Parliamentarians to discuss ways for eliminating torture
By Asian Human Rights
July 19, 2012
HONG KONG –
Parliamentarians from several Asian countries are poised to meet and
discuss ways to end the widespread practice of torture and
ill-treatment in their countries. The three day meeting will take
place in Kowloon, Hong Kong, starting on July 21st.
The meeting is a significant step towards the implementation of the
United Nations' Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or
Degrading Treatment or Punishment (UNCAT).
Parliamentarians from Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Nepal, Pakistan,
Philippines and Sri Lanka have already confirmed their participation.
Several prominent human rights activists from South and South-East
Asia will also be traveling to Hong Kong to contribute to the
The meeting is sponsored by the Asian Alliance against Torture and
ill-treatment (AAATI). AAATI was initiated in July 2011, when a group
of human rights activists from several Asian countries came together
under the auspices of the Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC), Hong
Kong, and the Rehabilitation and Research Centre for Torture Victims (RCT),
Denmark. The alliance aims to make a concerted effort to introduce
legislation in all Asian countries along the lines of UNCAT, and to
ensure effective implementation of such critical laws that can
safeguard human beings from torture and ill-treatment.
John Clancey, Chairperson of the AHRC, will present the keynote
speech, and Dr. Jan Ole Haagensen, Director of the International
Department of RCT, will present the theme paper, which will seek to
provide an overall approach and strategy for effective elimination of
torture in Asia. Several prominent members of Hong Kong human rights
community will present their unique perspectives. And, the invited
parliamentarians from each country will present papers on the subject,
which will be discussed by all participants.
Professor Ole Espersen and former Minister of Justice, Denmark, has
sent his greetings to the participants of the conference, stating that
the "right not to be exposed to torture is in fact no real and genuine
right if it is not combined with an effective remedy for the victims
to make use of a legal machinery to have what the victim had to suffer
redressed and guilty persons punished." In addition Professor Espersen
has noted that the "ultimate responsibility for the national fight
against torture – and all other human rights violations, rests with
the parliament and the government in each country."
This meeting of parliamentarians from across Asian nations, who will
gather in Hong Kong for the sole purpose of considering possibilities
on how to bring an end to torture, is an unprecedented event.
charged for murder arrested
By RPCRD, Police
Regional Office 8
July 19, 2012
CAMP RUPERTO KANGLEON,
Palo, Leyte – PNP PRO 8 reports that a man who escaped
from jail on January 3, 2010 wanted for Murder was arrested Monday
At about 12:40 in the
afternoon on July 16, 2012, combined elements of Northern Samar
Provincial Public Safety College, Northern Samar Provincial Special
Operations Group and Lapinig Police Station led by PSI Arnoldo
Picardal Gomba, PSI Joseph Abalos Imperial and PI Ambrasio Villarino
Demain respectively conducted a manhunt operation at Barangay Lapinig
Del Sur, Lapinig, Northern Samar.
This resulted to the arrest
of a certain Joey Quias Del Monte, 37 years old, single, jobless from
Barangay 185 Malaria, Caloocan City but presently residing at Lapinig
Del Norte, Lapinig, Northern Samar.
Del Monte is an escape from
the Leyte Provincial Jail, Baybay City on January 3, 2010 and charged
for Murder docketed under Criminal case number 8-2000-10-83 at RTC
Branch 14, Baybay City, Leyte per certification dated July 4, 2012
issued by PGIII Antonio G. Ublado, OIC Leyte Sub-Provincial Jail,
Baybay City, Leyte.
Subject person was then
brought to Lapinig Police Station for documentation prior turn-over to
Northern Samar Police Provincial Office, Catarman, Northen Samar for
subsequent turn-over to Sub-Provincial Jail, Baybay City, Leyte.
Japan shares PHL
concern on lack of ASEAN joint communiqué – VP Binay
By OVP Media
July 19, 2012
MANILA – Vice
President Jejomar C. Binay on Wednesday said Japan shares the
Philippines’ concern over the recent failure of the foreign ministers
of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to agree on a
code of conduct in the West Philippine Sea.
