Inflation rate in
Eastern Visayas eases to 2.0% in April 2019
May 22, 2019
TACLOBAN CITY – The
Inflation Rate (IR) in Eastern Visayas eased to 2.0 percent in April
2019. This IR is 0.1 percentage point lower compared with the 2.1
percent IR a month ago, and 3.4 percentage points lower compared
with the 5.4 percent IR recorded in the same period last year. The
regional inflation rate is 1.0 percentage point lower than the 3.0
percent national average in April 2019.
The provinces of Biliran,
Eastern Samar, Samar and Southern Leyte registered lower IRs in
April 2019 compared with their figures in the previous month.
Eastern Samar recorded the biggest drop of 1.9 percentage points,
from 3.7 percent in March 2019 to 1.8 percent in April 2019. On the
other hand, Leyte and Northern Samar registered 0.3 percentage point
increase each settling at 3.5 percent and 1.6 percent, respectively
in April 2019. Biliran posted the lowest with negative IR at 2.0
percent. Leyte, meanwhile, recorded the highest IR during the month
in review at 3.5 percent (Table 1).
Among the commodity
groups, Housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels commodity
group registered the highest decrease of 1.6 percentage points, from
1.8 percent in March 2019 to 0.2 percent during the month in review.
The heavily weighted food
and non-alcoholic beverages declined by 0.5 percentage point to 2.5
percent in April 2019 from its previous month’s rate of 3.0 percent.
Higher inflation rates noted in vegetables; sugar, jam, honey,
chocolate and confectionery products; oils and fats; milk, cheese
and eggs; and non-alcoholic beverages were offset by the slower
price increases in rice; bread and cereals; food products not
elsewhere classified; fruits; fish; corn; and meat. Rice registered
the biggest drop of 1.2 percentage points, from 1.4 percent in March
2019 to 0.2 percent in April 2019. Fruits index continued to
register a negative inflation rate at 5.1 percent.
Slower IR was also
exhibited in health at 3.5 percent registering a 0.1 percentage
point decrease from its figure a month ago.
Meanwhile, transport IR
increased to 5.5 percent during the reference month, 3.5 percentage
points higher compared with the 2.0 percent IR in March 2019. This
can be traced to higher IRs in the indices for transport services
and operation of personal transport equipment.
IR for the commodity
groups of alcoholic beverages and tobacco; and furnishings,
household equipment and routine maintenance of the house increased
by 0.7 percentage point each, settling at 4.1 percent and 5.9
percent, respectively, during the month in review.
miscellaneous goods and services increased to 2.3 percent in April
2019 from 2.0 percent last month. While clothing and footwear inched
up to 2.9 percent during the month in review from 2.8 percent in
The Purchasing Power of
Peso (PPP) of the region remained at P0.80 in April 2019. This PPP
implies that goods and services worth 100 pesos in April 2019 only
cost 80 pesos in 2012.
Biliran and Eastern Samar
registered a 0.01 centavo increase in their PPP compared with their
figures in March 2019, while Leyte recorded a 0.01 centavo decrease.
The rest of the provinces sustained their PPP last month. Biliran
recorded the strongest PPP at P0.84. Southern Leyte ranked second at
P0.82, followed by Leyte at P0.81 and Eastern Samar at P0.79.
Northern Samar and Samar posted the weakest PPP at P0.76.
band aid solution to degenerating basic public education
Alliance of Concerned
May 20, 2019
QUEZON CITY – As
teachers, students and parents troop to public schools today for the
first day of Brigada Eskwela, the Alliance of Concerned Teachers
said that the program is a ‘manifestation of the degenerating state
of basic public education’ and that the National Schools Maintenance
Week is a ‘mere band aid solution to the convulsions of the
“The concept of
‘bayanihan’ to promote community appreciation and sense of
responsibility towards education could have been good if it is not
depended on as the alternative to fill in the gaps which the
government refuses to address,” said Joselyn Matinez, national
chairperson of ACT Philippines.
ACT argued that the
approved 2019 budget exposes the government’s lack of vision to
improve the fundamental learning environment of students as only
P25.7 billion was allocated as Maintenance and Other Operating
Expenses for the operations of more than 50,000 basic public schools
nationwide. The 2019 General Appropriations Act allotted some P13.2B
for the operations of elementary schools; P9.7B for junior high
schools; and P2.8B for senior high schools.
