European rights advocates urge EU to withdraw 10M euro grant for Aquino's failed justice program

International delegates who attended the International Conference on Human Rights and Peace in the Philippines have urged the European Union to stop aid to the Aquino government, specifically the withdrawal of a 10 million euro grant for the Philippine Justice Support Programme.
The more than 250 foreign delegates, in a strongly worded resolution unanimously approved at the conclusion of the conference, said the Aquino government unjustly enjoyed aid from the European Union despite failing to stop extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances and impunity.

Mr. Lacierda the issue is Aquino’s human rights record

“The issue, Mr. Lacierda, is not the Dutch man, the Crying Cop, or your blabber on the Left. The issue is Noynoy Aquino’s 4th State of the Nation Address that deliberately evaded the violations of civil, political, economic and socio-cultural rights of the Filipino people. The issue is the continuing extrajudicial killings, unsolved cases of rights abuses and the pervading state of impunity, which already caught the attention of the international community. These are issues that Noynoy Aquino cannot address head on,” said Cristina Palabay, secretary general of Karapatan.
Palabay said that “Aquino’s SONA, teemed with praises and commendations for the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines(AFP), serves as directive to the state security forces to continue their attacks on people’s rights. This is concretized by the display of police brutality last Monday against the demonstrators. A single crying cop cannot negate nor dispute that scores were wounded and arrested among the protesters.”

Int'l delegates hit surveillance of confab pax, use of "nat'l security" to justify repression

International peace activists and human rights defenders attending the International Conference for Human Rights and Peace in the Philippines (ICHRPP) condemned the deployment of military and police surveillance agents in their activities even as they geared up to join tomorrow’s SONA protests.
Security personnel of the conference apprehended a police officer and suspected military asset in two separate incidents yesterday (July 20).

Int'l coalition formed to campaign vs HR abuses in the Phils

An international coalition to campaign for human rights and justice and to end impunity, was launched today during the International Conference on Human Rights and Peace in the Philippines (ICHRPP) held at the Great Eastern Hotel in Quezon City.
The International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines (ICHRP) was one of the major achievements during the three-day international conference attended by more than 250 peace and human rights advocates from the US, Canada, Europe, the Middle East, the Asia-Pacific and Australia.

Int'l community press for the resumption of GPH-NDFP peace talks

Hoping that international pressure would bring the GPH-NDFP talks back on track, peace advocates and rights defenders at the International Conference for Human Rights and Peace in the Philippines (ICHRPP) called on the Aquino government to resume peace talks with the National Democratic Front, citing poverty and the re-escalation of human rights abuses as the most compelling reasons to go back to the negotiating table
“The landlessness of peasants, the lack of decent wages and job opportunities, decent housing and basic social services are weighing down on the lives of the Filipino people and violate their socio-economic rights. Those who resist and work for change are met with political repression by the State. We want the peace negotiations resumed to help resolve such issues,” the delegates said in a press conference.

Int'l peace activist: impunity in the Phils similar to the time of assassination of Msgr. Romero of El Salvador

El Salvadoran peace activist Marta Benavides likened the killing of Italian priest Fausto Tentorio and the continuing impunity in the Philippines to the 1980 assassination of Archbishop Monsignor Oscar Romero in El Salvador.
"It is the same thing that happened to all the martyrs in Latin America, the same thing that happened in El Salvador with the murder of Monsignor Romero.  We call it a 'loud secret.'  We all know, the whole population knows, what happened, who was behind it  ... the death squads.  (We may not know exactly) who went to kill him, but who was behind it.  We think it's the same thing here," said Marta Benavides, an El Salvadoran theologist and internationally-acclaimed peace activist, who was a friend of Monsignor Romero.  She is one of the few surviving human rights activists that began their work in El Salvador in the 70s.

Former GPH peace negotiator calls for resumption of Talks with NDF; Political Prisoners go on Hunger Strike

A former government negotiator in peace talks with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) is urging the Aquino government to honor the 10 previously signed agreements between the GPH and the rebel group in order for the talks to resume.
At the sidelines of the International Conference on Human Rights and Peace (ICHRPP) at the Great Eastern Hotel in Quezon City, Silvestre Bello III, who was negotiator for the GPH since the first Aquino administration to the Arroyo government, said both parties should “move the talks forward to its logical conclusion which is lasting peace for our people.” 

US lawyer calls for peace through respect of people's economic rights

A prominent American human rights lawyer is calling on Filipinos to use human rights laws and conventions to force the Aquino government into reversing economic policies that adversely affect ordinary citizens, especially the poor.
In her keynote speech before the International Conference on Human Rights and Peace (ICHRPP) at the Great Eastern Hotel in Quezon City, Jeanne Mirer, president of the International Association of Democratic Lawyers and a stalwart of the US National Lawyers' Guild, said government economic policies should adhere to human rights principles.

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.”

Series of arrests and abduction precedes Aquino’s 4th SONA

Karapatan, through its chairperson Marie-Hilao Enriquez, raised alarm on the spate of arrests involving a former political prisoner and a farmer and the abduction and disappearance of another farmer and a tricycle driver in less than a week. “Will Pres. Aquino brag about these rights violations in his 4th State of the Nation Address?” Enriquez,said.
Aristedes Sarmiento, a former political detainee who was among the “Tagaytay 5”, was rearrested on July 16 in the house of barangay captain Julianita Abuel Lagaya at 51 Mabini St., Bgy.  7, Lucban, Quezon in a joint operation by elements of the  Lucban Municipal Police Station, Regional Intelligence Police Regional Office-CALABARZON, Military Intelligence Group (MIG4), Intelligence Service of the AFP (ISAFP), 1st Special Forces Company, 201st Infantry Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, Naval Intelligence Security Group (NISG 4) led by Police Chief Inspector Juan Byron Reyes Leogo, Officer-In-Charge.
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