Monday, 27 July 2015

It encouraged us to seek redress, to pursue justice, and to construct a global order founded on full respect for the rights of all peoples, everywhere.

ICHRP Statement on SONA
July 27, 2015

On the occasion of President BENIGNO SIMEON C. AQUINO III’s last State of the Nation (SONA) address, the International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines (ICHRP) will be highlighting the outcome of the The International Peoples' Tribunal on Crimes of the US-Aquino Regime Against the Filipino People (IPT2015) to counter the false claims about economic and social progress that President Aquino is expected to deliver. 

The International Peoples' Tribunal on Crimes Against the Filipino People was convened by the International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines, IBON International, International Association of Democratic Lawyers, and the National Lawyers Guild. IPT2015 was held in Washington D.C. on July 16-18, 2015, and the Verdict was delivered to the Philippines Embassy, who refused to accept the document, as well as the White House on July 20, 2015, by rallies of participants in the IPT2015.

The distinguished international panel of Jurors that presided over the IPT2015 - Attorney Azadeh Shahshahani, Attorney Camilo PĂ©rez-Bustillo, Prof Pao-yu Ching, Rev Michael Yoshii, Ms Mary Boyd, Rev Molefe Tsele, and Rev Malcolm Damon - ultimately found defendant Benigno Simeon C. Aquino III and defendant Government of the United States of America, represented by President Barack Hussein Obama II:

1. GUILTY of gross human rights violations involving the civil and political rights of the Filipino People, for committing extrajudicial killings, disappearances, massacres, torture, arbitrary arrests and detentions as well as other vicious, brutal and systematic abuses and attacks on the basic democratic rights of the people;

2. GUILTY of gross and systematic violations of human rights, particularly economic, social and cultural rights of the Filipino people through the imposition of neoliberal “free market” globalization to exploit the people; transgression of their economic sovereignty and plunder of their national patrimony and economy; and attacks on the people’s livelihoods  and the destruction of the environment; and

3. GUILTY of gross and systematic violations of the rights of the people to national self-determination and liberation through the imposition of the US war of terror and US military intervention; as well as the perpetration of crimes against humanity and war crimes; misrepresentations of the people’s right to national liberation and self-determination as “terrorism” and the baseless “terrorist” listing of individuals, organizations and other entities by the US and other governments.

The verdict was reached after 32 witnesses, made up of survivors, family, friends, and experts, presented a compelling case of complicity, collusion, responsibility, and liability for gross, massive, and systematic human rights violations against the Defendants. The 17 witnesses in Washington D.C., 10 in Manila, 5 via video depositions, represented 34 cases. Documents on 29 additional cases were also submitted.

Although ultimately a political mechanism, the Tribunal was conducted consistent with established judicial procedure. The Defendants - President Benigno S. Aquino III, the Philippines Government and the Government of the United States of America, represented by President Barack Hussein Obama II of the United States Government, the IMF, World Bank, WTO, multinational corporations and foreign banks doing business in the Philippines - were duly notified of the indictment to provide a defense. This option was not taken up.

The Prosecution team was led by Ramsey Clark and supported by a team of lawyers from the Philippines National Union of People’s Lawyers, the USA and Canada.

The Jurors agreed that the Prosecution satisfied the burden of proving that the Defendants, in concert with each other, wilfully and feloniously committed gross and systematic violations of Filipino people’s basic human rights.

The Jurors found it undoubtedly proven that state security forces were involved in the spate of extrajudicial killings, massacres, and enforced disappearances in the Philippines. The pieces of evidence singly, and independently, confirm that these incidents are not isolated but state-sponsored, part of a policy deliberately adopted to silence the critics of the government.

Additionally, the Jurors found Defendant Aquino and the Philippine government disempower the people with faulty and failed economic policy. Opportunities in the Philippines are shrinking, the prices of goods are ballooning, social services are eluding the reach of the ordinary Filipino. The Philippines government unabashedly surrendered its national patrimony and sovereignty to corporate entities in important industries, particularly and most especially in mining. Agricultural and industrial development are marginalised.

Lastly, the Prosecutors convinced the International Peoples' Tribunal of the interventionist policies in the Philippines and in Asia by the defendant United States government. Various military operations under Defendant President Aquino have resulted in crimes against humanity and war crimes.

