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NUJP announces Nonoy Espina Emergency Fund for Media Workers

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This is a press release from the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines.

As Filipino journalists all over the country mourn the passing of fellow newsman Nonoy Espina, his family informed the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) on Thursday, July 8, that they wish to channel all “abuloy” or donations for his funeral to a health and welfare fund for journalists and media workers.

Nonoy, former NUJP chairperson, died of liver cancer on Wednesday, July 7, in his hometown, Bacolod City.

“We know so many colleagues live under precarious economic conditions, with no tenure and often, with little social benefits,” Nonoy’s sister, veteran journalist Inday Espina-Varona, said in a Facebook post.

According to a March 2021 survey conducted by NUJP, 15% of the more than 200 journalists polled nationwide receive a measly salary of P5,000 and below per month, while 19% have a monthly salary ranging from P5,000-P10,000.

The pandemic has further exposed the economic vulnerabilities of journalists and media workers, with many unable to afford medical treatment when they get sick.

“Pagtibayin natin ang hanay to fight for better wages and work conditions (Let us hold the line to fight for better wages and work conditions),” Inday said.

“But let us let Nonoy spark us into doing the practical. Ambag-ambag tayo para sa kapatirang mamamahayag (Let us all contribute to help our fellow journalists),” she added.

The NUJP Board of Directors warmly accepted the Espina family’s offer, knowing that Nonoy would have wished that too. He had always been caring and compassionate with fellow media workers, especially those struggling in the communities.

In fact, when NUJP organized a fundraiser in June, Nonoy did not want it to be for him alone, saying that other colleagues are also in need.

The NUJP on Friday, July 8, formally announced the Nonoy Espina Emergency Fund for Media Workers in honor of its former chairperson.

“Magandang paraan ito ng pagbibigay pugay kay Chair Nonoy at sa pagpapatuloy ng pagmamalasakit niya at ng unyon sa mga kapwa mamamahayag,” NUJP Chairperson Jonathan de Santos said.

(This is a good way to honor Chairman Nonoy and to continue his legacy of caring and fighting for the welfare of his fellow media workers.)

Kahit minsan parang tayo-tayo na lang ang nagtutulungan, malaking bagay pa rin na kaya at handa tayong gawin ito para sa isa’t-isa (Though sometimes it may seem that journalists are on their own, it is still matters that we are ready to help one another),” he added.

NUJP will announce the guidelines for the fund in the coming days.

The donations can be sent through the following:

  • Bank
    • Metrobank Kamuning
    • National Union of Journalists of the Philippines
    • 229-7-229-50756-3
  • Gcash/Paymaya
    • Jhoanna Paola Ballaran
    • 09617626684

– Rappler.com


#DefendDemocracy: Join webinars on what communities can do to fight anti-terror law

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A year has passed since the controversial anti-terror law (ATL) was signed, despite intense opposition from several sectors.

Since the passing of the anti-terror law, numerous petitions have also been filed against it in the Supreme Court and oral arguments were held. Supreme Court Chief Justice Alexander Gesmundo earlier said the Supreme court would “try its best” to rule on the case within the year.

The anti-terror law is described by critics as a threat to democracy. Activists and critics alike have raised concerns that the about how the law gives the government power to arrest or detain dissenting individuals and groups due to the policy’s vague definition of terrorism.

Two Aetas have been charged, jailed, and put on trial for terrorism, and 19 people – including a recently freed peace consultant – have been designated terrorists under one of the law’s contentious arbitrary powers.

To help shed light on how communities can continue to fight for their rights, MovePH and De La Salle University Student Government (DLSU USG) will hold webinars titled “#DefendDemocracy: The effects of ATL on dissenters and communities” on Friday, July 16, and “#DefendDemocracy: Fighting against anti-terror law” on Saturday, July 17, both at 3 pm Manila time respectively via Zoom.

