Four torture survivors share their “life and struggles” in a testimonial ceremony held last September 27, 2016 at the Monument of Heroes (Bantayog ng mga Bayani), a landscaped memorial center honoring the people who lived and died in defiance of martial law under then President Ferdinand Marcos.
Members of civil society organizations and faith-based associations joined the commemoration of the day when the late President Marcos placed the country under martial law on September 21, 44 years ago. Carrying pictures of victims of human rights violations, more than 1,200 participants gathered in the historic Plaza Miranda in Manila to remind the public that an authoritarian government should never be allowed to prevail again.
Social workers from different municipalities of North Cotabato and the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) participated in a study session on documentation and rehabilitation of torture victims in Kidapawan City on September 6 to 9, 2016. The learning event also highlighted the mechanism for monitoring, reporting, and responding to victims of grave child rights violations in areas affected by armed conflict in Mindanao.
The NPM Bill proposed by the United Against Torture Coalition (UATC) and supported by the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) was approved by the Committee on Human Rights in the House of Representatives but did not reach the plenary before the 16th Congress ended on June 30, 2016. The Senate version of the bill was discussed at the Committee of Justice and Human Rights twice at the instigation of the UATC.
The 1987 Constitution of the Philippines prohibits the use of the death penalty by stating ‘the death penalty shall not be imposed unless for compelling reasons involving heinous crimes, the Congress hereafter provides for it. Any death penalty already imposed shall be reduced to reclusion perpetua’.
Balay stands alongside martial law victims and activists against the burial of the late president Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani (LnMB). The LnMB is a national shrine meant to pay tribute to those who sacrificed their lives and brought honor to our country. It is meant to be the final resting place of dignified soldiers, heroes and martyrs. The burial of Ferdinand Marcos will defeat the very essence of LnMB.