I Need a Soma for the SONA…
On 28 July Pres Arroyo will be delivering her eighth SONA (State of the Nation Address). Many Filipinos around the world look forward to hearing how she can possibly defend the state of the Philippine nation as it currently stands. Just to start with there’s a rice shortage, fuel prices have skyrocketed, and more political killings have allegedly occured during her watch than the Marcos dicatatorship (relative to the lengths of time they’ve been in power).
The local chapter of Bayan (the leading Phil political org for social justice), is having an event to ‘celebrate’ this event on Sunday afternoon at Dufferin Grove Park (see details below).
The current Gloria Macapagal Arroyo (GMA) administration is actually accused of doing worse for human rights than the dictator Pres. Marcos for the length of time she’s been in office. According to a recent UNICEF book (‘Uncounted Lives: Children and Women in Conflict in the Philippines’) over 200,000 women and children have been victims of military atrocities since GMA came to power in 2001.
According to respected human rights watchdog ‘Karapatan,’ the GMA regime (from 1 Jan to 31 October 2007) is accused of:
Extra-Judicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions… 68 // 209 in 2006, [Total: 887 (since 21.1.01)]
Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances… 26 // 78 in 2006, [Total: 185]
Illegal Detention… 116
Forcible Evacuation or Displacement… 7542
Karapatan 2007 Human Rights Report: http://stopthekillings.org/stknpv2/files/karapatan_2007hr_report.pdf
UN Special Rapporteur Philip Alston confirmed much of this in his 2007 report and clearly points the finger at the government. To download his final report please visit: http://stopthekillings.org/stknpv2/?q=resources/60/alston%E2%80%99s-final-report-rp-extrajudicial-killings
In italics below is from an email I received yesterday about the Sunday event:
Date: Sunday, July 27, 2008
Time: 12-4 p.m.
Place: Dufferin Grove Park, 875 Dufferin St (in the Garrison Creek Hollow, south of the marsh fountain near Dufferin Street)
Directions: Take the Duffering 29 Bus South from Dufferin Subway Station. Get off at the stop adjacent to the Dufferin Mall entrance. Cross the Street.
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