Archive for January, 2012

[video] Noel Cabangon – MEN MOVE

Uploaded by  on Jan 17, 2012 at YouTube

In this engaging music video, Filipino singer-songwriter Noel Cabangon is performing his powerful and inspiring song “Men move”, originally written for the Philippine Commission of Women (PCW).  With the support of the Government of Spain, the song has now been translated and a music video produced, as part of the UN Secretary-General‘s UNiTE to End Violence against Women campaign. It calls out to men everywhere to “bring all violence against women to an end.”

Involuntary Push towards Poverty and Mal-development


by the Freedom from Debt Coalition (FDC)


Section 26(B), Book VI of the 1987 Revised Administrative Code as instituted by Executive Order (EO) 292 says that:

                Automatic Appropriations. — All expenditures for … (b) principal and interest                             on public debt, … are automatically appropriated.    

It was during the Martial Law in the Philippines that automatic appropriation for debt service was first codified, in Section 31(B) of Presidential Decree 1177 (Budget Reform Decree of 1977 ). In consonance with her “honor-all-debts” policy, Aquino signed into law the Administrative Code of 1987, copying en toto Section 31(B) of PD1177 into Section 26(B) of the code. Section 31(B) of PD1177 also serves as its legal basis.

Automatic appropriation for debt, on top of other automatic appropriations, severely compromise the Congressional “power of the purse“ since only a little amount of the budget is left for Congressional reallocation as Congress cannot increase the budgetary ceiling (Article VI, Section 25-1 of the 1987 Constitution, as affirmed by Sec. 24, Book VI of EO292). The level of borrowings too, is effectively set by the amount of principal amortization to debts which are to be “rolled over”, since they are not part of the budget but instead deducted to new “financing” of the government.


Origins of the Automatic Appropriation

It is interesting to note that the US government also had an experience with an automatic appropriations law on debt service, but this was during a war. It was in 1847, during the Mexican War , that the US Congress for the first time altered the practice of appropriating specific amounts of money for each expense it authorized. Instead it empowered the Treasury to pay all interest and principal on the national debt as it came due, regardless of the amount paid out. This creates the first “automatic” appropriation legislation – authorizing the Treasury to pay the debt as it became due without obtaining specific congressional approval [Krishnakumar, 2005].

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#45 Saint Mary Street, Cubao, Quezon City

  Tel. # 437-8054  Email:

January 20, 2012



Honorable Jose Midas P. Marquez

Court Administrator

Supreme Court of the Philippines

Cc: Atty. Raul Bautista Villanueva Deputy Court Administrator   Supreme Court of the Philippines

Dear Hon. Marquez,

The Human Rights Defenders-Pilipinas (HRD-Pilipinas) would like to thank and congratulate your good office for the timely communication and instructions dated 17 January 2012 to Executive Judge Pelacio Paguican of Davao Regional Trial Court regarding Criminal Case Nos (07-09) 1648-3 and (07-09) 1649-3 involving the accused Temogen “Cocoy” Tulawie – a human rights defender (HRD).  We also commend your office through your Executive Judges Pelagio S. Paguican and Peter V. Eisma for the speedy implementation of your instructions.  Such initiatives have arrested the possible further violation of rights of a human rights defender whose intent for filing a motion for transfer of trial jurisdiction is solely for justice and impartiality.

Our local members informed us that Mr. Tulawie is now in Davao City.  As such, he is under the custody of Col. Michael Dubria of the Regional Intelligence Division (R-2) of the Philippine National Police.

It is our wish that the wheel of justice will now proceed as expected and the accused be given the right to speedy trialHowever, it reached us that, until today, Tulawie’s case folder has not yet been forwarded to RTC Davao.  This is amid the Supreme Court Order dated 13 June 2011 and repeated requests and follow-ups from the family of the accused to the sala of Judge Betlee-lan Barraquias.

We are respectfully asking your good office to put a stop to the defiance of RTC Jolo to your Orders.  Such attitude of the good Judge of Jolo is an action unbecoming of a “man of law” and stains the reputation of the Philippine Courts.

We trust that you will act favourably on this request.  Thank you once again and more power.


Dr. Renato G. Mabunga

Chairperson, HRD-Pilipinas



For the case background, here’s the link:

NEWS UPDATES: Tulawie Case


NEWS UPDATES: Tulawie Case

18 January 2012



 On 13 January 2012, 11:45 in the evening, Mr. Temogen Tulawie was arrested in front of his children by combined elements of Military Intelligence Group (MIG)-Region 9 led by Sgt. Reyes, members of Special Action Force (SAF) headed by Supt. Fernando Ortega and members of Police Regional Intelligence Group-Region 11 based in Davao City at his residence in Catalunan Grande, Davao City.

