What a (Vice) President Duterte reveals on the State of the Nation

Co-written with Jayvy Gamboa. The talks of President Duterte’s candidacy as vice president does not only draw attention to the possibility of a continued hold onto power, but also to the question of whether this is a symptom of a more fundamental problem in Philippine politics On July 26, 2021, Monday, the country is set …

Conspiracy to commit crimes against humanity

“The evidence is abundant.” Quoting from International Criminal Court (ICC) Prosecutor Ms Fatou Bensouda’s “Request for authorisation to open an investigation into the situation in the Republic of the Philippines in connection with President Duterte’s war on drugs (WoD) campaign,” I feature in this column the findings and observations of the prosecutor to support her …

Not a good time for Charter Change

“The administration, given its track record for the past five years, has lost any credibility to push for something as drastic as charter change.” Once again, the House of Representatives has voted in plenary session to amend the economic provisions of the 1987 Constitution. In essence, the amendments will add the phrase “as provided by …

Correcting the Injustices Against the Lumad Schools

Co-Authored with Vanessa Vergara ‘In light of all the issues plaguing the Lumad and Lumad schools, we have prepared the following recommendations for the consideration of the House of Representatives and other government agencies’ The following is Part 2 of a two-part series. You may read Part 1 here. The February 15 incident is just one among …

In Defense of the Lumad Schools

Co-Authored with Vanessa Vergara ‘[Students of Lumad schools] are taught to be intelligent, independent, peace-loving, and productive members of society’ The following piece is Part 1 of a two-part series. You may read Part 2 here. On May 26, the House of Representatives’ Committee on Human Rights conducted an inquiry into the February 15 raid and mass …

When Judicial Orders Become Death Warrants

Tagalog Translation; Bisaya Translation ‘[Issuing search warrants] requires judgment, circumspection, and yes, holding police power to the higher standard. After all, the greater the power, the less the excuse.’ Speaking as a lawyer and as a human rights advocate, I am twice in grief over Bloody Sunday, the massacre of nine human rights activists and …

Gross Violations of IP and Children Rights

“These incidents deserve attention from the United Nations Special Rapporteur for Indigenous Peoples.” The baseless arrest in Cebu last week of the Salugpongan teachers and elders and the forced abduction of the Lumad children are gross violations of their human rights under international and Philippine law. In particular, the Duterte government violated their right to …

United We Stand. Divided Is Not An Option.

Co-authored with Rose Angelique Dizon. ‘We – UP administrators, professors, students, researchers, administrative and support staff, alumni, all academics in the country, and all Filipinos of good will – must all stand together against this travesty’ Humayo’t itanghal, giting at tapangMabuhay ang Iskolar ng Bayan– UP Naming Mahal The campuses of the University of the …

Justice Leonen and the Marcos-Robredo Case

Citing Associate Justice Marvic Leonen’s alleged well-documented bias against him and his family, Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. is asking the Supreme Court, sitting as Presidential Electoral Tribunal, to re-raffle his electoral protest case and for Leonen, to whom the case is assigned, to inhibit from the case. The rules for voluntary inhibition of judge or …

Gross Violations of Due Process in Anti-Terror Law Rules

Co-authored with Joy Reyes. The following is Part 2 of a two-part series. You can read Part 1 here. Proscription, differentiated from designation, is the process by which the Court of Appeals declares a group of persons, organization, or association as a terrorist upon the verified application of the DOJ with recommendation from the NICA and …