By KATRIBU (PR)
GENEVA — Beverly L. Longid of the Katribu Partylist and Pia Malayao of Kalipunan ng mga Katutubong Mamamayan ng Pilipinas (Kamp) and other delegates of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) Watch-Philippines met with various diplomats of different permanent missions in the United Nations here.
They discussed that despite recommendations and pledges of support of the Philippine government in its 1st review in 2008 – the human rights situation in the country has not improved.
The IP delegates highlighted in the lobby the issues of militarization, vilification and destructive projects particularly mining. They said that militarization and vilification worsens the existing poverty and lack of social services among IPs. They cited the impact on education such as the closing down of literacy and numeracy schools and that even scholars of progressive partylists and livelihood projects are not spared from vilification. They also gave emphasis on the manipulation of the free prior and informed consent (FPIC) citing the recent case of Gold Fields in Mankayan, Benguet.
Longid and Malayao also met with the representative of Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders where they presented recent cases of extrajudicial killings among IPs and advocates of IPs, environmental activists. The cases included the killings of Lumad leader, Jimmy Liguyon of Bukidnon; Margarito Cabral, leader against the Pulangi V Dam. They also reported the threat, harassment and intimidation cases of health workers of the Community Health Services in the Cordillera Region (CHESTCORE).
One of the recommendations strongly forwarded was the delisting of the Cordillera Peoples’ Alliance (CPA) and KAMP and other legitimate organizations as ‘terrorists’ or ‘enemies of the State’ in the AFP policy paper “Knowing Thy Enemy” and the Northern Luzon Command (Nolcom) ‘Trinity of War’. They also recommended that preventive measures against perpetrators especially among the military to avoid redeployment of State security forces to avoid prosecution of complaints against them such as the rape of the two minors by Capt. Danilo Lalin of the 86th Infantry Batallion of the Philippine Army.
Lobby work shall continue until the said UPR – Philippines on the 29th.
Longid and Malayao also hope to meet with the representative of the President of the UN Human Rights Council and other UN special agencies in the coming days until the 30th.
Both IP women leaders hope that the UPR shall bring the needed international attention that the human rights situation in the Philippines particularly among IPs has not improved.
Violations of civil and political rights; and economic social and cultural rights continue – with the continuing extrajudicial killings, displacement of IPs from their ancestral lands.
The UPR Watch – Philippines is a delegation of human rights defenders and advocates that engages in the UPR process and brings to the attention of the UN and international community the human rights situation in the Philippines. # nordis.net