Filipino activists hold picket at UN over rights abuses

Hullabaloo about Chief Justice Conviction Diverts Attention from Outstanding Rights Impunity

GENEVA – Filipino activists, Geneva-based migrants, and representatives from international NGOs conducted a picket-protest in front of the United Nations headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland to express their criticism of the Philippine government report immediately after the Universal Periodic Review on the Philippines at the UN Human Rights Council last Tuesday, tagging the report as ‘selective,’ with the PH government drowning their dismal compliance to international human rights instruments with their so-called achievements.”

The Philippine UPR Watch delegation in Geneva said “the GPH report failed to mention that state authorities have yet to arrest several notorious human rights violators such as Maj. General Jovito Palparan, while there is much gloating on the enactment of few local legislation and ratifications of some international instruments.”

“Palparan’s continued evasion of arrest and mockery of justice exemplifies the prevalent climate of impunity. This is probably the reason why the GPH failed to mention this important fact — to gloss over the non-existence of justice for victims of human rights violations in the country and the continuing spate of rights abuses,” stated Cristina Palabay, spokesperson of Karapatan and member of the Philippine UPR watch delegation in Geneva.

Speakers: Dr. Matthews George Chunakara (Director of the Commission of the Churches on International Affairs of the World Council of Churches), Fr. Jonash Joyohoy (of the Ramento Project for Rights Defenders and representative of the National Council of Churches of the Philippines in the UPR Watch delegation), Atty. Edre Olalia (Secretary General of the National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers), and Ernan Baldomero, Municipality of Lezo, Aklan councilor and son of 1st EJK victim under the Aquino government) moderated by Christina Papazoglou, Public Witness and Global Advocacy, World Council of Churches)

Ernan Baldomero: Hon. Ernan Baldomero shared a tribute he made for his father while recounting the circumstances of the gruesome killing

Present during the picket were Fiipino-American activist and torture and disappearance survivor Melissa Roxas and Aklan municipal councilor Ernan Baldomero, son of slain councilor Fernando Baldomero, the first victim of extrajudicial killing under the Aquino administration.

Leaders from Karapatan, NCCP, Tanggol Bayi, NUPL, Bayan, KAMP, MCPA-Kawagib, Children’s Rehabilitation Center, Defend Job Philippines, Cordillera People’s Alliance, Promotion of Church People’s Response, IFI-Ramento Project for Rights Defenders, Migrante International, Peace for Life, International Coordinating Committee on Human Rights in the Philippines (ICCHRP) and Campaign for Human Rights in the Philippines-United Kingdom and CHRP-Switzerland also attended the picket in full view of diplomats, pedestrians and tourists.

Raymond Manalo: A documentary of torture survivor Raymond Manalo was viewed by the audience

In a post-UPR forum at the World Council of Churches today, Atty. Edre Olalia, Secretary General of the National Union of People’s Lawyers and member of the Philippine UPR watch delegation, said that “it is totally unacceptable that with all the powers, resources and machinery of the government, Gen. Palparan, remains out there. If President Aquino has thrown all his weight, power and supposed popularity to make dead sure that Chief Justice Corona is convicted at all costs, why can’t he do the same thing to bring behind bars the poster boy of the most horrendous kinds of human rights violations?”

Olalia pointed out that “more than the rightful conviction of the Chief Justice for valid charges, the immediate arrest, speedy prosecution and certain punishment of remorseless and incorrigible human rights violators would inspire greater interest and create lasting impact to the international community more than the hullabaloo and inordinate fixation on the impeachment trial.”
The Philippine UPR Watch delegation noted that the “breaking-news” glowing announcement by the Philippine government that the Chief Justice was convicted ostensibly for corruption was met with muted disinterest and lethargic reaction at the UN Human Rights Council floor. ###

PH government hounded by persistent concerns on extrajudicial killings, disappearances and torture at UN rights review

I-pad protest: End Extrajudicial Killings in the Philippines!, End Impunity!, Free all Political Prisoners! – the Filipino people speak out

News Release

May 29, 2012

 

GENEVA– As the Chief Justice of the Philippines was being handed down a verdict in the impeachment trial, the Philippine government was also undergoing a similar process of accountability, this time before the United Nations.

