Intl peace, human rights confab opens tomorrow; will send delegates to SONA rally on Monday

More than 250 peace advocates and human rights defenders from 25 countries gather tomorrow as the International Conference for Human Rights and Peace in the Philippines (ICHRPP) opens at 9 a.m. at the Great Eastern Hotel, Quezon City. The foreign delegates are also attending the People’s SONA on Monday, July 22 to cap the three-day conference and the week-long International Solidarity Mission in the different communities where there are documented human rights abuses.

 Rep. Teddy Casiño, Spokesperson of the ICHRPP contested  the Quezon City LGU’s decision to deny the protesters permit to rally, calling it “throwback Monday” and reminded the Aquino government that the “Marcos dictatorship was won by defying such repressive tactics.”

 
The continuing use of repressive tactics by the Aquino government, through Oplan Bayanihan, have caused alarm among peace advocates and human rights defenders in the international community. Oplan Bayanihan’s implementation already resulted to 142 victims of extrajudicial killings and 164 victims of frustrated extrajudicial killings. The ICHRPP is set to tackle the human rights record of the Aquino government and strengthen national and international human rights solidarity campaigns on the Philippines.
 
Rep. Teddy Casiño is slated to welcome the foreign and local delegates to kick-off the three day conference. Among the keynote speakers are Jeanne Mirer, Esq, President of the International Association of Democratic Lawyers, a UN accredited organization; Dr. Edith Burgos, mother of desaparecido Jonas Burgos; and Prof. Jose Maria Sison, chairperson of the International League of People’s Struggle (ILPS). 
 
Meanwhile, the week-long International Solidarity Mission that preceded the ICHRPP wraps up today as delegates gather to collate data on human rights violations they gathered from the different communities in the country. 
 
"This is unacceptable in a country that claims to be a democratic and is bound by rule of law," Rev. Stuart Lyster , a delegate from Vancouver, Canada said when the team visited the political prisoners at Camp Bagong Diwa (CBD), Bicutan, Taguig City. The ISM-Metro Manila team were upset to learn that people who serve poor communities are easily thrown in jail through fabricated charges. The delegates also lamented the fact that people languish in jail, “under very poor condition”, also because of  lengthy court processes.
 
The ISM-Metro Manila met with the peace consultants of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP), Allan Jazmines, Tirso Alcantara, Emeterio Antalan and Leopoldo Caloza, who are in Camp Bagong Diwa despite being holders of the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG) signed by the GPH and the NDFP.
"We stand in solidarity with the political prisoners and those who will be displaced because of demolition. Solidarity means  that the whole world will stand as witness as to how the powers and the principality in the Philippines will act on these issues," Rev. Lyster said. ###