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Groups hail bill seeking to suspend US military aid to the PH amid rights abuses

“We must withdraw U.S. military support from this growing dictatorship." The post Groups hail bill seeking to suspend US military aid to the PH amid rights abuses appeared first on Bulatlat......»»

Category: newsSource: bulatlat bulatlatSep 27th, 2020

Wild accusations

There was something supremely ironic about a bill filed by a US congresswoman seeking to suspend American security assistance to the Philippines until the Duterte administration institutes reforms in the military and police to end human rights abuses here......»»

Category: newsSource:  thestandardRelated NewsSep 29th, 2020

US legislator: Suspend aid to PH; Wild idea& mdash;Roque

A lawmaker from Pennsylvania has introduced a bill in the US Congress seeking to suspend American security assistance to the Philippines until the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte institutes reforms in the military and police to end human rights abuses......»»

Category: newsSource:  thestandardRelated NewsSep 25th, 2020

Duterte signs anti-terror measure into law

Amid renewed calls by human rights groups and various organizations for a presidential veto of the Anti-Terror Bill, President Duterte signed yesterday the controversial measure, six days before it would have automatically lapsed into law......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsJul 3rd, 2020

LeBron James group touts sports venues as mega-voting sites

By BILL BARROW Associated Press ATLANTA (AP) — If basketball icon LeBron James gets his way, NBA arenas and other sports venues around the country will be mega polling sites for the November general election. James and his voting rights group, formed this spring with other black athletes and entertainers, are joining with other professional basketball leaders and Michigan’s top elections official to push for mega voting sites to accommodate in-person balloting amid the COVID-19 pandemic. More Than A Vote, the James organization dedicated to maximizing Black turnout in November, shared its plans with The Associated Press on Wednesday after the Detroit Pistons became the second NBA franchise to announce plans to use its arena for voting later this year. In Georgia, Fulton County elections officials this week approved the Atlanta Hawks’ proposal to use State Farm Arena as a polling site. Plans call for the arena to serve as a countywide early voting site ahead of Election Day. The idea, which comes after Kentucky used large facilities in its June 23 primary, is to use large spaces that allow for in-person voting while still enforcing social distancing guidelines. It also underscores the attention on the mechanics of voting amid the pandemic, with the intensity already reflected in both President Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden warning that state and local officials have the power to “corrupt” the election. Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson called her “partnership” with the Pistons an “blueprint for other teams and leagues seeking to advance our common goal of protecting access to the vote for all.” Lloyd Pierce, head coach of the Atlanta Hawks, said the arrangement in his city ensures “high turnout” in a safe environment. Benson, Pierce and David Fizdale, former New York Knicks head coach, will advise NBA franchises and arena management entities around the country on how to replicate the existing deals. The Milwaukee Bucks also confirmed they are willing to use their home arena as a voting site in the most populous city in the key battleground of Wisconsin. The coordinated push is a turnabout, of sorts, in the often-partisan jousting over voting procedures. Some Democrats panned Kentucky elections officials for limiting in-person June primary voting in the state’s two most populous counties to Louisville’s Exposition Center and the University of Kentucky football stadium in Lexington. Voting rights advocates argued in federal court that the plan, part of culling voting sites statewide amid coronavirus concerns, would harm minority voters. A federal judge rejected their claims, and voting proceeded without the melee that some advocates had forecast. Now, Benson, a Democrat, is pushing the arena model not as an example of potential voter suppression, but a way to fight it. “One of our greatest challenges in protecting voters’ access to democracy this November is identifying accessible locations where citizens can safely vote in person,” she said. Amid COVID, that could outweigh potential logistical difficulties of large sites. Lines for such venues can still be long — just as with normal polling locations — as was seen in Lexington at some points on primary day. Voters also could face traffic jams or public transit hiccups given the number of people involved. General elections also have considerably larger turnout than primaries. Nonetheless, there’s a growing bipartisan push for large-venue voting. NFL executive Scott Pioli last week presented the National Association of Secretaries of State a plan for widespread use of professional and college sports facilities. James’ group is officially nonpartisan. But the NBA star has been open about its emphasis on the Black community, where Trump faces intense opposition for his white identity politics. James has not endorsed Biden, but he endorsed Hillary Clinton over Trump in 2016. In Milwaukee, meanwhile, the Bucks owners, the Lasry family, are major Democratic Party donors. Bucks executive Alex Lasry helped lead the effort that landed the Democratic National Convention in the city.  .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 2nd, 2020