 He was then taken to Talomo Police station for Police blotter and to Davao Regional Hospital for medical check-up. Afterwards, he was brought to Camp Catitipan, Davao City at the office of the Intelligence division for proper documentation.  He was temporarily detained at Davao City Police Office in Camp Domingo Leonor, Davao City.

 On 16 January 2012 he was presented to the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Davao City where a letter from Judge Betlee-lan Barraquias, (Executive and Presiding Judge of Jolo, Sulu Regional Trial Court Branch 3) to the Executive Judge of Davao City was read ordering the transfer of Mr. Tulawie back in Jolo.  A clear defiance to the Supreme Court Order dated 13 June 2011.  Portion of the letter reads:

 ”We wish to most respectfully inform your end that the bearers, Mr. Jun M. Abbas and Mr. Perfecto Canas, Jr. are Sheriff/process server and personnel of the Regional Trial Court of Jolo, Sulu, to serve within your jurisdiction in Davao City the order of this court to P/Supt. Michael Dubria, Chief Regional Intelligence and Investigation Division, Police Regional office 11, Camp Catitipan, Davao City, to deliver/transfer the jurisdiction of the Regional Trial Court of Jolo, Sulu, in criminal cases no. (07-09) 1648-3 and (07-09) 1649-3.”

 It orders those who have the custody of Temogen “Cocoy” Tulawie to dispose of the accused to the Regional Trial Court-Branch 3, Jolo, Sulu, “within the period of forty eight hours upon the receipt of this order taking the necessary security measures to ensure the safety of the prisoner during the transfer from Davao City to Jolo, Sulu, and to prevent his escape while under his or their custody to be dealt with in accordance with the law.”

 On 17 January 2012 in the afternoon, Mr. Tulawie was flown by the law enforcers to Zamboanga City and detained at Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG)- Region 9.  On the same day, the Office of the Court Administrator, Supreme Court of the Philippines through Deputy Court Administrator Raul Bautista Villanueva sent an order for immediate action saying:

 “Please be advised that said order of Judge Barraquias is contrary to the Resolution dated June 13,2011 issued by the Third Division of the Supreme Court wherein the transfer of venue of Criminal Case Nos. (07-09) 1648-3 and (07-09) 1649-3, both involving Mr. Tulawie, was decreed to be held at the Regional Trial Court of Davao City. Likewise, be advised that the Motion for Reconsideration of the above Resolution had already been acted upon and this has apparently been DENIED. Thus, with more reason that Judge Barraquias has no authority to issue his supposed order.

 As such, you are hereby directed to inform the police or jail custodians of Mr. Tulawie that any order contrary to the Resolution dated 13 June 2011 of the Third Division of the Supreme Court cannot be implemented.”

 It must be known that in October 2011, Hon. Judge Barraquias certified the warrant of arrest previously issued by Judge Leo J T. Principe on Tulawie’s case.  His action signified that the warrant is still enforceable even as the Supreme Court so order for the transfer of the case to the Regional Trial Court of Davao City.

 As of this writing, 5:00 in the afternoon 18 January 2012, Mr. Temogen “Cocoy” Tulawie has safety arrived in Davao City and now in the custody of  Davao City Police Office in Camp Domingo Leonor, Davao City.

 Human Rights Defenders-Pilipinas reiterates its calls: 

  1. To RTC Branch 3 of Jolo, Sulu to immediately transfer Tulawie’s Case Records to RTC Davao in compliance with the Supreme Court of the Phippines’ Order/Decision.
  2. To RTC Davao City to ensure a fair, impartial and speedy disposition of the case.  Take all necessary measures to ensure that the trial of Temogen Tulawie follows fair procedure and complies with national and international standards;
  3. To all concerned government agencies particularly the Military and the Police to guarantee the full protection and respect for human rights to Mr. Tulawie, as guaranteed by the Philippine Constitution and the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights Defenders.  Take all necessary measures to guarantee the physical and psychological integrity and security of Temogen Tulawie while in detention;
  4. Immediately and unconditionally release human rights defender Temogen Tulawie, and drop all charges against him as it is believed that they are solely related to his legitimate and peaceful work in defence of human rights;
  5. Guarantee in all circumstances that all human rights defenders in the Philippines are able to carry out their legitimate human rights activities without fear of reprisals and free of all restrictions including judicial harassment.