“The school operations
budget only amounts to a little over P1,000 per student for the
whole year. This shall cover expenses in electricity, water,
communication, transportation, school-based trainings, supplies and
even minor repairs,” explained Martinez.
She pointed out that the
allocation, while 12.7% higher than last year’s, will do nothing to
upgrade the learning environment in schools as it will only be
enough to cover the increase in the cost of operations due to the
steep inflation last year, following the implementation of the TRAIN
“The budget is all the
indication we need to say that the Duterte government has no plans
of saving our public schools from deterioration. With Brigada
Eskwela, the state tries to gloss over this neglect by passing over
the responsibility to teachers, students, parents and the
community,” explained Martinez.
Martinez added that
Brigada Eskwela is a great burden and challenge to teachers as they
were pressed to raise funds and mobilize people for the maintenance
works needed to prepare the classrooms in time for the school
“The teachers know very
well the importance of having a conducive environment so that there
will be an effective learning process in the classroom. Making this
the teachers’ burden, however, is unfair. They are even pressed to
solicit for financial and material support which lay them vulnerable
against criticisms and allegations of corruption,” lamented
ACT maintained that
however the Department of Education pursue Brigada Eskwela, ‘it can
never and will never effect qualitative improvement in the school’s
learning environment.’ The group said that what it can do at most is
to ‘pump in the barest essentials just so that the rotting
educational system may operate.’
Around 30,000 new businesses
registered from Jan to May 2019
businesses now 1.42 million
L to R: DTI Undersecretary Zenaida Maglaya, DTI Secretary
and MSMED Council Chair Ramon Lopez, Presidential Adviser on
Entrepreneurship and MSMED Council Vice Chairman Jose Ma.
Concepcion III, and Go Negosyo Adviser on MSME Development
Merly Cruz at the 11th MSMED Council meeting on 14 May 2019.
May 20, 2019
MAKATI – The MSME
Development (MSMED) Council reported that registered businesses in
the Philippines climbed to 1.42 million in May 2019 from 1.39
million in December 2018. This is around 30,000 new businesses in
five months. Trade Secretary and MSMED Council Chair Ramon Lopez
said this indicates that it’s a good time to do business in the
Philippines, given that the country is the 2nd fastest growing
economy in the ASEAN region.
During the 11th MSME
Development Council meeting on 14 May 2019, Sec. Lopez said that
programs for micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) should be
felt at the barangay-level. The MSMED Council, composed of public
and private sector representatives, is the group tasked to advance
the interests of Filipino MSMEs.
“Part of fulfilling
President Rodrigo Duterte’s promise of Tapang at Malasakit is
providing job and business options to help Filipinos live more
comfortable lives. So even if the DTI’s budget is only up to the
provincial-level, we will find ways for our programs to reach MSMEs
at the grassroots,” said Sec. Lopez.
The Department of Trade
and Industry (DTI) further committed to inform the public on the
benefits of the Barangay Micro Business Enterprise (BMBE) law. Sec.
Lopez clarified that entrepreneurs can still register as single
proprietors in DTI, even after the Securities and Exchange
Commission (SEC) allowed the registration of one-person
corporations. This is due to the much simpler registration
requirements in DTI.
The MSMED Council is also
looking into synchronizing statistics produced by the Philippine
Statistics Authority (PSA) and the National Economic Development
Authority (NEDA) on MSMEs. It also wants to count the MSMEs in the
informal sector, or those who have yet to get business permits.
These statistics, according to the Council, will help DTI, Bangko
Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), and other finance institutions grasp
where microfinancing is needed.
Upcoming events for MSMEs
include the MSME Summit in July and the three-leg Youth
Entrepreneurship Program Roadshow in Visayas by June, Cebu by July,
and Luzon by November.
Also present during the
MSMED Council meeting were Presidential Adviser on Entrepreneurship
and MSMED Council Vice Chairman Jose Ma. Concepcion III, DTI
Undersecretary Zenaida Maglaya, Assistant Secretaries Jean Pacheco
and Blesila Lantayona, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Director Pia
Roman-Tayag, Small Business Corporation OIC-EVP Melvin Abando,
Credit Information Corporation (CIC) President Jaime Garchitorena
and private sector representatives Jim Ayala (MSME Sector), Jeannie
Javelosa (Women), Archie Florendo (Youth), and representatives from
the labor, banking, and microfinance sectors.
