Please find attached and below, statements from a number of Philippine organizations, assessing President Duterte’s first 100 days in office.
On this occasion, too, the ICHRP wishes to re-issue its statements regarding the Duterte government and reiterates its commitment to support the FIlipino people’s aspirations for just and lasting peace in the country:
Dr. Angie M. Gonzales
International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines
———- Forwarded message ———-
From: KARAPATAN Public Information <firstname.lastname@example.org>
October 8, 2016
Reference: Cristina “Tinay” Palabay, Secretary General, +63917-3162831
Angge Santos, Media Liaison, +63918-9790580
“In President Rodrigo Duterte’s first 100 days in office, there are positive developments foremost being his decisiveness, the resumption of peace talks and the release of the NDFP peace consultants. But there are also persisting challenges,” said Karapatan Secretary General Cristina Palabay.
Karapatan enumerated the following positive developments:
1. One of President Duterte’s most significant achievements in his first 100 days in office is the resumption of formal peace talks with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) and his stated openness to a substantial and meaningful peace process with the Moro revolutionary groups.
The environment for the resumption of formal peacetalks between the GPH and the NDFP, long-stalled by the Arroyo and Aquino regimes, was further made enabling by the release on bail of eighteen (18) detained peace consultants of the NDFP and two other political prisoners to participate in the rounds of talks in Oslo, Norway.
The GPH and NDFP peace panels are scheduled to exchange drafts of a Comprehensive Agreement on Socio-Economic Reforms (CASER), a key agreement which is seen as the heart and soul of issues in the continuing armed conflict in the Philippines. The panels are also expected to discuss the release of political prisoners on humanitarian grounds, and all others through an amnesty proclamation.
Meanwhile, the Duterte government’s effort to dialogue with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) is seen as a positive step towards a genuine peace process that will address the roots of the Moro people’s struggle for their right to self-determination.
Karapatan reiterates its unequivocal call to the Duterte administration for the immediate release of ALL political prisoners through a general amnesty.
2. The GPH declaration of unilateral ceasefire, an initial positive outcome in the peace talks, and verbal pronouncements by Pres. Duterte were key to the decision of the Lumad evacuees to return home.
The displaced lumad in Lianga, Surigao del Sur also got strong international and national support in their campaign for justice. The massacre of their leaders and teacher, Datu Juvello Sinzo, Dionel Campos and Lumad school executive Emerito Samarca led to the massive evacuation of lumad residents to the Tandag Sports complex. A year later, progressive organizations secured the Surigao del Sur evacuees in their trek back to their homes and schools. The internally displaced lumad staying at the UCCP Haran in Davao City have yet to return home due to continuing AFP presence in their communities.
3. The Justice Department’s withdrawal of charges against activists and human rights defenders in Mindanao is also a welcome development. Under the Aquino administration, trumped-up charges of kidnapping, serious illegal detention and human trafficking were filed to harass advocates and activists who supported the lumad evacuees in the UCCP-Haran compound in Davao City.
4. Duterte’s pronouncements indicate that government-backed paramilitary groups like Alamara and Magahat-Bagani, among many others, are supported, armed and funded by the government. He has threatened to disband and disarm them after reports of ceasefire violations were reported in media.
5. Duterte’s critique of US military presence in the Philippines and the US government’s hypocrisy insofar as human rights is concerned resonates with all patriotic Filipinos and peoples who are at the receiving end of US interventionist wars and plunder in underdeveloped countries. US foreign military aid to the AFP and the previous regimes have fuelled counter-insurgency programs such as Oplan Bayanihan victimizing thousands of Filipinos.
Karapatan, however, also cites the following persisting challenges:
1. Despite the GPH declared unilateral ceasefire with the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-NDFP, the implementation of Oplan Bayanihan continues, in the guise of civil-military operations and ‘peace and development programs’ by the AFP. Civilians continue to be targetted in the AFP’s mad attempt to employ deception and military solution to the armed conflict and to safeguard interests of large-scale mining and agricultural corporations raking in profits for foreign and local big business.
Rights violations perpetrated under Oplan Bayanihan continue. During the 100 days, Karapatan documented at least 16 victims of political killings, 16 frustrated killings, two cases of torture, and nine victims of illegal arrest and detention. Most of the victims of political killings were from the peasantry and indigenous peoples. They were killed defending their land and ancestral domain. Among these are the massacres of farmers in Laur, Nueva Ecija and in Sumilao, Bukidnon.
