20th November 2016
CHRP-UK PRESS STATEMENT
Kaleb Lloyd, committee member, +447482 990557
Rafael Maramag, committee member, +447958 482753
The Campaign for Human Rights in the Philippines (CHRP), together with Filipino community organisations in the UK, joins the Filipino people, at home and overseas, in their condemnation and outrage over the guileful burial of the remains of the late dictator Marcos on Friday, 18th November 2016.
In a truly macabre, thief-like fashion, the abrupt burial of Marcos in the Heroes’ Cemetery (Libingan ng mga Bayani) on Friday is an affront to all those real heroes of our country who resisted and died opposing the Marcos regime and who succeeded in finally bringing his dictatorship down. We condemn the Philippines Supreme Court for permitting this offensive ceremony.
We equally condemn President Duterte for granting state honours for this vicious dictator in an attempt to rewrite history. The Filipino people will never forget the 70,000 people imprisoned, 34,000 people tortured, around 3,200 people killed, and countless more who have been forcibly disappeared during the Martial Law era.
We would instead urge the government to renew efforts to recover the $5-10 billion dollars of wealth plundered and hidden overseas by the Marcos family, and to provide restitution and compensation to the families of those who were killed, imprisoned, tortured or disappeared during the dictatorship.
The Campaign for Human Rights in the Philippines has its roots in the Philippines Support Group (PSG) which opposed human rights abuses in the Marcos era. It was PSG former members who came together again in 2006 as human rights abuses were once more on the increase under President Macapagal Arroyo. CHRP has campaigned constantly to promote human rights in the Philippines since then, including bringing Philippine human rights defenders and families campaigning on behalf of victims on speaker tours of the UK.
The reality is that there has been little or no reform of the military since the Marcos martial law era. Successive administrations since Marcos, drawn from the traditional wealthy elite families, have been ready to allow a climate of impunity towards human rights abuses committed by the police and military. These have resulted in a continuing toll of deaths and disappearances among community activists, trade unionists, church workers, journalists and many others. It is no surprise that it was the same army which pushed through with this offensive ceremony honouring the former dictator.
We join the Filipino people in the home front and abroad, in the call for mounting mobilisations until 30th November by staging a protest in London on Tuesday, 22nd November from 4.00pm at the Philippine embassy.
MARCOS IS NOT A HERO!
NEVER AGAIN TO MARTIAL LAW!
JUSTICE TO ALL VICTIMS OF HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS!
November 20, 2016 No Comments
LUMAD RIGHTS REPORT: Peoples’ Rights in Peripherals
PEOPLES’ RIGHTS IN PERIPHERALS
Lumad Rights in the last 18 months of President Aquino III
This report assesses the rights of the indigenous peoples of Mindanao—the Lumad—under the last one and a half year of the administration of Pres. Benigno Simeon C. Aquino III whose term ended on June 30, 2016.
Download the report, here!
December 5, 2016 No Comments
Bluebird Merchant Buys Batangas Gold Project In Philippines (ALLISS)
2 December 2016
LONDON (Alliance News) – Bluebird Merchant Ventures Ltd on Friday said it has bought the Batangas gold project in the Philippines for 1.3 million shares and a 1.0% net smelter royalty upon commencement of production.
Bluebird said it previously owned a 25% stake in Red Mountain Mining Singapore Ltd, which owned 100% of MRL Gold Inc.
On Friday, the group said it has agreed to return its 25% stake in Red Mountain Mining Singapore to Australian miner Red Mountain Mining Ltd and in turn will be transferred the total holdings in Philippine-registered MRL Gold, which owns the Batangas project.
“As acknowledged by Red Mountain Mining it is extremely challenging for foreign-based explorers to develop their projects. As a Philippine-based company Bluebird is confident that it is uniquely positioned to develop the project,” Bluebird said.
In consideration for the acquisition, Bluebird said it will be issuing 1.3 million shares to Red Mountain Mining and the 1.0% royalty.
Shares in Bluebird Ventures were up 5.9% at 2.25 pence on Friday, implying a price for the project of GBP28,125.
Bluebird said the acquisition represented a “significant improvement” in terms as previously it had the option to increase its 25% stake in Red Mountain Mining Singapore to a 50% stake by investing a further USD1.7 million.
Bluebird noted the recent maiden ore reserve declared by Red Mountain Mining for the Batangas project of 128,000 ounces of gold which included 100,000 ounces at 4.2 grams per tonne of gold. Red Mountain Mining has also completed a pre-feasibility study for the project which showed it would produce a free cash flow after capital costs of AUD46.0 million.
The project has an additional 320,000 ounces of majority Joint Ore Reserves Committee inferred resources that are available for future conversion, Bluebird said. The total historical spend on the gold project has been more than USD20.0 million which can be applied as tax losses to the project, the group added.
“Whilst there has been uncertainty in the mining industry in the Philippines over the past six months which has seen a mining audit undertaken of operating mines that resulted in the recommendation for the suspension of over 20 mines the company is not aware of any mines that have ceased production,” Bluebird said.
The group added it is currently in talks with prospective local partners who would manage the permitting process, and said the outlook for Philippines mining projects is “a lot brighter” than it was six months ago.
Bluebird said it plans to undertake a thorough review of the project in the short-term and will “give careful attention” to the environment aspects of Batangas.