DPWH adopts a
school in Carigara, Leyte
DPWH 2nd LED
May 17, 2019
CARIGARA, Leyte – A
more conducive learning facility will welcome the pupils of Balilit
Elementary School in Carigara town, the recipient of
“Adopt-a-school” project of the Department of Public Works and
Highways (DPWH) field office here.
On May 16, 2019, employees
of the department volunteered at the said school for the repair and
repainting of tables and chairs, cleaning of classrooms, and
beautification of school grounds.
According to Gerald
Pacanan, DPWH Leyte 2 head engineer, this is the first time that the
district conducted this type of activity through the initiative of
donated for the funding of this program. I am glad that despite
heavy workloads in the office and short time of preparation, we
still manage to realize this project,” he said.
Aside from helping in
various school preparation activities, the office also distributed
bags with school supplies and a pair of slippers to each pupil of
the recipient school.
Clarissa Delos Santos,
Balilit ES School Head, expressed her sincere gratitude to the whole
DPWH family. She added that this is timely occasion for them as they
will represent their area for the small category best Brigada
Aside from this adopt a
school program, DPWH will also deploy its maintenance force at
various campuses for the weeklong Brigada Eskwela on May 20-24,
photo (from L-R) are CIS Bayad Center Inc. SVP & COO
Francispito P. Quevedo, CIS Bayad Center Inc. President &
CEO Manuel L. Tuason, SB Corp President and CEO Ma. Luna
Cacanando and SB Corp Board of Director Santiago Lim.
Corp partners with Bayad Center
May 17, 2019
MAKATI CITY – The
Small Business Corporation (SB Corp.), the financing arm of the
Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), recently partnered with the
country’s pioneer in outsourced bills payment collection industry
CIS Bayad Center, Inc. for its loans payment collection.
“Having an accessible and
reliable payment facility is very important to the MSME sector. With
this recent partnership, our MSME clients will have access to a
payment facility near them with longer business hours than that of
most banks,” SB Corp President and CEO Ma. Luna Cacanando said.
Cacanando added that with
the Pondo sa Pagbabago at Pag-asenso (P3) Program in full swing, SB
Corp needs a loan collection partner that is known to many and has
presence even in rural areas.
The P3 Program now has
nearly 400 conduits and more than 80,000 micro borrowers nationwide.
Under the P3 Program, a
micro enterprise can borrow P5,000 up to P200,000 depending on its
business need and repayment capacity without collateral. For the
loans, the interest rate and service fees are capped at 2.5 percent
“Being the pioneer in
outsourced bills payment collection, we have earned the confidence
of the paying public. With Bayad Center's network, SB Corp’s clients
can now pay their loan amortization conveniently at any Bayad Center
Branches and Authorized Partners nationwide,” Bayad Center President
& CEO Manuel Tuason explained.
Through the partnership,
SB Corp loan clients can now pay their regular loan amortization at
the nearest Bayad Center starting this June.
Silva (back to camera), President of the Sumangga United
Farmers Association (SUFA), shows to Regional Director
Sheila Enciso (right) and Assistant Regional Director Ma. Fe
Malinao of the Department of Agrarian Reform their mushroom
now live a better life
JOSE ALSMITH L. SORIA
May 8, 2019
ORMOC CITY –
Regional Director Sheila Enciso of the Department of Agrarian Reform
(DAR) was amazed how the agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs), the
DAR installed into their awarded lots in recent years, have improved
their quality of lives.
Last week, Enciso,
accompanied by Assistant Regional Director for Administration and
Land Tenure Security Program, Ma. Fe Malinao together with the
Municipal Agrarian Reform Program Officers of Ormoc and Tacloban,
and Chief Agrarian Reform Program Officer Tomas Martinez, visited
seven ARB organizations who were installed into their awarded lots
under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) from 2016 to
2018 in different areas here and in adjacent Kananga town with the
help of KAISAHAN, a non-government organization.
She was surprised to see
the big difference in the ARBs faces and stories they tell before
and at present.
These ARBs received their
certificates of land ownership award (CLOAs) many years ago, but
struggled for 16 to 20 years before they were able to take
possession of the awarded lots either due to strong resistance from
the previous landowners or conflict between two contending groups of
Enciso was happy to see
these farmers, who once stared fiercely due to frustrations, now
smiling and full of inspiring stories to tell, because aside from
the support services extended by DAR, they also get assistance from
other government agencies.
