Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Stop Enforced Disappearance! Stop Extrajudicial Killings in the Philippines Now!

Petition of the Hong Kong Campaign for the Advancement of Human Rights and Peace in the Philippines on the International Day for the Disappeared
August 30, 2006

On the occasion of the International Day of the Disappeared, we, human rights advocates, civil libertarians, migrant workers, unions, youth and students of Hong Kong, unite and call on the Philippine government to effectively and swiftly address the unabated extrajudicial killings and human rights violations in the Philippines.

To date, human rights organizations in the Philippines have documented 729 cases of human rights violations in the country including scores of those who were forcibly abducted and until now remain missing.

Enforced disappearance still remains to be one of the gravest acts of human rights violations. It is a violation of many international conventions on peoples rights not the least of which is the Universal Declaration on Human Rights. The documentation of 147 cases of enforced disappearances (as of June 2006) in the Philippines is a cause for alarm and indignation for all defenders of human rights.

What is even more alarming, of the cases documented and reported to Philippine authorities, not a single case has been resolved.

Worse for victims of enforced disappearance, delegates of the Hong Kong Mission for Human Right and Peace in the Philippines reported that their interview with Task Force Usig, the body formed by the government to supposedly investigate the spate of political killings, revealed that the task force is not investigating cases of those who have been abducted and have not yet resurfaced.

The excuse that was given by the task force was that its mandate does not cover cases of enforced disappearances and that it only investigates cases in which a body has been found. This is an absurdity given the very serious nature of the crime of enforced disappearance which causes continuing grief for the families and friends of the victims. There is no reason why enforced disappearances and extrajudicial killings should be dealt with separately by the authorities as this would surely encourage perpetrators to ensure that bodies are never found. This development could subsequently lead to cases of involuntary disappearances replacing the present wave of extrajudicial killings.

In most cases, human rights groups have documented the involvement of the police, military and paramilitary groups on incidences of human rights violations. Even the various fact finding missions conducted by respectable institutions and groups all over the world has revealed the pattern of state involvement in these human rights violations.

Different international organizations including human rights associations, journalists, churches, lawyers and even parliamentarians have already expressed their concern over the killings.
However, the response of the government to the extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearance is very disappointing.

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyos strongly-worded promises of solving human rights violations cases issued only after international pressure mounted and the issue has become a national concern still remain as promises.

On this day, we demand the Philippine government to:

1. Uphold international conventions and UN resolutions on human rights such as the Declaration on the Protection of all Persons from Enforced Disappearance
2. Give full priority to the investigation and resolution of reported cases of human rights violations;
3. Direct the police and the military to account for their involvement on human rights violations and direct them to resurface those who have been forcibly abducted;
4. Provide sufficient protection and assistance to witnesses of human rights violations incidences, and;
5. Establish a truly independent body that shall investigate the cases of human rights violations.

Signed:
Hong Kong Campaign for the Advancement of Human Rights and Peace in the Philippines
Asian Human Rights Commission
Hong Kong Christian Institute
Hong Kong Christian Industrial Committee
Justice and Peace Commission of HK Catholic Diocese
Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions
Ziteng
Center for Justpeace in Asia
World Student Christian Federation – Asia Pacific
Asia Pacific Mission for Migrants
Asian Center for the Progress of Peoples
Asian Students Association
Thai Regional Alliance
Association of Indonesian Migrant Workers
Iglesia Filipina Independiente/Philippine Independent Church – HK
United Filipinos in Hong Kong (UNIFIL-MIGRANTE-HK)
Filipino Migrant Workers Union
Abra Tinguian Ilocano Society
Cordillera Alliance
United Pangasinan HK
Migrante Sectoral Party - Hong Kong
Association of Concerned Filipinos
Friends of Bethune House
Pinatud a Saleng ti Umili
Filipino Migrant's Association
Association of Filipino Women Migrant Workers in Hong Kong
Filipino Friends - Hong Kong
LIKHA Migrant's Cultural Organization
Bruce Van Voorhis, AHRC
Michael Anthony, AHRC
Corazon Amaya-Canete, Kisapmata Productions
Cynthia Ca Abdon-Tellez, MFMW
Jun Tellez, MFMW
Norman Carnay, MFMW
Gessen Rocas, Hong Kong
Peggy Lee, human rights activist (Canada)

Friday, August 25, 2006

McDonald's 1

Sa isang halos araw-araw nadadaanan ang McDonald's at tila nanawa na sa simpleng pagtunghay lang dito, at naumay na rin sa halos buong panahong pagkahumaling dito lalo noong unang inilagak ang branch nito sa may malapit sa Sta. Cruz Church sa Carriedo, hindi ako makapaniwalang kumakain pa rin ako ng McDo.