The nexus between the culpability of Defendant Aquino and the role and participation of Defendant United States government for gross and serious violations of civil, political, social, economic and cultural rights and the right of the Filipino people to national self-determination and liberation is borne by the facts and the evidence fully established during the Tribunal.

The Verdict called on the Defendants to undertake, and the People to pursue proper remedial measures to prevent the commission or continuance of such illegal and criminal acts, to repair the damages done to the Filipino people and their environment, compensate the victims and their families for their atrocities, and to rehabilitate the communities, especially indigenous communities that have been destroyed by the criminal acts of the Defendants.

It encouraged us to seek redress, to pursue justice, and to construct a global order founded on full respect for the rights of all peoples, everywhere.

The IPT truly enlivened the movement for human rights in the Philippines and aided in a strong projection of this concern into the international community.

A complete version of this Verdict is available on http://InternationalPeoplesTribunal.org 
References:

Peter Murphy (Australia), General Secretary, ICHRP Global Council, IPT 2015 Co-convenor
Canon Barry Naylor (UK), Chairperson, Global Council, IPT 2015 Co-convenor

Katrina Abarcar (US), ICHRP Global Council, IPT 2015 International Coordinating Secretariat (ICS)
Bern Jagunos (Canada), Deputy Secretary, ICHRP Global Council, IPT 2015 ICS
Angie M. Gonzales (the Netherlands), Coordinator, ICHRP, IPT 2015 ICS

Thursday, 23 July 2015

International Peoples' Tribunal 2015: A VICTORY OF THE FILIPINO PEOPLE

International Release

ILPS-Philippines Statement on the IPT 2015
19 July 2015
http://internationalpeoplestribunal.org/2015/07/19/ipt-2015-a-victory-of-the-filipino-people/
The Philippines Chapter of the International League of Peoples’ Struggle (ILPS-Phils) hails the conclusion the International Peoples’ Tribunal (IPT 2015) in Washington, D.C. as it finds the US and Aquino governments guilty beyond doubt of rights violations, crimes against humanity and war crimes.
The 32 witnesses and several experts braved all odds amid the intensifying crisis and political repression in the Philippines to testify on record before the tribunal.
The wealth of data, information, facts, analyses and other evidence clearly established the factual basis of the indictment, and the culpability of respondents Defendant Benigno Simeon Aquino III and Defendant Government of the United States of America.
We laud the panel of international jurors, prosecutors and staff of the tribunal as well as the militant and progressive peoples of the world who showed solidarity with the Filipino people in the fight for righteousness, justice and freedom.
The blood of our martyrs and victims of rights violations in the Philippines are not lost with the resounding success of the tribunal.
The guilty verdict on Pres. Aquino and the US government goes into the annals of the historic fight of the Filipino people against US imperialism and local reaction.
We are one with the IPT 2015 in calling “to seek redress, to pursue justice, and to transform this oppressive, exploitative and repressive global state of affairs exemplified by the experience and plight of the Filipino people, to challenge the international “rule of law”, and to construct a global order founded on full respect for the rights of all peoples, everywhere.”
We intend to pursue cases of rights abuses and violations as copies of the verdict reach the Prosecutor´s Office of the International Criminal Court (ICC), the Inter-American, European, African, and Asian regional courts or systems, as well as lawyers associations, human rights defenders, law schools, and human rights programs of study throughout the world.
A significant stride has been made with IPT 2015 as we march forward ever more resolutely to punish the perpetrators, render justice for the victims and end impunity in the country.


Monday, 13 July 2015

Willem Geertman: On the Side of the People

-copy and paste the link-

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0J14J4Js454


A documentary about the life and struggle of Willem Geertman, a Dutch development worker — who spent more than four decades of his life serving the marginalised sector of Philippine society.

He was killed in July 2012 inside Alay Bayan Luson's office compound, a non-government organization which he led as Executive Director then. Many believed that his killing is politically motivated. A video documentary project of the International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines (ICHRP).


Justice for Willem Geertman (1945-2012)
Justice for all victims of Human Rights Violations in the Philippines
Justice for all victims of Human Rights Violations in the World
Long live International Solidarity!