The Vice President arrived
Wednesday night from a three-day trip in Tokyo where he gave the
keynote to an international cybersecurity conference.
Binay said Japan’s Deputy
Prime Minister Katsuya Okada expressed concern over the failure to
issue a joint communiqué during the ASEAN meeting in Phnom Penh,
Cambodia, but hoped that ASEAN would continue discussing the issue
among its members, and between themselves and China.
“Japan, as you know, has its
own problems with China, concerning Senkaku Islands, which are
controlled by Japan but claimed by China. Some kind of tension has
recently arisen after it was reported that the Japanese government
plans to purchase the islands from their private Japanese owner, and
nationalize them. This has provoked a reaction from Beijing,” he said.
The Vice President said that
there was a need “to share ideas on how to enhance the prospects for a
peaceful solution” given the common problem that the two countries
appeared to be facing at this time with China with respect to
“I assured the Deputy Prime
Minister that the Philippines will continue its search for a peaceful
solution to the problem, based on international law,” he added.
Meanwhile, Binay said he
also received some proposals on how to speed up the growth of
Japan-Philippines relations, including how to fast-track the program
for Filipino nurses and caregivers going to Japan, the creation of
sister-city relationships between Philippine and Japanese cities, and
the establishment of retirement centers for the Japanese elderly in
Moreover, he said that ways
and means of supporting the vigorous implementation of public-private
partnership (PPP) programs through Japanese investments in
infrastructure projects were also discussed.
Philippine seas can be reversed via sustainable practices
July 18, 2012
GENERAL SANTOS CITY
– Sustainable fishing practices are crucial in reversing the
ongoing decline of the Philippine seas, Greenpeace said today during a
media briefing in the country’s tuna capital.
“We are running out of fish and running out of time. For a country
known for marine biodiversity, there are very few fish left to catch,”
said Vince Cinches, Oceans Campaigner for Greenpeace Southeast Asia.
“The government’s recent plans to import fish from other Asian
countries like China and Taiwan is a clear sign that our seas have now
collapsed, with the local fishing industry, particularly the
livelihoods of small scale fishermen, at risk,” he added.
Greenpeace is challenging the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic
Resources and local fishing communities to look into sustainable
fishing methods to prevent what could be an imminent fish shortage.
Fish accounts for most of Filipinos’ daily intake of protein, with the
average person eating 28 kilos of fish every year. If current
destructive fishing practices continue, fish will soon become more
expensive, and may even become a luxury. Common species like round
scad, or galunggong, has dwindled to the point that it can no longer
meet local market demand. Importation will only serve the immediate
needs of the population, but will not address the problem of why the
sea is no longer self-sufficient.
Greenpeace is offering an alternative and sustainable solution to the
country’s fishing woes through Skipjack Pole & Line (P&L) Fishing.
Together the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) and
Socksargen Federation of Fishing and Allied Industries Inc. (SFFAI
Inc.) the group has organized a 1-day forum at Sidney Hotel tomorrow
to discuss the benefits of skipjack pole and line fisheries. Two
fishing experts, Bill Holden from the Marine Stewardship Council, of
the Australia, and Ibrahim Athif Shakoor, Secretary General of the
Pole and Line Federation, of the Maldives, were brought in by the
group to share their insights on the safe practice and market
viability of P&L.
Modern fishing techniques have resulted in unwanted and unsustainable
by-catch and over fishing that has wiped out some tuna populations.
Pole and line is a traditional method practiced by fishers in coastal
communities. It requires the use of a pole, a line, a hook, and a bait
boat. A few countries in the South Pacific practice P&L. Both Holden
and Shakoor believe that P&L is the best option to revive the seas.
They maintain that a well-managed and sustainable fishing is essential
for healthy oceans, livelihoods, and economies worldwide.
“There is huge potential for P&L in the Philippines. Not only is it
safe for the environment, but it also economically advantageous to
fisherman who will continue to engage in it, as we have seen in the
fishing economy of the Maldives,” says Shakoor.
