APECO Grossly Violating Human Rights

December 10, 2012

Friends,
Today is Human Rights Day and the Philippines is one of many countries who, in 1948, signed on to uphold and protect the basic human rights of all people, including indigenous peoples. Yet the Philippines is, at present, allowing such a people group to have their rights grossly violated. There is no question about who owns the land which APECO is trying to take over. It belongs to the Agta. Read my dad’s article here: http://www.sil.org/~headlandt/agta.htm

An excerpt from his article:
“The Two Government-Designated Agta Land Reserves

Two political decisions in favor of the Casiguran Agta were achieved in the 1930s. In 1934 the 1.53 square-kilometer Calabgan reservation established by Turnbull twenty years earlier and cleared and cultivated by Agta at that time (Worcester 1913b; Lukban 1914; Whitney 1914; Government Printing Office 1916; Sanvictores 1923) was formally declared “for the exclusive use of the [Agta] non-Christians” by Governor General Proclamation No. 723. This document (Governor General 1935:955-57) was signed and sealed by Governor General Frank Murphy on August 21, 1934. It defines in detail the exact borders of the reservation.

In 1939, another large area of land in Casiguran was set aside for the Agta, at Kasapsapan Bay (20 kilometers northwest of the Calabgan reserve). This area, comprising 62.69 hectares, was formally reserved for the exclusive use of the non-Christian Agta by Presidential Proclamation No. 467, signed by Philippine President Manuel L. Quezon on October 9, 1939 (Quezon 1939:748-49).”

Please read this article about the Universal Declaration of Human Rights:

http://www.tempo.com.ph/2012/12/today-is-human-rights-day/#.UMVi_0JAt5w (Excerpt: “Manila, Philippines – Every year, on December 10, the international community celebrates Human Rights Day to commemorate the United Nations (UN) adoption 64 years ago on December 10, 1948, of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the foremost statements of rights and freedoms of all human beings. The Declaration has become the universal standard for promoting and protecting human rights around the globe…. The Declaration consists of a Preamble and 30 articles on a range of basic human rights and freedoms to which all men and women are entitled, without distinction. It has been accepted as a contract between governments and their peoples, and has served as foundation for more protection for vulnerable groups such as physically challenged individuals, indigenous peoples and migrant workers… In the Philippines, the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) is the lead agency for activities relating to Human Rights Day. The CHR was created as an independent body after the 1986 People Power Revolution, in Section 18, Article XIII of the 1987 Philippine Constitution, with the primary function of investigating all forms of human rights violations in the Philippines.”)

Another article, though posted back on Feb. 24, 2012, is highly informative concerning the numerous Human Rights laws APECO is violating. It begins with this statement: “President Benigno Aquino III has classified Apeco as a flagship project under his government’s public-private partnership program. Critics point out that Aquino supported the project to clinch the support of Angaras.” Read that article here: http://bulatlat.com/main/2012/02/24/bill-seeks-scrapping-of-ecozone-project-in-aurora/

More good articles:

“WHAT HAVE BEEN APECO’S REAL IMPACTS?” and subtitled, “Legalized Land-grabbing and Dislocation” can be read here:

http://immoraldebts.wordpress.com/lakad-katarungan-lakad-matuwid-na-daan-12923-ektarya-ng-apeco-ibalik-sa-mamamayan/

This article posted Dec. 7, with interesting photo:

http://immoraldebts.wordpress.com/2012/12/07/lakad-katarungan-lakad-matuwid-na-daan-casiguran-protesters-reach-homestretch-of-370-km-march-stage-exodus-drama/

This article posted Dec. 8:

http://immoraldebts.wordpress.com/2012/12/08/lakad-katarungan-lakad-matuwid-na-daan/

This article posted Dec. 9:

http://opinion.inquirer.net/42463/the-casiguran-marchers-for-life

May we all continue to pray that God will rescue the poor and the weak from those in power who are stealing their land from them.

Sincerely,
with love,
Rachel

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