“Notwithstanding the current mining climate in the Philippines, we believe that we will be able to progress the project through to production with the assistance of local partners who understand the opportunities that the establishment of a mine will have for all stakeholders,” Chief Executive Charles Barclay said.
“Whilst the agreement to proceed with construction may still take some time, the asset will continue to represent considerable value to our shareholders,” Barclay added.
By Hannah Boland; email@example.com; @Hannaheboland
Acquisition of 100% of Batangas Gold Project
RNS Number : 7961Q – Bluebird Merchant Ventures Limited release
2 December 2016
Bluebird Merchant Ventures LTD (the “Company” or “Bluebird”) Bluebird acquires 100% of the Batangas Gold Project
Bluebird Merchant Ventures (EPIC: BMV), the Philippine focused natural resources development company is pleased to announce the acquisition of the Batangas Gold Project (the “Project”) for a consideration of 1.25 million Bluebird shares. Having previously held a 25% stake, the acquisition will give Bluebird sole ownership of the Project which has an established JORC resource of 445,000 oz of gold.
* Acquires 100% for consideration of 1% royalty and issuance of 1.25m Bluebird shares
* Pre-Feasibility Study announced on 21st June 2016
* Maiden Ore Reserve declared on 21st June 2016 of 128,000oz of Gold (including gold equivalent) including 100,000oz at 4.2 g/t Au
* Available 320,000 oz of majority JORC Inferred Resources remains available for future conversion
* Bluebird also acquires over $20million of tax losses
The Company previously owned a 25% stake in Red Mountain Mining Singapore Ltd (RMMS) which in turn owned 100% of Philippine registered MRL Gold Inc. Bluebird will return its 25% stake in RMMS to ASX listed Red Mountain Mining (RMX) and RMMS will transfer its 100% stake in MRL Gold Inc to Bluebird. As acknowledged by RMX it is extremely challenging for foreign-based explorers to develop their projects. As a Philippine based company Bluebird is confident that it is uniquely positioned to develop the Project.
In consideration for the acquisition, ASX listed Red Mountain Mining (RMX) will be issued 1.25million Bluebird shares and will also be entitled to receive a 1% net smelter royalty upon commencement of production.
The acquisition represents a significant improvement in terms as previously the Company had the Option to increase its 25% stake to 50.1% in RMMS by making further project investments of US$1.7million.
On 21 June 2016 RMX declared a Maiden Ore Reserve of 128,000 oz of Gold (including silver credits) which included 100,000 oz at 4.2g/t Au along with a Pre-Feasibility Study that showed the project would produce a free cash flow (after capital costs) of A$46million based on the Maiden Ore Reserve. The project has an additional 320,000oz of majority JORC Inferred Resources that are available for future conversion. The total historical spend on the Batangas Gold Project has been more than USD 20million, which can be applied as tax losses to the project.
Whilst there has been uncertainty in the mining industry in the Philippines over the past six months which has seen a mining audit undertaken of operating mines that resulted in the recommendation for the suspension of over 20 mines the Company is not aware of any mines that have ceased production. The Company is in dialogue with prospective local partners that would manage the permitting process and expects to update the market in due course.
The Company believes that the outlook for Philippine mining projects is a lot brighter than it was six months ago. Bluebird’s key management are all located in the Philippines having experience of both bringing gold projects into production and operating gold mines in Asia including in the Philippines, making it uniquely positioned to understand the local culture and environment.
The Company plans to undertake a thorough review of the Project in the short term and in particular will give careful attention to the environmental aspects. We fully support the Philippines Chamber of Mine’s drive for Responsible Mining for both the local communities and the environment.
Bluebird CEO, Charles Barclay commented:
“We are delighted to announce the acquisition of the whole of the Batangas project. Notwithstanding the current mining climate in the Philippines, we believe that we will be able to progress the project through to production with the assistance of local partners who understand the opportunities that the establishment of a mine will have for all stakeholders. Whilst the agreement to proceed with construction may still take some time, the asset will continue to represent considerable value to our shareholders.”
Bluebird Merchant Ventures Ltd
+63 917 8615 604
Charles Barclay, CEO
Walbrook PR Limited
+44 (0)207 933 8783
Gary Middleton / Nick Rome
December 5, 2016 No Comments
URGENT CALL FOR SUPPORT:
Free all political prisoners! Free the defenders!
Campaign and Information Kit
Dear Rj, Susan, Jam, Shanthi and friends at ICHRP-UK,
Let us demand the release of all political prisoners, all human rights defenders, including those who should be released on humanitarian grounds, lest they run out of time and die in prison cells.
On November 25, 2016, Bernabe Ocasla, an elderly and ailing political prisoner detained since 2007, was rushed to a hospital following a stroke. Ocasla died three days after slipping into a coma.
Ocasla is the first political prisoner who died while in detention under the Duterte administration. There are twelve (12) other political prisoners who suffered the same fate during the BS Aquino administration because of lack of proper medical attention and inhuman jail conditions: NDFP peace consultant Eduardo Serrano (Special Intensive Care Unit 1- Camp Bagong Diwa), Jose Andaya (Tinangis Penal Farm, Camarines Sur), Alison Alcantara and Benny Barid (New Bilibid Prison), Ester Montes (Eastern Samar), Nenino Cabarles and Renato Abadiano (Samar Provincial Jail), Crisanto Fat (Bureau of Jail Management and Penology, Bago City, Negros Occidental), Melchor Renomeron (Compostela Provincial Rehabilitation Center), Romeo San Andres (Aurora Provincial Jail), Gildo Gonzales (Makati City Jail) and Willy Geocado (Sorsogon Provincial Jail).
