the latter’s war on drugs. “It is a welcome development and gives hope to thousands of EJK (extra judicial killings) victims that finally justice will be served,” Villarin said.“This will also hold President Duterte and other top officials involved in the bloody war against drugs accountable as well as it gives us an opportunity to implead other enablers of EJKs, including possibly Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque,” Villarin added.While the Akbayan lawmaker said that the investigation may not lead to Duterte’s puster, he said that it will be damning and damaging to his administration in the eyes of our people and the international community.“I am hopeful that people will now realize the truth and demand accountability from him with all constitutional options available,” Villarin said.Alejano said that the preliminary examination will determine whether there is sufficient evidence to warrant an investigation. “I hope that the preliminary examination will be allowed to carry on – unhindered and with full cooperation from concerned authorities, organizations, and personalities,” Alejano, one of those who brought the EJK issue before the ICC, said.“I am confident on the communication we sent to the ICC and strongly believe that President Duterte and those who perpetuate and defend this policy of killing should be held accountable before the law,” Alejano said. Angie M. Rosales, Gerry Baldo.....»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsJun 7th, 2018

Sereno ouster sends chilling message to judiciary, says UN expert

The judicial independence in the Philippines is under threat following the removal of Maria Lourdes Sereno as the country’s top judge at the hands of her colleagues in the Supreme Court, a United Nations human rights expert warned......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsJun 1st, 2018

When should hate speech be regulated? Context matters, says UN expert

MANILA, Philippines – What is hate speech and how can platforms manage them without infringing on basic rights to free expression? United Nations Special Rapporteur David Kaye tried to answer these questions in an interview with Rappler on Thursday, May 24, 2018. Kaye has recently submitted a ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsMay 31st, 2018

Terrorism-accused UN expert: Duterte wages new war, with ‘new targets’

MANILA, Philippines — As he leads a bloody war on drugs that has left scores dead, President Rodrigo Duterte has started a new battle, with “new targets,” a.....»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsMar 31st, 2018

Duterte admin urged to drop petition for terror tag on Filipina rapporteur, others

MANILA, Philippines — The United Nations Environment Programme called on the government to drop the accusations of terrorism levelled against a UN rapporteur.....»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsMar 16th, 2018

Ilocandia Rumblings: On the DOJ’s terrorists list

My friend, Atty. Manja Bayang, tagged me in her Facebook post, informing me that my name was included in the list of persons being tagged by the Duterte administration as terrorist under the Human Security Act. I also saw the related article published by Inquirer.net and learned that I am accused of being a member of the Ilocos-Cordillera Regional Committee of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP). Also included in the list are personalities from the United Nations and the Cordillera People’s Alliance......»»

Category: newsSource:  nordisRelated NewsMar 11th, 2018

Uncalled for and demeaning -- Cayetano

THE Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) described as uncalled for and demeaning the statement of a top United Nations human rights official. Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano, in a statement said the Philippines takes grave exception to the irresponsible and disrespectful comments of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human….....»»

Category: newsSource:  journalRelated NewsMar 10th, 2018

Roque: Callamard is no expert in extrajudicial killings

MANILA, Philippines — Presidential spokesman Harry Roque on Tuesday questioned why Agnes Callamard was appointed United Nations special rapporteur on extraju.....»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsJan 2nd, 2018