The webinars are co-presented by the #CourageON: No Lockdown on Rights coalition, which brings together groups from various sectors in to amplify opportunities for collective action to promote and defend human rights.

The webinars aim to answer questions about the health of the Philippine democracy, and share possible actions that communities can employ to help defend their rights, despite pandemic and quarantine restrictions.

The following are the topics and invited panelists to the #DefendDemocracy webinars:

#DefendDemocracy: The effects of ATL on Dissenters and Communities (July 16, 3 pm):
  • “Human rights issues and the anti-terror law” – Commission on Human Rights Commissioner Karen S. Gomez-Dumpit
  • “The power of mobilizing the youth against red-tagging of student leaders and campus journalists” – Kabataan representative Sarah Elago
  • “Red-tagging of major universities and the safety of educators and students” – College Editors Guild of the Philippines National Deputy Secretary-General Regina Tolentino
  • “Human rights situation updates on affected Lumad communities” – Alternative Learning Center for Agricultural and Livelihood Development (ALCADEV) Teacher Chad Errol Booc
#DefendDemocracy: Fighting Against Anti-Terror Law (July 17, 3 pm)
  • “Protecting our constitutional rights under the anti-terror law” – National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers Chairperson Neri Colmenares
  • “Anti-terror law and cases of mistaken identity” – Bangsamoro Transition Commission Lawyer Algamar Latiph 
  • “Protecting campus press freedom: The magna carta for campus journalists against anti-terror law” – National Union of Journalists of the Philippines Chairperson Jonathan de Santos

Secure your slots by signing up here for day 1 and for day 2. The webinar will also be broadcast on the DLSU USG, Rappler, and MovePH’s Facebook pages. – Rappler.com

Join the #PHVote Dialogues on Philippine president’s ideal work ethic

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The country has seen several leaders at work over the years, each of them with different platforms, personalities, and varying approaches to handling issues that affected the country.

But what does it really mean to become the chief executive of the Republic of the Philippines? What duties and responsibilities does this position carry? How should a president behave or conduct himself or herself?

To answer these questions, MovePH, Rappler’s civic engagement arm, will be hosting the fourth session of #PHVote Dialogues on Wednesday, July 28, at 6 pm. #PHVote Dialogues are monthly huddles featuring personalities from the entertainment and arts industries, a subject matter expert, and Rappler’s own journalists. 

We will be joined by Manila Standard news editor Joyce Panares, poet Alfonso Manalastas, Linya-linya creative director Ali Sangalang, and Rappler multimedia reporter Camille Elemia.

This will be hosted by Rappler’s Lifestyle and Entertainment editor Bea Cupin.

For those who would like to join the huddle, you may click here or sign up below:

#PHVote Dialogues are part of #WeDecide: Atin ang Pilipinas, Rappler’s 2022 Elections coverage. – Rappler.com

‘A problem, not a solution’: Groups slam proposed Pasig River expressway

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Various groups slammed the proposed Pasig River Expressway (PAREX) project by San Miguel Corporation (SMC) in an online public consultation on Wednesday, July 14, for supposedly prioritizing cars over people’s welfare.

As part of the requirements for the project’s environmental permits, SMC presented to the public its plans to build a P95.4-billion expressway on top of the Pasig River that would connect Manila to Pasig. SMC president Ramon S. Ang claimed that PAREX is a “solution within a solution” that would solve Metro Manila traffic and clean up Pasig River.

However, various groups and individuals disagreed, saying that PAREX would only negatively impact public mobility, heritage, environment, and public health.

For Move As One Coalition, a group of mobility advocates, creating expressways will make traffic congestion worse as it will only encourage people to drive private motor vehicles instead of taking public transportation. 

This phenomenon, which urban experts called induced demand, only fills newly-built expressways with more cars, making it a poor option for mobility.

This is especially true as users of the SMC-operated Skyway Stage 3 and nearby roads have reported heavy traffic after only a year of operation. SMC representatives eventually admitted during the consultation that PAREX will only increase traffic in service areas.

