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Decades after the Marcos dictatorship, the Philippines continues to face the grim reality of political prisoners. Whether under the fascist Marcos dictatorship or “democratic” administrations after him, the rights of political prisoners are repeatedly violated as they are slapped with fabricated charges, arbitrarily arrested and illegally detained. Many of them are tortured and denied their right to counsel and due process. They suffer through subhuman prison conditions, prolonged imprisonment and intentionally slowed-down judicial process.
We condemn the court’s decision convicting Carlos Celdran of “offending religious feelings” and we support the fight for freedom of expression. The ruling against Celdran is clearly a repressive act and an assault on civil liberties and free speech.
A photo of a smiling Jesse Robredo, the late local government secretary, was something I found while searching the World Wide Web for a story peg. The photo takes away the bad taste in the mouth left by people in positions of responsibility, who are not transparent with common or public funds entrusted to them [...]
Last Sept. 21, President Aquino commemorated the 40th anniversary of the imposition of martial law by visiting the detention cell in Fort Magsaysay, Nueva Ecija, where his father, Ninoy, was jailed. The President also opened it as the Armed Forces Center for Human Rights Dialogue.
By Raul C. Pangalangan
For some, the dark years of martial law belong to history books, but for the Quimpo family, it is a story of how middle-class, Catholic-educated boys and girls, torn between reform and revolution, and between filial piety and social justice, became student activists (and one girl, an Opus Dei member), full-time rebels, political detainees and, [...]
Progress Lawyers Network of Belgium urges the Philippine government to release all political prisoners and to institute criminal and administrative cases against major human rights violators like former President Gloria Arroyo and fugitive retired Maj. Gen. Jovito Palparan. For many years, our organization has been monitoring the human rights situation in the Philippines, and our position against extrajudicial killings, disappearances, torture and other forms of human rights violations under the previous administration has been consistently firm.
By Mike Ariel Plaza
I remember the times I would run to granny’s room every time he came home drunk at night. As a child, I couldn’t understand then why he was acting the way he did. And I was afraid every time I saw him in that state. But despite my fear of him, I learned to respect him.
We would like to express our heartfelt thanks to the more than 30 advocates of human rights for political prisoners and for the exploited and oppressed people, who paid us a special visit last Dec. 26.
This refers to the news article on political prisoners. (“356 political prisoners go on hunger strike,” Inquirer, 12/8/11) The report certainly helped in raising public awareness of the existence of political prisoners in the country, as well as the campaign of human rights groups and advocates for a grant of general, unconditional and omnibus amnesty for all political prisoners by the Aquino administration.
This is in reference to the article titled “Most of us were arrested without warrant” (Inquirer, 10/9/11), which appeared on the Talk of the Town page. We, peace and human rights advocates from New Zealand, support the urgent plea for President Aquino to grant all political prisoners a general, unconditional and omnibus amnesty. Denying persons [...]
By Edwin Lacierda
We need to have a better definition of terms and perhaps a clearer term of reference on human rights. With respect to this administration, I think we do not have a policy on human rights violations. Proof possibly of this is the appointment of Etta Rosales who is herself a victim of human rights abuse. She was a victim of torture under the Marcos regime. So, I think that’s very, very clear that we frown on human rights violations.
By Mari Hilao-Enriquez
“There are no political prisoners.” “We have no political prisoners.” The first statement was issued by the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos. The second statement was issued by President Aquino’s spokesperson, Edwin Lacierda. Marcos’ statement echoes on the lips of P-Noy’s spokesperson 39 years after Marcos declared martial law. It is alarming to think that Marcos [...]