ASIAN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION – HUNGER ALERT PROGRAMME
Hunger Alert Case: AHRC-HAC-004-2016
7 December 2016
——————————————————
PHILIPPINES: Stop Surveillance and Harassment of human rights defender and community organizer Glacy Macabale

ISSUES: Institutional reform; labour rights; land rights; poverty & adequate standard of living; right to food; right to redress; threats and intimidation; violence against women
——————————————————

Dear Friends,

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information from Defend Job Philippines (DJP), a social movement working to promote the human rights of the urban poor in Manila, about surveillance and harassment of Ms. Glacy Macabale. Ms. Macabale is human rights defender and community organizer, who has been resisting the forcible displacement of fisher folk, and other low income people, being carried out to facilitate the multi-billion-dollar Manila Bay Reclamation Project. The AHRC has been monitoring the Freedom Islands issue closely since 2012 and expresses its concern about this harassment of Ms. Macabale.
CASE NARRATIVE:
Ms. Glacy Macabale is the Campaign Director of Save Freedom Island Movement (SFIM), a broad network convened to protect fisher-folk and other low-income residents from forced eviction from Freedom Islands in Paranaque City, for the Manila Bay Reclamation Project. The project has put both the people and ecosystem under threat as it is under Boulevard 2000, which is set to reclaim 26,000 hectares of seawater to make way for real estate speculation, mall, hotel and casino operators, and other big businesses. SFIM has been campaigning for the project to be stopped since 2011.
Ms. Macabale first noticed that she was under surveillance on 12 November 2016, when two men visited her home in Makati City, Metro Manila. They spoke to her father and tried to confirm whether Ms. Macabale really lived there. The same men visited the store where Ms. Macabale’s mother works an hour later, pretending to be Ms. Macabale’s classmate.
They had information about Ms. Macabale’s recent activities, which she had recently shared on social media network Facebook, including her recent attendance of a basketball game in Araneta Colliseum. They then inquired whether she was in the store and on learning that she was not, they asked for the exact timing of her return. They also asked for her phone number and where she was, which her mother did not provide. The men then left, promising to return soon again.
Ms. Macabale received two dubious “friend” requests on Facebook the same morning. The requests came from profiles having the names of Frank Kie and Jamir Mendoza. They both messaged her to inquire about planned activities related to her human rights work immediately after sending her friend requests. They also sought the address of her offices, purportedly for visiting her there. That same day, both Facebook users also sent “friend” request to Ms. Macabale’s two sisters.
Subsequently, a woman appeared near Ms. Macabale’s house at 6 a.m. on November 15 and inquired about her whereabouts. A neighbor alleged that the woman told her that she was conducting surveillance on Glacy Macabale. The timing of the visit was particularly worrisome as it confirmed the intention of those following her and intimidating her, as generally people leave their house after 6 am and thus stalking them becomes fairly easy.
Under these circumstances, at present, Ms. Macabale is afraid for her personal security and the safety of her family, and requires protection.
SUGGESTED ACTION:
Please write to the authorities mentioned below demanding immediate intervention to ensure protection to human rights defender Ms. Glacy Macable.
The AHRC is writing separately to the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders as well as UN Special Rapporteur on Adequate Housing as a Component of the Right to an Adequate Standard of Living, and on the Right to Non-Discrimination in this Context, calling for an intervention in the case.
To support this case, please click here
SAMPLE LETTER:
Dear __________,
PHILIPPINES: Stop Surveillance and Harassment of human rights defender and community organizer Glacy Macabale
Name of the victims: Ms. Glacy Macabale
Date and Time of the incident: November 12, 2016 to ongoing

