Author: 29042012

The Philippines, a role model for China   [Copy link] 中文

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Post time 2013-2-25 22:30:54 |Display all floors
This post was edited by 29042012 at 2013-2-25 22:31

This current president has done a pretty good jo in tackling corruption, though it is still a long way to go.
It is indeed very practical that the party is  judge, legislator, head of the army, executor  and  publisher  all in one in China.

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Post time 2013-2-25 22:38:39 |Display all floors
This post was edited by 29042012 at 2013-2-25 22:39

What is important about this news,

Leaders have to come to grips with their countries past.

If they fail to do so,

they will regret it one day.
It is indeed very practical that the party is  judge, legislator, head of the army, executor  and  publisher  all in one in China.

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Post time 2013-2-25 22:50:49 |Display all floors

Philippine soldiers on an Armoured Personnel Carrier participate in the re-enactment of events leading to the fall of the dictatorship of then president Ferdinand Marcos during the 27th anniversary of the People Power revolution at the People Power Monument in Manila on Monday. — AFP
It is indeed very practical that the party is  judge, legislator, head of the army, executor  and  publisher  all in one in China.

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Post time 2013-2-25 23:22:06 |Display all floors

Aquino wrong by rights
By Mark Dearn

MANILA - An effigy of Philippine President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino burned in front of the Malacanang Palace in Manila this week as thousands of people took to the streets on Human Rights Day. The annual mobilization is of increasing significance to Philippine activists, often the targets of human-rights violations the government is failing to tackle.

In spite of Aquino's repeated rhetoric of reformism, backed by his story of being the son of a victim of an extra-judicial killing - Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino, the anti-Marcos senator assassinated in 1983 on the tarmac of the Manila airport that now bears his name - the killing of campaigning activists have not ebbed.

Indeed, the promotion last week of a military general with a well-known abduction case pending against him was seen as a bitter slight amidst a human rights-themed week during which the army aimed to promote an image of working for "human rights-based governance" and the government launched an inter-agency committee focused on solving and prosecuting old and new human rights cases.

In Aquino's state of the nation address in June he emphasized: "We will protect everybody's rights, even of those who oppose us." However, rights alliance Karapatan estimates that in the two years to that moment - the duration of Aquino's presidency - there were 99 extra-judicial killings, 11 enforced disappearances, 67 cases of torture and 216 cases of illegal arrest with detention.

False dawns
The year began with hope of a human-rights breakthrough. An arrest warrant was issued for General Jovito Palparan under charges related to the 2006 kidnapping of two still missing University of the Philippines students and a peasant farmer now believed to be dead. But Palparan, a man loathed and feared in equal measure by activists for his record of abuses and unabashed vitriol for leftists, has disappeared, surfacing only through statements decrying the legitimacy of the court case against him.

Progress in the country's other headline human-rights story, 2009's "Maguindanao massacre", has been sluggish at best. Three years on there are no convictions for the 57 killings, with 93 wanted men still at large.

The year has also been marked by increasing international recognition that Aquino's rights rhetoric is failing to match reality. In May's Universal Periodic Review of the United Nations' Human Rights Council, 22 countries lined up to condemn continuing extra-judicial killings, enforced disappearances, torture, and impunity in the Philippines.

The United States noted that "impunity in human-rights violations" continues; France was "alarmed by extra-judicial killings and enforced disappearances and continuing violations against journalists and human-rights defenders"; Japan said, "extra-judicial killings continue as a significant political issue". Six countries asked the Philippines to act on the unmet requests of UN special rapporteurs to visit the Philippines to examine the human-rights situation.

In July, Dutch national and land reform campaigner Willem Geertman was shot dead just outside his office in Central Luzon. While the government initially followed the police line of a robbery gone wrong, witnesses reported Geertman as having been forced to his knees before being executed with shots to the head. Fellow campaigners have pointed to "military agents" as culpable.

In the same month, a joint statement from the UN Special Rapporteurs on human-rights defenders, and on extra-judicial, summary or arbitrary executions, told of a "significant increase" in reports of killings and death threats against human-rights defenders since the murder of Italian priest Fausto Tenorio in 2011.

Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have also been scathing in their criticism. Human Rights Watch's 2012 World Report notes "the military and police still commit human rights violations with impunity", with the government making "little progress" in spite of its promises.

Nominal pressure has been exerted by the US. However, while the Philippine government is keen to recoup the US$10 million withheld from its military aid conditional on improvement in human rights violations, it represents only 10% of a military assistance budget that is unlikely to wane in the face of increasing tensions in the South China Sea.

