Phone

+63 2 273 4609

Mobile

+63 928 905 5920

MAG envisions a society where fundamental human rights are upheld and protected at all times in accordance with the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights

News

MEDICAL ACTION GROUP, INC.

Health and Human Rights for All

 


June 4, 2012

To my fellow MAG members,

Warmest greetings!

I am pleased to announce the upcoming 20th General Assembly and 30th Anniversary Celebration of our organization on 13th October 2012 (Saturday).  The time and venue will be announced soon.

Highlights of our 20th General Assembly are the election of new set of Board of Trustees for 2012-2014, the Reports of the President and Treasurer on the major activities undertaken for the year 2010-2012, and the adoption of the Two-Year Thrusts and Stresses.

The organization will appreciate your early intention to participate in this endeavor by contacting us through our Facebook account http://www.facebook.com/medicalactiongroup,  website http://www.magph.org/ and email address This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. If you have new contact numbers or address kindly inform Dr. Amy Ng-Abcede at (02) 433-1594 or through her mobile no. 0928-505-7294.

From time to time, we will be communicating and sending you updates and preparation. Your presence and active participation in our upcoming General Assembly and Anniversary celebration will further strengthen our commitment towards attaining our organization’s vision of Health and Human Rights for All.

Thank you very much and more power!

 

Yours sincerely,

 

SIGNED

Petronilo Lenin Pascual, M.D.

Chairperson

Medical Action Group, Inc. (MAG)

Noting that prohibition of torture had been highlighted in the United Nations' review of the Philippine human rights report, a group over the weekend called on the government to adopt the UN call to end all forms of inhuman acts in the country.

"The Philippine government must adopt the UN Human Rights Council's recommendation to prohibit torture as this and a number of human rights violations were being highlighted in the review," the Medical Action Group (MAG) said.

The Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of the Philippine human rights report at the United Nations Human Rights Council took place last May 29.

According to MAG, the human rights issues being tackled there resonated with civil society issues, especially the absolute prohibition of torture.

MAG stressed that "victims of torture and ill-treatment should have effective access to a medical evaluation and the establishment of a rehabilitation program for torture victims.”

It noted that while some states commended the Philippines for enacting the anti-torture law, torture continues to be used by state security forces and law enforcement agencies.

MAG said that various States also called on the Philippine government to enhance human rights-based training for all law enforcement personnel on the absolute prohibition of torture and ill-treatment.

“We support the recommendations made by various states, specifically from Denmark and Ireland, to effectively implement the anti-torture act, with a particular focus on ensuring that all alleged victims of torture and ill-treatment have effective access to a medical evaluation of their injuries by institutionalizing the use of the Istanbul Protocol and the establishment of a sufficiently resourced rehabilitation program for torture victims,” MAG said.

For his part, Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA) Chairperson Max de Mesa said “the government, with its security forces, must address the continuing impunity especially of perpetrators of torture, enforced disappearance and extra-judicial killings."

He said, "the government perpetrates torture and perpetuates impunity by ignoring the exercise of its obligation of command responsibility."

"Many of the victims are human rights defenders who earlier were vilified and/or criminalized,” he added.

Sixty seven states that participated in the discussion recommended the following for the Philippine government:
  • Step up efforts to fully prohibit and address cases of torture, extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances and ensure there were mechanisms in place to address such cases;
  • Ensure that victims of torture and ill treatment had effective access to a medical evaluation; to improve the condition of prisons and detention centers;
  • Ensure adequate protection of human rights defenders and journalists and effectively investigate and prosecute attacks against journalists and to introduce into domestic laws strong legislation prohibiting these acts and imposing criminal penalties;
  • Step up efforts to combat human trafficking and strengthen relations with countries of transit and origin for victims of human trafficking and to establish programs for the rehabilitation and social integration for women victims of sexual exploitation;
  • Step up efforts to combat child labor and to fully prohibit corporal punishment; to increase measures on the rights to education to ensure equal access to education for all children, to special attention for children with disabilities and street children; and
  • Consider establishing legislation to combat discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) persons.

— Jerbert Briola /LBG, GMA News

 

Web Source: http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/260494/news/nation/phl-gov-t-urged-to-adopt-recommendations-on-absolute-prohibition-of-torture

ZAMBOANGA CITY -- Human rights groups are calling on the government to adopt the recommendation of the United Nations Human Rights Council on absolute prohibition of torture during its universal periodic review held last week in Geneva.