Attack vs activist in Ifugao underscores need for passage of rights defenders bill

The attack against a human rights defender in Ifugao highlights the need to immediately pass a bill seeking to prevent violations and abuses against rights activists, the Commission on Human Rights said Friday......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsAug 9th, 2019

House panel OKs death penalty bill

Amid the presence of nuns and human rights advocates, the House Committee on Justice yesterday approved the committee report on the substitute bill seeking to re-impose the death penalty for illegal drugs and heinous crimes......»»

Category: newsSource:  tempoRelated NewsDec 7th, 2016

AFP to take control of paramilitary groups in Mindanao

President Duterte has ordered the military to “take full control” of two paramilitary forces in Mindanao which have been implicated in human rights abuses against the Lumads......»»

Category: newsSource:  mb.com.phRelated NewsSep 23rd, 2016

Triple whammy for Filipino farmers: pandemic, liberalization and human rights abuses

For defending his right to till the land, Peña has been labeled by the military as a communist. “Even before the lockdown, soldiers have been harassing and spying on me as I have been active against companies and government projects encroaching in our farms,” said Peña. By AARON MACARAEG Bulatlat.com MANILA – Redo Peña, a… The post Triple whammy for Filipino farmers: pandemic, liberalization and human rights abuses appeared first on Bulatlat......»»

Category: newsSource:  bulatlatRelated NewsOct 29th, 2020

Opposition solons chide General Parlade on red-tagging

Opposition lawmakers chided Thursday Lt. Gen. Antonio Parlade, a staunch anti-communist military official, for allegedly red-tagging actress Liza Soberano after appearing in a webinar against gender-based exploitation and sexual harassment. Parlade commented on Soberano when she appeared in the webinar sponsored by Gabriela Youth. Deputy Minority Leader and Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Isagani Zarate said Parlade has been “red-tagging anyone who works or espousing the same cause and issues of progressive groups.” “Anybody and everybody should speak out against abuse and not let them be until they are extinguished,” said Zarate. He chided Parlade for allegedly assuming that “celebrities, the youth, women, urban poor, lumad and rural folk are ignorant or even stupid, to stand up for their rights and beliefs on their own.” In a separate statement, Gabriela Partylist Rep. Arlene Brosas finds it “starkly ironic” for Parlade to appeal to stop red-tagging Soberano when it was the military official who actually made the accusation. “By saying that Soberano is “not yet an NPA,” he is maliciously associating the actress with the armed movement when what she did in the youth forum was only to speak up for all the victims of gender-based violence and abuse,” said Brosas. She stated: “It is clear that Parlade, the NTF-ELCAC and the paid trolls are the ones who are rabidly red-tagging Liza Soberano and other female celebrities and influencers who are taking a stand and speaking out against the macho-fascism under the Duterte regime.” Reacting to the statements of the Makabayan solons and Senator Risa Hontiveros, Parlade said it is “government’s job to expose this duplicitous nature of the CPP (Communist Party of the Philippines). “But we differ in the way Gabriela exploits these genuine advocates, because the CPP’s underground MAKIBAKA, is the one stirring and orchestrating it,” said the general. He described the CPP as a monster that “knows no friend.” “They will feed you to the lion’s den if you are not careful. This is what happened to Jo Lapira, Ren Manalo, Camille Manangan etc., Gabriela Youth who were all killed for ceasing to be a plain activist and ended up being with the terrorist,” Parlade noted. .....»»

