Posts

Escalante City councilor murdered

By Visayas Today

Escalante City Councilor Bernardino “Toto” Patigas was murdered Monday afternoon, April 22, by still unidentified gunmen.

A worker of the North Negros Alliance of Human Rights Advocates, with which Patigas had long been associated with, confirmed the murder, saying the councilor died of a gunshot to the forehead.

Reports said Patigas, 72, had been campaigning with other candidates in the May 13 elections but decided to return to the city center ahead of his companions, driving his motorcycle.

Bernardino “Toto” Patigas. (Photo from Visayas Today)

As he passed by the Escalante National High School at around 4:30 p.m., two men waved at him.

When Patigas slowed down, they opened fire, hitting him in the leg and, as he fell, finished him off with the headshot.

Patigas was a survivor of the September 20, 1985 Escalante massacre, when government forces opened fire on protesters staging a protest against the Marcos dictatorship. Twenty protesters were killed.

For years, he was an active human rights advocate and continued to support the advocacy even after he joined politics.

Human rights group Karapatan, of which NNAHRA is an affiliate, called Patigas “the 48th Karapatan worker killed in the course of his human rights advocacy.”

Bayan Muna said he had also been its coordinator in Escalante City since 2010.

Despite the constant vilification as well as a number of trumped up cases filed against him, Patigas remained a respected and popular figure in Escalante.

In April 2018, Patigas’ name and picture was included among some 60 individuals in a poster of alleged rebels that was hung in a central Negros town. Also on that poster was human rights lawyer Benjamin Ramos, who would be murdered in Kabankalan City on November 6. #

MAT marks first anniversary

Various personalities and groups under Movement Against Tyranny (MAT) gathered at Visual Light Studio in Makati City to celebrate their first year anniversary, August 27.

Teddy Casiño, convenor of MAT said that so far it is the broadest alliance of different sectors and political forces against the Duterte government since he took in office in 2016.

MAT was established after Kian Delos Santos killing, one of the victims of Oplan Tokhang.

The group brought the resistance against Duterte’s tyranny to a higher level and made a strong opposition against extra-judicial killings and human rights abuses of the regime, Casiño added.

The group recalled their one year report and achievements amidst the tyrannical rule of the Duterte regime.

This includes the Luneta Rally where tens of thousands participated in commemorating Martial Law anniversary.

The group position against human rights abuses of the regime on International Human Rights Day last December.

They also launched an anti-Charter Change Assembly and mass action in EDSA People Power anniversary.

Together with Coalition for Justice, they held a rally in Baguio City against Quo Warranto petition of Supreme Court Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno.

MAT also led the United Peoples SONA last July 23 which is the biggest anti-Duterte mobilization against charter change and dictatorship.

Sr. Mary John Mananzan, one of the convenor of MAT pointed out that since last year there is an accumulation of combustible events that will lead to a critical mass because MAT done its part and because the government made its own destruction.

She added that MAT will lead the broad movement of active and enlighten citizens against tyranny and for democracy, social justice, human rights and good governance.

She challenged the President about his repeated pronouncement of resignation.

The group made a loud and clear answer, to Duterte’s repeated threat to step down from office.

“Ok. Just Do it. Resign!” MAT told Duterte.

Meanwhile, MAT criticized the appointment of Teresita De Castro as the new Supreme Court Chief Justice and describes as a payment of the regime for her participation on the ouster of former Chief Justice Sereno.

‘Walang habas na paglabag sa karapatan’

Video by Resbak

Masdan ang mga daing ng taumbayan noong SONA.

Ang video na ito ay dokumentasyon ng pagkilos ng mga artista mula sa iba’t-ibang hanay at organisasyon, bilang pagkundena sa walang habas na paglabag ng Rehimeng Duterte sa karapatang pantao ng mga Pilipino.

(Resbak, Respond and Break the Silence On the Killings, is an artists alliance. )

Victims decry Arroyo’s ‘resurrection’ as House speaker

A day after former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo wrested the House of Representatives speakership in a controversial manner Monday, families of victims of human rights violations held a press conference and vowed to bring her to justice.