For the background of the case, please click the link:

 January 16, 2012

His Excellency Benigno Simeon C. Aquino III 

 President of the Republic of the Philippines 

 Malacanang Palace

JP Laurel St., San Miguel, Manila 1005 

 Fax: +63 2 7361010; Tel: +63 2 735 6201/564 1451 to 80


Re: Temogen S. Tulawie Case: A Human   Rights Defender denied of due process and charged in court, notwithstanding   procedural and substantive lapses in the investigation.

Dear Mr. President,

Greetings of peace!

We, at Human Rights Defenders-Pilipinas, write to express our grave concern regarding the plight of Mr. Temogen S. Tulawie, a human rights defender.  We have been following his case and lately have known of his arrest in Davao City on 13 January 2012.  Prior to his arrest, he was already planning to voluntarily surrender and face the charges hurled against him.  Especially that, the Supreme Court has granted his petition of transfer of case and venue to the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Davao City.  He believes that impartiality and justice will not be accorded him in Jolo, Sulu.

Mr. Tulawie is a member of different human rights organizations working on various issues in Sulu.  His activities as human rights defender includes, public information campaigns, organizing peace rallies and peaceful protests against government policies detrimental to human rights.

Earlier, it was known that Juhan Alihuddin, a prosecution witness, had executed an affidavit on 29 June 2009 denying his previous statement allegedly taken under duress.  He also denied that a counsel represented him during the investigation, saying, the investigation personnel of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) provided the counsel only after he had already signed the prepared confession.  He further stressed that the contents of the confession were false.

As of this writing, we are informed that the RTC Branch 3 of Jolo, Sulu has not yet transferred the case records to RTC Davao.

With this vital information, we are calling for a fair, impartial and speedy disposition of the case.  Moreover, we are requesting all concerned government agencies to guarantee the full protection and respect for human rights to Mr. Tulawie, as guaranteed by the Philippine Constitution and the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights Defenders.

We trust that you will act favorably on this urgent matter.  For the Human Rights Defenders-Pilipinas, I remain


Dr. Renato G. Mabunga





Hon. Loretta Ann Rosales, Chairperson, Commission on Human Rights

Hon. Juan Ponce Enrile, Senate President

Hon. Leila de Lima, Secretary Department of Justice

Hon. Jose Midas Marquez, Court Administrator, Supreme Court of the Philippines

Police Director General Raul M. Bacalso, Chief, Philippine National Police

Hon. Emilio Gonzalez, Deputy Ombusdman, Office of the Deputy Ombudsman for the Military and other Law Enforcement Offices




 Dear Friends,

Human Rights Defenders-Pilipinas (HRD-Pilipinas) was informed by the Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP), about the updates and information regarding the case of Mr. Temogen Sahipa Tulawie. Several appeals were already sent before regarding the harassment he was facing as a human rights defender.

On January 13,2012 at about 11:45 in the evening, Mr. Tulawie was arrested at his rented house in Davao City by combined elements of Military Intelligence Group (MIG) from Region 9 led by Sgt. Reyes, members of Special Action Force (SAF) led by Supt. Fernando Ortega and members of Police Intelligence (R2).

Mr. Tulawie was already planning to voluntarily give himself and face the charges hurled against him after the Supreme Court already granted the motion he filed for transfer of venue to the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Davao City, because he believes that he will not be afforded with impartiality if his case will be tried in Jolo, Sulu.

On June 13,2011, the Supreme Court granted the request for transfer of venue. Dispositive portion reads as “ Acting on the Petition for transfer of Venue, filed by Temogen “cocoy” Tulawie, one of the accused in Criminal nos. (07-09) 1648-3 and (07-09) 1649-3 from the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Jolo, Sulu, to any court as this Court may deem convenient, and considering that there is an indication of actual and imminent threat to the life of the petitioner and his family, as well as his witnesses, as found by the Court of appeals in CA-G.R. SP No. 00002-W/RA-MIN and there is reason to believe that continuing with the trial of the subject criminal cases in the RTC, Jolo, Sulu can lead to a miscarriage of justice”.

Details of his arrest:

Mr. Tulawie was arrested by combined elements of Military Intelligence Group (MIG), Region 9 led by Sgt. Reyes, members of Special Action Force (SAF), led by Supt. Fernando Ortega and members of Police Regional Intelligence Group (R2), of Region 11 based in Davao City, on January 13,2012 at about 11:45 in the evening at his rented house in Elenita Heights Subdivision, Catalunan Grande, Davao City.

