Under Philippine law the Secretary for Labor has power to assume jurisdiction over labor disputes when the national interest is at stake. Labor Secretary Patricia Sto. Tomas did just that on tuesday, 16 November 2004 when she sent in the police and the military to enforce a return-to-work order upon the workers of the Cojuangco family's most prized possession - Hacienda Luisita in Tarlac Province. The result was a bloody massacre in which seven died including two children.
STRIKING Filipino agriculture workers, including two small children were killed when police and military opened fire during a strike at a sugar plantation in Tarlac, Central Luzon. It typifies the situation in the Philippines. The vast Hacienda Luisita owned by one of the most powerful and wealthiest families were gunned without compassion or mercy. They were protesting injustice and demanding land reform.
The ongoing violence in Iraq and a rash of killings in the Philippines have made 2004 the deadliest year for journalists in a decade. According to research compiled by the Committee to Protect Journalists, 54 journalists have been killed in the line of duty so far this year, surpassing the toll in 1995, when 51 were killed, many in Algeria's bloody civil war.
Below is the pooled statement drafted by the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines and signed by close to 300 media organizations, journalists, cause-oriented groups and individuals in time for the International Human Rights Day on December 10.
The 2004 Sydney Peace Prize citation read: "In recognition of her courage in campaigning for human rights and for advocacy of non-violence as in her demands for justice for the poor, for the victims of communal violence, for the millions displaced by the Narmada dam projects and for her opposition to nuclear weapons."
In search of birds, butterflies and adventure, H. Wilfrid Walker noted in letters he sent home to his family in England, stories of his travels and the native peoples he met on his journeys. We are reprinting the photographs and the two chapters in his book that tell of his journey in the philippines which we think took place sometime between 1901 and 1904. This is the first of a three-part series
Huge challenges confronted the international human rights movement in 2003. The UN faced a crisis of legitimacy and credibility because of the US-led war on Iraq and the organization's inability to hold states to account for gross human rights violations. International human rights standards continued to be flouted in the name of the 'war on terror', resulting in thousands of women and men suffering unlawful detention, unfair trial and torture - often solely because of their ethnic or religious background. Around the world, more than a billion people's lives were ruined by extreme poverty and social injustice while governments continued to spend freely on arms.