2. The filing of trumped-up charges against activists and the criminalization of political acts still continue. Lumad teacher-researcher Amelia Pond was charged with double murder and frustrated murder; while peace advocate John Maniquez with illegal possession of firearms during Duterte’s first 100 days.
The President declared a state of national emergency after the bombing in Davao City where civilians were killed. Karapatan remains vigilant on possible adverse impact on civil and political rights, especially those of the Moro people who might be victims of warrantless arrest and illegal detention.
3. Justice remains elusive in the cases of human rights violations which were committed as far back as in the Arroyo and Aquino regimes. Perpetrators of human rights violations are yet to be arrested and punished, despite warrants of arrests and solid evidence against them. Examples are the perpetrators of the Lianga massacre, the murderers of Fernando Baldomero, Romeo Capalla, Fr. Fausto Tentorio, Leonard Co, Juvy Capion and her two children, and many others.
4. Ret. Maj. Gen. Jovito “The Butcher” Palparan continues to enjoy army custody instead of regular civilian detention. Charges for plunder against Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo have all been dismissed. Disappeared Jonas Burgos, Karen Empeno and Sherlyn Cadapan and many more movement activists and leaders remain missing.
5. Martial law victims and their families are disgusted with the utter failure of the Aquino-appointed Claims Board to indemnify them, despite more than three years of the Martial Law Victims Reparations Act. Duterte’s proposal for a hero’s burial for the dictator Ferdinand Marcos was also met with strong opposition by the ML victims and their relatives.
6. The rapid rise in the incidence of drug-related killings marred the first 100 days of Duterte’s presidency. Purely law enforcement actions against suspected drug users and pushers are done with disregard for their right to life and to due process. More of the victims are from the vulnerable and marginalized sectors of Philippine society.
Karapatan reiterates that drug-related killings should be stopped, due process should be resorted to and justice should be rendered the innocent victims. The drug menace can be eliminated without curtailing the basic rights of the people, especially of the poor. It is through solving the basic problems of Philippine society and upholding economic, political and socio-cultural rights that the drug problem can be fully and comprehensively addressed.
“The struggle for meaningful and thoroughgoing change continues, as we continue to uphold and assert people’s rights under the Duterte administration and beyond,” Palabay concluded.
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Independence assertion a first 100 days highlight
The Aquino administration joined the US’s PFG in 2011. IBON pointed out that the program, costing US$739 million (Php33 billion), is the most comprehensive US intervention in economic policy-making today. The PFG is designing Philippine trade and investment, intellectual property rights, fiscal and other policies to make these compliant with the requirements of the US’s Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). It is even targeting the legal and courts system, the group added
IBON said that unilaterally withdrawing from the PFG will send an unequivocal signal that the country is adopting an independent foreign economic policy.
The PFG is due to end this year but other US aid programs will continue with its focus areas in 2017 and beyond. IBON warned that the US government will keep shaping the country’s economic policy and institutional environment to become more open and profitable to US investors and corporations.
This free market policy regime whose terms are one-sidedly beneficial to foreign capital prevents sustainable Filipino economic development, IBON said. Unsupported and unprotected Filipino industries cannot compete with cheap imports or powerful transnational corporations. This keeps the country a low-valued added economy whose labour and natural resources are exploited by foreign investors, the group explained.
IBON said that economic sovereignty is vital for protecting the country’s economic and development interests. To this day, even advanced capitalist powers such as the US still protect their economy against foreign competition when their economic interests are threatened. Ending the US-directed PFG would be a significant concrete measure showing that the Philippines is neither a mendicant country nor foolishly adopting economic policies dictated on it by self-serving foreign powers. ###
IBON Foundation, Inc. is an independent development institution established in 1978 that provides research, education, publications, information work and advocacy support on socioeconomic issues.
Media & Communications Department
Reforms have begun in 10 out of 14 major environmental concerns within Duterte’s first 100 days – Eco-Challenge
6 October 2016
Change has definitely come in 10 of the 14 environmental demands outlined by environmental advocates at the onset of the first 100 days under the presidency of Rodrigo Duterte—but the Duterte administration can still do better in pursuing immediate, urgent reforms to ensure environmental protection, wise natural resource management, and people’s rights and welfare.
The administration’s performance in addressing foreign militarism received a ‘gold’ rating for the president’s consistent and strong policy pronouncements in finally putting an end to US-PH military exercises that have caused hazardous waste dumps and other forms of environmental degradation over the years. Duterte has also announced that his cabinet is already reviewing the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA).