Around 69 countries quizzed the Philippine government on its human rights record, Tuesday May 29 in Geneva, Switzerland. The Philippines participated in the second cycle of the Universal Periodic Review of the United Nations Human Rights Council. One after the other, at least 22 countries expressed concerns on the continuing spate of extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances and torture in particular, and impunity in general, according to the Philippine UPR Watch. Several countries also called on the Philippine government to dismantle all paramilitary groups and militias.

The Australian mission urged the Philippine government to arrest fugitive Gen. Jovito Palparan, who is wanted for the abduction of two UP activists. The UK, Spain and the Holy See called on the Philippine government to “completely eradicate extrajudicial killings”.

The United States said that “impunity in human rights violations” continued. It cited institutional barriers to the attainment of justice for victims of rights abuse. Ireland called for “decisive measures” to address the problems. Germany urged the strengthening of accountability mechanisms and the conduct of impartial investigations in cases involving state forces, reminding the PH government of the recommendations of Prof. Philip Alston, former Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary and Arbitary Executions. The Netherlands asked that the issue of impunity be addressed and called for the prosecution, trial and conviction of perpetrators. Denmark called for the full implementation of the anti-torture law, saying that state forces are still involved in abuses.

Spain and Canada called for the dismantling of all paramilitary groups and militias, a position that has gained support after the Maguindanao massacre in 2009, with the latter mincing no words, saying that despite training programs on human rights for security forces, human rights violations are “still serious and all too widespread.” Belgium asked the PH government on measures to record cases of EJKs and urged the Philippines to ratify the convention against enforced disappearances. Austria expressed concerns over attacks on journalists and cases of torture.

France said it was “alarmed by extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances and continuing violations against journalists and human rights defenders”. Japan echoed this, saying “extrajudicial killings continue as a significant political issue.”

The questions and comments from the foreign missions were directed to the GPH delegation headed by Philippine Justice Secretary Leila de Lima.

At least six countries meanwhile asked the Philippines to act on requests of UN special rapporteurs who want to visit the Philippines to examine the rights situation in the country. To this, de Lima remarked that they are still studying the requests and said the PH government cannot act on all requests because of alleged shortage in resources.

At the entrance: UPR delegates, Human RIghts violations victims and support groups cue early in the morning to attend the Philippines’ Universal Periodic Review. From Left: Jacquiline Ruiz (Children’s Rehabilitation Center), Melissa Roxas (torture survivor), Bai Ali Indayla ((KAWAGIB and Moro-Christian Peoples’ Alliance), Ric Gacayan, Jr. (Campaign for Human Rights in the Philippines- United Kingdom), Jamima Fagta (CHRP-UK), Atty. Edre Olalia (National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers) and Garry Martinez (Migrante International)

“We view the questions and statements of continuing concern by the different foreign missions as very telling. It shows even greater interest by the international community on the human rights situation. They know that the Philippine government has not lived up to its commitment to completely eliminate extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances and torture. The language used may have been diplomatic, but clearly the international community wants the Philippine government to do more,” said Fr. Jonash Joyohoy of the National Council of Churches in the Philippines (NCCP) and co-head of delegation of the Philippine UPR Watch.

Present during the session were two Filipino human rights victims, Fil-Am activist and torture and disappearance survivor Melissa Roxas and Aklan municipal councilor Ernan Baldomero, son of slain councilor Fernando Baldomero, the first victim of extrajudicial killing under the Aquino administration.

Leaders from Karapatan, NCCP, Tanggol Bayi, NUPL, Bayan, KAMP, MCPA-Kawagib, Children’s Rehabilitation Center, Defend Job Philippines, Migrante, Cordillera People’s Alliance, Promotion of Church People’s Response, IFI-Ramento Project for Rights Defenders, Migrante International, International Coordinating Committee on Human Rights in the Philippines (ICCHRP) and Campaign for Human Rights in the Philippines-United Kingdom and CHRP-Switzerland also attended the session. Prior to the start of the session, the UPR Watch delegates flashed their I-Pads bearing calls to end extrajudicial killings and impunity in the Philippines.

“The questions raised by the foreign missions were nearly identical to the questions we have submitted to them prior to the UN session. Human rights defenders, the victims and their families have submitted reports that belie the overstated achievements of the Philippine government. We count 76 victims of extradjudicial killings since Aquino took office. While the PH government now claims a dramatic decline in the killings, – no thanks to its supposed efforts – our data shows that the PH government has not lived up to its commitment to eliminate these violations altogether,” said Karapatan chair Marie Enriquez.

