UKPC/FCYA - Toronto

Ugnayan ng Kabataang Pilipino sa Canada / Filipino Canadian Youth Alliance - Toronto Chapter

Friday, May 04, 2007

Testimonies from the Philippines

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April 24, 2007

Testimonies from the Philippines

The human rights situation in the Philippines continues to worsen. Since President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo came to power in 2001, KARAPATAN (Alliance for the Advancement of People’s Rights), the largest alliance of human rights organizations and advocates in the Philippines, has documented over 830 victims of extrajudicial killings. More than 200 have survived assassination attempts. More than 200 have been forcibly disappeared, including the two activists Maria Luisa Posa-Dominado and Nilo Arado who were recently abducted even as another human rights worker who was shot in the neck is currently fighting for his life. Most of the victims are trade unionists, church people, journalists, lawyers, farmers, women, students and others actively opposing the Arroyo regime’s undemocratic and anti-people policies.

Not only are the number and sheer brutality of the pattern of these killings and human rights violations alarming, there is also the fact that the killings continue unabated and with impunity despite evidence of the Arroyo regime’s culpability for these atrocities.

May 5th Damayan Migrant Education and Resource Center hosts a forum on the current situation in the Philippines. Marie Boti and Malcolm Guy, documentary filmakers from Montreal, have just spent twelve months doing volunteer work with the people's organizations in the Philippines. They will speak about the wave of political killings targetting progressives and oppositions politicians in the country, particularly in the current election campaign. They will also speak about the international campaign to Stop the Killings, and the Permanent People's Tribunal (PPT) in the Hague Netherlands, March 21-25, which they just filmed. The PPT, with the jury of prominent persons from around the world, found the Philippine government and the US George Bush administration guilty of "crimes against humanity".

Bern Jagunos, Area Secretary for East Asia and the Philippines of the United Church of Canada, joins these two guests as she gives an update on the recent North American tour of ecumenical and human rights visitors. With them, she attended the International Conference on Human Rights in the Philippines in Washington, D.C. and the US Senate hearing on the Philippines.

Filipino lawyer Renato Pambid has been active in the struggles of working class in the Philippines. He is legal counsel for Workers Assistance Center (WAC), a workers' institution in the Philippines. He's currently in Canada to attend a conference on Responsible purchasing policies and codes of responsible conduct.

The forum is endorsed by: UFiND, SIKLAB-Ontario, Filipino-Canadian Youth Alliance Toronto Chapter (UKPC-TO), Community Alliance for Social Justice (CASJ), Philippine Press Club of Ontario (PPCO), Friends of Panay and The Ontario Public Interest Research Group – York University (OPIRG-York).

The forum will be at the Multipurpose Room B, first floor of the Wellesley Community Center, 495 Sherbourne St. (corner Wellesley, 5 min. south of Sherbourne Subway) at 2:00PM.

For more information:
Eran Atendido – 416-846-5335