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Home Community Civil Rights The USAPAN Advocates Continue to Take Up Cudgels for Filipino Human-Rights Victims
The USAPAN Advocates Continue to Take Up Cudgels for Filipino Human-Rights Victims PDF Print E-mail
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Communities - Civil Rights
Saturday, 31 May 2008 23:42

The USA–Philippines Advocacy Network (USAPAN) is an inclusive network of faith-based individuals and groups based in the United States. It represents diverse religious, political, and organizational affiliations that support peace-and-justice movements in the Philippines. Here are the latest news for Filipino Americans to read and action items for them to engage themselves in on Philippines issues, especially in the matter of human-rights abuses by certain elements of the Philippine government.


News Updates:1.) May 27, 2007, was the one-year anniversary of the abduction, torture and imprisonment of Rev. Berlin Guerrero, one of 30 religious workers killed or abducted since 2001. While he is imprisoned indefinitely, he has been conducting services to his fellow inmates.  His wife, Mylene Guererro will be coming to the U.S. this month to mid-July 2008 to speak about her husband's situation.

2.) We want to alert you that Lance Corporal Daniel Smith may be acquitted for Nicole's rape.  We are writing to express our support to seek justice for Nicole who was brutally violated and raped.  After a yearlong trial, Smith was convicted of rape and sentenced to serve 40 years in the Philippines on December 4, 2006.  A year and a half later, Smith faces possible acquittal.  Today, we stand together in solidarity with "Nicole" and the Task Force for Subic Rape (TFSR) to urge against Smith's acquittal. Please alert others to this situation and urge fore justice for Nicole and an end to US pressure in this case.

Editor’s Note: The author is Jeffrey Acido, the new administrator for the USAPAN list. He was born in the Philippines and grew up in Hawai'i. He is currently a seminary student at the Pacific School of Religion and is working at the PANA Institute.


Action Requested Of Readers and Pro-Active Filipino Americans:

 
1.) Please take the time today to write, call or fax your congresspersons about the need to put human rights restrictions on Foreign Military aid to the Philippines. Writing to ALL of your Senators and Congress people at this time is very important. There is special need for people in the State of Hawaii to contact Inouye and Vermont to contact Leahy's offices. But communicate with your local reps today! Below is a sample letter.

2.) The film, Live to Tell: Witness and Survival in the Philippines, by film maker Terrell Tangonan, is a powerful film which captures the testimonies of people who have survived Extra-Judicial Killing attempts who were visited by the 2007 United Methodist Cal-Nevada Pastoral and Solidarity Visit. It runs for 30 minutes. It is a great material for discussion and showing in your community or congregation. Contact Deborah Lee (dlee@psr.edu) if you would like to purchase a copy for $10.

3.) Bishop Pascua of the UCCP and Mylene Guerrero will be visiting the San Francisco Bay Area the end of June. They will be also visiting Nevada and Hawai'i. If you would like to host them for a speaking engagement, please contact Rev. Larry Emery (wgcpc@hotmail.com).  If you would like them to go to another city, arrangements may be made if you can provide transportation and housing. Bishop Pascua was one of those who testified at the Senator Boxer hearing last year and is the leader of the largest Protestant church in the Philippines – a church who has lost over 20 pastors and certified church workers to extra-judicial killings – and thus has credibility and status. His visit is a wonderful opportunity to meet with congressional offices about the human rights situation in the Philippines.

At the same time we will have with him Mylene Guerrero, wife of Berlin Guerrero, the student pastor who was abducted and tortured by Philippine military intelligence (the Philippine National Police are on record that it was military intelligence that abducted and tortured Berlin!!!). She will be with him for some of these meetings.


Here is the itinerary of Bishop Pascua and M. Guerrero from June 20 to July 10, 2008:June 20- July 1- San Francisco Bay/Sacramento Area

July 1-July 3 - To Las Vegas and Reno, Nevada.

July 5 (PM) - July 7 (AM) Chicago

July 8 (early AM) - July 9 PM: Travel to NJ (Newark area) and NYC

Hawaii may be one of the more- important stops of Bishop Pascua and Ms. M. Guerrero.July 10 - Departure to Hawaii (from Newark airport)

July 11-12 - Speak in Hawaii

July 12 (Eve) - Depart to Manila

For all the stops, we request that we meet with your local congress people. In the mean time we must keep writing letters to our own congress people. Here is a sample letter that you could use:

 
SAMPLE LETTER

Letters to Representatives of Congress

Dear Congressman or Senator,

As a member of your district, I am deeply disturbed by the on-going abductions, killings and disappearances left unaddressed by the Philippine government. International human rights experts and organizations have found credible evidence that links the killings and the disappearances to the Philippine police and military; but without any prosecution of those responsible, the atrocities continue. Prof. Philip Alston, the UN Special Rapporteur for the United Nations directly attributes the extrajudicial killings on the military. The largest contributor to the Philippines military is the United States.

His most recent report is found at :http://www.extrajudicialexecutions.org/reports/A_HRC_8_Philippines_Advance_Edited.pdf

I am asking that military aid be given only if the following conditions which are being discussed in State Foreign Operations Appropriations Committee are met:

(1.) the Philippine Government successfully implements the recommendations of the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions;

(2. the Philippine Government implements a policy of promoting military personnel who demonstrate professionalism and respect for human rights, and is investigating and prosecuting military personnel and others who have been credibly alleged to be responsible for extrajudicial executions, disappearances or other violations of human rights; and

(3.) The Philippine military does not engage in acts of intimidation or violence against church leaders and members of legal organizations who advocate for human rights.

I am requesting you to do all that is in your power and influence to advocate for the restrictions on military funding to the Philippines until the Philippines government takes measures to ensure the safety and human rights of its own citizens, church leaders and members of legal organizations.

Sincerely,

____________ ___________________________________ (Name)

____________ ___________________________________ (Affiliation)

____________ _____________________________________ (Address)


For any questions or more detailed information please contact:

Deborah Lee: dlee@psr.edu

Larry Emery: wgcpc@hotmail.com

Jeffrey Acido: jacido@psr.edu



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Last Updated on Sunday, 01 June 2008 00:16
 

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