Selective presentation of data

Atty. Edre Olalia, secretary general of the National Union of People’s Lawyers and also a UPR Watch delegate commented that the Philippine report was very selective in its presentation of data. “The report tends to highlight lesser achievements by gloating over showcase steps it has belatedly done while conveniently drowning the more essential issues such as the almost nil conviction rate of perpetrators of rights abuses, the failure of the Aquino government to press charges and arrest suspects, and the continuing effects of the government’s counter-insurgency program on the people. There is basically deafening silence from the GPH on all these issues,” he said.

Even on the issue of social and economic rights, the GPH report was very selective in its presentation, says Bayan secretary general Renato Reyes, Jr. “They highlighted so-called achievements in the conditional cash transfer program while glossing over rising poverty, unemployment and hunger,” Reyes said.

“While Aquino and his allies whoop it up in their victory in the Corona impeachment, human rights victims are still fighting for the longest time for accountability from a state that continues to commit and condone abuses with shameless impunity,” Reyes added.

At the end of the review, the whole Philippine UPR Watch, who were all seated in one long row inside the session hall of the Palais des Nations and wearing different pins with various calls for justice and accountability, simultaneously gave a thumbs-down sign of the Philippine report. ###

Delegates: Inside the session hall, delegates listen intently to the report and interactive dialogues between the Philippine mission and other state representatives.

 

71 countries line up to grill Philippines on human rights record

As the Philippine government prepares to face the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) to defend its human rights record on May 29 in Geneva, Switzerland, some 71 countries have already lined up to ask questions to the PH delegation, according to the group Philippine UPR Watch. (list attached)

The Philippine government, for the second time, will undergo a review process under the Universal Periodic Review of the UNHRC. Filipino group Philippine UPR Watch said that the first country in the list is the Republic of Korea followed by the Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia and Singapore. Also on the list are the United States, United Kingdom, China, Italy, the Holy See, France, Belgium and Japan. Last on the list is Qatar. Each country is given 1 minute and 44 seconds to ask their questions.

The Philippine delegation will be headed by Department of Justice Secretary Leila de Lima.

Around 14 Filipino human rights activists from the Philippines, Europe and the United States will be converging in Geneva to attend the UN session in the Philippines. These groups under the Philippine UPR watch have submitted their own alternative reports questioning the PH government’s human rights claims.

In 2008, the Philippine government made a commitment before the UN to eliminate extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances. Rights groups say that this commitment has not been met.

“The Philippine report is very underwhelming and provides no clear measure of progress in the Philippine human rights situation. On the contrary, the report glosses over the continuing human rights violations such as extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances. The Philippine government has continued with a counter-insurgency program that targets unarmed activists,” said Bayan secretary general Renato M. Reyes, Jr., who will also be in Geneva as part of the Philippine UPR Watch.

“The most glaring fact is that the Philippines has a less than 1% conviction rate for extrajudicial killings. That translates to 99% injustice for human rights victims. That alone speaks volumes on the Philippine human rights situation and our legal system. This is one reason why impunity persists,” Reyes added.

An independent audit of around 400 extrajudicial killings in the Philippines showed that only 4 persons were convicted over the last 11 years. Many cases do not even reach the courts because of poor investigation and absence of witnesses. Karapatan meanwhile has documented 76 cases of extrajudicial killings under the Aquino regime.

“Up to now, Gen. Palparan remains at large. There is still no court case filed against the soldiers who killed renowned botanist and taxonomist Leonard Co. The masterminds of the killing of Italian missionary Fr. Fausto Tentorio have not been charged. The torturers of the Morong 43 were even given promotions. Today, the Aquino’s spokesman has brushed off allegations of rights abuses, passing the buck to the AFP Human Rights Office,” Reyes said.

“While the Aquino government claims it is ‘mainstreaming’ human rights, many of the bad practices of the past regime continue. Human rights are not a priority. Aquino’s spokesman doesn’t think it is important enough to comment on, so he’s passing the issue to the AFP,” Reyes added. ###

No easy way out for PH government during UN rights review: Showcasing Cannot Conceal Impunity

GENEVA- It may not be smooth sailing for the Philippine government when it faces the United Nations Human Rights Council to defend the country’s rights record on May 29.