Category: newsSource:  mb.com.phRelated NewsOct 22nd, 2020

Addressing mental health amid a pandemic

BETTER DAYS Senator Sonny Angara Mental health has historically been a difficult subject to talk about in Philippine society. Many of us, no doubt, have our own stories, personal or otherwise, of how difficult it is to seek help. In fact, in the journal Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, an August, 2020, analysis of many studies on the matter confirmed that the low utilization of mental health services among Filipinos could be attributed in part to the stigma associated with mental health issues, with resilience and self-reliance becoming possible alternate coping strategies. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic has made mental health an even bigger issue. The quarantine, the economic effects of the pandemic, and the anxieties brought about by the virus’ unpredictability have had a negative effect on the mental health of many Filipinos. Although we as a country are consistently rated to be in the Top 5 of a global optimism index, according to the DOH, the calls for help have been increasing. According to the National Center for Mental Health (NCMH), their helpline received about 400 calls monthly from May, 2019, to February, 2020. That’s an average of 13 to 15 calls daily. By March, 672 calls were serviced, and this grew steadily in the following months, until there were 1,034 calls in July – and 440 for the half of August. These double the monthly average from March to August to 876 calls, or 32 to 37 calls daily. Many government and private mental health services are available for people who are seeking help or just someone to talk to. Aside from the NCMH crisis hotline, the Natasha Goulbourn Foundation has confidential crisis lines and a referral system to partnered psychologists. The foundation is also a hub for prevention, recognition, and treatment of depression. The Philippine Mental Health Association also offers similar services, and universities like UST, UP Diliman, and Ateneo de Manila have their own mental health service organizations. Some, like Ateneo’s Center for Family Ministries have affordable or negotiable fees. Online resources like the Silakbo.Ph website have listings for many other mental health service providers outside of the NCR. In fact, many organizations have already partnered with the Department of Health (DOH); perhaps more of them should be invited to the table to plan new policies, projects, and initiatives that will address the growing number of mental health cases. The DOH is also encouraging people to learn more about general mental health through free e-learning courses translated into Filipino.  The source material is from the World Health Organization’s (WHO) QualityRights initiative, which is a global project that aims to help participants improve their own mental health, learn how to support their loved ones and communities, and gain knowledge and skills to tackle mental health issues. Clearly, we need to reassess and adapt to the fact that more Filipinos are now looking for mental health services and treatments. This is why I am seeking to amend Republic Act 11036, the Mental Health Act, particularly its existing chapter on “Rights of Service Users and Other Stakeholders.” Our proposed amendment seek to give health service users the right to immediately receive compensation benefits and special financial assistance they are entitled to under law, should they sustain temporary or permanent mental disability in the line of duty or by reason of a person’s office or position. This is an important amendment, as the Mental Health Act requires that PhilHealth provide insurance packages to patients with mental health conditions, and that access to medicines is ensured. With the observation of World Mental Health Day last October 10, it is important to remember the DOH’s theme for this year, “Mental Health for All: Unifying Voices for Greater Investment and Access.”  This theme encourages that we open conversations on the various challenges that our mental health care system faces every day, such as social stigma and limited funding. In fact, the simple act of marking the day itself is important. It shows those who are suffering that we see them, and care for them. It tells others who are hiding their issues that it is perfectly normal to seek help. And most of all, it encourages the whole world to stand in solidarity in recognition of the need for all of society to help those with mental health issues. E-mail: sensonnyangara@yahoo.com| Facebook, Twitter & Instagram: @sonnyangara Senator Sonny Angara has been in public service for 16 years—9 years as Representative of the Lone District of Aurora, and 7 as Senator. He has authored and sponsored more than 200 laws.  He is currently serving his second term in the Senate. .....»»