The political will of Aquino to carry through his claimed reformist mantra is questionable. Human rights rapporteurs are refused entry, and human rights specialists who have engaged in work with the administration speak of little determination to reform. Given the significant institutional blocks to meaningful human-rights reform, without strong political will there remains little hope of progress.

The cases of Palparan and the Maguindanao massacre demonstrate that the move from arrest warrant to arrest, prosecution and conviction is seldom achieved in the Philippine criminal justice system. Prominent voices on the need for judicial reform, such as renowned human-rights lawyer Jose Manuel Diokno, have spoken of the continued presence of political "backers" in a flawed judicial system, with a particular focus on the Supreme Court.

The European Union, building on an 18-month project to improve prosecution of human-rights cases which ended last year, plans the launch of a "justice for all" program that will channel some 10 million euros (US$12.9 million) to 2015 in the hope of generating equitable access to justice and an improvement in criminal justice for "disadvantaged" groups, including human rights and social activists.

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Post time 2013-2-25 23:22:46 |Display all floors
Entrenched clientilism
At the political level, the Maguindanao massacre was a signpost of the entrenched national-provincial clientilism that remains a hallmark of the Philippine political system. The accused Ampatuan clan brought national electoral victories to then president Gloria Arroyo in 2004; her closest rival recorded no votes in three towns under the clan's control.

In 2006, Arroyo issued Executive Order 546, allowing local officials to hold private armies to fight insurgents; the Ampatuan private army was instead used to ensure it would retain the perks of office. Aquino made an election promise to revoke the order. He has failed to do so.

Beyond private militias lies the reform of a military that remains politicized and far from under civilian control. The military has long considered itself a bulwark against communist insurgency, with its leaders often seeing themselves as leading a crusade against a political party of which membership is not illegal. While the military's political influence has oscillated, under former dictator Ferdinand Marcos it gained increasing political influence, size and funding, rising to become what one academic termed Marcos' "Praetorian Guard".

Article 2 of the 1987 Constitution declares that civilian authority is "at all times, supreme over the military", yet the reality of interdependence between civilian and military elites seems to remain.

Palparan's self-avowed anti-communist political party, Bantay, was barred by the Philippine Commission on Elections (Comelec) from running in upcoming elections under the party-list system, created to ensure marginalized groups are represented in congress but subsequently used by non-marginalized groups to secure seats.

Palparan himself held a seat until he became a fugitive from the law. Comelec based its decision on the notion that an anti-communist platform did not represent a "marginalized" sector. The Supreme Court overruled the decision last month stating Comelec arbitrarily limited the definition of "marginalized".

Last month's promotion of Colonel Eduardo Ano to brigadier general and chief of the army intelligence service came while he faces charges in connection with the 2007 abduction of Jonas Burgos. The case is undergoing preliminary investigation at the Department of Justice. As a Philippine Daily Inquirer editorial outlined, the move "casts doubt on the sincerity of Mr Aquino to strengthen the human-rights plank of his administration".

With elections looming, Aquino will be keen to make progress on the cases of the Maguindanao massacre and Palparan. Success in either would be well publicized and lend credence to his reform rhetoric. However, halting abuses against grassroots activists - the cases that continue to remain off the radar of the mainstream media - will be the real test of a reform effort that must cut across political and legal systems and create a new dynamic between civilians and the military.

When US President Barack Obama visited Myanmar last month, the Wall Street Journal reported that he elaborated "a sweeping vision... of an American-style democracy, where the military takes orders from civilians and human-rights are respected". It is almost 70 years since the end of the American colonial era and the establishment of Asia's oldest democracy, and more than 25 years since the Philippines so-called "re-democratization", yet these two fundamental tenets of liberal democracy remain elusive.

Mark Dearn is based in Manila where he works in policy for an NGO and as a freelance journalist. He has worked for the Independent, Chunichi Shimbun, and Think Africa Press, and written for openDemocracy, Africa-Asia Confidential and the Royal African Society, among others. He holds a master's degree in politics from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London.

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Post time 2013-2-25 23:31:37 |Display all floors
ASIA Times - online

A Chinese controlled media like China Daily, Peoples Daily, etc.

Nlo match to the free international media !

It is indeed very practical that the party is  judge, legislator, head of the army, executor  and  publisher  all in one in China.

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Post time 2013-2-26 00:07:40 |Display all floors
The Philippines are by no means perfect. There are a lot of short comings

But ...

the people, the media, the politicians are not shy to talk about the past.

There are countries they want to forget the past, because they are the heirs.
It is indeed very practical that the party is  judge, legislator, head of the army, executor  and  publisher  all in one in China.

Use magic tools Report

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