Irreversible impact

Aside from these concerns, heritage group Renacimiento Manila explained that there are many heritage bridges crossing the river, including the Jones Bridge and Quezon Bridge near Intramuros. To accommodate the high arches of these bridges, the expressway will be built higher, “photobombing” Intramuros, the Manila Central Post Office, and other heritage buildings from Manila to Pasig. 

The group is also concerned that structures on the banks of the river might also be demolished to build access roads, on-ramps, and off-ramps for the expressway.

“Without the Pasig River, there would be no Manila today,” International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) Philippines trustee Erik Akpedonu added.

Move As One Coalition convenor Robert A. Siy, Jr. also warned that the expressway would be a “region-wide photobomb” of various heritage sites. This is because the first phase of the project from Intramuros to Plaza Dilao will have ramps near Anda Circle and Fort Santiago in Intramuros, a national historical landmark.

“Pasig River is the cradle of civilization of our nation’s capital,” Siy emphasized in the consultation. 

The transport coalition also stressed that building more expressways will worsen air pollution in the metro and negatively impact public health because of the increased production of harmful greenhouse gases (GHG) and toxic air pollutants brought about by car usage. 

Policy researcher Ken Abante, who is also part of the Move As One coalition, said that the project itself “is a problem, not a solution” that makes the revival of the Pasig River impossible due to irreversible impacts of the proposed project.

International climate action consultant Bea Dolores explained that the expressway could affect the chemical balance and water quality of the Pasig River.

She added that PAREX could block the sunlight, preventing the growth of good bacteria that helps remove the unpleasant smell and murkiness of the river.

PAREX would also occupy a wide span of both Pasig and Marikina rivers, which can potentially impede the flow of water from Laguna de Bay to Manila Bay.

Dolores further emphasized that these waterways serve ‘just like the veins of our body,’ circulating floodwaters around Metro Manila’s vast network of rivers and canals.

Push for better projects

As part of the project, SMC entered into a memorandum of agreement (MOA) for the Pasig River Dredging Project with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR). The company claimed the project was part of their environmental initiatives to revive the Pasig River but groups disagreed and alleged that PAREX was a profit-driven project. 

“The cost of building PAREX, an estimated ₱81.5 billion, [will] be put to better use by investing in programs that will clean and revitalize the river and give people smarter and greener choices that will reduce their transport-related carbon footprint and promote more active lifestyles,” Move As One coalition said in a statement

Instead, they urged the government to implement sustainable alternatives that will enhance public mobility, such as biking infrastructure, expanded public transportation, and green parks..

They also recommended the enhancement of public transportation modes, especially rail systems and bus rapid transit (BRT). Among the projects suggested is the development of MRT Line 4, a proposed rail line that will also serve the east-west corridor from Taytay to Sta. Mesa, Manila.

According to the coalition, safe pedestrian pathways, protected bike lanes, and parks along the river to make the city safer must also be created for commuters. 

Iloilo Esplanade, which was used as a model for converting roadways into linear parks with bike paths, is now a popular area for bikers, joggers, tourists, and locals seeking some breathing space in the busy city.

“It is high time that we shift away from the outdated car-centric transportation policies of the last century and instead embrace inclusive, people-centered, and sustainable approaches that are now being adopted as best practice all over the world,” Sy said. 

PAREX is still subject to approval of relevant government bodies, including the DENR and the National Economic and Development Authority. – Joven Jacolbia/Rappler.com

Joven Jacolbia is a Rappler volunteer studying organizational communication at the University of the Philippines Manila (UPM). He serves as editor-in-chief of Assortedge Media and Research and Education Head of Bahagsari UPM.

LIST: SONA 2021 protests, activities

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Ahead of President Rodrigo Duterte’s sixth and final State of the Nation Address (SONA) on July 26, various organizations and sectoral groups have come together to amplify issues faced by Filipinos through protests and other activities.

