[Personal Note] I am back


To my valued readers,

Have you ever experienced being crazy passionate about writing and then, seemingly all of the sudden, you lost interest?

It became less exciting, less fun, less of something you wanted to do but more of something you want to express.

I am very sorry for more than two years of a slump.
Even I, myself was wondering what happened.

But I have finally bounced back and clawed my way out.
The interest to write my opinion is once again become an obsession I can’t resist.

I am back.
And still imbued with the spirit of carpe diem…
to seize the moment…

be critical…

be involved…

be heard…

 

carpe diem

[In the Web] PNoy defends PH human rights situation


President Benigno Aquino III defended the Philippine government’s efforts to improve the human rights situation in the Philippines in an event that was organized by the Egmont Institute, a think-tank group based in Belgium held in Val Deuchess.

The Philippines was the focus of international attention with the spate of killings, disappearances and torture during the Arroyo administration

President Aquino cited the arrest of retired major general Jovito Palparan for his alleged involvement in the forced disappearance of two UP students in 2007 as a proof of his government’s serious efforts to put behind bars those accountable for human rights violations.

“One of the foremost human rights violators or accused, alleged human rights violators, in the person of General Palparan, who used to be a member of our Armed Forces, has recently been arrested and presently incarcerated and undergoing trial,” he said.

He reiterated his government’s commitment to human rights, rule of law and democracy.

However, he pointed out that justice for victims of human rights violations can’t be achieved without reforming the criminal justice system.

“Now, in our system also, the judicial branch is not directly under my office. We operate on three separate branches and, for instance, the so-called Maguindanao massacre is also a source of frustration for the executive department. There are 58 counts of homicide and murder on that particular case and over a hundred accused and we are still in the process of arresting some of the others accused,” he added.

President Aquino is in his four-nation European trip to meet investors from Europe and the US and to promote the Philippines not only as a tourist destination but also as an investment haven, bragging his administration’s gains in putting the economy in the right track.

pnoy-sendoff-malacanang-20140913-01
Courtesy of rappler.com

[Reflection] When money is not enough


A country in a democratic transition must come to terms with its past in order to move forward.

Addressing past atrocities and injustices is considered a crucial part of social healing and national reconciliation. Acknowledging the misdeeds especially human rights violations is one significant step towards guaranteeing the right of the victims for effective remedies.

However, remedial measures take various forms of reparation. One way is through compensation. This serves both as an acknowledgment of the human rights violations and the sanctioning of the state for allowing or for directly committing such violations.

After more than four decades, the Philippine government through the passage of Republic Act 10368 or the Human Rights Victims Reparation and Recognition Act of 2013 finally recognizes “the heroism and sacrifices of all Filipinos who were victims” of human rights violations during martial law and “restore the victims’ honor and dignity.”

Compensation provides not only material but also symbolic political and social benefits. First, it helps bring immediate economic relief to victims and their families and allow them to meet the basic survival needs. Secondly, the monetary compensation may serve as a deterrent for future abuses by imposing financial sanctions for committing such violations.

Although harms or injuries resulting from human rights violations are often irreparable but compensation can help restore the victims’ dignity by knowing that their rights are recognized and the violations committed against them are being atoned.

But lest we forget that reparations are not primarily about money, but to publicly acknowledge the wrongdoings and to guarantee its non-repetition. It is a necessary component of the healing process as it signifies a concrete step on the part of the state to make amends and take full responsibility for the historical tragedies like Martial Law.

Compensation must therefore serve to continuously promote and protect human rights. For money can’t buy justice but it can help the victim to endlessly pursue it.

#neveragaintomartiallaw

irr of ra 10368

[Document] Healthcare for Torture victims


Healthcare for Torture Victims

Presented by Darwin Mendiola

during the Department of Health Visayas Health Cluster Meeting

on August 15, 2014 at the Hotel Essencia, Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental.

 

Health care for torture victimsHealth care for torture victims

[Reflection] Torture Rehabilitation should be victim-centered


For human rights advocates, rehabilitation of torture victims is understood as both a right of the victims and a state obligation. It should play an important role in the broader agenda of achieving justice and respect for human rights.