Based on information obtained by the Philippine UPR Watch, many of the questions that would be asked by the foreign missions will center on the prevalence of extrajudicial killings and the inability of the Philippine government to bring the perpetrators to justice. Members of the UNHRC are also expected to ask for a quantitative assessment of the human rights programs of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.  Economic rights issues such as land reform and human trafficking  are also expected to be raised.

“In a way, this is a time for reckoning for the Philippine government. During the last Universal Periodic Review in 2008, the Philippines made several commitments to eliminate extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances and torture. The European Union put up a program for the Philippine government to  address the killings, but from what we’re seeing, the results have been very disappointing and frustrating to say the least,” said Fr. Jonash Johohoy of the National Council of Churches in the Philippines, who is the co-head delegation of the Philippine UPR Watch who are in Geneva.

“We believe that many EU members have taken note of the dismally low conviction rate in cases of extrajudicial killings. Many foreign governments and international human rights watchdogs recognize extrajudicial killings and other rights abuses persist. Even the US State Department in a recent report recognizes this. The Philippine government has not done enough to address these problems,” Johoyhoy added.

From October 2009 to April 2011, the European Union allotted nearly 4 million Euros for the European Union-Philippines Justice Support Programme or EPJUST. The programme was meant to improve the Philippines’s criminal justice and human-rights monitoring systems in line with the PH government’s pledge to put an end to extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances.

“It is understandable that many EU member states would now be asking the Philippines to present tangible results especially in the prevention of rights abuses and the prosecution of rights violators. The Philippine country report submitted to the UNHRC presented trite statements. The glaring fact is that former  General Palapran has been eluding arrest. The torturers of the Morong 43 have been promoted. No case has been filed in court against soldiers suspected of killing the country’s top botanist and taxonomist Leonard Co,” said Marie Enriquez, Karapatan chair and also co-head of delegation for the Philippine UPR Watch.

“We expect the PH government to say that the number of killings has gone down. However, this is not due to any meaningful reforms instituted by the Aquino government. The decline in numbers, relative to its peak in 2006-2007, happened because of intense domestic and international pressure on the previous Arroyo government. This does not necessarily mean that the Aquino government has stopped the practice of targeting unarmed activists,” she said.

The Philippine UPR Watch observed that the PH government report was heavy on domestic laws, issuances and orders along with the creation of task forces and offices supposedly to address human rights issues.

“We do not need those fancy and sophisticated schemes, bureaucratic agencies and mechanisms and even grandiose structures and plans (purportedly aimed at addressing the continuing violations.) It’s not just about having laws. We want justice. And we want it now,” said Atty. Edre Olalia, Secretary General of the National Union of People’s Lawyers and who is also in Geneva.

The Philippine government will also be quizzed regarding its refusal to formally invite UN Special Rapporteurs on various issues despite several pending requests. The PH government’s refusal to be scrutinized under UN Special Procedures is an indication of the Philippine government’s lack of transparency and accountability when it comes to human rights, the PH UPR Watch said.

“The Aquino government has made a lot of hullabaloo about its so-called campaign to hold accountable corrupt officials. It is lamentable however that while Aquino moves heaven and earth for the impeachment of the Chief Justice, he has shown very little interest in going after the many human rights violators in the AFP and other state agencies.  His government has not even filed a single human rights case against former president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. The glaring omission tantamount to condonation is too obvious to ignore,” remarked Bayan secretary general Renato Reyes, Jr. ###

Rights victims recount ordeal before Philippine review by UN

GENEVA– They could not hold back tears as they recounted their experiences before a crowd of international human rights organizations and representatives of foreign missions.

Ernan Baldomero, a municipal councilor in Aklan and son of Fernando Baldomero, the first victim of extrajudicial killing under the Aquino regime in 2010, recounted his last days with his father. He spoke of how his father was repeatedly tagged by the military as a communist rebel before he was gunned down by two men riding on a motorcycle. He broke down as he recounted how the military had even insisted that his father was killed by the New People’s Army in an alleged “purge”. He laments to this day that justice has not been fully served.