Under Arroyo’s Oplan Bantay Laya counter-insurgency program, more than 1,600 were killed extrajudicially while 200 remain missing to this day.

The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines said it was under Arroyo’s nine-year regime when the Philippines became the most dangerous country for journalists with more than 120 killed.

Iloilo groups hold People’s SONA

Hundreds of protesters held a People’s SONA last Monday, June 23, in time for President Rodrigo Duterte’s third State of the Nation Address.

The activists called for justice for victims of extrajudicial killings as they demanded a stop to militarization of communities, human rights violations, neo-liberal economic policies, corruption in government as well as other issues.

They also slammed the closure of Boracay Island they say is an arbitrary project that drove thousands of workers from their livelihood. (Photos and slideshow by Marie Irish Inoceto / Friends of Boracay and GabNet)

Pray for the evil spirit in Malacañan – Bishop

By April Burcer

A Roman Catholic bishop urged members of the Church to let their voices be heard against the killings of priests as well as against all other extra-judicial killings in the country.

“Stand up. Speak out. That’s where we are lacking right now,” Pabillo said during his homily at a special Mass celebrated at the Quiapo Basilica Monday evening.

“The people are asking, ‘Why is the Church silent?’ The public does not expect church people to be armed with guns. They expect us to speak out –bishops, priests, nuns and lay groups,” he added.

Pabillo said with the faithfuls’ voices speaking together, they don’t have to shout loudly but still be heard.

“The whole country will hear that killing is evil, that telling lies is bad, that cursing is unacceptable, that quo warranto is illegal, that we don’t want Cha-Cha, and that we should not give the Philippines to China,” the prelate said.

Earlier this month, President Rodrigo Duterte spoke against the Church’s God and the hypocrisy of its leaders and priests.

“So huwag kang maniwala ‘yang Katoliko. Hindi ako naniniwala ng Katoliko. ‘Yang Adam and Eve na ‘yan. Tingnan mo. Pagka hindi… Kung ‘yan ang Diyos ng Katoliko, torpe ‘yan. Mag hanap ka ng Diyos na tama,” Duterte said. (So don’t believe the Catholics. I don’t believe in the Catholics. That Adam and Eve story, you see…If that’s the God of the Catholics, that is stupid. Better that you find a right One)
Duterte was a baptized Roman Catholic.
In his homily, Pabillo urged the public to pray and fast more because “the evil spirit in Malacañan can only be driven away by prayers of faith.”

The Mass was followed by a candle-lighting ceremony at the historic Plaza Miranda led by various church and human rights groups for the three Roman Catholic priests killed under the Duterte government.

Father Richmond Nilo of Nueva Ecija, retired priest Father Tito Paez and Father Mark Ventura of Cagayan have been killed in the past six months.

“There is a culture of killing that is happening now in our country. They are killing our respect for people, they are killing our respect women, and they are killing our respect for the law. The very people who should be upholding the law are the very ones who are breaking them,” activist nun Sr Mary John Mananzan, OSB said.

The event was also participated in by Australian missionary Sister Patricia Fox and faith-based groups such as the National Council of Churches in the Philippines, Iglesia Filipina Independiente, United Church of Christ in the Philippines, Nicodemus, Workers’ Resistance Against Tyranny and for Human Rights, and Kalipunan ng Kristiyanong Kabataan.

The event ended with the announcement of the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) reversal of the Bureau of Immigration’s order deporting Fox. #

Ifugao leader killed by military

BAGUIO CITY – Ricardo P. Mayumi, an indigenous people’s leader in Tinoc, Ifugao was killed by suspected state military agents of a hydropower project on March 2, Friday.

Suspected hired goons of the mini hydro project and CAFGUs visited his house several time asking his family the location of Mayumi.

Mayumi was known for being fierce in his stance against destructive energy projects such as the Quadriver and Sta. Clara mini hydropower plants in Tinoc.

He was one with the Kalanguya people of Tinoc in successfully opposing and stalling these projects.

In a statement, the Ifugao Peasant Movement said Mayumi joined several dialogues with the NCIP, DENR, and with Congressman Baguilat, Cotamco, and Umali.