In Barangay Sumangga,
Pablo Silva, 56, president of the Sumangga United Farmers
Association (SUFA), installed in 2016, showed to Enciso their
livelihood project, a mushroom production they started in December
last year through the assistance extended by the Department of
Science and Technology (DOST).
Silva disclosed that
mushroom production is one of their sources of livelihood now.
Mushroom grows fast and are sold at P300 for every kilo, Silva
He added that in a day
they could harvest nine kilos.
In Barangay Dolores,
Benedicto Taneo, president of the Dolores Farmers Association (DOLFA),
brought Enciso to their demo farm and shared that they will soon be
graduating from the Farmer Field School (FFS) facilitated by the
City Agriculturist’s Office.
He disclosed that after
FFS, they will be venturing in upland rice (locally known as
calinayan) production and marketing.
In Barangay Salvacion,
Bienvenido Matuguina shared that he invested part of his income,
derived from the sugarland awarded to him, in calamansi production.
At present, he has more than 100 calamnsi-bearing trees planted in
He also disclosed that
their organization, the Salvacion Farmers Association, has likewise
300 calamansi trees planted in preparation for the calamansi
processing project they are planning to venture once the project
proposal they submitted to DOST is approved.
In Barangay Sabang Bao,
Enciso was caught by surprise when the ARBs, who were installed in
April last year, were already harvesting rice in their awarded lots
when she arrived; while in Barangay Montebello, the ARBs were
peacefully preparing their once contested land to be planted with
Meanwhile, Arnulfo Perez
whom we had interviewed two years ago, proudly announced that he is
now the president of their organization, the Valencia Small Farmers
In the afternoon of the
same day, all concerned ARBs gathered in Barangay Montebello for a
dialogue with Enciso.
During the said occasion,
Enciso expressed her happiness upon seeing them living an improved
quality of life as envisioned under CARP.
She likewise reminded the
ARBs to continue keeping the land productive. Further, she
encouraged those who have children entering college this coming
school year to avail of the DAR Scholarship Program for the
Dependents of Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries (DSP-DARBs), a new
assistance program extended by the agency to its ARBs.
DPWH paves road
leading to Calabato Hot Spring in Leyte
DPWH 2nd LED
May 8, 2019
LA PAZ, Leyte – The
road leading to Calabato Hot Spring in La Paz town is now serving
the public with new concrete pavement, the Department of Public
Works and Highways Leyte second district engineering office
The government has poured
out a total of P46 million for the concreting of 1.6592-kilometer
two-lane road and construction of an arch bridge.
According to Gerald
Pacanan, lack of convenient road access has been a problem by the
local government here, prompting the agency to allocate funds for
the road development project.
“Tourism is a great
contributor for economic progress. That is why the DPWH and the
Department of Tourism has strengthened its program in building more
roads leading to tourist’s destination,” he said.
He added that the district
also plans to develop the entire 8-kilometer road and install solar
“Communities living in
this area will also benefit from this. Since most of them are
farmers, this road network development will provide access to all
kinds of vehicles, thus, transportation of commodities will be
easier and cheaper,” Pacanan said.
As of now, the local
government of La Paz is continuously developing the town’s top
tourism destination after it was damage by super typhoon Yolanda in
2013. Number of visitors are also expected to rise.
infra projects in Leyte 2
DPWH 2nd LED
May 8, 2019
CARIGARA, Leyte –
To ensure that all infrastructure facilities are in highest
efficiency and quality in construction, the Department of Public
Works and Highways (DPWH) – Quality Assurance Unit (QAU) conducted a
two-day inspection of projects in Leyte second district.
QAU engineers, Esler
Doblas and Dennis Racines led the inspection on May 2-3, 2019.
Assigned engineer of each project accompanied the inspection team to
provide necessary inputs and data regarding the project.
According to DE Gerald
Pacanan, it is important that each infrastructure project is
strictly compliant to the design and standard specifications of the
“Through this regular
inspection of projects, we are able to monitor the quality of these
structures and if there are issues, we can immediately address
them,” he said.
Among the projects
inspected were the flood control structure in Pastrana town, flood
mitigation and drainage system in Dulag, seawall in Capoocan,
Multi-purpose building in Burauen, and road rehabilitation projects
along Bagahupi-Babatngon-Sta. Cruz-Barugo-Carigara road and Palo-Carigara-Ormoc
“Building quality and safe
infrastructure facilities is our utmost concern. So, we will
continue to strengthen the monitoring of our project
implementation,” Pacanan said.