Among the highlights of these efforts is the massive united action dubbed as the People’s SONA, which aims to highlight the struggle of different sectors in the perspective of Filipinos.

The People’s SONA, which feature a series of protests by a broad array of political and civil society organizations, has been held on the day of the SONA since 2017.

Organizers of this year’s People’s SONA are still finalizing the details of the united action as of writing.

Meanwhile, President Duterte’s address this year is set to be delivered again in a hybrid format due to the persisting COVID-19 pandemic.

Here is a list of events and activities organized by various groups, leading up to President Duterte’s SONA:

Mass protests

United States

Filipinos across the US will hold their own SONA activities.

More than 20 US-based regional organizations such as the Anakbayan Silicon Valley, Bayan, Malaya, and the International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines will unite to stage their own People’s SONA in front of the Philippine Consulate in San Francisco at 1 pm Pacific Standard Time.

In Southern California, Anakbayan Los Angeles, along with Bayan and Malaya Movement, will hold a rally in front of the Philippine Consulate on July 25 at 3 pm Pacific Daylight Time to demand the resignation of President Duterte amid state-sponsored attacks on democracy and his “failure to address the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Anakbayan Washington DC will also stage a protest on July 24, 4 pm Eastern Daylight Time to slam extrajudicial killings, corruption, and threats to national sovereignty under Duterte. Meanwhile, Anakbayan Toronto will organize its own SONA ng Bayan along with BAYAN Canada, Malaya Movement Canada, and other allies on July 25, 4:30 pm Eastern daylight time.

Philippines

In the Philippines, labor groups led by Anakpawis Party-list, Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas, and Unyon ng mga Manggagawa sa Agrikultura will stage the State of the Toiling Masses on Monday, July 19, 2 pm at the Commission on Human Rights Compound.

The protest will be held to present the situation of laborers and amplify their calls for land, income, employment, and housing.

On the same day, groups that form the SONAgKAISA Youth Committee will lead a blended State of the Youth Address (SOYA) to highlight the issues faced by the young citizens and marginalized sectors in the country. The address will be held physically at Barangay San Vicente, Quezon City, and live streamed online at 1:30 pm.

Aside from the SOYA staged in Quezon City, youth groups from all over the Philippines will be staging their iterations of the address in various parts of the country. Below is the schedule, along with the locations:

Online activities

The Freedom from Debt Coalition (FDC) is organizing a national conference called “State of the People Address (SOPA): Kumperensiya para sa Pagbangon ng Ekonomiya at ng Bayan (Conference for Rebuilding the Economy and the Country)” on July 20, 9 am.

Leaders from several organizations will discuss the country’s debt, as well as their proposed solutions to the economic crisis.

The SOPA will be held at the University Hotel in University of the Philippines Diliman but online participants may register here.

Karapatan, on the other hand, will host a webinar tackling the human rights situation in the country five years into Duterte’s presidency on July 21 at 10 am. The event, dubbed as “No Justice, No Peace: 5 Years of State Terror Under Duterte,” will be live streamed on the organization’s Facebook page.  

To analyze the performance of the Duterte administration across different sectors, Student and Teachers’ Alliance for the Advancement of National Democracy (STAND) Central Luzon will lead a series of pre-SONA online discussions called “Hatol ng Kabataan: Duterte Wakasan (The youth’s judgment: End Duterte)” from July 21 to 25.

Here is the full schedule:

Meanwhile, Rise for Education Alliance – UP Diliman will lead a three-day webinar called “State of the People 2021: A Continuous Fight for Rights and Justice” from July 23 to 25. The series will discuss the current struggles of the health, labor, and youth sector.

Secure your webinar slots here. – Kristel Ogsimer/Rappler.com

Kristel Ogsimer is a Rappler intern from the University of Santo Tomas taking up a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism.