Holden adds: “as an archipelago, the Philippines should tap into the
vast resources of its seas without harming the ocean’s ecosystems. In
order to do that, the fishing industry must practice safe and
sustainable methods. A good first step would be to be an MSC certified
Greenpeace is calling for a full cooperation between government and
fishing industries and communities to work together to develop
sustainable and responsible fisheries in order to revive the
“More than 70% of the world’s fisheries are fully exploited,
over-exploited or significantly depleted, and the Philippine situation
is a stark reflection of this sad reality. But there is hope:
sustainable practices, such as P&L, should be embraced by all
stakeholders. This way, our seas can continue to provide food and
livelihoods for the millions of Filipinos in the years to come,” said
8ID commander gets
his 2nd star
DPAO, 8ID PA
July 17, 2012
CAMP LUKBAN, Catbalogan
City, Samar – Officers, Enlisted Personnel and
civilian employees of 8th Infantry Division (8ID) gathered to render an arrival honor for MGen.
Gerardo T Layug on July 14 at around 11:00 o’clock in the morning at
the 8ID grandstand as a fitting recognition for his well-deserved
promotion to the next higher rank.
The promotion came as a form
of recognition as the Commander of the 8ID, PA and the massive peace
and development efforts in the area.
In his speech, Layug
expressed his gratitude to the Almighty God for giving him the gift of
leadership and the strength he needed to overcome the challenges he
faced in his long years of service to the AFP. He also thanked the men
and women of 8ID for their untiring efforts and continuous commitment
to serve the people and to have an insurgency free community.
He emphasized that his
promotion will inspire him to strive harder and remain committed to
lead the 8ID in achieving sustainable development and a just and
lasting peace in the area. He also urged all soldiers to be advocates
of Human Rights and catalysts of peace and development.
After the simple ceremony,
Layug together with his wife invited everybody to join him in a
“Boodle Fight” lunch – a military tradition of eating together to
enhance camaraderie and esprit de corps.
Ochoa directs MICC,
gov’t agencies to implement EO 79
July 17, 2012
Executive Secretary Paquito N. Ochoa Jr. has directed the
newly-created Mining Industry Coordinating Council (MICC) and
concerned government agencies to begin implementing the comprehensive
reforms in the mining sector under Executive Order No. 79.
In separate memoranda issued by Ochoa after President Benigno Aquino
III signed the executive order last week, he detailed steps to be
taken to effect the new mining policies aimed at addressing
environmental mining standards, improving revenue sharing, and
promoting social economic development and social growth.
“In his Social Contract with the Filipino People, the President
pledged to lead a government that would encourage the sustainable use
of resources to benefit the present and future generations of
Filipinos,” Ochoa said.
“EO 79 is a policy extension of this commitment, as it lays out
directives that will benefit our countrymen in the long-term by
putting in place measures that will protect the environment while
ensuring that the country gets the maximum economic benefits from
In his memorandum to Environment Secretary Ramon Paje to implement and
operationalize the President’s order, Ochoa outlined specific actions
to be taken by specific government agencies on issues involving strict
enforcement of environmental laws; inventory of social development,
management and environment enhancement programs of mining companies;
geo-hazard and multi-hazard mapping of areas for mining; determination
of the final land use of mining areas once projects are completed, and
non-issuance of new mining applications in Palawan, among others.
Social Welfare Secretary Dinky Soliman, who chairs of the Cabinet
cluster on Human Development and Poverty Reduction, on the other hand,
was directed to provide alternative livelihood for displaced mining
workers; craft mechanisms and guidelines to monitor human and labor
rights violations; complete cultural mapping of indigenous people; and
ensure proper working and safety conditions within mining areas and
The MICC, which Paje co-chairs with Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima,
has been asked to come up with the rules and guidelines for the update
the mineral commodity profile, and conduct studies and build databases
on new markets, products, and available technologies aimed at the
development of downstream industries and value-adding activities.