Place of incident: Metro Manila
I am writing to you to express my concern over the ostensible surveillance and harassment of Ms. Glacy Macabale by unknown people. The surveillance and harassment seems to be related to the human rights work in which Ms. Macabale has been involved, for protecting and promoting the rights of urban poor in Metro Manila.
Ms. Glacy Macabale is the Campaign Director of Save Freedom Island Movement (SFIM), a broad network convened to protect fisher-folk and other low-income residents from forced eviction from Freedom Islands in Paranaque City, for the Manila Bay Reclamation Project. The project has put both the people and ecosystem under threat as it is under Boulevard 2000, which is set to reclaim 26,000 hectares of seawater to make way for real estate speculation, mall, hotel and casino operators, and other big businesses. SFIM has been campaigning for the project to be stopped since 2011.
Ms. Macabale first noticed that she was under surveillance on 12 November 2016, when two men visited her home in Makati City, Metro Manila. They spoke to her father and tried to confirm whether Ms. Macabale really lived there. The same men visited the store where Ms. Macabale’s mother works an hour later, pretending to be Ms. Macabale’s classmate.
They had information about Ms. Macabale’s recent activities, which she had recently shared on social media network Facebook, including her recent attendance of a basketball game in Araneta Colliseum. They then inquired whether she was in the store and on learning that she was not, they asked for the exact timing of her return. They also asked for her phone number and where she was, which her mother did not provide. The men then left, promising to return soon again.
Ms. Macabale received two dubious “friend” requests on Facebook the same morning. The requests came from profiles having the names of Frank Kie and Jamir Mendoza. They both messaged her to inquire about planned activities related to her human rights work immediately after sending her friend requests. They also sought the address of her offices, purportedly for visiting her there. That same day, both Facebook users also sent “friend” request to Ms. Macabale’s two sisters.
Subsequently, a woman appeared near Ms. Macabale’s house at 6 a.m. on November 15 and inquired about her whereabouts. A neighbor alleged that the woman told her that she was conducting surveillance on Glacy Macabale. The timing of the visit was particularly worrisome as it confirmed the intention of those following her and intimidating her, as generally people leave their house after 6 am and thus stalking them becomes fairly easy.
Under these circumstances, at present, Ms. Macabale is afraid for her personal security and the safety of her family, and requires protection.
It is in this context that I urge you to ensure that
1. Security is provided to Ms. Glacy Macabale urgently and immediately;
2. People who are stalking her are found out and prosecuted for threatening a citizen involved in lawful human rights work;
3. Human rights defenders in the Philippines are able to carry out their activities without threats and attacks, fear of reprisals and free of all restrictions

Sincerely,
_______

PLEASE SEND YOUR LETTERS TO:
1. Secretary VITALIANO N. AGUIRRE II
Department of Justice
DOJ Bldg., Padre Faura
1004 Manila
PHILIPPINES
Fax: +63 2 521 1614
Email: communications@doj.gov.ph
2. Hon. Jose Luis Martin C. Gascon
Chairperson
Commission on Human Rights
SAAC Bldg., Commonwealth Avenue
U.P. Complex, Diliman
Quezon City
PHILIPPINES
Fax: +63 2 929 0102
E-mail: chairgascon.chr@gmail.com

3. REGINA PAZ L. LOPEZ
Secretary
Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Visayas Avenue, Diliman, 1100 Quezon City
PHILIPPINES
Email: hea@denr.gov.ph

4. Mayor Edwin Olivarez
Local Government Unit of Paranaque
Parañaque City Hall,
Hernandez Avenue,
San Antonio Valley 1
Parañaque City, 1700,
Metro Manila
PHILIPPINES
Phone: (63) 02. 8207783
5. ATTY. ALBERTO C. AGRA
Philippine Reclamation Authority
Office of the Chairman and Board of Directors
The Enterprise Center Tower 1
7th Floor, 200, 1200
Paseo de Roxas, Legazpi Village,
Makati, Metro Manila,
PHILIPPINES
Email: infor@pea.gov.ph

Hunger Alerts Programme
Right to Food Programme (foodjustice@ahrc.asia)
Asian Human Rights Commission (ua@ahrc.asia)