We also recall the death of Diona Andrea, the newborn baby of former political prisoner Andrea Rosal. Because of poor jail conditions and inadequate maternal care, baby Diona died two days after she was born at the Philippine General Hospital.
Bernabe Ocasla, 66, was a peasant organizer in Catbalogan, Western Samar when he was illegally arrested on December 31, 2007. He was unjustly implicated in the trumped up multiple murder charges, with peace consultants Wilma Austria-Tiamzon, Benito Tiamzon, Randall Echanis, Raffy Baylosis, Vicente Ladlad and Satur Ocampo, fellow peasant organizers Dario Tomada, Norberto Murillo, Oscar Belleza and former Bohol town mayor Exuperio Lloren. Ocasla was detained at the Manila City Jail.
The multiple murder case, lodged at Manila Regional Trial Court Branch 32 and where Ocasla and several others were implicated, is a tale of make-believe stories spun through highly questionable testimonies of soldiers and military-backed witnesses and planted evidence, to justify the illegal arrest and imprisonment of peace consultants and peasant leaders. A previous case using the same set of evidence was earlier dismissed in court when a witness admitted that he was under military custody when he executed his complaint affidavit.
Imprisoned when he was already 57 years old, and having spent almost 9 years in jail, Ocasla suffered from deafness, blindness in one eye, and hypertension. Ocasla’s health has undoubtedly deteriorated due to jail conditions. On November 25, 2016, Ocasla was rushed to the Jose Reyes Memorial Medical Center after suffering a stroke. His heart stopped but was revived after desperate efforts. A respirator was the only thing which kept him alive for the next three days. Come, November 28 in the afternoon and after three consecutive heart attacks, his body gave up.
Ocasla’s name is among those listed and submitted by Karapatan to the Government of the Republic of the Philippines and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP), as priority for release under humanitarian considerations. His release requirements have been prepared, completed, and merely awaiting the fulfillment of GRP’s commitment.
The resumption of the formal peacetalks between the GRP and NDFP on August 22-26, 2016 was a welcome development, which paved the way, among others, for the reaffirmation of previously signed agreements such as the Comprehensive Agreement on Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL) and the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG), the release of political prisoners through a general amnesty, with priority given to detainees for humanitarian considerations, and the process for the drafting and approval of key agreements on social, economic, and political reforms.
Though commitments were made to release a substantial number of political prisoners on the first and second round of the talks, only nineteen (19) NDFP consultants and staffs have been temporarily released on bail, to be able to join the formal talks in August 2016. Pronouncements by Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Jesus Dureza and GRP peace panel head Sec. Silvestre Bello III publicized the alleged signing of a bilateral ceasefire agreement between the two parties on December 10 and that 71 political prisoners have already been released; none of said pronouncements are true.
As of October 31, 2016, there are still 401 political prisoners in the country. Of the 401, 130 are sickly, 33 are elderly, 33 are women, and 49 have been imprisoned for more than ten years. At least 296 of them were illegally arrested during the BS Aquino administration, while 15 were arrested during the Duterte administration. Please see the attached profiles of some of the political prisoners.
This coming commemoration of the International Human Rights Day 2016, Karapatan will support the initiatives of all political prisoners in the Philippines as they are set to conduct hunger strikes from December 7 to December 10. This will be complemented by solidarity fasting of the PPs’ relatives and supporters outside jails starting December 3 to December 10, 2016 to amplify the call for the immediate release of all political prisoners via general amnesty and for the continuation of peace initiatives of the Philippine government with the NDFP and Moro movements. Please see attached concept note on this activity.
We enjoin you and your organization to support the political prisoners through the following:
1. Send letters, emails or fax messages calling for:
a. The immediate release of all 401 political prisoners, particularly the sick, elderly, women, and those who have incarcerated for more than 10 years;
b. The Philippine Government to uphold and implement its commitments in the first and second rounds of the GRP-NDFP formal peacetalks under the Duterte administration.
You may send your communications to the appended contact information sheet.
2. Support the online petition by Pilgrims for Peace by signing and disseminating it. You may access the petition through: https://www.change.org/p/release-political-prisoners-in-the-philippines-support-the-grp-ndfp-peace-talks.
3. You may take individual or group pictures of people holding fan signs with the text: Free all Filipino political prisoners! Free the defenders! Upload the said photos to your Twitter and Facebook account/s and tag the following: @rodyduterte @bebotbello @peacegovph @karapatan @freeallpoliticalprisonersnow. Please use the hashtag #AmnestyNowPH #FreeAll #PoliticalPrisonersPH.
4. Hold other forms of solidarity actions, including pickets or rallies or initiating meetings with Philippine Embassy and/or consulate officials on the issue, conducting solidarity fasting in your communities or workplaces, and other creative forms.
5. Provide material and financial support for the legal defense and welfare of the political prisoners. You may contact firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
Thank you very much for your continuing support for the cause of human and people’s rights in the Philippines.
