GIS EXCLUSIVE: Civic leader Samira Gutoc-Tomawis eyes aid for internally displaced, indigenous people if she wins Senate seat
by UNTV News and Rescue | Posted on Friday, 18 January 2019 05:18 PM
QUEZON CITY, Philippines — Civic leader Samira Gutoc-Tomawis admitted that her bid for the senatorial race in the 2019 midterm elections was an accident.
In an interview with the program Get It Straight with Daniel Razon on Friday (January 18), the senatorial hopeful said she was pressed to enter politics because of her experiences during the terrorist takeover of Marawi City in 2017 wherein she and her family were among the victims.
Samira served for one year as an assembly woman under the administration of former President Benigno Aquino III and stayed for three more months under the Duterte administration.
She was a former member of the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) but left the commission when she realized that some policies of the administration are not aligned with her principles.
“Hindi man lang ako natanong at ako ang nagseserbisyo sa gobyerno…,’What shall we do Sam?’ Gumagawa ka ng batas. Ano ang gagawin natin ngayon na nagkakagulo mismo sa tabi ng bahay mo?” she lamented when asked why she left the administration.
Among her priorities when elected in Senate is the passage of the proposed Internally Displaced Persons Bill that will provide shelter and livelihood programs for those affected by strife and calamities.
“Ang pinakamalaking problema ng Pilipinas is disaster from nature, climate, refugee phenomenon. So marami pong biktima ng flooding, etc. So anong programa natin for proteksyon nila, housing nila,” she said.
Aside from that, Samira also eyes measures that will provide education and other assistance to indigenous people which count for almost 20 million of the country’s population.
“Dapat may trabaho sila. Hindi sila dinidiskrimina dahil sa tribo sila,” she argued.
“It’s pending, iyong anti-discrimination bill. Ang adbokasiya na lang ay iyong nasa mga nasa baba. Bawat isang probinsya ay nagkakaroon na ng anti-discrimination bill,” she said referring to a measure that already exists in different countries.
She opposes the Duterte administration with its declaration of martial law in Mindanao; its proposal for a Federal shift; the proposed re-institution of death penalty; and Duterte’s war on drugs specifically the Oplan Tokhang because she believes that a drug dependent still deserves a chance for rehabilitation.
However, she has in her platform of government proposals to resume peace negotiations with the Communist Party of the Philippines – New People’s Army (CPP-NPA).
She also vowed to push for subsidy for abused overseas Filipino workers once elected in Senate. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Rey Pelayo)
by admin | Posted on Thursday, 20 October 2016 10:40 AM
Militant groups and indigenous people staged a protest on Wednesday, to air their grievances against military operations in Lumad communities.
Members of Armed Forces of the Philippines blasted water cannons to disperse rallyists in front of Camp Aguinaldo yesterday. While policemen clashed with protesters in a violent dispersal outside the United States embassy this morning. Rallyists and policemen were reportedly hurt in the incident.
Senator De Lima reacts to the said dispersals and calls on PNP Chief Ronald Dela Rosa to “identify the lapses, and enforce command responsibility in exacting accountability from the concerned officials involved in the dispersals.”
Here is the full statement of Senator Leila de Lima regarding these incidents.
STATEMENT OF SEN. LEILA M. DE LIMA ON THE DISPERSAL OF IP RALLYISTS
“I am deeply concerned over the recent dispersals of rallying Indigenous Peoples (IPs) at Camp Aguinaldo yesterday and the US Embassy this morning. These two incidents may have gone beyond the allowable methods prescribed by law.
“The lands of IPs have been taken away from them; they have become victims of militarization and development aggression. They marched here to let their concerns be heard by the government and the general public.
“Considered as minorities in society, these IPs were merely exercising their right to peaceably assemble as guaranteed and protected by the 1987 Constitution. They have every right to air their grievances; and no one can take that right away from them. Our government should accord these IP with compassion and respect, instead of water cannons and patrol trucks as weapons of violent dispersal, as reported by news agencies .
“It is clear in the PNP Manual of Operations that non-lethal methods shall be used to disperse such assemblies. It is quite obvious that the method used, particularly at this morning’s assembly at the US Embassy, is obviously unnecessary and unreasonable, even if when a non-weapon was used. There is no excuse to use such dispersal, as the rallyists were clearly unarmed.
“We must not lose sight of the fact that the assigned PNP units attempted to disperse the rally through unnecessary force. I call on PNP Chief Ronald Dela Rosa to look into this incident, identify the lapses, and enforce command responsibility in exacting accountability from the concerned officials involved in the dispersals.”
by admin | Posted on Wednesday, 19 October 2016 05:21 PM
Various activist and Indigenous People’s (IP) groups clash with anti-riot policemen during a protest against the continuing presence of U.S. troops in the Philippines in front of the U.S. Embassy in metro Manila, Philippines October 19, 2016. REUTERS/Romeo Ranoco
Philippine police used tear gas to disperse about 1,000 anti-U.S. protesters outside the U.S. embassy in Manila on Wednesday, as television news footage showed a patrol van, which had come under attack, driving at demonstrators.
The rally came as President Rodrigo Duterte visits Beijing to strengthen relations with the world’s second-largest economy amid deteriorating ties with former colonial power the United States, sparked by his controversial war on illegal drugs.
Police made 29 arrests at the rally while at least 10 people were taken to hospital after being hit by the police van, Renato Reyes, secretary general of left-wing activist group Bayan (Nation), told reporters.
The protesters were calling for the removal of U.S. troops in the southern island of Mindanao.
“There was absolutely no justification (for the police violence),” Reyes said. “Even as the president avowed an independent foreign policy, Philippine police forces still act as running dogs of the U.S.”
In a series of conflicting statements, Duterte has insulted U.S. President Barack Obama and the U.S. ambassador in Manila for questioning his war on drugs, which has led to the deaths of 2,300 suspected users and pushers. He told Obama to “go to hell” and alluded to severing ties with Washington.
Then, after weeks of anti-American rhetoric, Duterte said the Philippines would maintain its existing defense treaties and its military alliances.
The comments have left Americans and U.S. businesses in the Philippines jittery about their future — Reuters
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