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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


July 4, 2016


Human rights group condemns the killing of woman human rights defender, appeals to Duterte for justice

The Medical Action Group (MAG), health and human rights group appeals to the government to take immediate and concrete actions to investigate the killing of human rights defender in Mariveles, Bataan.

A day after President Rody Duterte sworn into office, Gloria Capitan, president of Samahan ng Nagkakaisang Mamamaya ng Lucanin (SNML) and woman human rights defender, of Barangay Lucanin in Mariveles, Bataan, slain on Friday night.

Two still unidentified motorcycle-riding men reportedly gunned down Gloria Capitan. Based on police report, Efren Capitan, 58, Lucanin barangay kagawad, said his wife Gloria, 57, sustained three gunshot wounds, two in the neck and one in the arm from caliber .45 revolver.

Gloria Capitan, “Ate Glo”, as she was fondly called by everyone, as president of SNML and known environmental rights defender of Mariveles, Bataan actively involved in opposing the construction and presence of huge coal stockpiles facility located inside the Seafront Shipyard and Port Terminal Services Corporation, near their neighborhood owned by the Limay Bulk and Terminal Handling Corp. 

Today June 26, IRCT members Balay Rehabilitation Center, Inc. and Medical Action Group (MAG) launch report on torture and right torehabilitation in the Philippines -


It is high time that the Philippines government put action behind the pronouncements and adequately fund the national rehabilitation programme. End torture impunity and #SupportLifeAfterTorture



The UN Committee against Torture is calling on the Government of the Philippines to fully implement a national rehabilitation programme, to ensure effective investigations into torture allegations and to make a public statement at the highest level that torture will not be tolerated. The recommendations follow a two-day hearing in Geneva where the Committee carefully scrutinised the performance of the Philippine Government in eradicating torture.

As part of the hearings, IRCT members Balay Rehabilitation Centre (Balay) and Medical Action Group (MAG) produced extensive background information on rehabilitation, investigation and prosecution for torture and travelled to Geneva to brief the Committee on their key concerns. Greatly appreciated by the Committee, Balay and MAG’s input was extensively utilised by the Committee in its assessment.

May 10, 2016

Make Health a Priority

Now that the election is over and the Filipino people have already made a decision for a meaningful change, we, the Medical Action Group, a health and human rights non-governmental organization, call on everyone especially the new administration to make health a priority if elected to office and all the voters to consider health as the defining factor for rebuilding our nation
We urge the new administration to commit itself and demonstrate its political will to ensure the availability and accessibility of quality and affordable health care for each and every Filipino.

Health is fundamental to our personal well-being and ability to become productive members of society. The 1987 Constitution and several international human rights instruments explicitly recognize health as a human right as they provide obligations to the State to protect and promote the right to health of the people and instill health consciousness among them. Universal health care is supposed to provide for the protection and promotion of the right to health and the adoption of an integrated and comprehensive approach to health development. This should mean that no one should be denied of adequate health care not even those without the means to pay.
Statement delivered by representative of the Medical Action Group (MAG) and the United Against Torture Coalition (UATC)- Philippines on the situation of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment (CIDT) in the Philippinesduring the NGO briefing, 26th April 2016,  for the UN Committee Against Torture (CAT) 57th session review of the Philippines on 27th and 28th April in Geneva, Switzerland.

The report submitted by the Government of the Philippines in relation to the Committee has been reviewed with care. We, the Medical Action Group (MAG) a national health and human rights non-government organization in the Philippines and a member of the United Against Torture Coalition (UATC)-Philippines, and the International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims (IRCT), note with great concern the following issues:

Prompt and effective medical documentation, and training of medical doctors

The anti-torture mandates detailed medico-legal examinations when there are allegations or other indications of torture and ill-treatment. However, there are insufficient legal safeguards for detainees including but not limited to restricted access to independent doctors and failure to notify detainees of their rights at the time of detention. Even when medical screening take place, they often fail to achieve their goal of identifying indications that torture has taken place. This means that full investigations are often not triggered despite clear indications that torture has taken place.

Furthermore, when there are clear allegations or other indications of torture, the medico-legal examinations carried out do not comply with the standards of the anti torture law nor the Istanbul Protocol.

MAG have observed that doctors often simply undertake a “cursory physical examination” without bothering to ask how an injury may have been sustained by the patient or not including in their report a finding that torture may have been committed. MAG particularly notes that some medical personnel experience pressure from authorities allegedly involved in torture cases. It cited incidents where police officials are present during physical and medical examinations and, in some cases, supervise the work of medical doctors themselves. There are no real safeguards in place to ensure that health personnel are not subjected to police intimidation, are able to examine victims independently of the police, and able to maintain the confidentiality of medical reports.

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