Greetings from the Medical Action Group (MAG)!
We salute the officers, staff and members, and achievements of the Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP) in the promotion and protection of human rights throughout its 37 years of existence.
On the TFDP’s 16th National Convention, we, who have been part of the TFDP’s vibrant and glorious history, are proud to be involved with its campaign in the promotion and protection of human rights specifically on the release of all political prisoners and elimination of torture in the country.
This important gathering of the TFDP officers and members is timely and called for in order to consolidate and muster all efforts in breaking the culture of impunity that thrives in our society.
The TFDP’s 16th National Convention theme, The Right Path: Advancing Human Rights and Integrity of Integration is worth pondering and captures the elitist PNoy’s ‘matuwid na daan’.
When we talk about ‘matuwid na daan’, does not mean putting human rights on the periphery. Promoting ‘matuwid na daan’, does not mean farmers, workers and urban poor become poorer each day and continue to wallow in poverty.
The widespread poverty in the Philippines is both the product of institutional dysfunction and the failure of the government to meet its human rights obligations. There is no doubt that the deliberate violation of human rights has exacerbated already desperate conditions among the poor Filipinos.
Thus the government need to confront the problem involving shortages of the means of survival of every Filipino as human rights emergencies requiring a human rights response.
While ensuring Filipinos in need are fed today, policies and actions by the government should be devoted to sustainability. These include the crucial role that enactment and effective implementation of human rights laws must play in this context, as well as the obligation to comply with the international human rights laws and instruments. Good governance and human rights, as well as international cooperation, must therefore be at the heart of any sustainable solution to poverty by the government.
The increasing threats to human rights make the work of the TFDP more necessary and relevant. Documenting human rights violations, assisting the victims and their families seek justice, and human rights capacity building of the communities becomes doubly crucial and important in breaking impunity.
Through the years of struggle since martial law period, the TFDP with its staff and members had been an organization of untiring commitment to the defence of human dignity and for the values of human rights.
While most organizations share some common challenges, but these are the very conditions that will make the TFDP stronger and strive harder in pursuing its vision, mission and goals- ALL HUMAN RIGHTS FOR ALL.
Mabuhay ang TFDP!
(SIGNED)Petronilo Lenin Pascual, MD
Medical Action Group
September 27, 2011