Tag Archives: Commission on Human Rights (CHR)

Southern Luzon network of civil society groups launch Manlaban Ka

File photo

A Southern Luzon-wide network of civil society organizations working for the promotion and protection of human rights was launched in Cavite.

Some 300 representatives of basic sectors from labor, urban poor, farmers, fisher folks, women, youth, transport workers, church and anti mining advocates, gathered Wednesday at the historic Casa Hacienda popularly known as the Tejeros Convention Center in Rosario Cavite, to launch the Mamamayang Nagkakaisa sa Laban ng Bayan para sa Karapatan or Manlaban Ka.

Made part of the launching program is a forum on charter change and human rights with constitutionalist Christian Monsod and former Representative Erin Tañada as guest speakers. Representatives of the CHR also graced the occasion.

The formal launching of Manlaban Ka ended up with the ratification of the group’s Unity Statement and a brief discussion on the network’s ways forward such as conducting grassroots education, database building on cases of HRVs, operational structures and ways forward. (see attached unity statement)

The formal launching was followed by a march of the participants to the Cavite economic zone in support of the strikebound workers of Dong Seung, a garments factory. During the past several months, a series of labor disputes around the freedom of association and working conditions have rocked the Cavite ecozone, the country’s biggest publicly-managed zone.

Ecozones particularly in the provinces of Cavite, Laguna and Batangas employ tens of thousands of workers. Regrettably it is also in these economic havens of foreign investors in the country where rampant violations of human and labor rights go unchecked and the violators go unpunished.

The launching of Manlaban Ka is the final outcome of a five-month process of consultations and focus group discussions among the basic sectors and civil society organizations working for the promotion and defence of human rights in the Southen Luzon region. This partnership building initiatives among the CSOs is in cooperation with the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) under its Governance in Justice or Go Just program.

The Southern Luzon process was facilitated by Kalipunan ng Kilusang Masa, with Partido Manggagawa (PM) and Sentro ng Nagkakaisa at Progresibong Manggagawa (Sentro) as lead organizations.

Prior to this launching, consultation meetings were held in Calamba City last April 7-9, 2018 where participants discussed the state of human rights in their respective areas and sectors. Resource speakers were invited in this process to give inputs on the many aspects and forms of human rights issues, including the many cases of extrajudicial killings in the southern Luzon region due to the ongoing war on drugs as well as violations of the economic, social and cultural rights of our workers, farmers, urban poor, women; and the destruction of many communities due to mining and land-grabbing activities.

Representatives from Bicol, Mimaropa, and the Calabarzon areas have actively participated in the previous process leading to their decision to form this loose but highly coordinative network of organizations willing to work together for the promotion and protection of human rights.

Part of Manlaban Ka Unity Statement declared:

“NANININDIGAN ang MANLABAN KA na ang mga karapatang pantao at demokrasya kung saan maraming aspeto nito ay hindi pa namin ganap na natatamasa, ay nararapat lamang na ipagtanggol at ipaglaban sa halip na isuko sa harap ng sinumang kapangyarihan na may hayagan at tagong layunin na ito’y pahinain o kaya ay ganap na patayin.

KUNG GAYUN, at mula sa mga batayang nabanggit, kami’y nangangahas at ngayon ay ipinapaalam sa lahat, na kaming mga sektor at indibidwal na nabibilang sa koalisyong ito, ay nakahanda nang MANLABAN sa ibat-ibang paraan katulad ng pagmumulat, pag-oorganisa, pagpapalawak at mga direktang pagkilos para ipagtanggol ang karapatan at demokrasya ng buong sambayanan.”

Manlaban Ka

Women’s groups call on the new administration to respect women and human rights


Women’s groups with CHR Commissioner Chito Gascon

Press Statement

We, women, celebrate the resolution of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) that incoming President Rodrigo Duterte violated the Magna Carta of Women when he made debasing remarks on rape and abuse of a domestic worker, kissed female supporters and held them on his lap in public, to the women’s surprise and without their consent, during his presidential campaign.

For the victims of rape and sexual assault and for all other women who were affected by his acts, that the women’s right against gender-based discrimination and sexual harassment was affirmed through this resolution is victory in itself. This is a huge positive step in the struggle against patriarchy.

That the resolution upholds and promotes the Magna Carta of Women is also seen as triumph in the legal arena. This battle, however, is far from over, as the replies of the incoming President through his legal counsel and incoming Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, to the women’s complaint have focused on accusing the CHR of partisanship, and the complainants of simply discrediting the respondent for electoral purposes. Last Monday, the complainants filed a comment to the incoming president’s motion for reconsideration at the CHR.

We stand by the complainants that the movements they represent “have been around far longer than the Respondent’s tenure in government,” and that as advocates for women’s rights for decades, we are “duty-bound to ensure that the laws women have so tirelessly fought for are being respected and complied with by all.”

A number of our partner organizations worked in Davao City for pro-women legislation and it is, therefore, more disturbing that the same person claiming to be advancing women’s rights in his reply, would commit acts of discrimination and violence against women.[1]

We maintain that the respondent’s remarks/acts and justification of them in public speeches caused harm on women, especially the victim-survivors of rape.