Cristina “Tinay” Ellazar Palabay
Karapatan Secretary General and Tanggol Bayi (Defend Women) – Philippines Convenor
Official organization emails: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
Mobile number: +63917-3162831
Websites of organizations:
Attachment(s) from Jamima Fagta | View attachments on the web
4 of 4 File(s)
URGENT CALL FOR SUPPORT- Free All Political Prisoners.pdf
Contact Information Sheet.pdf
_Fasting HS Concept Paper.pdf
December 5, 2016 No Comments
Unity Statement On Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi’s Project to Operationalize the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant
On Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi’s Project to Operationalize the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant
In the past two months, the Department of Energy (DOE) under the leadership of Secretary Alfonso Cusi has shown renewed interest in reviving the mothballed Bataan Nuclear Power Plant (BNPP). A week after President Rodrigo Duterte announced that nuclear power was not going to happen under his watch, Secretary Cusi announced on November 11 that he had been able to get the green light from the President to “proceed to work for <BNPP’s> rehabilitation and full operation.”
We, theNetwork Opposed to Bataan Nuclear Power Plant Revival (NO to BNPP Revival) protest this planned rehabilitation of the BNPP, based on the firm assertion that its operationalization will be detrimental to the environment and our people.
We stand strong in our resistance against the DOE and Secretary Cusi’s decision to even consider the BNPP as a safe and viable source of energy at this point in time. We enjoin the public to stand against the BNPP’s revival on the following grounds:
Built on the slopes of Mt., Natib, a capable volcano, and on the active Lubao fault, the BNPP stands on a massive geohazard area that can be affected, if not destroyed, by natural calamities at any time. No technological advancements prevent, or prepare us for, disaster, and this has been proven by the 2011 Fukushima Dai-ichi disaster in Japan where an earthquake caused serious damage to the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant. As such it is clear that operationalizing the BNPP, given where it stands, will put the lives and health of millions in inestimable danger.
The construction of the BNPP was completed in 1984,using technology which at this point in time is close to obsolete. DOE’s estimate that it would take only $1 billion dollars to make the plant operational is based on a 2011 study and reflects prices from five years ago. In reality, it would now require billions of dollars, as well as extensive research, to rehabilitate the BNPP with the latest technology. This money is better spent towards harnessing safe indigenous energy sources.
Uranium, the primary fuel that is used to operate a nuclear power plant is a foreign resource that has been going through constant price increases due to scarcity. BNPP’s operation willincrease our dependence on foreign imported – and expensive – radioactive fuels, whichputs into question the assertion that it will mean cheaper electricity for all Filipinos.
Nuclear waste storage and disposal technology is a health hazard for the people of Bataan and neighboring provinces. The harmful effects of nuclear materials are severe and lasting, with toxicity lasting for thousands of years.
Reviving the BNPP will not solve electricity shortages as these are caused not by an extreme undersupply of electricity but by market mechanisms that manipulate supply to increase prices.
The BNPP is a health hazard and environmental threat, one that previous governments have kept closed for good reason: even the dictator Ferdinand Marcos himself did not dare push through with operationalizing the BNPP, after his own 1980 Puno Commission declared it unsafe.
In the present, the BNPP is a monument to the Marcos regime’s reign of corruption. The dictator left us with a $2.3 billion-dollar debt for the power plant’s construction, which the Filipino people paid back for 30 years. Taxpayers’ money has also been used to pay for the annual maintenance of the BNPP, amounting to P50 million pesos a year.
The Network Opposed to BNPP Revival sees this orchestrated effort to revive the BNPP as symbolic of the possible return to the era of anti-environment and anti-people policies, laden with corruption and lack of transparency, all of which hark back to Marcos’s oppressive and violent regime.
A Martial Law remnant such as the defective and dangerous BNPP should not be allowed to operate. We stand united in our resistance against the revival of the BNPP, as well as against all other policies that will cause the plunder of our environment and our nation. We pledge to strengthen our campaign against the BNPP revival and encourage everyone to join us in our fight for safe, affordable electricity as a public utility.
PROTECT THE ENVIRONMENT, UPHOLD PEOPLE’S RIGHTS, NO TO BNPP REVIVAL!
Network Opposed to Bataan Nuclear Power Plant Revival (NO to BNPP Revival)
AGHAM Advocates of Science and Technology for the People (AGHAM) | Kalikasan People’s Network for the Environment (Kalikasan PNE) | Center for Environmental Concerns – Philippines (CEC-Phils) | AMIHAN National Federation of Peasant Women | Ban Toxics | Promotion of Church People’s Response (PCPR) | #NoToBNPP (facebook.com/NoToBNPP) | Erni Mayen Maray – Teacher, AGHAM NCR | Maria Fe Resol – AGHAM NCR | Dr. Amado Angeles – Animal Scientist, AGHAM UPLB | Carol Araullo – Chairperson, BAYAN | Carmelito Tatlonghari – Retired Radiation Control Superintendent, Bataan Nuclear Power Plant | Vito Hernandez – Faculty member, University of the Philippines-Science and Society Program | Dr. Teodoro Mendoza – Institute of Crop Science, College of Agriculture, University of the Philippines Los Baños | Teresita R. Perez – Lecturer, Department of Environmental Science, Ateneo de Manila University | Dr. Romy Quijano – Retired Professor, Dept. of Pharmacology and Toxicology, College of Medicine, University of the Philippines Manila | Dr. Kelvin Rodolfo – Geologist, Department of Earth & Environmental Sciences, University of Illinois, Chicago | Dr. Fernando Siringan – Marine Science Specialist
Make science and technology serve the people!