Ahead of SONA, Cebuano youth call for gov’t accountability in State of Youth Address

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Days before President Rodrigo Duterte’s sixth and final State of the Nation Address (SONA), Cebuano youth leaders and activist groups gathered at Cebu City Hall on Monday, July 19, to discuss problems affecting the youth and to make unified calls for accountability from the government.

Even before Duterte’s administration, members of the Kabataan Partylist and young leaders in Cebu worked together in conducting the annual gathering referred to as the “State of the Youth Address (SOYA).”

“The youth have always been carrying the calls of the masses like, ‘Ligtas na balik eskwela (a safe return to school),’ ’10k financial aid to students’ and also ‘Ayuda para sa tanan (Aid for all),’ and ‘No to carbon market privatization,’” said Kabataan Partylist Cebu coordinator Aurelle Cresencio.

“Along with this are our long call for genuine agrarian reform, resumption of peace talks, regularization to all workers, a self-reliant economy, independence from foreign influence, and a free and accessible education,” she added.

This year, youth leaders and activists from organizations like the National Union of Students of the Philippines – Cebu (NUSP-Cebu) raised their sentiments about the government’s policy on online learning – an issue that has gone through heated debates since the start of the pandemic.

“Students from Cebu continue to suffer from the government’s anti-poor and anti-student distance learning program. So much so that students are learning less, despite the inhumane workload they are given. Worse, this has led to dropouts,” said Angel Mendiola, vice president for Visayas of NUSP.

In an interview, Mendiola told Rappler the quality of learning has diminished during the pandemic, reflecting in the gradual rise of dropouts and a decrease of graduating students in Central Visayas.

Based on data from the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) in Central Visayas, an initial number of 3,891 dropouts were recorded from 2020 to 2021. Moreover, only 29,805 college learners reportedly graduated that year.

“CHED and DepEd (the Department of Education) should, first and foremost, join the call for the safe, gradual reopening of classes, primarily because we can already see the distance mode of learning is no longer effective. The online way of learning should only be supplemental to actual physical classes where real learning happens,” Mendiola said.

To date, CHED chairperson Prospero de Vera III has said that there may be no going back to the traditional full-packed face-to-face classrooms and that flexible learning will be the new norm, whether it be modular or online.

Youth from student councils, non-governmental organizations, and other groups were also present during the event, with some receiving an award of recognition for their efforts during the COVID-19 crisis.

Kabataan Representative Sarah Elago was also present during the event via video conference platform Google Meet and gave her warm thanks to the Cebu youth for their active efforts in the community. – Rappler.com

‘Tumindig’: Artists dare to dissent in online campaign

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What started out as a simple image has inspired Filipino artists across the nation to stand up for what they believe in.

Satirical cartoonist Tarantadong Kalbo posted a digital drawing on Saturday, July 17, of “fist people” bowing down to seemingly resemble the fist bump gesture used by President Rodrigo Duterte and his allies. The focus of the drawing is on the one fist person, reminiscent of the raised fist used by activists everywhere, who dared to stand up and stand out from the crowd.

Several artists have since joined in and added their own fist people to the drawing, slowly populating the artwork with more “dissenters.”

Kevin Eric Raymundo, the artist behind Tarantadong Kalbo, said he didn’t expect anyone to answer his call to action.

’Yung sa artwork na ginawa ko, hindi ko siya na-envision as a campaign or a challenge (I didn’t envision my artwork as a campaign or a challenge). I was simply expressing my thoughts as an artist,” Raymundo said in a message to Rappler.

At that time kasi, ang daming lumalabas na bad news…. And then as a satire artist, the deluge of trolls on my page…napapagod na ako.

(At that time, there was a lot of bad news going around…. And then as a satire artist, I got tired by the deluge of trolls on my page.)

“But at the same time I also felt that I have this responsibility as an artist with a huge following to use my platform for good,” he added.

Three days after he posted his artwork, Raymundo tweeted about the overwhelming support he has received from fellow artists. He started retweeting artists who posted their own versions of the drawing, and he later compiled several entries all in one image.