Category: newsSource:  mb.com.phRelated NewsOct 18th, 2020

Rights groups slam MMDA spox for ‘drama serye’ remark on detained activist

Human rights groups slammed Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Spokesperson Celine Pialago following her “drama serye” remarks at detained activist Reina Mae Nasino who recently buried her three-month-old daughter River.  Kapatid, a support group for families and friends of political prisoners, said those who downgrade what happened to the political prisoner are only trying to “cover the government’s gross violation of human rights.”  “The story of Reina Mae Nasino and her 3-month-old child who died last week is not ‘drama-serye.’ It is a real story that exposed the countless injustices committed by the government,” it said in a statement released on Sunday.  “MMDA Chair Danny Lim, a former political prisoner himself, should have long shown the door to his spokesperson. It should be obvious by now that sensitivity cannot be taught nor proper manners and right conduct if one is empty-headed,” it added. Meanwhile, National Union of People’s Lawyers (NUPL) President Edre Olalia was more restrained, saying they would “do the same thing if she was in Ina’s position and circumstance. “To start with, we will never ever wish this horrible tragedy and injustice to visit the Asec, her mother, her daughters, her sisters and her aunts,” he said in a Facebook post. Despite having nothing to do with traffic, Pialago felt the need to “use her voice as a Filipino” to share her two cents on Nasino’s case. “Hindi lahat ng inang nakakulong ay nakapunta sa libing ng kanyang anak. Kaya yung mga sumisimpatya kay Reina Mae Nasino, pag aralan niyo mabuti ang dahilan bakit siya nakulong at kilalanin niyong mabuti kung sino siya sa lipunan (Not all jailed mothers get to visit their children’s funeral. So all of those who sympathize with Reina Mae Nasino, study well why she was imprisoned and know who she is and what her role is in society),” she said in a Facebook post on Sunday morning. “Masyado ninyong ginagawang pang drama serye sa hapon ang paghihinagpis niya. Tigilan niyo (You are trying to make her grief like an afternoon drama serye. Stop it)!” she added. Nasino was five months pregnant with River when she was arrested in November 2019 for allegedly being found with firearms and explosives at the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan Manila Office in Tondo, Manila. Her lawyers have insisted that the pieces of evidence were planted and that the charges filed against her are trumped-up. She gave birth to River on July 1 at the Dr. Jose Fabella Memorial Medical Hospital on July 1. She and her baby were returned to the Manila City Jail 48 hours later. Before this, she filed a motion before the Manila Regional Trial Court (RTC) to allow her to breastfeed her daughter for a year at the hospital or a prison nursery.  But Manila RTC Branch 20 Judge Marivic Balisi-Umali denied this, saying that the jail has “very limited resources” for the care of her child.  Nasino was also among 22 elderly and medically-compromised detainees who filed a motion for their compassionate release amid the pandemic on April 8 before the Supreme Court. But months later, the High Court ruled that the trial courts will be the ones to decide on their temporary release. On August 13, the activist-mother was ordered to turn her child over to her relatives.  River was admitted at the Philippine General Hospital for fever and diarrhea on September 24. She was placed in the intensive care unit on October 9 where she died a few hours later.  A few hours before her daughter died, Nasino filed a very urgent motion for furlough so she can be with her child in her dying moments. On October 13, Manila RTC Branch 47 Judge Paulino Gallegos granted her three full days from October 14 to 16 to be by her daughter’s side during the wake and burial.  But the next day, he cut Nasino’ furlough down to only six hours from 1 to 4 p.m. on October 14 and 16 after receiving opposition from the Manila City Jail. The Manila City Jail cited lack of personnel, health concerns, and a guideline stating that detainees can only be at their loved ones’ burial and wake for a maximum of three hours. For both the wake and the funeral, Nasino was clad in a full set of personal protective equipment, handcuffed, and flanked by numerous uniformed personnel.  Tensions rose during the wake after her escorts tried to pull her away twice before her time was up, eventually escorting her out with 20 minutes to spare before 4 p.m. On October 16, Marites Asis, Nasino’s mother, had to kneel and beg in front of the police to allow them to hold funeral at 11:30 a.m. The cops wanted to delay it until 1 p.m. Police also sped off with River’s hearse to the Manila North Cemetery, leaving her family behind and thwarting activists’ plan to conduct a caravan around the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeals before burying her at the cemetery. Nasino’s counsels at NUPL earlier said that they will file charges against those involved in the activist’s treatment during her daughter’s wake and burial. .....»»

