Tagaytay 5 dares candidates to tackle human rights, other substantial issues in midterm elections

March 1, 2007 at 2:44 am | Posted in Campaigns | 1 Comment

As the entire nation enters into a politically exciting yet volatile stage with the onset of the campaign period for the 2007 midterm elections, we the Tagaytay 5 challenge all candidates for national and local elections to tackle the defense of human rights and other substantial issues during the campaign in order to effect some meaningful reforms in the lives of the citizenry.

In the dim of electoral jockeying and political somersaulting, we have observed that no one but no one among the senatorial timbers or even provincial leaders in the CALABARZON region had advocated a clearcut program of governance nor a legislative agenda, sensible and doable enough to lead our people our of abject poverty, oppression, helplessness and hopelessness.

Even as our people are confronted by mounting day to day problems and issues, such as rising prices of goods and services; depressed wages and low incomes; landlessness and land use conversion; unemployment, criminality, ineffective governance; and abuse of power, we dare all candidates to actively defend human rights from abuses of power wielders as a singular major plank of their platforms, which can make a big difference in lives of the poor, deprived and oppressed.

Unrelenting defense of human rights is a readily doable concern yet of continuing and lasting importance to our people, specially now that Cavite or even the CALABARZON and MIMAROPA regions have witnessed more than a hundred extrajudicial killings, forcible abduction and illegal detention of progressive activists such as the Tagaytay 5; violent dispersal of workers’ strikes or picketlines in Cavite’s industrial garrisons; incessant harassment of leaders of people’s organizations and NGOs. These violations of basic democratic rights consistently happened, as the current regime and its coterie of pro-GMA politicians and promotion-seeking police officers in Cavite madly unleashed the anti-communist counter-insurgency Oplan Bantay Laya upon unarmed militants and ordinary civilians.

Ours is a classic case of human rights violations and prolonged political detention, and very slow dispensation of justice – almost 10 months behind bars (287 days to be exact) with no end in sight; no credible inquest; forcible abduction and arrest without warrants; torture; interrogation without counsel; incommunicado detention; incriminatory machinations; robbery-holdup; ever-changing detention regulations; and inadequate detention facilities. Even the Commission on Human Rights have summoned the responsible abducting police and military units to account for their heinous acts, but the perpetrators have proven to be a tough nut to crack for the CHR. The perpetrators were so adamant about their illegal acts. All these occurred even without the new draconian Anti-Terrorism Law!

And the irony of it all, the leader of the abducting perpetrators was even awarded a medal, a commendation for being an outstanding police staff officer by no less than the Chief PNP during the CALABARZON PNP day last February 5. Yes, in this country crimes and rights violations do pay! With a medal to boot!.. Only in Gloria’s Philippines.

In this atmosphere of human rights violations with impunity, out country’s situation is turning from bad to worse… into utter hopelessness. For our oppressed predicament is replicated all over CALABARZON, in the various courts and in numerous jails.

Hence, our urgent call to all candidates worth their salt and worth the people’s trust that they staunchly defend human rights against violations and abuses as a major concern in their campaign, advocacy and term of office.

Being leaders and organizers of broad-based people’s organizations and alliances, we may endorse candidates who have proven track record in human rights defense and people-centered genuine development advocacy. Or we may even stump for them if we can regain our freedom before May 14, 2007!



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  1. Thanks !

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