AGHAM-ADVOCATES OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY FOR THE PEOPLE
2nd Floor Elden Tejada Building
# 2 K-H Street, West Kamias, Quezon City
T: +63 2 998 4226
December 5, 2016 No Comments
KALIKASAN PEOPLE’S NETWORK FOR THE ENVIRONMENT
26 Matulungin St. Central Dist., Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines, 1100
Tel./Fax; 02-920-9099; E-mail: email@example.com Website: www.kalikasan.net
01 December 2016
Greens, Yolanda survivors picket DPWH demanding stoppage of Leyte Tide Embankment Project
Environmental activist group Kalikasan People’s Network for the Environment (Kalikasan PNE) joined more than a hundred survivors of Super Typhoon Yolanda under the People Surge Alliance in a picket protest at the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) demanding the stoppage of the controversial P7.9-billion Leyte Tide Embankment Project.
“Where is the promise made by government amid mounting people’s opposition that the Leyte Tide Embankment Project will be put on hold? The DPWH has been unable to demonstrate even just a skeleton of a plan to address the Tide Embankment’s threats of aggravating future storm surges, ecological destruction, and displacement of 10,000 Yolanda survivors. DPWH Secretary Mark Villar should urgently act on the matter unless it is only corporate greed that matters in his decision making,” said Leon Dulce, campaign coordinator of Kalikasan PNE.
The mega infrastructure project is currently being implemented by DPWH, with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) as its technical consultant, as an engineering solution to the risk of Typhoon Yolanda-level storm surges. It spans 27.3 kilometers across the eastern seaboard of Leyte province covering the Tacloban City and the towns of Palo and Tanaunan.
A recent environmental investigation mission (EIM) conducted by the Center for Environmental Concerns – Philippines and progressive scientist group AGHAM found that the proposed tide embankment project not only presented the risk of direct displacement of coastal communities, but also threatened the loss of important mangrove forest expanses. The EIM also noted how the project design was haphazardly designed and seriously lacking in scientific rigor.
“The DPWH seems bent on pushing through despite having such an incompetent design for the Tide Embankment. Its Eastern Visayas regional office announced last week that the national government has already allocated P2.6 billion in funds for the project. You are clearly wasting taxpayers’ money on a project that will surely and spectacularly fail because it banks on a shoddy technical design purely for its hefty price tag,” said Dulce.
Kalikasan challenged the DPWH to impose a moratorium on the tide embankment project until an alternative risk reduction measure appropriate to the people’s needs is presented.
“Engineering solutions are welcome if they truly address the grave physical, socio-economic, and ecological risks confronted by the people that should be its beneficiaries. The Leyte Tide Embankment Project, however, is a blatant example of disaster capitalism where government stand to rake in profits at the expense of the people and environment,” ended Dulce.#
Kalikasan People’s Network for the Environment
26 Matulungin St. Central District, Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines, 1100
Tel: 02 920 90 99 | E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org | Site: www.kalikasan.net
December 5, 2016 No Comments
HEALTH ACTION FOR HUMAN RIGHTS
Unit 307 Casa Rafael 1223 Quezon Ave., Quezon City
Email: email@example.com Telephone (02) 9210586
STATEMENT OF Health Action for Human Rights ON THE DEATH OF POLITICAL PRISONER,
November 29, 2016
Death of Political Prisoner, Bernabe Ocasla:
the First and Should be the Last Under the Duterte Administration
At 66 years old, and spending 9 of those years in prison, BERNABE M. OCASLA’s hope of being released under President Duterte’s administration will not be realized. Ocasla died yesterday (November 28, 2016) at the Jose Reyes Memorial Medical Center, he did not wake up from a three-day comatose after suffering a cerebrovascular hemorrhage (stroke) while in detention at the Manila City Jail.
Ocasla hailed from the Visayas Islands, was a peasant organizer, arrested in 2007 on trumped up charges. Although the slow justice system in the country would render anyone in his situation hopeless, he and many detainees found hope in President Duterte’s promise of releasing political prisoners and pursuing the Peace Talks with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP). He complained of constant headaches, episodes of blurring of vision, and high blood pressure, was worried of irregular supply of medicines, but he beamed at the thought of all these ending soon, as their release is near.
The Duterte Administration was quick to start anew the Peace Talks with the NDFP, and while it gave statements of committing to previous agreements and vowed to end the talks in months, these pronouncements remain hollow. The promise of releasing political prisoners is yet to be fulfilled.
As most of the political prisoners should be released for being elderly and sick, President Duterte must realize that their suffering must end now. The death of Ocasla, though the first under his administration, should also be the LAST! It is already a grave injustice that one is being persecuted for defending the toiling masses, aiding in the prolonging of this injustice is as condemnable.
Justice for the death of Bernabe Ocasla!
Release all Political Prisoners!
Reference: Geneve R. Reyes, MD (09088624524)
November 29, 2016 No Comments
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Govt accountable for death of political detainee, SELDA to Duterte: Release the 400 now!
Selda Philippines: Nov 28 07:30PM +0800
For immediate release
28 November 2016
Govt accountable for death of political detainee SELDA to Duterte: Release the 400 now!
SELDA (Samahan ng Ex-Detainees Laban sa Detensyon at Aresto) demanded the Duterte administration immediate release of 400 political detainees following the death of Bernabe Ocasla, Monday afternoon.
