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Small Arms and Light Weapons February 7, 2007

Posted by s511 in Speeches.
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Closing Remarks delivered during the Parliamentarians for Global Action Asian regional workshop on Small Arms and the Arms Trade Treaty, February 7, 2007, House of Representatives

I would like to thank all of you for taking the time to attend this very relevant gathering.

The issue of illicit trade in small arms and light weapons could not come at a more opportune time.  It has been reported that 638 million small arms around the world, and that by 2020 the number of deaths caused by these weapons will outnumber of deaths caused by malaria, for example.  In the Philippines, the small scale gun manufacturing business is booming fueled in part by the longstanding conflicts in Mindanao and the communist insurgency.  There are about 415,000 small arms in the country today, their manufacture and use fuelling further internal conflict and threatening our pursuit of peace based on justice.
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AN OVERVIEW: WORK FOR THE PHILIPPINE RATIFICATION OF THE ROME STATUTE: 1998 – 2006 September 6, 2006

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.

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NPA extortion is alive and kicking August 29, 2006

Posted by s511 in Human Rights, peace, Speeches.
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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.

 

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On the PNU Controversy July 26, 2006

Posted by s511 in education, Speeches.
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Mr. Speaker, colleagues, mga kababayan, magandang hapon sa inyong lahat.

I rise today on the matter concerning the controversy hounding the Philippine Normal University. On June 24, the Board of Regents of PNU selected Atty. Lutgardo B. Barbo as the new university president. His selection has been hounded by issues concerning the BOR’s alleged utter disregard for its own criteria upon which it was supposed to select the best person to manage our country’s premier teacher training institution, the supplier of the quality teachers our educational system sorely needs.

Being a former teacher myself, this is a concern very close to my heart. I am sure there are those of us here whose mothers, fathers, grandparents were graduates of this University, the country’s center of excellence in teacher education. In fact, when we founded the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT), I was the first chairperson and we had
Faculty members of the PNU (then PNC) as founding members of ACT.

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Explanation of Vote re Abolition of Death Penalty June 7, 2006

Posted by s511 in Akbayan Issues, Death Penalty, Explanation of Votes, Human Rights, Legislation, Speeches.
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(from official transcript of records)

June 6, 2006, 8:25 p.m.
Plenary 2nd Session
Thirteenth Congress

I vote yes for the repeal of Republic Act 7659 abolishing the imposition of the death penalty.

May I just say – express my appreciation to my colleagues here in the House of Representatives because the campaign for the abolition of death penalty goes a long way from the Eleventh Congress. I do remember that in the Eleventh Congress there was a moratorium on the implementation of the death penalty law but the Supreme Court decided to push for the enforcement of the law – Republic Act 7659. And this was brought about precisely because they were convinced by the position of the House of Representatives. There was a list of the Members of the House who felt that in fact the death penalty should be imposed and that the moratorium, if I am not mistaken, should be lifted.

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It is Time to Abolish the Death Penalty June 6, 2006

Posted by s511 in Akbayan Issues, Death Penalty, Explanation of Votes, Legislation, Speeches.
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June 6, 2006, 8:25 p.m.
Plenary 2nd Session
Thirteenth Congress

I vote yes for the repeal of Republic Act 7659 abolishing the imposition of the death penalty.

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