2006 Worst Year for Human Rights in Davao Regions — The peoples response

Dec. 03, 2006

The peoples response

The escalation of violence and the increasing cases of political killings and enforced disappearances have reached alarming proportions.

It has sparked an outrage among the basic sectors and has pricked the sensibilities of the Church, professionals, and businessmen. This issue has hounded the Arroyo regime and has contributed to the further erosion of its credibility.

The involvement of government security forces and the impunity in the commission of these abhorrent crimes against humanity has exacerbated public distrust on the administration and has generated concern in the international community.

Amidst the wave of terror, however, the Filipino peoples assertion of their rights did not waver. The iron-clad regime and its foreign ally failed to silence the social forces that want the de facto president booted out of power.

Public demonstrations and protest actions of varying forms have defied the undeclared martial law of Mrs. Arroyo despite threats of and actual violent dispersals of demonstrations.

There is a resurgence of individuals and a broad range of groups of Filipinos, from all walks of life and from different political and religious persuasions coming together to say Never Again to Martial Law!, As in the Marcos era, artists, doctors, lawyers and professionals form alliances that heighten the resistance against human rights violations and work to end the fascist Arroyo regime.
The campaign against human rights violations of the Arroyo regime take on many forms: media expose, Forum, filing of complaints, concert, t-shirt wearing, art projects and exhibits, picket in military camps, interfaith prayer rallies, distribution of posters and leaflets informing people of their rights, among others.

Instead of being cowed, peoples and human rights organizations has launched a strong campaign against political killings and enforced disappearances. This has caught the attention of the international community.

End Repression! – Network for the Advancement of Civil Liberties (E.R. NaCL) was established in 2004. It is a loose, broad coalition of civil libertarians and human rights advocates from various churches, the academe, professionals, business and studentry that responds to the urgent cases of violations to civil liberties and political freedoms. The network believes and unites to uphold the rights and defend the basic freedoms. Furthermore, will not sit idly by while the instruments of the state themselves violate these rights, curtail and attack these freedoms and instill fear in the hearts of Filipinos, particularly those already marginalized and oppressed.

A series of fact finding and mercy missions participated by the church people, academe, journalists, workers, peasants, indigenous people, youth and lawyers provincial and region wide. Members of the missions expressed dismay and alarm over the gross and systematic violations of human rights; failure of government authorities to address the problem of political killings; and the impunity in the commission of these crimes against humanity.

Continue reading: Conclusion

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