As he assumes greater power, we are similarly disturbed by the lack of remorse, the disparaging of human rights institutions, as well as statements encouraging other human rights violations towards journalists and perceived criminals. To date, 40 suspected criminals, including a corn farmer in Zamboanga and three members of the LGBT community, have been killed summarily, since Duterte has been elected. He gave the police assurances during the campaign that they will have his full backing if they killed “criminals in the line of duty,” while also calling for the restoration of death penalty.

A mayor in Batangas had been parading suspects, three of whom were minors. A mayor in Cebu has been offering bounties for killers of suspected criminals. We have been witnessing children being torn away from their poor parents vending at night in the name of curfew. Women advocates suffer from rape and death threats when they raise their voices against the respondent’s acts. Not only was a culture of rape encouraged, but a culture of violence, death and reprisal.

We, therefore, call on all sectors of society to be as advocates, watchful and critical over violations of human rights standards we fought for through the years. We will also hold this administration answerable to its promises about ending contractualization, protecting the environment — opposing mining and the use of dirty energy in the country — and looking after the rights of farmers, indigenous peoples and other vulnerable groups including the LGBT community.

Our tasks in the women’s and human rights movements may have become more daunting as the Duterte administration begins, but as in the past so shall it be in the present, social movements press on and thrive despite of governments, even of the authoritarian kind.


1. Alliance of Progressive Labor (APL) – Youth
2. Asian Federation Against Involuntary Disappearances (AFAD)
3. BagongKamalayan
4. BuklodngKababaihan
5. Coalition Against Trafficking In Women – Asia Pacific (CATW-AP)
6. Center for Migrant Advocacy (CMA)
7. CPSU Gender and Development (GAD) Team
8. Development through Active Women Networking (DAWN)
9. Focus on the Global South
10. Foundation for Media Alternatives (FMA)
11. KababaihansaSining at BagongSibolnaKamalayan (KASIBULAN)
12. LIHOK Pilipina
13. Lilak (Purple Action for Indigenous Women’s Rights)
14. MalayangLapianngmgaKababaihansaIrosin (Malaya Ka, Inc)
15. Mindanao Tri-People Women’s Forum
16. Mindanao Tri-People Women Resource Center (MTWRC, Inc.)
17. PagkakaisangKababaihanparasaKalayaan (KaisaKa)
19. Respect FastFood Workers’ Alliance
20. Sagip-IlogPilipinas
21. Sarilaya
22. SENTRO-Women
23. WomanHealth Philippines
24. Women and Gender Institute (WagiMc)
25. Women Enablers Advocates and Volunteers for Empowering and Responsive Solution (WEAVERS)
26. Women Interacting for New Growth and Services (WINGS)
27. Women’s Education Development Productivity & Research Organization (WEDPRO)
28. Women’s Legal and Human Rights Bureau – WLB
29. Women’s Day Off
30. World March of Women – Pilipinas
31. Youth and Students Advancing Gender Equality – YSAGE


1. DadineSaunarAbella
2. Jen Albano
3. Cora Dandan Albano
4. Holly Allan
5. Fatima PirAllian
6. Robert Andres
7. Edna Aquino
8. Zinnia Arcinue
9. Julie Jacob Asuncion
10. Faith Bacon
11. McoiBagaforo
12. Marla A. Barcenilla
13. Tess Battad
14. Yen Belarmino
15. Walden Bello
16. LaeanAbrogina Benitez
17. Zena Bernardo Bernardo
18. Maribel Brown
19. Lori G. Brunio
20. Annie Calma
21. James Castaneda
22. Kathy Clarin
23. Ging Cristobal
24. IvankaCustodio
25. Tina Cuyugan
26. Herbert Docena
27. Mila De Guzman
28. Yeyin De La Cruz
29. Angel Doniego
30. Julia Enriquez Cristobal
31. Mari Enriquez
32. Wilma Famoso
33. Astrid Fontanilla
34. MarevicBalisalisaFontanilla
35. Naomi Fontanos
36. Melvs Garcia
37. Patricia Gonzales
38. Viol de Guzman
39. AnjHeruela
40. Dee Dicen Hunt
41. Joy Anne Icayan
42. AvicIlagan
43. Lorna Quejong Israel
44. John Rex Jardinero
45. RossanJoson
46. MalouPantuaJuanito
47. Gemma Lambino
48. Yna de Leon
49. Ester Libo
50. Ted Lopez
51. Becky Lozada
52. Katrina Lucena
53. CieloMagno
54. NildaMangilay
55. Arnie Rabe-luke Manuel
56. Eileen Matute
57. Lan Mercado
58. ZenaidaSalientesMique
59. Lily Mocles
60. Giselle Montero
61. Eugene Moreno
62. MenchieNolasco
63. 59. Eden Ocampo
64. Joy Oh
65. GieOnida
66. Julius Panday
67. Bodjie Pascua
68. SokiePaulin
69. Corazon Pindog
70. Maria Lourdes Polotan
71. May Quizan
72. Odes Reyes
73. Doris Lois Rifareal
74. Mary Rebecca Rogacion
75. Tessa Cruz San Diego
76. Alice Sarmiento
77. Mel Soto
78. Joyce Sierra
79. Amelia Suarez
80. Filomena Gloria Subala
81. Msmyra M Tambor
82. Kelly Denn Tomas
83. Christine Anne Trajano
84. DinnaUmengan
85. Ron de Vera
86. Ester Villarin
87. Jay Yparraguirre
88. Sonia SoosotNisaZerrudo