Director Dr. Marichi Ramos of the Bacolod City Water District (BACIWA), is being vindicated on her advocacy against anti-graft and corruption in the government’s water firm which she has undertaken for close to a year now despite having experienced threats and harassments because of the decision of the Senate to now conduct a probe on local water districts and its supervisor, the Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA) a number of Bacolod water consumers, interviewed by NNF/NDB who also requested anonymity, said.
The Senate Committee probe would be undertaken by President Benigno Simeon Aquino III’s nephew, Senator Paolo Benigno Aquino IV, neophyte legislator in the Upper House, the Senate.
More than 500 victims of the Marcos martial law regime are lamenting the non-designation as yet of the Board of Claims which would be composed of nine directors, who draft the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) which would cover the distribution of monetary claims approved under RA 10368 or the "Human Rights Victims Reparation and Recognition Act of 2013" signed by President Benigno Simeon Aquino III on February 25, 2013 wherein essentially the martyrdom and heroism of members of Cause-Oriented Groups (COGs), People’s Organizations (POCs) and freedom fighters against the then authoritarian and repressive Marcos regime, were finally recognized.
With the approval of the Marcos compensation law, monetary reparations was awarded the human rights violation (HRVs) victims, coming from the more than $700-M ill-gotten Marcos family wealth deposited in a Swiss Bank, years back.
COUNTERINSURGENCY IMPOSES TERROR AS A STRATEGY. Counterinsurgency implements terror tactics and strategies in its campaign of pacification.
Even before the imposition of martial law, and during the period when Elpidio Quirino was Philippine president, counterinsurgency operations had been hallmark of the government’s pacification campaign and it eventually succeeded in quelling the Partido ng Komunista-Hukbong Mapagpalaya sa Bayan (HUKBALAHAP), rebellion.
The basis of the revolution then as it is now and then is its anti-feudal content and essence.
The dictator Marcos in order to get US support and because the anti-communism bogey was at its height, used it to propel the pacification campaign onwards, this, as if the rebellion or revolution had no basis at all.
Cause-oriented and human rights groups (HR), spearheaded two of several protest-rallies in the province, with a demonstration at the public plaza yesterday afternoon.
Aside from the protest-rally in Kabankalan City, yesterday, Monday, and one in Bacolod City, art exhibits to mark the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) anniversary were held in the afternoon, the St. John Paul VI Tower in the reclamation area.
The other art and photo exhibit by various artists was at the third floor of the Robinsons mall, also yesterday afternoon presented by Dibuhista Nga Nagahiliugyon sa Negros (DIHON), titled "Kalamidad". The art and photo exhibit was announced by prize-winning artist, Nunelucio Alvarado.
FROM THE MARCOS REGIME PERIOD. Negros Island, specifically, our province, Negros Occidental has been the focal point of human rights violations since the Marcos regime, imposed authoritarian rule by declaring martial rule in September 21, 1972.
The worse was, of course, during the period, the late Philippine dictator, imposed his authoritarian rule, citing supposed communist and NPA threats of rebellion as his major reason.
Thus, when he declared martial rule years after, soon after grave, serious human rights excesses were committed by the regime.
The Senate through Senator Bam Aquino is poised to conduct an inquiry in aid of legislation on the implementation of local water districts of their projects and the participation of the Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA) in the water supply provision in the countryside to protect consumers, with the end in view of amending provisions of Presidential Decree No. 198 and other pertinent laws. Detractors insist PD 198 is an antiquated law.
Aside from this, in a resolution introduced by the senator, a nephew of President Benigno Aquino III, the resolution further declared that there is a need to inquire into the loans given by LWUA to a member of local water districts like the Bacolod City Water District (BACIWA), which was granted a loan by the LWUA in the amount of PHP537-M, and that the loan implemented years back was haphazardly implemented to the detriment and disadvantage of water consumers of Bacolod.
Farmers involved in a land conflict with the landowning Sola family in Kabankalan City, aired their woes and griped about government’s indifference and inaction during a press conference a few days before the commemoration of the Universal Declaration of the Human Rights, a document signed by various countries and nations the world over, including the Philippines.
It also indicated serious flaws of the government’s Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP), they indicated.
The farmers who included Mansueto Gatillas Sr., Fidel Hilaga and a woman-farmer who all related that since December 4, they have been harassed and seriously threatened by blue guards of landowner John Paul Sola. The blue guards wore uniforms but now when roving about, put on civilian clothes clearly indicating that they do not want to be identified, specifically as to what their security agency is.
COMMITTED LAWYERS POSITIVE FOR NATION’S INTERESTS. The commitment and determination of committed nationalist lawyers to now ensure that human rights be upheld and promoted several steps higher, will move the nation towards nationhood and several steps higher in their commitment for human rights along several aspects.
This was what we gleaned and what had transpired during the third National Union of People’s Lawyers (NUPL) Congress in Bacolod City which took place, from November 29–December 2, last week.
The commitment of hundreds of lawyers all over the country combined with the approval of laws related to human rights under the administration of President Benigno Simeon Aquino III would promote the observance of all aspects of human rights and the observance of International Humanitarian Laws (IHL), which many developed societies the world over are implementing for their countries and nations.
ASIDE FROM PROVIDING PEOPLE’S BASIC NEEDS. Through the years, one thing has clearly emerged; that aside from providing millions of Filipinos their basic needs, one abstract need: justice for one and for all, which is something which is sorely lacking in this nation of 100 million people, justice for one and all.
One can cite many things under which justice should be categorized. And this is that, Filipino leaders must ensure not only liberation from criminal fiends but economic equality, economic justice and social justice which at the moment in the country’s pre-colonial, colonial and modern-day history has been elusive for the people.
The prosecution services, law enforcement agencies, judiciary must deliver government officials, including all functionaries must deliver on all kinds of justice we have cited.
And we mean national government officials, who have to ensure that the institutions of justice work to benefit the Filipino people, as promised.
Soldiers belonging to a unit of the 47th IB, which is deployed in Southern Negros, and who have been out on a series of military operations against the NPAs, forced a farmer in Tapi Village, Kabankalan City, to strip stark naked and took footage of him, using a video camera. The incident happened November 17, said Felipe Levy Gelle.
In an interview with DYRL’s "Tungkaron Ta Ini" program, yesterday the farmer identified himself as Billy Laga who owns a small farm in the area. He said he was working in his farm when the soldiers who belong to a 47th IB unit, composed of a number of men he could not identify, forced him to undress and in the buff took footages of his body concentrating on his sexual organ.