"A number of human rights violations, including against the freedom from torture was highlighted during the session, especially with respect to ensuring that victims of torture and ill-treatment had effective access to a medical evaluation and the establishment of a rehabilitation program for torture victims," Philippine nongovernmental organization Medical Action Group (MAG) said in a statement sent to BusinessWorld over the weekend.

The group said various countries also called on the Philippine government to enhance human rights-based training for all law enforcement personnel on the absolute prohibition of torture and ill-treatment.

The universal periodic review is a process that involves an examination of the human rights records of all 192 United Nations member states. It is considered an innovation of the UN Human Rights Council based on equal treatment for all countries.

"We support the recommendations made by various states, specifically from Denmark and Ireland, to effectively implement the Anti-Torture Act, with a particular focus on ensuring that all alleged victims of torture and ill-treatment have effective access to a medical evaluation of their injuries by institutionalizing the use of the Istanbul Protocol and the establishment of a sufficiently funded rehabilitation program for torture victims," MAG said.

Max M. de Mesa, chairperson of the Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (Pahra), in a separate statement said that the "government with its security forces must determinedly address the continuing impunity of torture, enforced disappearance and extrajudicial killings, which are mostly perpetrated and perpetuated by disregarding the exercise of its obligation of command responsibility." He also called on the government to put premium on documenting human rights abuses in Mindanao. --Amilbahar S. Mawallil



Web Source: http://www.bworldonline.com/content.php?section=Nation&title=Philippines-urged-to-implement-ban-on-tortures&id=52817

Press release

June 1, 2012

Human rights groups call on the government to adopt the recommendation on absolute prohibition of torture

The Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of the Philippines at the United Nations Human Rights Council last May 29, 2012 resonated with civil society issues regarding among others the absolute prohibition of torture.

 

“A number of human rights violations, including against the freedom from torture was highlighted during the session, especially with respect to ensuring that victims of torture and ill-treatment had effective access to a medical evaluation and the establishment of a rehabilitation program for torture victims,” Medical Action Group (MAG) said.

 

There are States commended the Philippines in enacting the Anti-Torture Law however despite this use of torture continues among and by State security forces and law enforcement agencies.

 

MAG said that various States also called on the Philippine government to enhance human rights-based training for all law enforcement personnel on the absolute prohibition of torture and ill-treatment.

 

 

30-05-2012

Torture in the Philippines was among the primary focuses of the United Nations Human Rights Council during the country’s Universal Periodic Review yesterday.

 

More than 15 states focused on torture in their recommendations to improve human rights in the Philippines. These recommendations include:

  • that the Government of the Philippines effectively implements the 2009 Anti-Torture Act, with a particular focus on ensuring that all investigations and prosecutions of allegations of torture and ill-treatment fully cover the possibility of command responsibility as stipulated in section 13 of the Act; and that all alleged victims of torture and ill-treatment have effective access to a medical evaluation of their injuries by institutionalising the use of the Istanbul Protocol, including by providing guidelines to judges, prosecutors, forensic doctors and medical personnel dealing with detained persons, to detect and document physical and psychological trauma of torture;
  • that the Government of the Philippines effectively implement the anti torture act with a special focus on responsibility of superior officers, access to a medical examination and the establishment of a sufficiently resourced rehabilitation programme for torture victims.

 

One of the main objectives of the second cycle of the UPR is to follow up to recommendations from the first UPR cycle; another objective is to ensure that recommendations are increasingly concrete and focused to promote implementation and facilitate monitoring and evaluation of these efforts.

 

The IRCT would like to commend the governments of Denmark and Ireland for making clear, concrete and focused recommendations that are highly pertinent to the specific domestic context of the Philippines, and which, if accepted and implemented, will make a real difference for access to justice and rehabilitation for torture victims in the Philippines.

 

The IRCT also welcomes the constructive approach taken by the Government of the Philippines to the UPR as clearly shown in its initiative to establish a multi-stakeholder mechanism to monitor implementation of UPR recommendations. The IRCT encourages the Government of the Philippines to accept all recommendations pertaining to torture and ill-treatment without delay so that the important national implementation work can commence immediately.

 

The Universal Periodic Review, or UPR, is a new mechanism of the United Nations to review the human rights record of all 192 member countries every four years. The Human Rights Council conducts these reviews, which result in recommendations to the state under review of ways in which they shall improve the country’s human rights situation.

Source: http://www.irct.org/media-and-resources/irct-news/show-news.aspx?PID=13767&Action=1&NewsId=3615