Commentary

Manifesto by the Cebu for Human Rights (C4HR)

Naay dugo ang atong mga kamot.
(There is blood in our hands.)

Samtang kita nagpakahilom, nagpaka buta-bongol sa mga panghitabo karon.
(While we remain silent, blind and deaf to what is happening.)

Ang dugo ni mantsa sa atong mga kamot, sa atong kalawasan, sa atong huna-huna ug sa atong kalag.
(The blood stains our hands, our bodies, our minds, and souls.)

Yes, there is blood in our hands.

More than 10,000 people— men, women and children killed since the Philippine government launched its war against drugs in 2016.

Our democratic institutions, the Supreme Court, Congress and even constitutional bodies like the Commission on Human Rights and the Ombudsman are being shaken.

The Fourth Estate, the news media, is being challenged by trolls, fake news and dishonest bloggers.

Critics of the government and advocates of human rights are being persecuted and jailed on trumped-up charges.

Even our values, goodness, respect for human life, our freedoms, the rule of law, are being questioned.

We cannot be silent anymore. We cannot be in hiding anymore. We cannot continue to be in fear of reprisal, of fake charges and even extra-judicial killing.

We have to go into the light.

We have to take back our power. Atong kuhaon ug balik ang atong gahum!

Our 1987 Constitution states that “The Philippines is a democratic and republican State. Sovereignty resides in the people and all government authority emanates from them.”

We, the people, in exercise of our sovereign rights, demand from the Philippine Government that it reinforces the Constitution’s provisions on social justice, full respect for human life, and the dignity of every human person.

We will document human rights violations and we will ask the Philippine government to address and respond to this.

We will take direct action!

We will act through peaceful means.

To all our fellow sovereign Filipino people, with the aid of Almighty God, we ask you to join us!

Let us rebuild “a just and humane society” and re-establish a “Government that embodies our ideals and aspirations, promote the common good, conserve and develop our patrimony, and secure to ourselves and our posterity the blessings of independence and democracy under the rule of law and a regime of truth, justice, freedom, love, equality, and peace…”

Daghang salamat!

CONVENORS:

Atty. Democrito C. Barcenas

Atty. Lourdes U. Barcenas

Atty. Magdalena R. Lepiten

Atty. Myrfi Gonzalez

Atty. Vince Isles

Atty. Jay Pujanes

Atty. Fionah L. Bojos

Mr. Bien Fernandez

Mr. Haley Atienza

 

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