A Philippine Human Rights NGO providing Psychosocial Services and Rehabilitation to Internally Displaced Persons and Survivors of Torture and Organized Violence.

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Latest News

Human rights groups have welcomed the conviction of a police officer  implicated in the torture of  a detainee in the verdict made by the Municipal Trial Court in Angeles City, Pampanga  on March 29, 2016.  In his decision, Judge Ireneo  Panganiban Jr.,  has found guilty Police Officer 2  Jerick Jimenez of subjecting  Jerryme Corre to severe pain and suffering to make him admit to a crime in violation of Republic Act 9745 or the Anti-Torture Act.

The court decision is  the first of its kind since the Anti-Torture Law was enacted in 2009.  The judge had ordered PO2 Jimenez to be jailed for a maximum period of two years and four months. He also directed the convicted police officer to pay the victim P100,000.00 in moral damages.

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Balay Rehabilitation Center held a Seminar on Torture Prevention, Monitoring, Documentation and Reporting for Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) Wardens and Health Officer Torture in Cebu last March 30, 2016. The speakers include former Commission on Human Rights Regional Director Atty. Alejandro Alonso Jr., officials from the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology National Headquarters and representatives from Balay Rehabilitation Center. Participants composed of 55 BJMP Wardens and Jail Officers from different jails in the Visayas.

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Professionals  from different government agencies participated in a study session on torture prevention and rehabilitation organized by Balay Rehabilitation Center  in  Albay in Bicol province on February 23-24, 2016. The 2-day activity gathered 36 participants which included   healthcare providers, lawyers, and social workers from the regional offices of the Department of Health, Department of Social Welfare and Development, the Public Attorney’s Office. Members of the Philippine National Police, the Department of Justice, and civil society organizations  in Albay province and Naga City  also joined the event.

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Statement: Justice for the Killing of Lumads

October is Indigenous Peoples Month

PRESS STATEMENT

JUSTICE FOR THE SLAIN LUMAD LEADERS; LET THE INDIGENOUS PEOPLES LIVE IN THEIR LANDS WITH JUSTICE AND PEACE

The Lumads in Southern Mindanao have long been victims of armed conflict in the Philippines. During the 1980s, state sponsored resettlement programs resulted to their displacement from their ancestral domains. Accompanying this are various human rights violations such as militarization and deprivation of their basic right to education and social services. Their stories are either ignored or left untold.

On September 1, 2015, three Lumad leaders were killed by alleged members of paramilitary groups in Lianga, Surigao del Sur. These incidents were witnessed by their families and neighbors. The Lumad communities in Lianga, San Agustin, Marihatag, San Miguel and Tago, Surigao del Sur felt insecure and unprotected as a result of the killings. The presence of the military have not assuage their fears. They fled to seek safety elsewhere. This disrupted their economic activities and their usual socio-cultural undertaking. Their displacement has also exposed them to greater risks to their safety, health, and well being.

According to the CHR-CARAGA’s progress report, around 3,237 indigenous people (IP) including men, women and children are now taking temporary shelter in Surigao del Sur Complex in Tandag City. Safety inside the shelter is being observed. Some indigenous peoples are concerned with their children’s education hampered by the displacement.

We at Balay, condemns the killing of the Lumads. The incident is a blatant affront to their human rights. We call for the prompt and impartial investigation and resolution of the case in order to achieve justice and responsible people are made accountable. We also implore the duty-bearers to attend to the needs of the displaced peoples and take steps to protect them from harm as provided for by the UN Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement.

While Balay is in solidarity with people, groups and organizations who call for justice, we also appeal to the Philippine Senate for the immediate passage of the HB 4774 and Senate Bill 2785 entitled Rights of the Internally Displaced Persons Act.