But before his artwork went viral, Raymundo actually shared that his frustration with the local art community was one of the triggers that prompted him to draw the image.

Mayroon kasing disconnect ’yung nakikita kong art [ng local art community] sa nangyayari sa bansa. So siguro I wanted to jolt people na, ‘Makialam naman tayo sa nangyayari,’” he explained.

(There’s a disconnect between the art [of the local art community] and what’s happening in the country. I guess I wanted to jolt people as if to tell them, “Let’s get involved with what’s happening.”)

Expressing one’s political stance through art is not new to Filipinos. Under the Duterte administration, Filipino artists have posted political art during Independence Day and before previous State of the Nation Addresses. Artists have also previously denounced the anti-terror law and police killings through their works.

Raymundo hoped the artwork inspired Filipinos to gather the strength and courage to take a stand, even if it means starting small.

“I guess the message is to not be afraid of speaking out, of standing up for what is right, even if it feels like you’re the only one doing it. All it takes [is] one drop to start a ripple,” he said.

Artists can post versions of Raymundo’s artwork featuring their own fist drawings using the hashtag #Tumindig.

– Rappler.com

Paano dudulog sa ICC ang mga biktima ng drug war ni Duterte?

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Hinihikayat ng International Criminal Court o ICC ang mga pamilya at biktima ng drug war ni Pangulong Rodrigo Duterte sa Pilipinas na ibahagi ang kanilang mga pananaw at saloobin.

Ang mga patotoo na makakalap sa victim representation stage ay gagamiting gabay ng pre-trial chamber ng ICC sa pagdedesisyon nito kung magbubukas ng imbestigasyon laban sa administrasyong Duterte.

Ang kongklusyon ng tagausig ng ICC: nagkaroon ng “crimes against humanity of murder” sa Pilipinas kaugnay ng drug war ni Duterte.

Ano-ano ang dapat gawin ng mga biktima at kanilang mga pamilya para makasali sa prosesong ito? Kasama ang Rise UP at National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers (NUPL), sasagutin namin ang ilan sa mga katanungan tungkol sa Victims Participation and Reparations Section o VPRS. 

Sino ang maaring magsumite sa VPRS? 

Kahit sinong naging biktima ng war on drugs ng administrasyong Duterte ay maaaring magsumite ng patotoo sa VPRS. 

Sakop ng panukalang imbestigasyon ang mga insidente sa mga sumusunod na panahon:

  • Nobyembre 1, 2011, hanggang Hunyo 30, 2016 – kung kailan si Duterte at ang kanyang anak na si Sara ay alkalde ng Davao City
  • Hulyo 1, 2016, hanggang Marso 17, 2019 – kung kailan presidente ng Pilipinas si Duterte

Saklaw ng posibleng imbestigasyon ang mga patayang konektado sa war on drugs, isinagawa man ng pulis, vigilante, o mga hindi tukoy na mga suspek. 

Itinuturing na direktang biktima ang mga namatay at ang mga nabuhay matapos ang mga insidente. Itinuturing ding biktima ang mga naulila – halimbawa, ang mga sinusustentuhan ng isang pinatay o napatay na tagapaghanapbuhay ng pamilya.

Maaari ring magpaabot ng saloobin ang mga biktima ng ibang uri ng kalabisan at abuso ng pulis man o hindi, katulad ng: 

  • inaresto
  • ikinulong
  • idinawit sa kaso
  • isinama sa drug list at/o pinangalanan sa publiko na konektado sa drugs nang walang sapat na batayan
  • sapilitan o napilitang pinaamin na user o pusher
  • sapilitan o napilitang magturo ng user o pusher
  • pinarusahan at/o sapilitang pinag-rehab, kinikilan
  • pinasok sa bahay
  • ni-raid, sinona habang may operasyon, at iba pa. 
Ano ang mangyayari sa VPRS? 

