NYCHRP Demands Human Rights Protection for All Human Lives at 2018 People’s SONA rally in New York City

Reference: Louie Sawi, Mass Campaigns Chair, New York Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines (NYCHRP), nychrp@gmail.com

NYCHRP Demands Human Rights Protection for All Human Lives at 2018 People’s SONA rally in New York City

NYCHRP at SONA 2018

Human lives cannot survive without having concern for their human rights. Since Duterte took office, he has failed to ensure the safety and well-being of the Filipino people.

After he launched his  “war on drugs,” over 20,000, poor urban dwellers, including children, have been murdered by the hands of the Philippine National Police and its agents. According to an investigation by Human Rights Watch, police planted guns, used ammunition, and drug packets on victims’ bodies to incriminate them in drug activities. Masked gunmen participating in the killings appeared to be collaborating with with police, refuting government claims that most killings have been committed by vigilantes or rival drug gangs.

Opposition to Duterte’s War on Drugs in the Philippines has led to the imprisonment of 509 political dissidents, critics, and human rights defenders. Even faith based leaders, organizers, and international peacekeepers are not immune to Duterte’s atrocious policies. A month ago, Methodist Church Missionaries Tawanda Chandiwana, Miracle Osman, and Adam Shaw were detained and interrogated by the police while participating in an international peace mission. After 27 years of missionary work in the Philippines, Australian nun Sister Patricia Fox was ordered by the Bureau of Immigration for deportation. Fathers Rey Urmeneta, Mark Ventura, and Marcelito Paez were murdered for speaking out against Duterte’s extrajudicial killings.

Duterte’s amped up anti-people campaign has recently veered to the absurd. The government’s newest policy, Oplan Tambay, demonizes marginalized youth and criminalizes those hanging out in their neighborhood. It has led to more than 50,000 accosted, arrested and detained in city jails. For example, on June 29, urban poor activist Nicolas Minguito was arrested in Olango Island for eating halo-halo outside his house.

Martial Law in Mindanao continues to violate the human rights of its community members. Seven days ago, 1,607 Lumad members from the region of Surigao del Sur, Caraga were displaced from their ancestral lands after a series of abuses inflicted by the Armed Forces of the Philippines. After over a year of its implementation, Karapatan, a national human rights organization led directly by impacted people in the Philippines, documented that Martial Law has led to 49 extrajudicial killings; 9,738 threats, harassment, or intimidation; 336,124 indiscriminate firing and bombings, 404,654 forced evacuations; and 979 forced surrenders in the region.

People have the right to be free from these civil and political rights violations, but are also enshrined with the right to stand up against oppressive governments and systems. The people that President Duterte is repressing are folks that are fighting fundamentally to assert their basic social and economic rights. Basic labor rights are being violated as Philippine local companies Sumifru, Shin Shun, and Coca-Cola harass their workers through union-busting, terrorist tagging, and employing state security forces to violently break-up their peaceful protests for safer working conditions and access to affordable health care.

The government’s policy of contractualization offers no income stability for temporary work. It’s inhumane for companies like Jollibee, NutriAsia, and DOLE to terminate the service of the workers after only a year or a few months on the job. The scarcity of white and blue collar jobs in the city force some community members to seek work in these call centers and export processing zones for multinational corporations, where they labor overtime with little sleep and little pay. Approval of a recent fare hike by the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board won’t be enough to help workers afford to pay rent, feed their children, or send them to school, especially as the costs of basic goods and services – such as food, transportation, electricity, and water – increase due to rising inflation. Raising wages can improve workers’ lives; however, the government has failed to pass national minimum wage bills such as House Bill 7787 and other proposed legislation that increases the wages.

With the recent appointment of former President Gloria Arroyo into the Speaker of the House position, we know Duterte does not care for the interests of the people. That is why, we must fight. We must support our kababayans back home, in every way we can, to oust Duterte and his entire government out of office. We must replace that with National industrialization, genuine land reform, sovereignty and non-interference from oppressive/western powers like the US, and elect a government that supports scientific understanding of people’s conditions in order to uphold the rights of women, indigenous people, and national minorities.

More importantly, we must do our part, living in the belly of the beast, to stop the US from supporting the human rights abuses and fascism of the Duterte regime.

#StoptheKillingsPH

#EndContractualization

#NotoMartialLaw

#OustDuterte

#PeoplesSONA2018

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On June 12 Hindi-Pendence Day, NYCHRP Affirms the Struggle for Human Rights and Freedom

For Immediate Release

June 12, 2018

Reference: Glenn Ramirez, Organizational Development Officer, New York Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines (NYCHRP), nychrp@gmail.com

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NEW YORK, NY – Today, June 12, marks 120 years since the Philippines declared independence from Spanish colonization. Many Filipino communities, both home and abroad, are commemorating this milestone with festivities. Lamentably, there is nothing to truly celebrate as the Philippines is not yet an actual sovereign.

Last week, on June 3, 2018, members of NYCHRP joined migrants, professors, college students, youth, children, activists, members of the Filipino diaspora, and other human rights defenders, advocates, and allies for a Black Sunday Protest that took place during the annual Philippine Independence Day Parade in New York City. Led by the Malaya Movement as part of their campaign to Resist Duterte’s Dictatorship and Defend Human Rights and Democracy in the Philippines, the action intended to register the growing concern amongst Filipinos and allies in the US by taking to the streets to march and rally in protest.

400 demonstrators wore black, marchers in protest took part of the parade, proceeding down Fifth Avenue in Midtown Manhattan. As the group approached the grandstand, the members of the demonstration laid down for a die-in to demonstrate the killings of people in the Philippines as a result of the drug war and others that have been killed through the implementation of Martial Law in Mindanao and impunity in the country.

A few weeks before June 3, NYCHRP held a vigil to mourn the one year anniversary of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s declaration of martial law in the Mindanao region of the Philippines, commemorating all the lives that have been lost since this declaration and since Duterte’s presidency more generally, particularly in his War Against Drugs that has led to the killings of at least 20,000 Philippine people, a number that continues to rise every day.

NYCHRP is aware of this rise in the consolidation of Duterte’s power, and we remain vigilant by standing up for human rights, justice, and democracy.

NYCHRP condemns Duterte’s fascist regime and the actions of the Philippine government and those that support him. We reject his human rights violations, his anti-people policies, his corruption and his selling-out of Philippine sovereignty. We call for an end to the killings, his drug war, and the funding from the US that directly supports Duterte and his dictatorship.

As a member organization of the Northeast chapter of the recently launched ICHRP-US (International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines), it is our mission as peace loving people to raise awareness to the worsening human rights abuses happening in the Philippines.

We support the Philippine people in their quest to realize genuine democracy in their homeland.

STOP THE KILLINGS! FIGHT TYRANNY!