He stood his ground in defending the ancestral land and was repaid with death threats through calls and text messages.

Ten members of the IPM, including Mayumi received death threats using the picture of the gamong, the Ifugao burial blanket suspected to be from the State security forces.

Mayumi attended political prisoners court hearings with William Bugatti, then IPM’s Human Rights Officer. When Bugatti was gunned down after a court hearing, Mayumi was one of the first respondents who stayed with Bugatti’s body while the family was being contacted.

“We call on our kakailian and peace-loving individuals to condemn the killing of Mayumi and join us in seeking justice for Mayumi and all victims of human rights violations. Together let us rise up to fight tyranny and put an end to extrajudicial killings and the culture of impunity that reigns in the country,” said a statement by the Cordillera Peoples Alliance. # (Norwin Gonzales/Northern Dispatch)

Throng fills Rizal Park for anti-tyranny rally

Speeches, songs and poems filled the air last night at Rizal Park as tens of thousands of protesters condemned extra judicial killings and tyranny on the 45th anniversary of Ferdinand Marcos’ declaration of martial law.

The mass protest rally at Rizal Park in Manila, one of several across the country led by the Movement Against Tyranny, is yet another huge event opposing to Pres. Duterte’s own declaration of martial law in Mindanao, the spate of extra-judicial killings (EJKs), the bombing of Marawi and the militarization of indigenous peoples’ communities.

Music by Bituin Escalante (“Sa Ugoy ng Duyan”), Tubaw (“Kapayapaan”) and Buklod (“Tatsulok”).

Anti-tyranny rallies gather tens of thousands across the country and abroad

The Rodrigo Duterte government received the biggest public condemnation yet of widespread human rights violations in the country as tens of thousands across the Philippines and abroad took to the streets Thursday to protest extrajudicial killings and tyranny.

At least 30,000 protesters braved a downpour midway through the Rizal Park protest in Manila as speakers and artists took turns in condemning Duterte’s drug war and “undemocratic government.”

Earlier, at least 20,000 activists joined 3,000 members of various national minority groups in a protest action in Mendiola that ended the three-week Lakbayan ng Moro at Pambansang Minorya 2017.

Rody’s Cube was the second Duterte effigy to be burnt by the activists. (Photo by Kathy Yamzon)

They burned another Duterte effigy dubbed Rody’s Cube showing the various faces of Duterte as a US puppet, Hitler and Marcos before marching to Rizal Park for the main event.

In her speech before the Rizal Park crowd, Movement Against Tyranny convenor Mo. Mary John Mananzan, OSB said she is heartened by the many young people who attended.

Former Bayan Muna Representative Neri Colmenares likened Duterte’s style of governance to the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos who he said was quick to send opposition to jail.

“The Filipino people should never allow martial law to be imposed again on the entire country,” Colmenares said.

An evacuee from besieged Marawi City demands an end to the aerial bombing of their homes. (Photo by R. Villanueva)

The Rizal Park crowd occupied Roxas Boulevard from Padre Burgos Drive to TM Kalaw Avenue.

In Bicol, 13,000 protesters held simultaneous rallies in Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Catanduanes, Masbate, Albay and Sorsogon, Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan)-Bicol reported.

Thousands also held protest actions in cities across the country, including Baguio, Vigan, Tacloban, Iloilo, Cagayan de Oro, Iligan, Cebu, Butuan, Tandag, Davao and others.

In Hong Kong, members of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan held a protest rally in front of the Philippine Consulate in the city.

“We (migrant workers) did our part in resisting the old tyrant. We shall do our part in resisting the rising tyranny of the Duterte government. We say no to Duter-tyranny!” Bayan-Hong Kong chairperson Eman Villanueva said in a statement.

A picket protest was also held in The Netherlands as Migrante-Europe members read their statement of condemnation before officials of the Philippine Embassy at The Hague.

Saying it with a placard and shouting it too, (Photo by R. Villanueva)

In Tago, Surigao del Sur, 36th Infantry Battallion-Philippine Army elements held about 400 Tandag rally participants until rescued by United Church of Christ in the Philippines Bishop Modesto Villasanta.