Sa pagsusumite ng mga pananaw at saloobin ng mga biktima, kailangang malinaw ang paglalahad ng nangyari sa mga biktima. 

Puwedeng gumamit ng kahit anong wika o diyalekto ang mga magsusumite, at maaari rin nilang ipadala ito nang nakasulat o naka-record na audio o video sa email address o address ng VPRS.  Dapat ding nakalagay ang contact information ng magsusumite upang makontak kung may paglilinaw at/o update na kailangan ang pre-trial chamber.

Ang pinakaimportanteng bahagi ng kanilang mensahe ay kung nais bang ipagpatuloy ng mga biktima ang imbestigasyon, at kung ano ang mungkahi nilang maging saklaw nito.

Bakit kailangang lumahok ng mga biktima at pamilya sa VPRS? 

Gamit ang isinumite ng mga biktima, gagawa ang VPRS ng report para sa mga huwes ng pre-trial chamber. Gagamitin ng pre-trial chamber ang report sa kanilang pagdedesisyon kung papayagang  magpatuloy ang ICC prosecutor sa pag-iimbestiga nito ng war on drugs.

Tanging ang VPRS lang ang makababasa sa mga isusumite; kung sakaling hilingin ng pre-trial chamber, maaaring ipakita ang mga ito sa kanila. Ngunit hindi ito, sa kahit anong pagkakataon, ibibigay sa administrasyong Duterte o sa magiging akusado.

Walang insentibo o pabuya para sa mga magsusumite sa VPRS. Ang nais lang ng ICC ay malaman ang mga pananaw ng mga biktima, partikular sa maaaring maging direksiyon ng malalim na imbestigasyon.

Kung papayag ang mga huwes, maaaring makipag-ugnayan ang mga biktima kung gusto nilang maging bahagi ng sa imbestigasyon. Pagkatapos ay hihiling ang ICC Office of the Prosecutor na buksan ang kaso. 

Kung matuloy ang paglilitis, hihikayating kumuha ng abogado ang mga biktimang lalahok, at maaari ring magparehistro ang mga biktima para sa posibleng danyos.

Paano lumahok sa VPRS?

Bukod sa pagbisita sa online website ng ICC, maaaring kontakin ng mga biktima o ng pamilya nila ang ICC VPRS dito:

  • Email: VPRS.Information@icc-cpi.int
  • Address:
    • International Criminal Court
    • Victims Participation and Reparations Section
    • Situation in the Philippines PO Box 19519
    • 2500CM, The Hague
    • The Netherlands

Para sa iba pang impormasyon, maaring i-download ang mga sumusunod na resources na inihanda ng Rise UP at NUPL. – Rappler.com


Transport group urges gov’t to allot enough budget for road-based public transportation

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This is a press release from Move as One Coalition.

The Philippines is plagued by a system-wide public transport shortage that has been made worse by the pandemic.

More than 70% of Filipino workers who cannot work from home have found it harder to get to work since the COVID-19 crisis began. This shortage has raised costs for commuters in the past year as road transport prices have shot up by nearly 20%.

Jeepney drivers, already hard-pressed to make ends meet after the government suspended their operations last year, were harmed by the checkpoints and then denied nearly P4 billion in service contracting funds they fought for, as President Duterte failed to extend Bayanihan 2 beyond June 30. The expiration of service contracting funds is making COVID-19 worse as commuters are forced to crowd into even fewer public transport trips. 

Car-centric public budgeting

Car-centric public budgeting is one of the reasons behind this system-wide transport shortage.

From 2010 to 2021, 99% of the P2.8-trillion road-based infrastructure budget went to road construction, widening, and maintenance. Only 1%–or P40 billion–of the road-based infrastructure budget went to road-based public transportation.

Car-centric public budgeting has harmed not just commuters, but car users too. In Metro Manila’s major roads, public transport trips collapsed by 14% from 2012 to 2019 as more users shifted to private cars and motorcycles. Average vehicle trips ended up taking 40% longer as congestion worsened. 