Know about illegal drugs and their ill-effects

WHAT’S WITH DRUGS that make the world so deeply concerned about people using them? In the Philippines alone, an estimated four to seven million of its 104 million populations are said to be using prohibited drugs. As a campaign promise, President Rodrigo Duterte has made the crackdown on illegal drugs a centerpiece of his administration — for which he has been chastised from all fronts, in and out of the country. Drug addiction, no doubt, has severely affected society, cutting across all socio-economic echelons and demographics. No one can deny that drug addiction is a societal menace, resulting in countless crimes, financial problems, and broken relationships, both with families and friends. Here’s a glimpse of what the common prohibited drugs are and how they affect the body and mind. According to a primer of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) posted on its website, drugs are chemical substances that affect the normal functioning of the body, either physically and/or psychologically. Not all drugs are illegal, it says. The caffeine in coffee, the nicotine in cigarettes, and alcohol are technically legal drugs. Medicines are pharmaceutical drugs used to treat or prevent illnesses. They are legal, although they could also be abused. The ones people should totally shun are the illegal drugs because they alter a person’s mood, thinking, and behavior. All illegal drugs have immediate physical effects, and they also hinder psychological and emotional development, especially among young people, says the UNODC. Drugs cloud a user’s judgment, making him/her take more risks, for instance having unsafe sex that could lead one to contract sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV/AIDS. The effects of illegal drugs do not last long. When they wear off, a user gets depressed, lonely and sick, appears confused, sweats a lot, has red eyes, and neglects his/her physical appearance and then comes the irrational craving. The following are the most common prohibited drugs and how they affect their users: Methamphetamine Methamphetamine, also known as Shabu, also goes by the names Crack meth, Ice, Crystal meth, Tik, and Yaba. Methamphetamine belongs to a group of drugs called amphetamine-type stimulants. Like ecstasy, it is manufactured in illegal laboratories and sold in powder, tablet or crystal form. It could be swallowed, sniffed, smoked or injected. The UNODC says meth produces a feeling of physical and mental well-being, euphoria, and exhilaration. Users experience a temporary boost in energy, often perceived to improve their performance of manual or mental tasks, along with delayed hunger and fatigue. At times, they become more aggressive and violent. Over the short term, users tend to lose their appetite, start to breathe faster, and sweat due to increased heart rate, blood pressure, and body temperature. Taking in large doses would make users feel restless and irritable and could induce panic attacks. Taking in excessive doses could result in convulsions, seizures, and death from respiratory failure, stroke or heart failure. Long-term use could also lead to malnutrition, weight loss, and psychological dependence and stopping its use results in a long period of sleep, followed by depression. Ecstasy Ecstasy goes around by the names E, Snackies and New Yorkers. The drug, usually made in illegal laboratories, consists of a range of substances that make it dangerous to consume. It comes in the form of tablet, powder or capsule and is usually swallowed, but could also be snorted or injected. Ecstasy increases users’ empathy levels and induces a feeling of closeness to people around them. It makes them feel more sociable and energetic. Short-term use of ecstasy prompts the body to ignore distress signals such as dehydration, dizziness, and exhaustion, and interferes with the body’s ability to regulate temperature. It could also severely damage the liver and kidneys and could cause convulsions and heart failure. In large doses, ecstasy could cause restlessness, anxiety and severe hallucinations. Long-term use damages certain parts of the brain, bringing about serious depression and memory loss. Cannabis Sativa Cannabis is known by many names – Bongo, Ganja, Grass, Pot or Thai sticks. Its most famous name, however, is Marijuana, or Mary Jane. Cannabis, a tobacco-like greenish or brownish substance made of dried flowering tops and leaves of the cannabis plant, is usually smoked, but its resin and oil could also be swallowed or brewed in tea. According to the UNODC, cannabis smoke contains 50 percent more tar than high-tar cigarettes, putting users at an increased risk of lung cancer and other respiratory diseases. After taking cannabis, users feel relaxed and sometimes euphoric, with an intensified sense of sight, smell, taste, and hearing. Short-term use makes them experience increased appetite and pulse rate, and an impaired ability to perform physical and mental tasks, such as driving a car and thinking logically. With large doses, users’ thinking slows down and they become confused and have bouts of anxiety, panic, and psychotic episodes. The UNODC said that regular users of cannabis run the risk of developing psychological dependence to the point that they lose interest in all other activities, such as work and personal relationships. Cocaine Cocaine is known as Crack, Bazooka, Blanche, Cake, Coke or Lady. It is a fine white or off-white powder extracted from the leaves of the coca plant. The UNODC said that on the street, cocaine is diluted with other substances, such as ammonia or sodium bicarbonate (baking soda), to increase its quantity and produce crack. Cocaine is usually sniffed or injected, while […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  mindanaoexaminerRelated NewsDec 10th, 2017

UN envoy warns North Korea miscalculation could trigger conflict

UNITED NATIONS (UPDATED) – A senior UN envoy warned Saturday, December 9, there was a grave risk that a miscalculation could trigger conflict with North Korea as he urged Pyongyang to keep communication channels open after a rare visit to the reclusive state.  Jeffrey Feltman's trip to the North – the ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsDec 10th, 2017

UN vows to help ASEAN counter terrorism, crime

MANILA, Philippines — United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres said that the UN is prepared to extend support to ASEAN in battling terrorism and cri.....»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsNov 14th, 2017

Study: Filipinos among most at risk of losing homes to disasters

MANILA, Philippines — A United Nations-back study has found that about 720,000 Filipinos risk losing their homes to disasters......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsOct 17th, 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

Arise pushes awareness on disaster risk reduction

MANILA, Philippines - The Philippine chapter of a private sector group created by the United Nations is pushing for better awareness for disaster risk reduct.....»»

Category: financeSource:  philstarRelated NewsMar 24th, 2017

Tone down reports? How about asking gov t to stop EJKs instead, UN expert says

MANILA, Philippines — United Nations special rapporteur on extrajudicial killings Agnes Callamard told Tourism department chief Corazon Wanda Teo to appeal t.....»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsMar 23rd, 2017

Tsunami awareness campaign launched

MANILA, Philippines - The United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNODRR) has launched a tsunami awareness campaign as it celebrates today World T.....»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsNov 4th, 2016

UN rights expert sets visit to PH

A United Nations human rights rapporteur said Monday she intended to visit the Philippines to investigate President Rodrigo Duterte’s deadly war on illegal drugs, but was seeking security guarantees for people she planned to speak with. Duterte las.....»»

Category: newsSource:  manilatimes_netRelated NewsSep 26th, 2016