CJ Bersamin on UNHRC reso: Other countries cannot intervene in PH affairs

Marje Pelayo   •   July 19, 2019   •   1257

UNHRC Hall | Courtesy: United Nations Facebook page

MANILA, Philippines – Chief Justice Lucas Bersamin called the United Nation Human Rights Council’s (UNHRC) adoption of a resolution to probe human rights situation in the country as ‘minority’ since only 18 countries voted for it.

Though his statement was brief, Bersamin said other countries have no reason to intervene with Philippine affairs especially its policies.

“Mukhang tama nga naman sina Secretary Panelo dahil minority resolution lang iyan. But you know, I am a member of the Judiciary and kailangan ipilit kong sabihin sa ngayon wala naman kami nakikitang dapat lamang na manghimasok ang taga ibang bansa,” the Chief Justice said in support of Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo’s position on the matter.

(It seems Sec. Panelo was right because that’s only a minority resolution. But you know I am a member of the Judiciary and for now, I am compelled to speak. So far, I see no reason for other countries to meddle in our affairs.)

“Other than that, hindi na ko magsasalita (I won’t say anything more). I cannot be the architect of our foreign affairs,” he added.

The Palace previously called the resolution an insult to the Filipinos.

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), however, clarified that the Philippines will not cut its ties with any member of the human rights body. — with reports from Mai Bermudez

Duterte calls Robredo a ‘colossal blunder’ for her drug war report

Aileen Cerrudo   •   January 8, 2020

President Rodrigo Duterte slammed Vice President Leni Robredo for her anti-drug war failure remark and called her a “colossal blunder”.

“You know, for all of these years, she has done nothing. She is a colossal blunder,” Duterte said.

The chief executive also slammed the election results saying, “You know, I hate to say this, but how many voters are there in the Philippines? And you just do away with the 200,000 plus that she got as a majority over Marcos. It was really a mistake. With a slim margin and you talk big.”

Robredo, on Monday (January 6) released a report and recommendations on the government’s war on drugs. She also called the government’s drug war a “failure” which gained backlash from the Palace, lawmakers, and the President.

Based on her report, only 1% of illegal drugs were seized by authorities from 2016 to 2018. She also recommended that the chairmanship of ICAD be transferred from the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) to the Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB).

The president said Robredo cannot lecture him since she has only been a co-chair of the Inter-agency Committee on Anti-illegal Drugs (ICAD) for 18 days.

“If ever she becomes president, gawin niya iyon (she should do it). Pero (but) she can’t lecture me what to do,” he said. “As a lawyer lecturing on me, well, she should revisit her record I suggest.”—AAC (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

‘How dare you?’ and ‘The rapist is you’: 2 powerful phrases from 2019

UNTV News   •   December 23, 2019

Greta Thunberg, the 16-years-old climate activist from Sweden, addresses world leaders at the start of the 2019 Climate Action Summit which is being held in advance of the General Debate of the General Assembly of the United Nations at United Nations Headquarters in New York, New York, USA, 23 September 2019. EPA-EFE FILE/JUSTIN LANE

MADRID/SANTIAGO– This year, two short but powerful phrases have been added to our collective memory: “How dare you?” which teenage Swedish activist spat at world leaders faced with the climate emergency, and “The rapist is you,” the chorus line of a song that some Chilean women sang in a flash mob that has spread across the planet.


From an inconspicuous high school student striking outside the Swedish parliament building every Friday to TIME magazine’s 2019 Person of the Year, it has been a whirlwind 12 months for climate activist Greta Thunberg.

The 16-year-old spent 2019 traveling the length and breadth of Europe and North America by rail, crossing the Atlantic Ocean in both directions on a sailboat to highlight environmentally-friendly travel alternatives.

Millions of like-minded youngsters have been inspired by the Swedish teenager, following her example by launching their own Fridays4Future strikes all around the globe.

Thunberg’s call for the adults in charge to take responsibility for tackling the pressing climate crisis has put the topic at the top of the international agenda in a year blighted by wildfires in the Amazon, California and Australia, and record-breaking heatwaves.

“How dare you?”

This soundbite of her speaking to world leaders at the United Nations in New York back in September this year went viral.

Not one for platitudes, she continued: “This is all wrong, I shouldn’t be up here, I should be back in school on the other side of the ocean. Yet you all come to us young people for hope.

“You have stolen my dreams and my childhood.

“People are suffering, people are dying, entire eco-systems are collapsing, we are in the beginning of a mass extinction and all you can talk about is money and fairy tales of eternal economic growth,” she said.

The next UN climate summit was set to be held in Santiago de Chile, but unrest prompted organizers to move it to Madrid.

At the COP25 in the Spanish capital, Thunberg insisted that the adults in charge needed to be educated on the science behind the climate crisis just as much as the youth.