The P2-trillion infrastructure flagship project pipeline will not be enough to meet the country’s mobility demand through 2030 because it focuses too much on rail and budgets very little for road-based public transport.

A big chunk—98%—of the P2-trillion pipeline is for rail, and just 2%, or P49 billion, is for road-based public transport. Rail is good for long-term needs, but we are facing a massive shortage in public transport supply now. Road-based public transport infrastructure can be built quicker. 

Budget for road-based public transportation

We need “a better balance for a better normal.”  We propose a P150-billion budget for road-based public transportation that should be funded starting with Bayanihan 3 and the 2022 budget. 

To address traffic congestion and our climate crisis, we need to shift people from their cars into walking, cycling, and public transport. We should build more safe and accessible pathways for cyclists and pedestrians. We should build on the momentum from the construction of the bike lane networks in Metro Manila, Cebu, and Davao, worth P1 billion under Bayanihan 2.

Much more can be done with a higher budget. We should fund better service contracts and equity support for transport workers and expand the number of buses, jeeps, and other road-based public transport modes.

Our Coalition Co-Convenor Robert Y. Siy, Jr., writes, “What is urgently required is balanced support to road-based public transport, the mainstay of the public transport system, which has been starved for support in recent years.” He also identifies mobility priorities in the less than 12 months left in the Duterte administration.

Our proposed budget was crafted through a long process of deliberation and consensus-building with health care workers, cyclists, transport workers unions, labor unions, commuters’ rights advocates, climate justice advocates, faith-based groups, student groups, and persons with disabilities. These are people from all walks of life, with each one deserving of a dignified commuting experience and adequate public transport service quality. 

#CommutersNaman

There is money available at the national and local level for these critical public transport investments.

In fact, the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion Act of 2017 requires 70 percent of its incremental tax revenues for “infrastructure programs to address congestion through mass transport”. From 1997 to 2018, the national government collected P2.1 trillion in revenues from road-based transport sources like motor vehicles and oil. There was around P510 billion in end-balances of local government funds in 2019.

Our research puts our budget proposal in the proper historical perspective: Our proposed P150-billion budget is a much more efficient, equitable, and effective use of taxpayer money to address this system-wide transport shortage. This budget is small, but will be more effective than the P2.8 trillion car-centric road infrastructure budget from 2010 to 2021. Our proposed budget will correct the lopsided P2 trillion infrastructure flagship project pipeline that focuses too much on long-term rail. Our proposed budget will help the Philippines recover from the pandemic sooner as it makes transport safer for commuters and transport workers.

As Congress debates on our budget, let us ask: What country do we want to build? A country just for the rich few who own cars? Or a country for all Filipinos from all walks of life, who walk, cycle, and use public transport? 

Let us work together for a better balance for a better normal.

Let us work together to pass a budget that our people deserve.

#CommutersNaman – Rappler.com

WATCH: #CourageON: Tumindig, makialam, kumilos

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On Saturday, July 24, Rappler is launching “CourageON: Tumindig, makialam, kumilos”, a new show featuring the various movements and campaigns led by MovePH and its partners. MovePH is Rappler’s civic engagement unit. 

For its premier episode, the show will tackle what the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) move to seek authorization to conduct an investigation means especially for victims of President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs. It will also tackle the ICC’s ongoing victims representation process where victims of the alleged crimes may provide their views, concerns and expectations regarding the Prosecutor’s request for investigation.

We invited Cristina Palabay of Karapatan and Nanay Llore Lozano of Rise UP Philippines for this episode. 

To give Duterte a grade for his performance on the environment, human rights, economy, public health, gender rights, and sovereignty in the past five years, we also invited a number of representatives from the different sectors. 

The show will be hosted by Rappler’s community lead Jules Guiang and membership lead Happy Feraren.  Rappler.com





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