“The Duterte administration is accountable for the death of Ocasla, who should have been released along with more than a hundred ailing political detainees as soon as it assumed office. This is the tragic result of the government’s deliberate delays and excuses in the release of political prisoners,” said Fr. Dionito Cabillas, SELDA spokesperson.
Selda and other rights groups have been calling for the release of Ocasla, 66, who went into a coma after suffering a heart attack on Friday, November 25. He has been languishing in jail for seven years, and was detained at the Manila City Jail on trumped-up charges of 15 counts of multiple murder. Calls for the immediate release of more than a hundred political prisoners who are ailing and elderly on humanitarian grounds is continuously denied by the government. He is one of the co-accused of NDFP peace consultants Benito Tiamzon, Wilma Tiamzon, Randall Echanis, Rafael Baylosis, Vicente Ladlad, and Adelberto Silva on trumped up charges of multiple murder cases filed by the Armed Forces of the Philippines pending before Manila Regional Trial Court Branch 32.
“Ocasla just came from his court hearing the day before he suffered a heart attack, optimistic and hopeful for their freedom. He, however, is a ticking timebomb since, with his hypertension and partial blindness. There are more Bernabe Ocaslas who are suffering inside detention centers. Their health conditions are rapidly deteriorating for lack of proper medical attention and subhuman jail conditions. Most importantly, they should not be in jail in the first place,” said Cabillas.
More than one-thirds of the 400 political prisoners are sick, a number of them are already old. In previous years, political prisoners like Alison Alcantara, Benny Barid and Eduardo Serrano died while under the custody of the state. Serrano, who died last January, would have been one of the released NDFP consultants this year, after formal peace talks between the GRP and the NDFP resumed in July. Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Secretary Jesus Dureza and GRP panel chairman Secretary Silvestre Bello III have been announcing the release of political prisoners since they assumed office.
“Sec. Dureza even has the gall to say they’ve released 70 political prisoners while those with life-threatening illnesses like Ocasla gamble with death. This is far from truth. We don’t need their empty grandstanding, what we demand is the release of all political prisoners,alive and granted amnesty. Release the 400! Amnesty now!” said Cabillas. ###
Reference: Fr. Dionito Cabillas, SELDA spokesperson, +639488418336
The Samahan ng Ex-Detainees Laban sa Detensyon at Aresto (SELDA) is an organization of former political prisoners in the Philippines. Founded on December 4, 1984, SELDA was initiated by newly-released political prisoners of the martial law period. SELDA’s primary task is to work for the release of all political prisoners and to see to it that humane treatment of those who are still in detention are complied with by the Philippine authorities. SELDA advocates justice for current and former political prisoners. It calls for the mobilisation of resources in support of political prisoners, former detainees and their families. It carries out legislative advocacy for the indemnification and rehabilitation of political prisoners. SELDA goes into partnership and builds solidarity with concerned individuals and groups for the freedom and welfare of political prisoners and all victims of tyranny.
SELDA National Office: 2/F, Erythrina Bldg.,
#1 Maaralin corner Matatag Streets,
Brgy. Central District, Diliman, Quezon City 1101, Philippines
Tel: 632-9906595 Fax: 632-4354146
November 29, 2016 No Comments
GRP accountable for death of ailing political prisoner
publicinfo: Nov 28 06:47PM +0800
November 28, 2016
Reference: Cristina “Tinay” Palabay, Secretary General, +63917-3162831
Angge Santos, Media Liaison, +63918-9790580
GRP accountable for death of ailing political prisoner
“Accountability on the death of political prisoner Bernabe Ocasla lies squarely on the Government of the Republic of the Philippines. Instead of immediately fulfilling its commitment to release all political prisoners, especially the ailing and elderly political prisoners, the Duterte administration, through its GRP peace panel, have spewed mere rhetorics instead of actually releasing them. We express our condolences with the family of Bernabe Ocasla. We mourn for yet another political prisoner who died in detention, because of the State’s continuing injustice against them,” said Cristina Palabay, Karapatan Secretary General.
At 5:30pm today, peasant organizer Bernabe Ocasla, 66, suffered his third and fatal, cardiac arrest since Friday, November 25, when he was first brought to the Jose Reyes Memorial Hospital in Manila. He died instantly, after three days in coma.
Ocasla was among the 401 political prisoners listed and submitted by Karapatan to the National Democratic Front of the Philippines and the GRP. He had hypertension, a condition which led to his cardiac arrest on November 25.
“For months, the GRP, through Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Secretary Jesus Dureza and GRP panel chairman Secretary Silvestre Bello III, have been announcing the release of political prisoners but so far only 19 has been released in line with the peacetalks. Pres. Duterte himself have said that political prisoners will be released through general amnesty, but to this date, more than 400 are still in jail,” Palabay stated.
“As in the rest of the country, harsh jail conditions at the Manila City Jail, where Ocasla was detained, contributed to his medical condition. At least 130 political prisoners are suffering from various illnesses, many are life-threatening ones like Ocasla’s condition. This is the reason why their immediate release was crucial, for they could have better medical
treatment outside jail,” Palabay further said.
Ocasla is the first political prisoner who died while in detention under the Duterte administration. There are twelve (12) other political prisoners who suffered the same fate during the BS Aquino administration.