The COP dragged on two days over schedule as delegations struggled to reach agreements on topics such as carbon-market regulation, ocean and land use and boosting commitments to the Paris Agreement.

Fridays4Future called for a strike on Dec. 13, what should have been the final day of the COP, saying the outcomes of the summit had been “insufficient.”

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and the Chilean official hosts of the summit both expressed disappointment as many of the sticky decisions were postponed for COP26 in Glasgow, Scotland, next year.

One text, urging countries to demonstrate more ambitious measures within the framework of the Paris Agreement, was approved.

Meanwhile, Thunberg traveled home by rail to Sweden, dropping in on a climate strike in Turin along the way.


A Chilean protest song showed that rape culture and systemic gender violence is a language that all women around the world understand.

The song “A Rapist In Your Path” (“Un violador en tu camino”) was first performed in Chile on Nov. 25, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, and has since transcended cultures and nations thanks to its powerful message.

From Chile to New Zealand, from Kenya to Canada, and from Spain to India, the protest has been replicated in 46 countries and 187 cities as of Dec. 19, according to the women mappers collective Geochicas OSM.

“It’s feminicide, impunity for the killer … It’s rape, and the fault wasn’t mine, not where I was, not how I dressed. The rapist is you, it’s the cops, the judges, the State, the president,” sang women of all ages across the world.

In Istanbul, Turkey, an attempt to stage the song was broken up by police, although the catchy tune was later performed in parliament. In New York, a group of women danced the song in front of the Flatiron building and even Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez (D-N.Y.) retweeted the popular dance in solidarity with Chilean women.

In Quito, Ecuador, a group of deaf women performed the song in sign language, and in Tlapa, a small city in the Mexican state of Guerrero, indigenous girls and women sang the song in their native language, an action that was replicated in other cities across Latin America.

The performance was replicated “throughout the world, in many languages, including native languages, and by women of all profiles, in their few or in their thousands, recognizing themselves through a voice and cause common to half of humanity: our constant risk of violence,” the collective said on its Twitter account.

According to UN Women, it is estimated that 35 percent of women worldwide have experienced either physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence or sexual violence by a non-partner (not including sexual harassment) at some point in their lives.

Moreover, it is estimated that one in three women worldwide will experience physical or sexual abuse in her lifetime.

The song was written by LasTesis, a feminist group based in the Chilean city of Valparaiso, founded a year and a half ago by Dafne Valdés, Paula Cometa, Sibila Sotomayor, and Lea Caceres.

The performance is based on rape research by the four women and on the work of the Argentinean feminist theorist Rita Segato. The lyrics describe how institutions uphold systematic violations against women’s rights.

The original work was modified to include elements that refer the police brutality and sexual abuse committed by the Carabineros (police) during the latest social unrest in Chile. EFE-EPA

Duterte dares Robredo to expose alleged discovery in PH drug war

Marje Pelayo   •   November 29, 2019

President Rodrigo Duterte (R) and Vice President Leni Robredo (L)

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte has dared Vice President Leni Robredo to speak up and expose what she claimed as her discoveries in the government’s war on drugs during her short stay as co-chair of the Interagency Committee on Anti-Drugs (ICAD).

“You seem to be na may impormasyon ka, ilabas mo, (You seem to have information, then expose it),” the President said emphatically.

Duterte dismissed Robredo from her post exactly 18 days after he appointed her to the position because the latter’s recent actions and public statements displeased the President especially her communications with officials of the United States and the United Nations.

After her dismissal, Robredo warned to expose what she knows about the controversial anti-drug program.

“Sa mga susunod na araw magbibigay ako ng ulat sa bayan. Sasabihin ko ang aking natuklasan at ang aking mga rekomendasyon,” Robredo said at a press briefing the day after she was fired on November 25.

(In the coming days, I will give a report to the people. I will speak of what I have discovered as well as my recommendation.)

“Kung sa tingin nila matatapos ito dito, hindi nila ako kilala. Nagsisimula pa lamang ako,” she added.

(If they think it will end here, then they don’t know me. This is just the beginning.)

But the President was unfazed by this warning.

He made certain that Robredo was having communications with former Human Rights Watch Asia Head Phelim Kine whom the President considers as among the critics of the government being a prosecutor in the International Criminal Court (ICC).

“You talked to almost all people instead of talking to the law enforcement, instead of talking to the barangay captain, instead of talking to people handling the rehabilitation,” he said referring to Robredo.

“I should say, she made an asshole of herself,” the President stressed.

Kine vocally expressed his willingness to go to Manila to help the Vice President in her programs and suggested the arrest of President Duterte and his cohorts because of the alleged human rights violations in the government’s anti-drug campaign. — MNP (with details from Rosalie Coz)


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