FILIPINO-AMERICAN GROUPS SHINE A LIGHT ON HUMAN RIGHTS IN COMMEMORATION OF INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS DAY

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 11, 2012
Reference: Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines, chrpnational@gmail.com

FILIPINO-AMERICAN GROUPS SHINE A LIGHT ON HUMAN RIGHTS IN COMMEMORATION OF INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS DAY

 

December 10, 2012 marked the 64th annual International Human Rights Day (IHRD). Initiated by the United Nations in 1948, IHRD highlights those who have fallen victim to or survived human rights violations. In the US, the Filipino-American human rights organizations Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines (CHRP); with chapters in New York (NYCHRP), Portland (PCHRP), and San Francisco (SFCHRP); and Katarungan: Center for Peace, Justice, and Human Rights in the Philippines, culminated their 10 Days of Action with nationwide events for the Stop the Mining! Stop the Killings! Campaign. The Stop the Mining! Stop the Killings! Campaign condemns the October 18th slaying of Juvy Capion and her two sons by the 27th Infantry Battalion (IB) of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP). Daguil Capion, Juvy Capion’s husband, had been targeted by the military for leading the B’laan tribe against the entry of Xstrata-SMI’s Tampakan mining project.

In Portland, a vigil was held on Sunday, December 9th, at Rocky Butte Park. It paid tribute to the victims of the recent Tampakan Massacre and all victims of human rights violations in the Philippines. Rossella De Leon, Secretary General of PHCRP stated that “with the continuous extrajudicial killings since the implementation of President Noynoy Aquino’s Oplan Bayanihan in July 2010, it’s crucial to be aware of the injustices that are being committed against Filipinos and allies, and that’s where PCHRP comes in – we educate, organize, and mobilize our community to uphold human rights as part of our commitment to support the human rights struggle in the Philippines and all over the world.”

Following the vigil, Patrick Villaflores, PCHRP Mass Campaign Officer, thanked participants and passers-by for their “presence and support at the PCHRP Vigil for Human Rights on the eve of International Human Rights Day. Let’s all continue to demand for justice for the victims of the Tampakan Massacre and all victims of human rights violations in the Philippines.”

Events on December 10th began when members of Katarungan Center for Peace, Justice and Human Rights in the Philippines delivered a petition signed by 350+ people in support of the Stop the Mining! Stop the Killings! Campaign, seeking justice for the slain Capion family, to the office of Ambassador Jose L. Cuisia, Jr. at the Philippine Embassy in Washington D.C.

That evening in New York, NYCHRP held its 2nd Annual Lights for Rights in NYC at Union Square Park. NYCHRP, along with members of other community organizations, exhibited an art installation of envelopes with names of international human right honorees, illuminated by glow sticks, to honor victims and survivors of human rights violations.

While collecting signatures for the Stop the Mining! Stop the Killing! Campaign, Krystle Cheirs of NYCHRP explained that “our US tax dollars are being used to fund military aid to the Philippines. When the Philippines military commits egregious acts against human rights, we are essentially funding the deaths of innocent civilians–including women and children. We need to cut US military aid to the Philippines now!”

“It is within the broad similarities between victims of state repression in the Philippines, Palestine by Israel, and the members of our own communities by the NYPD and FBI that brought us together to shed light on the atrocities that happen even on our own soil, despite our democratic system,” noted another NYCHRP member, Hanalei Ramos, when describing the variety of honorees being commemorated in the Lights for Rights art installation.

Later that day in San Francisco, SFCHRP and local BAYAN-USA organizations babae SF, Anakbayan-USA and BAYAN-NorCal, gained audience with Deputy Consul General Jaime Ramon T. Ascalon at the Philippine Consulate. At this meeting, the organizations relayed to the Deputy Consul General the demands of the people; a letter from Erita Capion, sister-in-law to Juvy Capion; and the CHRP letter of demands regarding the Tampakan Massacre.

Upon hearing the concerns of the human rights delegation that visited his offices in the consulate, Deputy Consul General Ramon T. Ascalon seemed more concerned with projecting the fallacy that multinational mining companies are positive, and ‘help in the development’ of the Philippines and local communities by ‘providing jobs.’

“At no time did he seem to express the concern of millions of Filipinos and of the human rights delegation at his office over the plight of the Lumad peoples in Southern Mindanao over their displacement and harassment by AFP and by the plans of Xstrata-SMI to evict them from their ancestral homeland. At no time did he even offer any type of condolences for the AFP perpetrated massacre of the Capion family. It was as if our concerns, and the cries of the victims of political killings, were unheard,” said Rupert Estanislao, Chairperson of SFCHRP.

Jack Stephens, Educational Discussion Officer of SFCHRP, continued, “There is a trend within the Philippines when it comes to multinational corporations, where an increase of human rights abuses and violations within the communities they inhabit, persist. this is true, especially in the mining sector. As soon as these multinational companies come into an area, the AFP and Philippine National Police (PNP) become their hired militias and the mouthpieces of these multinational companies, spewing their propaganda. As a result, these companies’ exploits are protected at all costs, and concerned Philippine citizens and nationals are harassed or murdered in the process.”