These political prisoners died while under detention because of lack of proper medical attention and inhuman jail conditions: NDFP peace consultant Eduardo Serrano (Special Intensive Care Unit 1- Camp Bagong Diwa), Jose Andaya
(Tinangis Penal Farm, Camarines Sur), Alison Alcantara and Benny Barid (New Bilibid Prison), Ester Montes (Eastern Samar), Nenino Cabarles and Renato Abadiano (Samar Provincial Jail), Crisanto Fat (Bureau of Jail Management and Penology, Bago City, Negros Occidental), Melchor Renomeron (Compostela Provincial Rehabilitation Center), Romeo San Andres (Aurora Provincial Jail), Gildo Gonzales (Makati City Jail) and Willy Geocado (Sorsogon Provincial Jail).
“We also recall the death of Diona Andrea, the newborn baby of former political prisoner Andrea Rosal. Because of poor jail conditions and inadequate maternal care, baby Diona died two days after she was born at the Philippine General Hospital. The State is responsible for their deaths,” Palabay added.
“All these political prisoners were charged with trumped up cases. In Ocasla’s case, despite overwhelming evidence on the absurdity of the multiple murder charges against him and his other co-accused, trial is ongoing at the Manila Regional Trial Court. Iligal na kinasuhan at ikinulong na nga sila, nagdurusa pa sila dahil sa di-makatao at mapanupil
na kondisyon sa loob ng kulungan*,” Palabay said.
Ocasla is one of the co-accused of NDFP peace consultants Benito Tiamzon, Wilma Tiamzon, Randall Echanis, Rafael Baylosis, Vicente Ladlad, and Adelberto Silva on the multiple murder case filed by the Armed Forces of the Philippines pending before Manila Regional Trial Court Branch 32.
“Ilang detenidong pulitikal pa ba ang kailangang mamatay bago magpalaya ng bilanggong pulitikal ang Duterte administration? While tyrants like Marcos are being treated like heroes to their grave, real heroes like Ocasla who
organized peasants and actively defended the rights of the Filipino people are being left to die in jail. We demand the release of all political prisoners now!” Palabay concluded.
PUBLIC INFORMATION DESK
Alliance for the Advancement of People’s Rights
2nd Flr. Erythrina Bldg., #1 Maaralin corner Matatag Sts., Central District
Diliman, Quezon City, PHILIPPINES
1101Telefax: (+63 2) 4354146 Web: http://www.karapatan.org
KARAPATAN is an alliance of human rights organizations and programs, human rights desks and committees of people’s organizations, and individual advocates committed to the defense and promotion of people’s rights and civil liberties. It monitors and documents cases of human rights violations, assists and defends victims and conducts education, training and campaign.
November 29, 2016 No Comments
RE: REQUEST FOR SOLIDARITY MESSAGE
We are proud to announce that Migrante Europe will be holding its founding congress on 9-12 December 2016 in Rome, Italy. It will be attended by affiliate members of Migrante International as well as new applicants which will form the founding members of our regional chapter.
Theme: “Buuin ang pagkakaisa para ipaglaban ang mga karapatan at kagalingan ng mga migrante sa Europa, at isulong ang tunay at makabuluhang pagbabago sa inang bayan.” Forge a stronger unity to fight for democratic rights and interests of migrants in Europe;struggle for genuine and lasting change in the homeland.
The Founding Congress has the following objectives:
1. Consolidate our ranks through country and/or city reports and sharing of Migrante International member organizations.
2. Discuss and thresh out current issues we face as migrants and refugees in Europe.
3. Discuss issues in the Philippines which are affecting Filipino migrants and refugees in Europe and families in the homefront.
4. Draft and unite on a General Programme of Action, Coordinated Campaign plan and European-wide projects, addressing issues in Europe and in the homefront.
5. Elect the regional committee and officers and appoint its secretariat.
In line with this, we would like to request either a video (3 to 5 minutes) or written solidarity message from your organisation to mark this truly historic event. Your messages will be shown and read during the congress proceedings.
Please if you could kindly send your solidarity messages on or before 7 December 2016.
Below are the rationale and aims and objectives of Migrante Europe for your perusal.
We look forward to receiving your messages!
Migrante Europe Prep Com
Migrante International chapters in Europe have long felt the need of linking together and forging unity in order to promote Filipino migrants’ and refugees’ rights in the region, and social and national liberation in the Motherland.
Filipinos living and working in European countries feel the impact of anti-migrant policies of the European Union and non-member states, and the racism among the local population that these policies engender.
Migrants and refugees, including Filipinos, have always been made scapegoats for the economic crises in their respective host countries: from being blamed for ‘stealing’ jobs from locals, through being branded as an additional ‘strain’ and ‘burden’ to social services. Whilst migrant and refugees are often on the firing line in regards immigration issues, they are not given the platform to speak for themselves, not only to rightfully input on the whole migration debate, but more importantly to uphold and forward a rights-based approach on the issue.
Meanwhile, deep-seated poverty, underdevelopment and political repression continue to force hundreds of thousands of Filipinos to seek employment and political refuge abroad. There are over 950,000 Filipinos living and working in Europe. They desire a homecoming to an independent, self-reliant and developed Philippines where social equity and justice prevail and where no one is forced to leave their family, community and country for economic or political reasons.
Across Europe, progressive migrant organisations of Filipinos have resolved to consolidate our ranks under the banner of Migrante International, the biggest organization/alliance of overseas Filipinos organisations and individuals and their families all over the world.