They were already sleeping together with his two (2) children, when he was awaken by a loud bang from their door. He turn-on the light at their room, then he awaken his children and told them not to panic.

When the authorities came in, he did not resist arrest. He was taken to Talomo Police station for Police blotter and to Davao Regional Hospital for medical check-up. Afterwards, he was taken to Camp Catitipan, Davao City at the office of the Intelligence division for proper documentation.

As of this writing he was temporarily detained at Davao City Police Office in Camp Domingo Leonor, Davao City. On January 16, he will be presented to the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Davao City.

Mr. Tulawie was the former Provincial chairperson of Consortium of Bangsamoro Civil Society (CBCS), a coalition of Bangsamoro civil organizations (CSOs) within the province of Sulu. His work involves; monitoring and documentation of human rights violation cases affecting muslim communities in the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao, especially in the province of Sulu.

Mr. Tulawie is facing a case of Multiple Frustrated Murder and Attempted Murder, criminal case no. (07-09) 1648-3 and criminal case no. (07-09) 1649-3 at the Regional Trial Court (RTC) branch 3 of Jolo, Sulu, which was filed on July 22,2009. He was implicated in the bombing incident which was happened in the municipality of Patikul, Sulu on May 13,2009, wounding twelve (12) persons including Governor Abdusakur Tan of the Province of Sulu.


As a human rights defender, Mr. Tulawie has also been active in organizing a local organization named “BAWBUG”, which means “Serve, Respect and Protect” in the Tausug language. Bawbug was established to address the defense of the rights of muslim communities affected by military operations in the province of Sulu.

He was also an active  member of Center for Humanitarian Dialogue (CHD) since 2004-2008 and a council member of Non-Violent Peace Force (NP), in the province of Sulu.

From 2004-2007, he was elected to the post of municipal councilor of the capital town of Jolo, and was one of the organizers of the Concerned citizen’s of Sulu, an organization that works for the democratization of local politics, transparency in governance and upholding of civil rights and liberties of the residents of Sulu.

Mr. Tulawie’s human rights work is long and impressive, but it has also brought him into a collision with powerful local politicians. Some of the human rights campaigns that Mr. Tulawie led are the following: Continue reading



A trending board for photos, jokes, ‘pick-up’ liners, opinions, information, discussion and sweeping education on the immorality of DEBT through COMMENTS and LIKES  and DISLIKES.

A space for creative minds to re-capture the seriousness of Philippine debt issue: its impact and its effect to Philippine society in light fashion.

Put in your 5-cent worth opinion. Invite you FB friends to comment, like or dislike.  … and let’s start the ball rolling. 🙂

Join the group at facebook, now…



Debt Payments and Under-spending

Almost all throughout post-EDSA era, 1986-1995 and 1999-2012, total debt service exceeded spending for both economic services and social services. Supposed additional funds for economic services to spur growth and for investment in the country’s human capital in the form of social services are instead used for debt payment, some of which for questionable loans.

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Commission on Human Rights of the Philippines (CHRP)

SAAC Building, Commonwealth Avenue, U.P. Complex Diliman,

Quezon City, Philippines 1101

Submission to the Universal Periodic Review – Philippines

June 2012

A. The Commission on Human Rights 

1. The Commission on Human Rights of the Philippines (CHRP)  is the national human rights institution in the country with “A” status accreditation.  CHRP was created under the 1987 Constitution to investigate human rights violations, monitor government compliance with international human rights obligations, provide human rights education and training, among others.  This independent submission is a product of internal deliberations as well as regional and national consultations with Civil Society.[1]


B. Institutional and Legal Framework for Human Rights, New Developments

2. Since the first UPR session on the Philippines,[2] Congress has passed a number of laws on human rights related to the UPR recommendations.[3] Other major human rights laws have yet to be enacted including the Commission on Human Rights Charter, compensation to victims of human rights violations, and laws on protection against extra-judicial killings, enforced disappearance and protections for internally displaced persons.

3.  The CHR has been given additional substantive roles under the Magna Carta of Women, Anti-Torture Law, and IHL law. Without corresponding resources, these additional functions and the proposed prosecutorial mandate[4] would overburden the Commission and impair its effectiveness.  It still does not have full fiscal autonomy, its budget has been cut twice[5] and it lacks the power to determine its own organizational structure; all of which weaken its independence.  The long overdue CHR Charter bill[6] should be a priority as a long-term, institutional measure for human rights protection and promotion. Strengthening the National Human Rights Institution is a long-term measure for human rights protection and promotion.