While International Human Rights Day is commemorated but once a year, Filipino people remain fighting for justice daily. The Philippines’ most militarized regions are located in communities resisting aggressive foreign development, including large-scale mining corporations which have threatened the livelihood of hundreds of thousands of people through environmental destruction, displacement, and violent repression.The New York, Portland and San Francisco chapters of the Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines and the Katarungan Center for Peace, Justice and Human rights in the Philippines continue to condemn the Tampakan massacre and advocate for the rights and welfare of the Filipino people living in the Philippines, US and all over the world.

JUSTICE FOR THE CAPION FAMILY AND ALL VICTIMS OF HUMAN RIGHTS!
END ALL US MILITARY AID TO THE PHILIPPINES!
FIGHT FOR NATIONAL DEMOCRACY & GENUINE INDEPENDENCE FOR THE PHILIPPINES!

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http://www.nychrp.info // http://www.portlandchrp.org // http://www.sanfranchrp.com

FILIPINO AMERICAN HUMAN RIGHTS ORGANIZATIONS LAUNCH 10 DAYS OF ACTION TO DEMAND JUSTICE FOR VICTIMS OF THE TAMPAKAN MASSACRE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

November 28, 2012
REFERENCE: Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines, chrpnational

FILIPINO AMERICAN HUMAN RIGHTS ORGANIZATIONS LAUNCH 10 DAYS OF ACTION TO DEMAND JUSTICE FOR VICTIMS OF THE TAMPAKAN MASSACRE

 

The Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines (CHRP) with US-based chapters in New York (NYCHRP), Portland (PCHRP), and San Francisco (SFCHRP) and the Washington D.C.-based Katarungan: Center for Peace, Justice and Human Rights in the Philippines will launch the Stop the Mining! Stop the Killings! Campaign 10 Days of Action on Saturday, December 1, 2012. The campaign, which culminates on December 10, International Human Rights Day, calls for justice for the Capion family, withdrawal of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) from all Lumad areas, Xstrata-SMI’s abandonment of the Tampakan Project, and cutting U.S. military aid to the Philippines.

The Stop the Mining! Stop the Killings! Campaign condemns the October 18th slaying of Juvy Capion and her two sons by the 27th Infantry Battalion (IB) of the AFP. Daguil Capion, Juvy Capion’s husband, had been targeted by the military for leading the B’laan tribe against the entry of Xstrata-SMI’s Tampakan mining project.

“Targeting and other tactics are part of a continuing pattern of intimidation and impunity used by the AFP to violently suppress the growing opposition to aggressive mining development in the ancestral lands of the indigenous peoples of Mindanao,” explained Hanalei Ramos, Director of Public Relations at NYCHRP.

With over 114 politically motivated killings, 12 enforced disappearances, 200+ citizens arrested and detained without warrant or trial, and 20,000 plus victims of harassment from the military and other government forces, a culture of impunity has been imbued within the Aquino administration and the culture of the AFP and police. Instead of tackling the human rights crisis head on, President Aquino and other key members of the military and police deny that a crisis even exists and has deemed human rights concerns as “leftist propaganda.”

“This language merely reinforces the culture of impunity and gives an explicit green light to further military and police operations that contribute to the worsening human rights situation in the Philippines,” said Rupert Estanislao, Chairperson of SFCHRP.

“During the 10 days of Action, we’re asking people who uphold human rights to condemn the AFP murders of Juvy, Jordan, and John Capion,” said Rossella de Leon, Secretary General of PCHRP. The public is urged to join the #StopTheMiningStopTheKilling social media campaign; sponsor delegates participating in Manilakbayan, a caravan and march that addresses the effects of large-scale mining on human rights; and to call Ambassador Cuisia at the Embassy of the Philippines in Washington, D.C. to demand justice for the Capion family.

To honor International Human Rights Day, chapters of the Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines are hosting the following events across the nation:

San Francisco/Bay Area, CA March for Human Rights Monday, 12/10, 5:00 pm @ Union Square at Post and Powell Join us as we hold a silent vigil for victims for human rights violations in the Philippines in Union Square then as we march to the Philippine consulate. Come hear speakers from various activist organizations in the bay area as we commemorate the victims of the Tampakan massacre. www.sanfranchrp.com

Portland, OR Vigil for Human Rights Sunday, 12/9, 5 pm @Tambayan Rsstaurant, 6014 SE Foster Rd., Portland In commemoration of International Human Rights Day, victims of the Tampakan Massacre, and human rights violations in the Philippines. www.portlandchrp.org

New York, NY

International Human Rights Day Workshop

Sunday, 12/2, 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm

@Solidarity Center, 55 W. 17th St., # 5C, Manhattan

This workshop will include an educational discussion on the Tampakan Massacre of the Capion family, the abduction of Melissa Roxas, and a briefing on the current human rights situation in the Philippines. www.nychrp.info

Second Annual Lights for Rights

Monday, 12/10, 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm

@Union Square Park North (by E. 17th St and Broadway, across from Barnes & Noble)
Join us in paying tribute to the victims and survivors of human rights violations with our interactive, informative props and commemorative glowstick “candles” to light the path for human rights. www.lights4rightsnyc.wordpress.com

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Sign the CHRP online petition now: http://www.change.org/petitions/justice-for-victims-of-the-tampakan-massacre-cut-u-s-military-aid-to-the-philippines

Join our Call to Action: http://www.facebook.com/events/220651234734657 “12/1-10: A CALL TO ACTION: #STOPTHEMININGSTOPTHEKILLING”

www.nychrp.info // www.portlandchrp.org // www.sanfranchrp.com