In the same breath that we stand up for the international court ruling over the West Philippine Sea to protect our marine resource patrimony, the administration should look into the long-standing track record of environmental impacts by US military exercises and bases, as well as the EDCA provision that allows the transit of nuclear weapons through ‘agreed locations that serve as de facto US bases, as major reasons for repudiating US militarist policies.
Duterte garnered ‘silver’ ratings in the issues of mining, agriculture, the peace talks, and environmental governance. Highlight actions taken by the administration include Environment Sec. Gina Lopez’s suspension of 10 big mines, Agrarian Reform Sec. Rafael Mariano’s two-year land-use conversion freeze, the appointment of pro-people and pro-environment leaders in relevant public offices, and the ground-breaking pace of the peace talks between the PH Government and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines, now opening discussions on far-reaching social and economic reforms with an emphasis on environmental reforms.
Challenges in these issues include the ‘business-as-usual’ of corporate-controlled genetically modified organism (GMO) crops, the lack of permanent closures of long-established destructive mines, the entrenchment of corrupt officials in the relevant agencies, and the seeming attempt of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to sabotage the peace talks.
‘Bronze’ ratings were given to issues where initial reforms have been overshadowed by negative trends in policy and governance, including toxics, disasters and climate change, reclamation, fisheries, and policy reforms. On the issue of toxics, for instance, the process of repatriating the Canadian trash dumped in the Philippines, for instance, does not yet cover all waste containers. There is also no progress yet to push various policy proposals for toxics control reforms.
Meanwhile, different initiatives of government agencies to prepare for the La Nina climate phenomenon and reduce the risks of worsening extreme weather events, dismantle illegal fish pens, regulate reclamation activities, and prioritize reforms in environmental laws face different problems and limitations such as unsystematic planning, policy gaps, and internal or inter-agency conflicts.
The Duterte government, however, received ‘black’ marks for the issues of energy, the national greening program, logging, and killings and trumped-up charges against environmentalists. Coal power projects continue to expand, the corruption and land-grabbing cases under the National Greening Program remains uninvestigated, both legal and illegal timber operations remain business-as-usual, and at least five (5) cases of killings of environmental defenders have been recorded under the new administration.
We in the Ecological Challenge for Change (Eco-Challenge) commend the Duterte administration for walking the talk of environmental reforms, but there is still much to be done. We urge the president to constructively take stock of the major shortcomings identified by the Eco-Challenge and take double efforts to strengthen and enforce environmental regulations, advance new progressive legislation, and assert our national patrimony and sovereignty towards genuine pro-people, pro-environment development.
The Eco-Challenge will continue to engage the Duterte administration towards ensuring the protection of the environment and safeguarding the people’s rights. We will continue our people’s movements to help the Duterte administration in monitoring environmental concerns, holding environmentally destructive and pollutive projects accountable, and supporting programs and policy reforms.#
The Eco-Challenge is a broad national coalition of 40 pro-environment and pro-people formations that united to call on the Duterte administration for a comprehensive environmental program of action.
Kalikasan People’s Network for the Environment
26 Matulungin St. Central District, Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines, 1100
Tel: 02 433 0184 | E-mail: email@example.com | Site:
This is the Filipino workers’ challenge to Duterte after his first one hundred days in office: translate your independent foreign policy towards a pro-Filipino economic framework. By this we mean working towards a self-reliant economy through national industrialization and genuine land reform.
Workers fully support the President’s assertion of the country’s sovereignty against foreign intervention. We urge Duterte to immediately put into writing his assertions for an independent foreign policy. He can start by issuing an order to junk the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement which allow increased US military presence and permanent basing in the country in gross violation of our sovereignty.
However, the President’s independent foreign policy cannot be fully realized if his administration’s economic framework remain subservient to US dictated neoliberal policies of privatization, liberalization, deregulation and denationalization. Such policies have subjected Filipino workers and people to decades of worsening hunger and poverty.
We strongly urge President Duterte to junk his administration’s 10-point economic agenda which blatantly negates his pro-worker, pro-people and patriotic sentiments. The programs drafted by his economic managers are mere photocopies of previous administration’s neoliberal economic policies that paved the way for widespread labor contractualization and further pressing down of workers’ wages through wage rationalization.
President Duterte can choose to take the path towards developing a genuinely self-reliant national economy by adopting as his economic development program the National Democratic Front of the Philippines’s draft for a Comprehensive Agreement on Socio-Economic Reforms (CASER) of National Industrialization and Genuine Land Reform. The administration can draft policies to assert majority Filipino ownership of vital industries and enterprises with rural agro-industrial development as its backbone.