The QAU is a quality audit
that conducts regular assessment to continuously monitor and assess
the on-ongoing and completed projects undertaken by the district.
The auditors aim to check whether all infrastructure projects are
implemented in compliance to palns and standard specifications of
civil engineers of Biliran DEO take oath
May 7, 2019
NAVAL, Biliran -
Two newly promoted Civil Engineers (CE) of the Department of Public
Works and Highways (DPWH)- Biliran District Engineering Office (DEO)
take oath for Engineer II positions.
District Engineer David P.
Adongay Jr. administered the oath-taking ceremony at his office on
April 29, 2019.
The newly promoted CEs,
Engr. Frechbee Sabile and Engr. Gloria Barbanida sworn in witnessed
by Alfredo L. Bollido, Assistant District Engineer, Engr. Rosario B.
Rosete, Chief of Planning and Design Section, Engr. Salvador G.
Regis Jr., Chief of Construction Section, Mr. Bern L. Calomadre,
Chief of Administrative Section, and Ms. Ma. Rosario Sorilla, Rank
and File Employees Association (RFEA) President.
Engr. Sabile and Engr. Barbanida are both job order workers of
Biliran DEO assigned in the Planning and Design Section and
Construction Section respectively prior to their promotion.
Meanwhile, one electrical
engineer also took oath for Engineer II position on March 18, 2019.
Engr. Carl Mark D. Pedrera fill-in the Engineer II (Electrical
Engineer) position vice Engr. Cesar D. Cordeta, retired.
Mr. Pedrera is assigned in
the Planning and Design Section as electrical engineer where his
plantilla position belongs.
of Karapatan, Rural Missionaries of the Philippines (RMP),
and Gabriela file a petition for the writ of amparo at the
Supreme Court today, May 6. The petitioners include
Karapatan Secretary General Cristina Palabay, RMP National
Coordinator Sr. Elenita Belardo, Gabriela Secretary General
Joan May Salvador, Karapatan Deputy Secretary General Roneo
Clamor, and Karapatan National Council Members Edita Burgos
and Jose Mari Callueng.
and Gabriela seek legal protection vs. threats, vilification at the
May 6, 2019
QUEZON CITY – On
May 6, 2019, Karapatan, together with Rural Missionaries of the
Philippines (RMP) and Gabriela, with the assistance from lawyers of
the National Union of People’s Lawyers (NUPL), filed petition at the
Supreme Court to seek legal protection from threats to life, liberty
and security, amid accusations of being fronts of the Communist
Party of the Philippines. Their petition for the writs of amparo and
habeas data also sought for the disclosure and destruction of all
files or record on the petitioners gathered by the respondents.
“Our filing of the
petition for the writs of amparo and habeas data is a response to
the worsening attacks, terrorist-tagging by the Philippine military
and the ongoing smear campaign against human rights defenders. Human
rights advocacy is not a crime, yet human rights workers are being
killed, threatened, harassed, and jailed on trumped up charges. We
have never taken all these attacks sitting down, as we continue to
work to confront this perilous political climate with all available
remedies,” said Karapatan National Chairperson Elisa Tita Lubi.
Karapatan underscored that
the dangerous rhetoric of the military, President Duterte, and his
officials labeling the organization as a CPP-NPA front has resulted
to glaringly numerous killings and other human rights violations
against its human rights workers. “Moreover, the red tagging and
labeling which emanated from the national task force to end local
communist insurgency further aggravated the threats against the
life, liberty and security of the petitioners because it is an
expression of a government policy directed against legitimate civil
society organizations, activist and human rights defenders in this
case,” according to the petitioners.
The organization cited the
killings of its human rights workers and paralegals, including
Karapatan Southern Mindanao Deputy Secretary General Benjaline
Hernandez in April 2002, Karapatan Southern Tagalog Secretary
General Eden Marcellana in April 2003, Karapatan Negros Oriental
coordinator Elisa Badayos who was killed while leading a fact
finding mission in November 2017, Kawagib rights worker Mariam Uy
Acob who received threats from the military before she was killed in
October 2018, and Escalante City councilor Bernardino “Toto” Patigas
of Negros Occidental who was recently killed on April 23. Patigas, a
long-time human rights advocate and a survivor of the Escalante
massacre, was included in a poster of CPP-NPA sympathizers allegedly
disseminated by the police. A few hours after Patigas was killed,
Karapatan Secretary General Cristina Palabay and Clarizza Singson of
Karapatan Negros received death threats through text messages.