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For Filipino-American activist Melissa Roxas, her abduction and torture was also painful to recall. She spoke of being abducted in La Paz, Tarlac along with two others, then being subjected to torture and other forms of indignities while in detention. Throughout her detention in what she believed to be was a military facility, she was blindfolded and handcuffed and forced by her captors to “return to the fold of the government”. She laments how none of the perpetrators of her abduction and torture have been held to account.

Baldomero and Roxas spoke at a side-event at the United Nations in Geneva that was organized by the Philippine UPR Watch and CIVICUS World Alliance for Citizen Participation, World Organization Against Torture (OMCT), Asia Pacific Form on Women, Law and Development (APWLD), the International Association of Democratic Lawyers (IADL) and the World Council of Churches (WCC).

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The forum comes just days before the UN’s review of the Philippines’ human rights record on May 29. The Philippine UPR Watch is composed of Filipino human rights defenders who traveled to Geneva for the universal periodic review and session on the Philippines. The Philippine UPR Watch has submitted alternative reports to the UN to dispute the Philippine government claims of an improving human rights climate in the Philippines.

For the second time, the Philippines will undergo a process whereby member countries of the UN Human Rights Council will examine the Philippines’ compliance with its human rights treaty obligations. During the first review cycle in 2008, the Philippines came under serious scrutiny for the spate of extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances under the Arroyo regime.

Now it’s the Aquino government’s turn to face the UN. The Philippine UPR Watch reports that some 76 cases of extrajudicial killings and 9 cases of enforced disappearances have taken place under the Aquino government. Meanwhile, no convictions of perpetrators have taken place under the Aquino administration, the group said.

Baldomero and Roxas both assert that rights violations continue under the Aquino government.

“The most painful thing right now is not recounting our experiences but knowing that there is still no justice after all this time. Victims live with the pain of injustice every day,” Roxas said.

“We came here to Geneva to tell the international community that impunity and injustice are continuing in the Philippines. We have spoken to different country missions here in the UN and hopefully they would ask the tough questions to the Philippine government,” Baldomero said. ###

UN Foreign Missions Receptive of Reports and Accounts of Human Rights Victims and Defenders

 

May 25, 2012 – Geneva - The delegation of the human rights civil society group Philippine UPR Watch has received a receptive audience among various foreign missions on their visit to the United Nations Human Rights Council 13th session of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) in Switzerland.

The lobbying effort of the Philippine UPR Watch composed of 15 human rights and peace groups as well as church and mass organizations from the Philippines and abroad has been received positively by a diverse list of foreign dignitaries who have commonly expressed their keen interest to know more about the real state of human rights in the Philippines. 

A significant number of foreign missions that have candidly discussed issues and questions with the various teams of the Philippine UPR Watch delegation have signified their concern about the compliance of the Philippine government with its commitment and pledges to the recommendations on the first cycle of UPR in 2008 as well as other undertakings it should fulfill. Seventy one countries have listed up to make statements, ask questions and make recommendations to the Philippine government on a wide array of outstanding human rights issues when the latter comes under scrutiny on Tuesday, May 29. 

The foreign missions have assured the delegation that they will take into serious consideration all the concerns raised by the Philippine UPR Watch and counterpose these with the official national report of the Philippine government. The recurrent points that surfaced through the face-to-face interactions with the foreign missions include the continuing extrajudicial killings, forced disappearances and torture, impunity, the rights of women and children, militarization of indigenous communities and other pressing issues. 

In between bilateral meetings with the foreign missions, the delegation has also been meeting with various representatives of the UN special procedures, rapporteurs and treaty monitoring bodies as well as a diverse array of international NGOs. 

The UPR is a process where all United Nations members are subjected to a review every four years of their compliance with international human rights instruments and their commitments and pledges. 

Marie Hilao-Enriquez, co-head of the Philippine UPR Watch said that after four years since the UPR was instituted by the Human Rights Council in 2008, the Philippine government has largely failed to fulfill its promises in the 1st UPR cycle since various forms of human rights violations continue and impunity still remains, noting that practically no one has been held to account and that the Pnoy administration has remained passive if not indifferent to the demands for justice for the victims. 

Today, May 25, the group will be conducting a forum at the Palais des Nations at the UN as a side event dubbed “Telling It As It Is”: Articulating the Philippine Human Rights Situation in the UPR Process, where human rights victims and defenders will speak about their experiences, analysis and recommendations. 