It must be viewed holistically as it goes beyond physical and psychological care and extend to other types of services (legal, social and economic services, e.g. education, employment, housing, etc.), that enable the victims to restore life with dignity and return to life of normalcy.

However, rehabilitation is more than just responding to victims’ basic needs. It must respond to the real impact of violations in victims’ lives and at the same time, it should be given as sincere efforts on the part of the government to acknowledge the human rights violations and to provide concrete measure of justice to those whore rights have been violated.

The participation of the victims and their families in the designing and effective implementation of rehabilitation programs and services is therefore vital. This will ensure that torture rehabilitation is tailored to each victim’s needs and their particular situation while considering the effects of torture and other violations on families, communities and larger society.

Rehabilitation programs should promote individual, family and social healing, recovery and reintegration. This may include restoring cultural practices, traditions and exercising political beliefs without fear. Working only at the individual level is not enough. There is a need to consider rehabilitation beyond the individual level and to look at social dimension of rehabilitation.

In the Philippines, the passage of the RA 9745 or Anti-Torture Law on 2009 and the promulgation of the Comprehensive Rehabilitation Program in March 2014, did not make any significant improvement in the human rights situation.

Not only for the fact the torture continues unabated, there is still a lack of adequate rehabilitation measures for torture survivors and their families. While institutional efforts are being undertaken to give flesh and blood to this normative framework, the reality remains that rehabilitation services are not yet readily available for torture victims/survivors in many countries including the Philippines.until now, relevant government agencies still have no clear operational procedure and have no budget line for its implementation.

The participation of victims and their families in addressing the issue of rehabilitation, designing rehabilitation measures and seeing these programs are implemented can contribute powerfully to its success or failure.Nevertheless, there is a need to create enabling conditions for victims’ participation that would allow victims to feel that they are valued and recognized as rights-holders.

So in order to have a common understanding of the concept of rehabilitation not only as an inherent right emerging from human rights violations but also to identify its different forms and the necessary operational mechanisms for its provisions, the victims should be at its center.

 

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[In the Web] Palparan’s flee attempt indicates guilt – mothers of 2 missing UP students


Mrs. Concepcion Empeño (left) and Mrs. Erlinda Cadapan, mothers of the two missing UP students, listen intently at the proceedings during the third hearing on the criminal charges they filed against Palparan and other military officials.(Photo by Ronalyn V. Olea / bulatlat.com)

 

“He [Palparan] should be imprisoned immediately, along with GMA, Abalos, all of them who are shameless. They all should spend Christmas in jail.” – Mrs. Concepcion Empeño

 

By RONALYN V. OLEA
Bulatlat.com

MANILA – The mothers of the two missing students of the University of the Philippines (UP) are enraged over the attempt of retired Gen. Jovito Palparan Jr. to leave the country this morning.

Exactly four days ago, the Department of Justice (DOJ) issued a resolution implicating Palparan, then commanding officer of the 7th Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army and three of his men into the disappearance of UP students Sherlyn Cadapan and Karen Empeño.

According to reports, Palparan tried to go to Singapore around 7:30 a.m. on board a Seair flight but was prevented by immigration officials.

“Why would he escape? This only proves all the more that he is guilty of many crimes,” Mrs. Concepcion Empeño, mother of Karen, told Bulatlat.com in a phone interview.

Mrs. Erlinda Cadapan, mother of Sherlyn, deemed the same. “He attempted to flee because he knows he has committed crimes against the people. He is afraid to be put behind bars for he knows that we have a strong case against him,” Mrs. Cadapan said in a phone interview.

In a 36-page resolution, the DOJ panel of prosecutors investigating the incident found “probable cause” to charge Palparan, Lt. Col. Felipe Anotado, Master Sergeant Rizal Hilario, and Staff Sergeant Edgardo Osorio with two counts of kidnapping and serious illegal detention in connection with the abduction of the two UP students on June 26, 2006.

 

Please read full article at http://bulatlat.com/main/2011/12/19/palparan%E2%80%99s-flee-attempt-indicates-guilt-%E2%80%93-mothers-of-2-missing-up-students/