“From 2001 to 2019, at
least 48 human rights defenders of Karapatan have been killed by
State forces. Most, if not all, of our human rights workers, even
our former colleagues, are subjected to threats, surveillance,
harassment, red-tagging, and judicial harassment. We have been
publicly vilified even in online spaces, and we frequently receive
death threats through text messages. Our chairperson was included in
a malicious petition proscribing the CPP-NPA as a terrorist
organization. These attacks can only come from those who see our
work and advocacy for people’s rights, our monitoring and
documentation of human rights violations, our direct assistance to
victims and kin, and our provision of platforms for human rights
education as threats to the current status quo. Human rights defense
and activism is not a crime; it is a right protected by
international covenants and agreements as well as the Philippine
Constitution,” said Karapatan Secretary General Cristina Palabay.
The petition also cited
incidents of red-tagging perpetrated by President Rodrigo Duterte
himself, in six recorded and live telecast speeches, wherein Duterte
maliciously tagged Karapatan as a “communist front.” In response to
Karapatan’s allegation letter on these incidents, UN Special
Rapporteur on the Promotion and Protection of the Right to Freedom
of Opinion and Expression David Kaye, UN Special Rapporteur on Human
Rights Defenders Michel Forst, and Special Rapporteur on the
Promotion and Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms
While Countering Terrorism Fionnuala Ni Aolain sent a communication
to the Philippine Government on April 23, 2018, which read in part
"Concern is expressed over
the repeated, threatening and vilifying statements made by President
Duterte, targeted at KARAPATAN, ostensibly due to the organisation’s
continued work in the defence of human rights. Further concern is
expressed over the impression that such alleged statements, which
distort the public narrative on human rights defenders and conflate
their work with threats to national security, may have on the public
and civil society, especially when delivered by the Head of State.
In particular, we are concerned that the President’s comments foster
an intolerance and hostility which, considering his influence as a
political leader, may lead to persons being incited to exercise
violence against KARAPATAN and its members, who are already facing a
severely hostile environment. We are concerned that such speech by
the President undermines not only the work of civil society, but
also the faith of civil society in State institutions and, thus, the
quality and level of their participation in democracy."
Despite these views
previously expressed by UN independent experts, Duterte and his
officials continued their vilification of Karapatan. Among the
recent incidents mentioned in the petition is the government junket
by members of the national task force (NTF) to end local communist
and armed conflict, which includes military officials who made
rounds in diplomatic missions in the European Union to red-tag
Karapatan, Ibon International, RMP, and even community schools in
Mindanao. Belgian NGO partners of the AFP-targeted organizations
spoke out in defense of Karapatan and their Philippine partners,
attesting to the years of work and human rights advocacy of the
rights groups under attack.
Respondents to the said
petition are President Rodrigo Duterte, Gen. (Ret.) Hermogenes
Esperon Jr., Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Delfin Lorenzana, Presidential
Spokesperson Salvador Panelo, Gen. Benjamin Madrigal Jr., Brig. Gen.
Fernando Trinidad, Maj. Gen. Erwin Bernard Neri, Lt. Gen. Macairog
Alberto, Maj. Gen. Antonio Parlade Jr., Alex Paul Monteagudo,
Vicente Agdamag, Senior Supt. Omega Jireh Fidel, and
Undersecretaries Joel Sy Egco, Severo Catura and Lorraine Marie
Members of Karapatan’s
National Executive Committee and National Council filed the petition
on behalf of the alliance, which includes Lubi, Palabay, Karapatan
National Vice Chairperson Reylan Vergara, Deputy Secretary General
Roneo Clamor, Treasurer Kiri Dalena, and NC members Dr. Edita
Burgos, Fr. Wilfredo Ruazol, and Jose Mari Callueng.
“We are appealing to the
Supreme Court to see the merit of our petition, the dangers of our
work, and eventually decide in favor of human rights defenders who
have courageously stood alongside marginalized sectors in the
country. We call on the Supreme Court to recognize that our work and
activism involves the full exercise of our civil and political
rights, and is in no way tantamount to a crime,” Palabay ended.