Category: newsSource:  mb.com.phRelated NewsOct 18th, 2020

Why rights groups shun government-led ‘independent probe on rights abuses’ in the Philippines

Time and again, human rights organizations have called for independent investigation of mounting cases of extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances, arrests and filing of trumped-up cases, to name a few. The post Why rights groups shun government-led ‘independent probe on rights abuses’ in the Philippines appeared first on Bulatlat......»»

Category: newsSource:  bulatlatRelated NewsOct 16th, 2020

Farmer in Kabankalan City beheaded, rights groups alarmed at increasing abuse cases in Negros

Guillen's brother said that the victim went missing when he returned to his house after they have been advised by the military to evacuate the place because of an encounter between government forces and the New People's Army. Reports say that his decomposing decapitated body was found at the base of a ravine near the encounter site in barangay Tan-awan. The post Farmer in Kabankalan City beheaded, rights groups alarmed at increasing abuse cases in Negros appeared first on Bulatlat......»»

Category: newsSource:  bulatlatRelated NewsSep 29th, 2020

Drug war deaths worsened amid COVID-19 pandemic

MANILA, Philippines — At least 201 drug suspects were killed during the pandemic, data from the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) showed. PDEA on Friday said that as of Aug. 31, 5,856 drug suspects were killed under President Rodrigo Duterte’s drug war since July 1, 2016, but human rights groups claim that the death toll […] The post Drug war deaths worsened amid COVID-19 pandemic appeared first on Cebu Daily News......»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsSep 26th, 2020

Malacañang confident Trump won’t cut security aid over anti-terror law

"The chances of this proposed measure turning into law are very small. So let's just let it be. That is the personal opinion of Congresswoman Wild," Roque said in Filipino, referring to a US bill seeking to cut American funding to Philippine military and police until they makes certain reforms......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsSep 24th, 2020

Duterte vows to uphold human rights, hits anti-govt ‘interest groups’

PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte vowed that the Philippines would continue to protect the rights of its people as he took a swipe at “interest groups” seeking “to discredit the functioning institutions and mechanisms of a democratic country and a popularly elected government”. Duterte renewed this commitment during his speech at a high-level general debate at the […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  manilatimes_netRelated NewsSep 23rd, 2020

As pandemic rages, human rights struggles press on

Amid Covid-19’s unrelenting rampage across the world, peoples are asserting and defending their rights, and fighting against the abuses, corruption and impunity of state power. The task remains as crucial, if not more so, as surviving the pandemic. The post As pandemic rages, human rights struggles press on appeared first on Bulatlat......»»

Category: newsSource:  bulatlatRelated NewsSep 6th, 2020

As pandemic rages, human rights struggles press on

Amid Covid-19’s unrelenting rampage across the world, peoples are asserting and defending their rights, and fighting against the abuses, corruption and impunity of state power. The task remains as crucial, if not more so, as surviving the pandemic......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsSep 5th, 2020

SC urged to resolve pleas on amparo, habeas corpus writs

Human rights groups led by Karapatan on Tuesday prodded the Supreme Court to immediately resolve its petition seeking a reversal of the Court of Appeals decision that denied their petition for the issuance of the writs of amparo and habeas against government officials led by President Rodrigo Duterte, in light of the recent killing of community health work and political activist Zara Alvarez......»»

Category: newsSource:  thestandardRelated NewsSep 1st, 2020

Businesses seek stimulus measures from ARISE bill

Business groups urged the government to implement stimulus measures through the Accelerated Recovery and Investments Stimulus for the Economy bill or Bayanihan 2 to allow the economy to regain strength as it fell into recession amid the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic......»»

Category: financeSource:  philstarRelated NewsAug 6th, 2020