Ochoa also instructed the MICC to determine legislative measures that
will ensure efficient and effective management of the mining sector
and strengthen regulatory rules, and study the existing mechanisms for
revenue-sharing, among others.
Budget Secretary Florencio “Butch” Abad, head of the Secretariat of
the Good Governance and Anti-Corruption cluster, will determine the
specific roles of line agencies involved in mining to address their
overlapping tasks and functions, as well as explore the possibility of
tapping third-party international auditors to validate the volume and
value of mineral exports from the Philippines, Ochoa said.
detainees, kin join solidarity fast for the release of political
prisoners, exposes ill treatment of prisoners
July 17, 2012
QUEZON CITY –
Former political detainees, relatives, and supporters of political
prisoners on Tuesday held another picket protest this time at Camp
Crame on the second day of their fast to call for the immediate
release of 385 political prisoners detained nationwide.
Members of Samahan ng
Ex-Detainees Laban sa Detensyon at Aresto (Selda), Hustisya, Karapatan
and other people's organizations trooped to Camp Crame, where some
political prisoners are currently detained (Renante Gamara, Eduardo
Serrano and Eduardo Sarmiento).
“We were deprived of our
rights when we exposed the anomalies and ill treatment of staffs of
BJMP, PNP and LGU’s to other prisoners especially Muslim prisoners,”
Political prisoners in Camp Crame, Renante Gamara, Eduardo Serrano and
Eduardo Sarmiento said in a statement as they join the Nationally
Coordinated Fasting of political prisoners in various jails all over
In the said statement, they
condemned the military guards’ ill treatment to their fellow political
prisoner Tirso Alcantara in Fort Bonifacio. “He is being poisoned in
small doses,” said the three. They also condemned the transferring of
Ramon Patriarca to a military detention after he successfully
organized a protest to increase food allowances of prisoners in Cebu
Selda secretary general
Angie Ipong urged President Benigno Aquino III to grant an immediate,
general, unconditional and omnibus amnesty to free all political
prisoners in the country.
"We find no reason why the
government is waiting for when clearly all the political prisoners
especially the sick, the elderly, those in jail too long, and those
covered by the JASIG should have been released earlier," Ipong said.
Political prisoners in
different detention centers in the country – Calbayog Sub-Provincial
Jail, Compostela Valley Provincial Jail, Central Command, Lahug, Cebu,
Misamis Oriental, Panay, Cebu, Calbayog, Davao City, are currently
until PNoy's delivers his SONA.
Selda said that of the 385
political prisoners, 107 are arbitrary arrested and detained under the
PNoy's administration. "PNoy just continued GMA's Oplan Bantay Laya
tactics under the new Oplan Bayanihan to file trumped-up charges
against political activists because the government wanted to quell
dissent." Ipong added.
Ipong urged Aquino to have
the "political will" to grant amnesty to all political prisoners in
PRO8 digs down on the alleged strafing incident in Northern Samar
By RPCRD, Police Regional
July 16, 2012
CAMP RUPERTO K KANGLEON, Palo, Leyte – Police Regional Director
Chief Superintendent Arnold Rayala Revilla states that this PRO is now
conducting deeper investigation to further establish the suspect’s
motive, and to determine the real incident of the recent
indiscriminate firing that transpired recently in Brgy Cawayan,
Catarman, Northern Samar as reported in Philippine Daily Inquirer
dated July 12, 2012.
In fact he said that in the best interest of impartiality and due
process, we are continuously investigating this case. There are no
exceptions under the law and the PNP is committed to solve this case
quickly. If evidence warrant, suspect/s should be held accountable for
their actions and appropriate sanction shall be imposed upon them so
that justice must be served.