AIMS AND OBJECTIVES
Migrante Europe has the following aims and objectives :
1. Promote migrants’ and refugees’ rights against all forms of discrimination, exploitation in the workplace and in the community and resist all anti-migrant policies.
2. Assert the right to organise through sharing expertise, best practices, knowledge and skills of migrants’ organising in the region.
3. Serve as a regional campaign center that plans to address regional issues of migrants and refugees, notwithstanding the support and solidarity with local issues in host countries.
4. Serve as a regional campaign center to address major Philippine issues, especially those directly affecting Filipino migrants and refugees in Europe and their families in the homefront.
5. Strengthen unity among overseas Filipinos and rally their families and advocates towards upholding of migrant and refugee rights.
6. Push for the building of a self-reliant economy in the Philippines in order to stop forced migration, promote social equity and justice and unite with other sectors of the society for the advancement of national development and democracy.
November 27, 2016 No Comments
URGENT Call for Signatories RE Collective Greens’ Statement RE Never Again to the Plunderous Legacy of the Marcoses
Subject: URGENT Call for Signatories RE Collective Greens’ Statement RE Never Again to the Plunderous Legacy of the Marcoses
Date: Fri, 25 Nov 2016 11:23:36 +0800
From: Greenresearch firstname.lastname@example.org [philundripnetwork] <email@example.com> Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org
Veteran and youth environmental advocates unite:
Never again to the plunderous legacy of the Marcoses!
We, the undersigned leaders of the Filipino environmental movement, have come together in this critical juncture of history when the return to power of the Marcos dynasty is looming.
The brazen railroading of the hero’s burial for the late Ferdinand Marcos last November 18, to the surprise and deep indignation of the Filipino people, was clearly an attempt to rehabilitate the dark, fascist legacy of the Martial Law dictatorship. It is an act to gloss over the various crimes against humanity perpetrated during Martial Law, including thousands of cases extrajudicial killings, illegal detention, enforced disappearances, torture, and militarization of communities opposing ‘development aggression’ projects.
We firmly hold accountable President Rodrigo Duterte’s consistent moves to return the Marcoses to political prominence. We have been very disappointed and hurt that he facilitated the clandestine burial of Marcos in the Libingan ng mga Bayani. We also condemn the mercenary majority decision of the nine Supreme Court justices that gave the undeserved burial a go.
Do we consider a dictator who promoted the deforestation of over 7 million hectares of timberlands and the construction of destructive and pollutive ‘development’ projects a hero? It is an injustice to the memories of environmental defenders like Kalinga chieftain Macliing Dulag and anti-coal fisherfolk leader Erning Castillano who were martyred amid the struggle against destructive projects during the Marcos era.
Duterte’s administration has also made ‘throwback’ remarks to pillars of Martial Law, including proposals to suspend the Writ of Habeas Corpus, revival of the Philippine Constabulary and the vigilante group Alsa Masa, and the longstanding impunity over extrajudicial killings. These must stop.
We assert that the accountability should not stop at only the Duterte administration. Three decades of post-EDSA Revolution regimes did nothing to address the economic and political crises that have chronically afflicted our people and environment. From the administration of Cory Aquino to the regime of her son, Noynoy, the Marcoses were never held fully accountable for their human rights violations and their plunder of public coffers.
Ghosts of Marcosian Past kept persisting through past administrations, including the attempt to revive the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant (BNPP) and to push through with the Kaliwa-Kanan Dam, and the further expansion of the Calaca Coal-Fired Power Plant, the first ever coal plant established during the dictatorship. The killings of environmental advocates continue, with 101 cases recorded since 2001, including the killings of seven advocates during the first few months of the Duterte administration.
This is not just a struggle against forgetting. This is a struggle to learn from history and to take action on the Marcosian attacks against the people and our environment persisting up to the present. We thus unite to:
• Oppose the hero’s burial given to Ferdinand Marcos and all forms of political rehabilitation given to the Marcoses;
• Defend the people and environment from the threats posed by the proposed revival of the BNPP and the Kaliwa-Kanan Dam, and the further expansion of the Calaca Coal Power Plant; and
• Demand justice for the continuing killings of environmental defenders, and uphold the people’s rights against worsening fascism and impunity.
We pledge to join the upcoming Black Friday protest at Luneta Park on November 25, 2016 bearing these calls. We call on our fellow environmental advocates and on the Filipino public at large to join us in this historic struggle to safeguard our democratic rights and protect our environment.#
1. AGHAM Advocates of Science and Technology for the People (AGHAM)
2. Center for Environmental Concerns – Philippines (CEC-Phils)
3. Kalikasan People’s Network for the Environment (Kalikasan PNE)
4. Assistance and Cooperation for Community Resilience and Development (ACCORD)
6. JPIC – Missionary Benedictine Sisters
8. Sibol ng Agham at Teknolohiya (SIBAT)
9. 350.org Pilipinas
10. AGHAM Youth PUP
11. AGHAM Youth UP Diliman
12. AGHAM Youth UP Manila
13. Environmental Youth Organization – EARIST
14. Kalikasan Youth – Umak
15. Marine Science Society UP Diliman
16. Science and Environment Assembly of Leaders – UP Manila (SEAL UPM)
17. UP Diliman College of Science Student Council (UPD CSSC)
18. UP Saribuhay
19. Youth for Earth Alliance
24 November 2016
November 25, 2016 No Comments