The first anti-Con Ass rally

Protesters raise their fists, a symbol of defiance, as the singing of Bayan Ko ends the rally.

“No law shall be passed abridging the freedom of speech, of expression or of the press,or the right of the people peaceably to assemble and petition the government for redress of grievances.” – Article 3, section 4 of the 1987 Constitution.

On June 10, 2009, Filipinos — mostly from Metro Manila; the other provinces had their own rallies — came by the thousands to once again “petition the government for redress of grievances.”

The approval of House Resolution 1109 brought them together, but the grievances are mostly old, issues and crimes that have remained unaddressed.
One example is that of Remmie May, 5, who lost her father when she was two. The family blames the military and the Arroyo government.
Remmie May, 5, lost her father when she was two. She also lost her home: fearing for their safety, the family had to relocate.
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Abducted Fil-Am activist wants protection from AFP, government

Dr. Pamugas explains the injuries Melissa suffered.
Melissa Roxas, a Filipino-American activist abducted on May 19, has filed a writ of amparo, asking the court for protection against the military and the government.
She was resurfaced six days after the abduction, brought near her house by the same group of armed men who took her and two companions in La Paz, Tarlac. One of her companions, Juanito Carabeo, has also resurfaced, while the other, John Edward Jandoc, has told his family he had been released but has not yet been seen by members of Karapatan.

In her petition for amparo, Melissa says she was tortured, beaten up and accused of being an NPA. She was asked again and again to “return to the fold.” She was placed in what felt like a jail cell. FELT because she was handcuffed and blindfolded all the time, except when she was allowed to take a bath.

Read on for portions of the affidavit she submitted together with the writ. Deeply traumatized by the experience, Melissa has left to be with her family in the United States. Continue reading

Asean human rights body to be launched in October

Former ambassador Rosario Manalo, member of high level panel drafting the terms of reference for the Asean human rights body, says Asean's policy of non-intervention remains.
The high level panel drafting the terms of reference for the Asean human rights body has finished the principles to be observed, the purpose of the body as well as its mandate, but has yet to give the human rights body a name, says former Ambassador Rosario Manalo, Philippine representative to panel. Continue reading

Of hopes and dreams

p1030232I’m selling a lamp – made of old lotto tickets, the remnants of discarded dreams and unheard prayers. The lamp is made by political prisoners in Nueva Ecija – who are trying to raise P17,000, which they need to file a case with the Supreme Court.
The lawyer is free – the money is just for the filing of the case.
My sister, who brought the lamp home from Nueva Ecija, was not quoted a price by the one who gave her the lamp.
It’s just a lamp – its value rests more on what it stands for, what it was made of and who made it, instead of on the design.
I’d like to know if anyone would be interested in buying the lamp, and for how much. The political detainees are turning the discarded lotto tickets into items like this lamp, but they don’t know who to sell it to.