Members of civil society organizations and faith-based associations joined the commemoration of the day when the late President Marcos placed the country under martial law on September 21, 44 years ago. Carrying pictures of victims of human rights violations, more than 1,200 participants gathered in the historic Plaza Miranda in Manila to remind the public that an authoritarian government should never be allowed to prevail again.
Social workers from different municipalities of North Cotabato and the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) participated in a study session on documentation and rehabilitation of torture victims in Kidapawan City on September 6 to 9, 2016. The learning event also highlighted the mechanism for monitoring, reporting, and responding to victims of grave child rights violations in areas affected by armed conflict in Mindanao.
Around 200 survivors of torture and enforced disappearance and their relatives have started to receive some financial assistance from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in recognition of their right to rehabilitation under the Anti Torture Act and the Anti-Enforced Disappearance Act. The monetary assistance is intended for the purchase of medicines and to pay for basic medical check up of the victims. Some amount are meant to augment their resources for their livelihood projects as well.
The 1987 Constitution of the Philippines prohibits the use of the death penalty by stating ‘the death penalty shall not be imposed unless for compelling reasons involving heinous crimes, the Congress hereafter provides for it. Any death penalty already imposed shall be reduced to reclusion perpetua’.
Balay stands alongside martial law victims and activists against the burial of the late president Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani (LnMB). The LnMB is a national shrine meant to pay tribute to those who sacrificed their lives and brought honor to our country. It is meant to be the final resting place of dignified soldiers, heroes and martyrs. The burial of Ferdinand Marcos will defeat the very essence of LnMB.
The wanton disregard for law, rising criminality, terrorism and insurgency has created in the public mind an impression of a chaotic and dangerous society. Reports about murder and other crimes – many of which are related to drug use and abuse - have become staple news that tend to jar one’s senses, resulting either to a feeling of helplessness or to utter loss of trust on authorities to protect the right of citizens against lawless violence.