The Philippine Reporter - At Ground Level

At Ground Level

Can GPH-NDFP peace talks gain ground in 2015?

Only 18 months remain of President Aquino’s six-year term.  He bows out in July 2016. In the new-year spirit of fulfilling a resolution — or an electoral-campaign promise he made in April 2010 — will P-Noy resume formal peace talks with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines with the goal of signing at least 

Posted 4 years ago by

Torture in US, Philippines: We need to be outraged

Torture — including the most brutal type used by state security forces on suspected “enemies of the state” — is back in media focus both in the United States and the Philippines. And human rights groups are challenging both Presidents Obama and Aquino: “What are you doing about it?” Last Tuesday, eve of International Human 

Posted 4 years ago by

‘Mistaken-identity’ arrests

The AFP-PNP counterinsurgency forces have done it again: they arrested two elderly persons in Mexico, Pampanga whom they mistook for “top leaders” of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army. Arrested last Oct. 1 were Lourdes Quioc, 64, a village “hilot” (midwife), and Reynaldo Ingal, 63, a retired driver. The Central Luzon PNP used 

Posted 4 years ago by

Israel, US complicit in spurring Gaza war

Now on its 26th day, the Israeli war against the Hamas militants in Gaza — the third since Hamas won the 2006 elections in that densely-populated strip of Palestinian territory along the Mediterranean Sea coast — has gravely affected the civilian population, pushing them to “the brink of humanitarian disaster.” The Palestinian death toll has 

Posted 4 years ago by

Hasty, tactless move to dispute DAP ruling

It appears that President Aquino acted hastily and tactlessly when he decided to publicly defend the DAP (Disbursement Acceleration Program) and dispute the Supreme Court’s unanimous decision declaring it unconstitutional. He did so in a televised speech on Monday, wherein he warned of a clash between the executive and the judiciary that may require the 

Posted 4 years ago by

Basic problems as root causes of armed conflict

Thirty-three years ago the late Jose W. Diokno, eminent senator, human rights defender and quintessential nationalist, identified four “basic problems” of Philippine society, thus: 1. Widespread deep poverty among our people and inequality in wealth, privilege, and power; 2. Although supposedly independent, we are not really sovereign. With their military bases, the US government and 

Posted 4 years ago by

My ‘love affair’ with the justice system

On April 7 I’ll turn 75 years old. I had thought that my life – 50 years of which I have dedicated to activism for social and political change — would now move on towards relative quietude. Until I got an unexpected birthday gift: a rekindled “love affair.” No, not the kind you may instantly 

Posted 4 years ago by

Killings of activists: 173 under P-Noy’s watch

It seems that we will not see the ending of extrajudicial killings and other human rights violations under this second Aquino administration. What we have seen were continued killings with impunity — and not only of political/social activists. These were largely perpetrated through a method flagrantly used during the previous Arroyo government: killers-in-tandem aboard motorcycles. 

Posted 4 years ago by

AFP counterinsurgency drive inside public schools

In pursuing its counterinsurgency program, dubbed “Oplan Bayanihan,” the Armed Forces of the Philippines has used schools, hospitals, clinics, and religious places in blatant violation of certain national and international laws and conventions. From July 2010 to December 2013, the human rights alliance Karapatan said it had documented 18 cases of minors as victims of 

Posted 5 years ago by

AFP counterinsurgency drive inside public schools

In pursuing its counterinsurgency program, dubbed “Oplan Bayanihan,” the Armed Forces of the Philippines has used schools, hospitals, clinics, and religious places in blatant violation of certain national and international laws and conventions. From July 2010 to December 2013, the human rights alliance Karapatan said it had documented 18 cases of minors as victims of 

Posted 5 years ago by