The Philippine UPR Watch delegation in Geneva is made up of leaders and representatives of the National Council of Churches in the Philippines, Karapatan, Tanggol Bayi, Bagong Alyansang Makabayan, National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers, Promotion of Church People’s Response, Migrante International, Cordillera Peoples’ Alliance, Iglesia Filipina Independiente, Kalipunan ng mga Katutubo ng Pilipinas, Kawagib/Moro Christian People’s Alliance, Children’s Rehabilitation Center, Defend Job Philippines, and Hustisya. They are joined by representatives from the International Committee on the Campaign for Human Rights in the Philippines, Bayan-USA, Migrante-Switzerland, and ICCHRP-United Kingdom.

Human Rights Activists Go to UN to Dispute Pnoy’s Human Rights Claims before International Community

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Azerbaijan mission representative takes notes from UPR Watch presentations

Thursday, 24 May 2012, 07:30:05 CEST GENEVA – Philippine human rights activists have arrived in Geneva, Switzerland in time for the second cycle of the United Nations’ Human Rights Council Universal Periodic Review (UPR). The Philippines is scheduled to be reviewed on May 29. The UPR will review the national report of the Philippine government and measure it against its pledges and commitments during the 1st cycle of the UPR and when it applied for membership in the UN Human Rights Council.Fifteen civil society groups belonging to the Philippine UPR Watch are represented by leaders and members of mass organizations in the Philippines while Filipino expatriates came from the United Kingdom, United States and The Netherlands from the International Coordinating Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines (ICCHRP).

The Philippine UPR Watch continued to vigorously lobby with the 71 countries that have signed up to question the Philippine government with its compliance to implement the recommendations put forward by 14 countries during the first cycle of the UPR held in 2008. The group has also been raising the government’s other unfulfilled commitments and ignored recommendations particularly put forward by the former UN Special Rapporteur Philip Alston.

The various Missions that the Philippine UPR Watch spoke with so far have expressed keen interest and serious concern on the continuous human rights violations committed by the state security forces and its paramilitary groups including extrajudicial killings and forced disappearances, torture, intense militarization in the farmers’ and indigenous people communities to pave way for mining operations, migrant and children’s rights and the curtailment of other civil and political rights that are perpetrated alongside violations of economic, social and cultural rights.

Karapatan chairperson Marie Hilao-Enriquez, co-head of Philippine UPR Watch, said that under the administration of President Benigno Simeon C. Aquino III, the human rights situation in the country has not essentially improved. The human rights violations committed by the previous government of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo have not been addressed and worse, it continue to occur under Aquino’s administration as institutionalized by the government’s counter-insurgency program Oplan Bayanihan.

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Chilean representative meets with UPR Watch delegates

Hilao-Enriquez assailed the Aquino government downplaying of the human rights cases and misleading claims of compliance to the recommendations of the countries since the UPR meeting in 2008.

She also scored Malacañang in its reported plan to create another task force purportedly to address the continuing violations, saying that the victims do not need another task force on top of the multiple others already existing. These task forces have not concretely resolved the abuses but turned out to be passive yet inaccurate collators of information, formal deodorizers and elegant smokescreens for the government’s utter failure to stem impunity after all these years, she added.

The Philippine UPR Watch delegation in Geneva is made up of Marie Hilao-Enriquez (Karapatan), Cristina Palabay (Tanggol Bayi), Renato Reyes (Bagong Alyansang Makabayan), Atty. Edre Olalia (National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers), Nardy Sabino (Promotion of Church People’s Response), Garry Martinez (Migrante), Beverly Longid (Cordillera Peoples’ Alliance), Argee Malayao (Kalipunan ng mga Katutubong Mamamayan ng Pilipinas), Bai Ali Indayla (Kawagib/Moro Christian People’s Alliance), Jaquiline Ruiz (Children’s Rehabilitation Center), Melona Daclan (Defend Job Philippines), Ernan Baldomero (Hustisya), and Rev. Fr. Jonash Joyohoy (Ramento Project for Rights Defenders).

They are joined by Dr. Angelica Gonzales (International Coordinating Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines), Melissa Roxas (Bayan-USA), Maribel Mapanao (Campaign for Human Rights in the Philippines-Switzerland), and two other delegates from the Campaign for Human Rights in the Philippines – UK.