Kahit narinig ko na sa mga kasama ko ang kasamaang dulot ng hindi matunaw-tunaw na burger, fried at beef patty sa tyan, ang paninira nito sa puri ng kalikasan at ang simpleng katotohanang junk food ito at tyak na isang malaking pakana ng mga kapitalistang ganid, natatakam pa rin ako at buong panahong nagkukumahog para lamang makatikim nito kahit isang beses isang linggo.

Pero hindi ngayong linggo. Simula noong dumating ako mula sa Pilipinas, halos araw-araw ko yatang pinupuntahan ang McDo at masayang kumakain. Paborito ko ang Big Mac kahit pa talagang masamang cholesterol lang naman ang idudulot nito sa akin. Paminsan-minsan na lamang sa Coke na nakapanlilinis ng makina ng sasakyan kasi meron naman silang Fruit Punch at Iced Mocha na tyak ding magpapataas sa aking blood sugar.

Hindi ako masaya sa french fries at Mcnuggets kasi walang tinapay although masarap talaga ang mga recent pakana nilang sauce tulad ng malay satay, hot ichiban, thai mayo at isa pang nakalimutan ko na.

Sa punto de bista ng isang nagmimintina ng kalusugan, masamang pagkain ang McDonald's. At kahit pa alam ko na ito, kumakain pa rin ako.

Sa punto de bista ng isang nagtataguyod ng organic farming at lumalaban sa corporatization ng pagkain, dapat itinitigil ko na ang pagtangkilik dito. Pero kumakain pa rin ako.

Mamatay sa nais. Mamatay sa hilig.

Naalala ko tuloy si Nanay noong sinasabi nya ito sa amin habang kumakain sya ng malalambot na buto ng manok. Matagal nangn yumao si Nanay mula sa cancer of the colon, 26 years na ang nakakaraan. Malungkot ako noong namatay si Nanay. Naalala ko pa rin sya at ang sinabi nya sa akin:

"Mamatay sa hilig."

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Apartment sa Dapitan

Apartment sa Dapitan

Nakilala ko ang sumusulat dito. Sa totoo lang, kilala ko na sya bago ko pa nalamang meron syang blogspot. Iilan pa lamang ang nababasa ko sa mga isinulat nya pero nawili na rin ako. I find it weird that I am publishing two entries in my blog today.

Magaling kasi siyang sumulat. He inspires me. To write again.

shingles

i am immuno-compromised. this is a wild guess after having what i had days before. shingles.

i had shingles, or herpes zoster, the same virus that causes chicken pox. and before i had it, i never thought chicken pox would not come back and attack me once again. but it did. as the website for diseases screamed words of truth to me, even before i confirmed it was shingles from the doctor i visited that day, shingles do happen to people, many of whom are either 50 years old and above or immuno-compromised. i am definitely not 50 years old.

i experienced a strong stabbing pain on my chest days before. i sprayed myself with an anti-pain mixture that was brought home to manila to a friend from her US-based girlfriend thinking it would relieve myself of such a weird intoxicating attack of what seemed to be big needle pricks on my chest.

a day after, i saw rashes building up on my upper left torso. i attributed the rashes to the spray and blamed my friend for it. she was not responding to my text messages so i thought she was feeling guilty about it. i did not know i had rashes building up on my back until the blind masseuse told me she was feeling some hot nodules on my back and decided against massaging that affected area.

i did not know it would be this painful - physicially and financially. physically, the virus was attacking a part of my dermatome, an area with a lot nerves making the fruition of the blisters into pus-filled tit-like nodules excruciatingly painful. financially, it killed off the remaining happy days of my life when i spent more than 1,000HKD for a week-long intake of valtrex. what a way to celebrate my vacation back home.

and then they all crusted and i got well a week after. true, what my doctor said, that valtrex was a miracle drug hastening the resolution of the virus from 4-5 weeks to just one. although i am having post-herpetic neuralgia, where one still feels a stabbing pain on the chest or around the affected area, i am okay now.

i don't mind being immuno-compromised but i do mind not taking it seriously.