C. Human Rights Protection and Promotion on the Ground

Related to UPR Recommendations

Recommendation  1[7] Violence against women, access to justice and rehabilitation and post-conflict care for women and children 

 4.  The Anti-Violence against Women and their Children Act[8] has been upheld by the Supreme Court as constitutional. Despite training programs for the judiciary, some court decisions seem to reflect the preference of some judges to not apply this law and other laws, including the 1997 special law on rape. A Court of Appeals decision shows gender stereotyping and high requirements for a woman to establish the occurrence of rape and lack of consent.[9]

5.  The Magna Carta of Women[10] addresses many of the issues related to discrimination and violence against women.[11]  However, though the law provides that “measures to prosecute and reform offenders shall likewise be pursued,” it does not establish how to accomplish this.

6.  Three cases have been filed in the CEDAW committee and the government has yet to respond to a request for an invitation from the CEDAW Committee.

7.  Addressing special needs for rehabilitation and post-conflict care of women and children in vulnerable situations and conflict areas remains a challenge. The CHR will adopt a monitoring tool[12] to systematically monitor the situation of vulnerable groups including women and children.                                                                                       

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Submission by:   Front Line Defenders and Human Rights Defenders – Pilipinas

Related to:              The Philippines UPR Session: 13th Session of UPR, 21 May – 4 June 2012
Submitted:             28 November 2011

1.  The following submission has been prepared jointly by Front Line Defenders – the International Foundation for the protection of Human Rights Defenders, and the Human Rights Defenders – Pilipinas (HRDP) based on research carried out by these organisations and information received from independent human rights defenders in the Philippines from January 2008 to November 2011.

2.  Front Line Defenders ( is an international NGO based in Ireland with special consultative status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations. Front Line Defenders has particular expertise on the issue of security and protection of human rights defenders and works to promote the implementation of the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders adopted by General Assembly resolution 53/144 of 9 December 1998.

3.  HRDP is a membership organisation of individual human rights defenders actively engaging in the promotion, defence, protection and fulfilment of “human rights for all” in the Philippines on various issues including civil, political, economic, social, cultural spheres or in the field of development and peace. It focuses on the protection of human rights defenders.

General trends facing human rights defenders

4.  Ms Margaret Sekkagya, the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, stated in her report to the 16th session of the Human Rights Council that “the Special Rapporteur remains seriously concerned regarding the persistent challenges faced by human rights defenders in the Philippines”.

5.  The threats against human rights defenders since the last UPR session on the Philippines in April 2008 remains unchanged.   Human rights defenders face extra-judicial killings, enforced disappearances, threats and intimidations, illegitimate restriction to the rights of freedoms of opinion and expression, peaceful assembly, and association. Human rights defenders working in the field of peasants’ rights, land rights, and indigenous human rights defenders continue to face specific threats. The state security forces, including the military and the police, continue to abuse human rights defenders with impunity. The cases mentioned in this report were not properly investigated by the authorities and the perpetrators remained unpunished.

6.  Human rights defenders disregards of their geographical locations continue to be branded as working as fronts for the Communist Party of the Philippines and its armed wing, the New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) as a way to dismiss their work and legitimate concerns. Defenders, working  specifically in the Southern Mindanao area, have been branded as members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front or the Abu Sayyaf terrorist group. The security forces have used this rhetoric to implement their “shoot to kill” policy against human rights defenders.

Extra-judicial killings, enforced disappearances, and impunity

7.  At the first UPR review, the Philippines accepted the recommendation “to completely eliminate torture and extrajudicial killings” (Holy See) and “to intensify its efforts to carry out investigations and prosecutions on extrajudicial killings and punish those responsible” (Switzerland). Despite this commitment, 23 cases of extra-judicial killings were documented from 2008 to 2011, claiming 30 victims.  In the same period, 79 cases of enforced disappearance were reported. Of these, 50 ended with the victim reappearing alive; in five cases the victim was found dead; and 24 remain missing.

8.  The Philippines, despite being a party to international human rights treaties, which impose a duty on the state to investigate alleged violations of the right to life, including extra-judicial killings, has provided human rights defenders with little or no protection. While soldiers, police, and militia members have been implicated in many of these killings, no member of the military active at the time of the killing has been brought to justice.

9.  While different statistics exist relating to the exact number of human rights defenders killed in recent years, human rights lawyers, journalists, union and community leaders, continue to be targeted and extra judicially killed or disappeared with impunity. These cases have not been treated with priority by the government. The authors of these killings are usually unidentified individuals on motorcycles, suspected of having ties with the army, the police and other law enforcement agencies.

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