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Rather than arrest Satur, why not train your guns on Cuenca who continues to squat on farmers’ land? March 13, 2007

Posted by s511 in agrarian reform, Human Rights, left killings, party-list system and elections, The Left.

In behalf of Akbayan, I condemn in the strongest possible terms the continuing persecution and impending arrest of Bayan Muna Rep. Satur Ocampo.  The more than twenty year old charge of multiple murder against Satur committed at the time he was under military detention reflects the same disdain by the authorities for justice and the rule of law that met the arrest of Rep. Crispin Beltran on trumped up charges over a year ago.



Posted by s511 in electoral reforms, Human Rights, party-list system and elections, Position Papers, Press Statements.
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One of the basic ills of our flawed electoral process we had inherited from the Marcos regime and which continues as a major problem to the present is the bloated and questionable voters’ list.


When the late Mr. Ferdinand Marcos called for presidential snap elections on 7 February 1986, he succeeded in disenfranchising an estimated one million two hundred thousand voters by collapsing precincts and transferring the list of voters from one precinct to another in opposition bailiwick areas.  This bad habit from the Marcos years continues to haunt us with oftentimes the sheer incompetence or inefficiency of some COMELEC personnel.  On the other hand, it has been known to all and sundry that certain unscrupulous elements considered experts in the field of elections have done more harm than good to the ordinary voting populace by using their skills in the manipulation of votes known to all as dagdag-bawas.  The charges against Mr. Garcillano in the Garci case filed before the joint committee hearings of Information, Suffrage, National Defense and Communications Technology has magnified this in perspective in the last 2004 elections, yet up to now nothing definitive has been done to guard against possible  election fraud in the coming 2007 polls.  The implementation of the Automated Electoral Systems Act cannot be enforced, according to Comelec for time constraints.


Akbayan holds mass for Marcos victims and passage of compensation bill February 19, 2007

Posted by s511 in Human Rights, Legislation, Marcos Wealth.

Akbayan party-list today held a mass at the South Wing lobby of the House of Representatives to commemorate the victims of the Marcos regime in line with the pending approval of the compensation bill into law.



Posted by s511 in Human Rights, Marcos Wealth, Press Statements.
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The Palace Proclamation 1235 asserts that a number of very important bills that have failed ratification this 13th Congress can no longer afford to wait for the 14th Congress. Going through the legislative grind could take another three tedious years which becomes such a waste of time.

We could not agree more. It becomes a crime to the people when bills that had been drafted with their active and steadfast participation and lobby in the past nine years should once again be shoved and shelved without rhyme or reason.


KMU and brethren do not own monopoly on outrage and grief January 24, 2007

Posted by s511 in Human Rights, left killings, The Left.

January 23, 2007

It is saddening that out of nowhere, the Kilusang Mayo Uno has now come out with a malicious release attacking Akbayan and its officers over the issue of extra-judicial killings.

They complain that Akbayan is using the issue for its own purpose. As if issues this grave could be owned by one group alone.

This sectarian behavior is unworthy and disturbing. We wonder whether it ever occurred to KMU for even one edifying moment that these killings include quite a number of Akbayan peasant leaders, mass movement members and local governmnet officials? The KMU seems to be saying that they and they alone have the right to protest gross human rights violations.


HB 634 update: Manila solon blocks 2nd reading of Anti-Discrimination bill November 27, 2006

Posted by s511 in gays and lesbians, Human Rights, Legislation.
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We are making available to the public a verbatim copy of Manila Rep. Bienvenido Abante’s speech last Nov. 20 seeking to block the proposed Anti-Discrimination Law or House Bill 634 and House Bill 3773 or the proposed Reproductive Rights Health Law.

By blocking this measure, Rep. Abante warns against “invoking the wrath of God” if such measures were approved. He also said, among others, that “to penalize acts which they (LGBTs) claim to be discriminatory to them, they are, in truth and in fact, creatig another facet of discrimination, and this time, a discrimination (sic) is directed against the straight-laced men and women in our society who have equally valuable rights as the LGBTI (sic).”

HB 634 and HB 3773 were scheduled for 2nd reading two weeks ago but Abante stood up and questioned the quorum. Twice. Democracy at work or bigotry using the same old tricks in the book? You judge.

Download Abante’s backward speech here .

For more information regarding the campaign to enact HB 634, visit LAGABLAB’s website .

Manifestation on the Lingering case of Rep. Crispin “Ka Bel” Beltran November 20, 2006

Posted by s511 in Human Rights, left killings, Political Crisis, Press Releases.
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November 14, 2006
Mr. speaker I would like to rise on a matter relating to the continued detention of Anakpawis Rep. Crispin Beltran. It has been months since Ka Bel was arrested in the wake of the supposed February 24 botched coup attempt and the subsequent declaration of a State of National Emergency.


PCGG should back off and give up hopeless pursuit of Arelma decision November 8, 2006

Posted by s511 in Human Rights, Marcos Wealth.
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Akbayan Rep. Etta Rosales today called on the PCGG to give up its hopeless pursuit of the US 9th Circuit Appelate Court decision junking the PCGG’s motion for reconsideration to get government’s hands on $35-million worth of Marcos assets in a dummy corporation called Arelma.



Posted by s511 in foreign affairs, Human Rights, sovereignty, Speeches.
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Good morning: Senator Franklin Drilon, Senator Alain Destexhe, Judge Akua Kuenyehia, fellow members of Parliament, my colleagues from the Philippine Congress, members of the diplomatic corps, kindred spirits from the NGO community, distinguished guests, friends.

I have been requested to stand before you in this lovely rainy day for three reasons:  1] to share with you a Philippine work over the past eight years in seeking the ratification of the Rome Statute; 2] to remind ourselves how and why we are all gathered here this morning, an idea we had put together while meeting in the third PGA Consultative Assembly against the chilly winds of Wellington last December 2004; and 3] to suggest what we hope to accomplish within these two days of work.


NPA extortion is alive and kicking August 29, 2006

Posted by s511 in Human Rights, peace, Speeches.

August 28, 2006

Mr. Speaker, I rise today on a matter of personal and collective privilege.  I wish to bring to the attention of this chamber another sad case that only strengthens the case against the darker side of the revolutionary forces under the New People’s Army of the Communist Party of the Philippines.

Mr. Speaker, lest this be misconstrued to mean that I am playing into the hands of the trite propaganda line that revolutionary taxation as extortion is just a means to discredit the NPA and the cause it is fighting for, let me be clear that this is not the case.  Akbayan, and this representation, stand for the plurality of ideas and the multitude of ways by which groups and individuals choose to express their principles.  We stand for peace based on justice and the universality of human rights.  Which is why we denounce atrocities and violations of people’s rights regardless of the source and the culprits.

And we denounce the military for its continued denial of involvement in the killing of hundreds of activists belonging to progressive organizations, but in the same breath we also denounce the les-than exemplary activities done by the NPA.  In this war, nobody wins and it is innocent, unarmed civilians who suffer.