Human rights

Groups present human rights agenda for 2022 polls, support Robredo and other advocates

December 14, 2021 | 9:48 a.m.

MANILA, Philippines – Groups and activists presented their human rights platform for the 2022 elections on Monday and supported candidates – including presidential candidate Vice President Leni Robredo – who they say will help move this agenda forward if elected.

Including human rights in the campaign for the 2022 elections is essential, said Rose Trajano of the Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates, because “from the moment you open your eyes in the morning until you close them in the morning. evening, everything is linked to human rights. . “

The defenders, grouped under Human Rights Vote 2022, presented an agenda centered on the rule of life, social justice and responsibility. They called for an end to the “war on drugs”, a return to peace talks with communist rebels, the protection of human rights defenders and the prosecution of those who attack and harass them.

“There is no place for the central policy of murder in the political and legal landscape,” said Brylle Chavez, human rights activist, based in Cagayan de Oro, at the launch of the agenda of the rights, held at the Bantayog ng mga Bayani in Quezon City. and online.

Human Rights Vote 2022 said Robredo, who criticized the “war on drugs” and other policies of the Duterte administration, “demonstrated an effective response to COVID-19, clean governance and responsible and respect for human rights. .

In addition to Robredo, human rights defenders also approved the candidacies of the reelectionists Sen. Leila de Lima and Risa Hontiveros as well as human rights lawyer Chel Diokno, former representative Teddy Baguilat (Ifugao), women’s rights defender and former Bangsamoro Transition Authority member Samira Gutoc, union leaders Luke Espiritu and Sonny Matula, and the former representative Neri Colmenares (Bayan Muna).

Response to the “non-militarized” pandemic, accountability for rights violations

The 2022 human rights vote also calls for a transparent and scientifically “unmilitarized” response to the pandemic. This response should include equitable access to vaccines and drugs as well as appropriate compensation for primary care physicians.

They said the economic recovery from the pandemic should include policies that will increase wages and protections for workers and provide support to farmers and fishermen.

Support for farmers and fishermen includes the suspension of “mega-development” projects and land conversion, they said, as well as a moratorium on mining, dredging, reclamation and land reclamation. other mining and destruction projects that are promoted as pandemic response and economic recovery strategies.

“They say human rights are for drug addicts or are a leftist agenda,” said Joseph Purugganan of Focus on the Global South. “All aspects of our lives are aspects of human rights.”

Lawyer Marlon Manuel of alternative law groups said the Human Rights Vote 2022 also advocates recognition of victims of human rights violations and the accountability of their perpetrators and perpetrators. Candidates should, he said, work for “the protection of the right to fight for human rights”.

This would include the adoption of the Bill on the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a measure whose adoption faces opposition from government agencies such as the National Task Force to End Communist Armed Conflicts. local.

He said the government must also pass laws such as the anti-extrajudicial killings and anti-red marking bills that have been introduced in the House and Senate.

He stressed that criticism and opposition to government policies and plans is part of the community’s exercise of its freedom of expression “and should not be seen as a struggle against the government or a violation of the law. “. – Jonathan de Santos