To recall, as reflected on the Brgy Blotter No. 1923 of Brgy. Cawayan,
Catarman, Northern Samar at about 10:00 PM of July 11, 2012, at Bayan
Muna Headquarters, located at Sitio Bukasan, Brgy Cawayan, Catarman,
Northern Samar, Andrew Sudario of legal age, single, Humanitarian
Worker and Bayan Muna Chairperson of Northern Samar Chapter and a
resident of aforementioned place and Elsa Marino, 17 years old, BS
Biology student of UEP, Catarman, Northern Samar while inside the room
of said office heard a voice coming from the outside saying in
vernacular language “Sige na, sige na”. After a few seconds, they
heard a sound similar to that of a firearm but they just ignored it
and thought it came from a passing vehicle until they notice that his
books were full of broken glass from the jalousie glass window and saw
a metal object similar to that of a slug and he advised his companion
to turn off the light and remain inside.
Based on the Investigation Report relative to the incident, submitted
by Northern Samar Police Provincial Office dated July 13, 2012 to the
Regional Investigation and Detective Management Division that the
investigating body has yet be given a more conclusive statement with
regards to the identities and motive of the perpetrators. Thus, a
more extensive investigation is required to be able to dig out more
information as to who might be responsible to the reported incident.
There were no indications based on the after SOCO Report that the said
establishment was strafed with bullets as indicated in the news.
However, based on the examination conducted by the investigators one
bullet hit the window of said establishment using firearm of
Moreover, investigator is still looking for other possibilities on the
manner of its commission which is part of the investigation that is
currently being done. Until this date Mr. Sudario did not bother to
report to Catarman Police Station the alleged strafing incident.
Again, PSSupt. Roel Balintong Acidre, Chief Regional Police Community
Relations Division said that the PNP will always be persistent in this
campaign against criminality and lawlessness in Eastern Visayas. The
PNP will always be relentless in enforcing the law without fear or
favor, maintaining peace and order, and ensuring public safety with
the active support of the community. All of these the PNP will do so
that every Filipino citizen and others who sojourn in the country may
live in peace and prosperity.
PCID urges extension of voters’ registration in ARMM
By Philippine Center for
Islam and Democracy
July 16, 2012
QUEZON CITY – The Philippine Center for Islam and Democracy (PCID)
joins the call for setting up of voters’ registration outside the
Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) for ARMM voters
temporarily outside of ARMM.
PCID believes in the democratic right of Muslims to participate in the
electoral process. Having engaged in electoral reform work with PPCRV
in the past, it joins the campaign for honest, orderly, peaceful
elections. This starts with a credible registration.
Bangsamoro have spread themselves in different parts of the
archipelago. While they are outside ARMM for school, work and trade
and to avoid conflict, they deserve the right to vote.
PCID affiliates on the ground have reported incidents prompting
concerns to extend the registration to ensure a more significant
participation especially from those who are finding it difficult to
reach registration sites due to the clustering of registration
precincts resulting from inadequate number of voting machines at only
928 for 2,490 barangays.
Given this difficulty in access, registrants have been heavily
burdened by the cost of transportation to registration precincts and
the significant lack of public transportation.
Media reports on sporadic violence and irregularities characteristic
of ARMM elections have also discouraged many registrants who chose to
1. A 17-year old was killed in Lumbac Unayan town, Lanao del Sur
obviously from a registration-related matter.
2. The entire team of election officers in one town in Lanao left
their post after gunshots were exchanged between supporters of rival
3. Periodic blackouts and the delay in the provision of power
generators in some areas in Lanao del Sur have miffed those who wanted
to register early but were told to wait for hours.
4. Incidents of harassment towards registration officials by local
politicians and their supporters in Maguindanao have been reported.
5. Registrants with questionable identification and qualifications,
numbering close to 6 million according to the COMELEC, have been
spotted in Tawi-Tawi and Lanao del Sur.
6. The COMELEC and other election watchdogs reported heavy
interference from local politicians wanting to control the
Only two days to go into the completion of the 10-day ARMM voters’
registration and little has been done to address old yet persisting
fraudulent practices despite calls from the national government to
curb such irregularities.
PCID joins NGOs, election watchdogs, and local officials in ARMM in
urging the COMELEC to seriously consider extending the registration
for another three days to decrease the number of potential voters who
may be disenfranchised.