Another Philippine Army unit in San Miguel, Surigao del Sur tried preventing more protesters from proceeding to Tandag while Philippine National Police personnel reportedly harassed protesters in Iligan City.

Meanwhile, the pro-Duterte rally at Plaza Miranda ended early at about six o’clock in the evening.

The Quiapo rally was attended by participants bussed in from Tondo, San Jose del Monte, and Caloocan, among others.

The controversial Lions Club feeding activity on Rizal Park’s Burnham Green appeared to have not happened, however.

Kodao observed no activity near the stage in front of the Quirino Grandstand despite the National Park Development Committee’s decision that the Lions Club needed the space more than the rally. # (Raymund B. Villanueva)

The Burnham Green was empty when the Lions Club feeding activity was supposed to be held. (Photo by R. Villanueva)

Government playing dirty, sabotaging Luneta rally–MAT

Organizers of the rally at Rizal Park accused the Rodrigo Duterte government of playing dirty in its bid to undermine the protest action today.

In a statement, the Movement Against Tyranny (MAT) slammed officials of the National Parks Development Authority (NPDC) for assigning the area around the Lapu-Lapu monument instead of the Burnham Greens in front of Quirino Grandstand as the rally venue.

“Duterte said all parks are open to be venues of peaceful protests (today) and has even declared it a National Day of Protest. But this is belied by the actions of his officials at the NDPC who would like to relegate the rally to an insignificant portion of Luneta,” MAT said.

“The Lapu-Lapu monument is not large enough to safely accommodate the tens of thousands expected to join the Sept 21 protests,” the group added.

As a huge stage was already being erected yesterday on the Burnham Greens, the NPDC told MAT representatives of the Lions Club activity.

“Despite having been informed of our rally, they instead assigned the Burnham Green, which can accommodate a crowd of 100,000, to the Lions Club for an event that has only 2,000 participants,” MAT said.

Lions Club officials told MAT they will abide by the NDPC’s decision.

Meanwhile, pro-Duterte rallies will also be held at the Bonifacio Shrine and Plaza Miranda, in accordance with Duterte’s declaration of a National Day of Protest.

Under Rizal’s gaze

MAT announced its rally against extrajudicial killings and tyranny under Duterte shall instead be held on Roxas Boulevard from Padre Burgos to TM Kalaw avenues.

“We will gather to end the killings and fight tyranny under the gaze of our hero Jose Rizal and with the Philippine flag flying above,” MAT convenor Sr. Mary John Mananzan, OSB said.

“In the interest of safety, practicality and symbolism, we are gathering at the area in front of the Rizal Monument and Philippine flag. This is where we will exercise our right to free expression and assembly,” Mananzan said.

MAT said the rally shall start at four o’clock and will end at eight in the evening with the simultaneous ringing of church bells and handheld bells and ringtones by the rallyists.

Pre-rally events

Before the Rizal Park rally, organizers said various groups will hold separate assemblies and events.

At two o’clock at the San Agustin Church in Intramuros, Caloocan Bishop Virgilio David will lead a Mass for the families of the victims of extrajudicial killings.

An ecumenical prayer gathering will also be held at the United Methodist Church along TM Kalaw to be led by Rev. Dr. Eleazar Fernandez, President of the Union Theological Seminary.

Bagong Alyansang Makabayan for its part will lead a march from the University of Santo Tomas to Mendiola at noon before proceeding to Rizal Park. Three thousand participants of the Lakbayan 2017 shall join the march.

Meanwhile, schools along Taft Avenue will gather and hold coordinated marches to Rizal Park at around three o’clock. They will be joined by students and faculty from various Quezon City schools.

Lawyers will assemble at two o’clock in front of the Supreme Court led by the National Union of People’s Lawyers, while lawyers from Makati will hold a caravan led by the Artikulo 3 group.

MAT said rallies will also be held in various parts of Southern Tagalog, Baguio, Ilocos Sur, Cebu, Negros Occidental, Iloilo, Tacloban, Butan and Davao City. # (Raymund B. Villanueva)