From International Rehabilitation Center for Torture Victims (IRCT)
MAG is one of the most active organisations advocating for the right to health of torture survivors that I have worked with in the region. From the day I knew MAG, there have been relentless efforts engaging with different stakeholders especially health related bodies and institutions to promote proper documentation of torture and to strengthen various guidelines and the IRR of the new Anti-Torture Law.
MAG grabs the momentum of changes and strives for pushing the right to health to higher public agenda. I just want to congratulate MAG for all the remarkable work and I would like to wish MAG a smashing birthday!
Chian Yew Lim
From The World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT)
The World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) wishes to warmly congratulate the Medical Action Group on its 28th Anniversary.
Geneva, December 3, 2010
From International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW)
Message of Solidarity
For twenty-eight years, Medical Action Group has led the effort to promote health and human rights for all Filipinos. In so doing, MAG has provided powerful example to the world about the unique role that physicians and health care workers can, and must, play in the preservation and promotion of peace with justice.
As one of 63 national members of International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, MAG has been a stalwart supporter of the global medical movement to eliminate the nuclear threat. These are not weapons at all. They are illegitimate instruments designed to commit mass genocide on an unprecedented scale. The mere existence of nuclear arms is a negation of the fundamental principles of human rights. They beckon the end human history.
The work of MAG is furthermore an important contribution to IPPNW’s concern for the continuum of armed violence that undermines health and human rights for millions of people on a daily basis.
On this occasion marking your 28th Anniversary and 19th General Assembly, we extend not only our sincere congratulations, but also our profound thanks, to MAG and all of its members throughout the Philippines for you tireless efforts in pursuit of a healthier, more peaceful world that uphold the rights and dignity of every human being.
You honor IPPNW with your continued participation in our work.
With every good wish,
From the Commission on Human Rights (CHR)
On behalf of the Commissioners, Central Office and Regional Directors and employees of the Commission on Human Rights, I would like to extend our warmest greetings to the Medical Action Group (MAG), its officers and members, on the occasion of its 28th Anniversary celebration today and the holding of its 19th General Assembly.
The holding of these two activities today is simply remarkable, for not only does it mark another milestone in your long history of service to the Filipino people, almost one generation long, it also affirms the continuing vibrancy and organizational dynamism of your organization.
Your long history of struggle, sacrifice and service straddles two distinct but related periods in the history of our nation – the dark years of martial law and dictatorship and our continuing post-Marcos struggle for democratization, justice and human rights. As an organization of medical workers, you have attend not only to the health needs of our poor and oppressed countrymen, you have also attended to the social, economic and political ills that continues to be a source of inspirations, especially to the younger generation who were not yet there with us during our anti-dictatorship struggle, but who would greatly benefit from imbibing the same spirit of service that they would need as they face their own challenges in our present-day realities.
Today, these new challenges still take the form of monitoring cases of torture, enforced disappearances and extrajudicial killings, but under new conditions where we have new laws providing for the protection of the rights of our people against these old maladies. Your organization and the Commission on Human Rights have been partners, for instance, in the crafting of the Anti-Torture Law of 2009 and in the drafting of its Implementing Rules and Regulations. The same has been true the IHL Law, also enacted last year. We are now also engaged in efforts to push for the ratification of the Optional Protocol of the Convention Agaisnt Torture (OPCAT) which would allow for jail visitations by the Subcommittee for the Prevention of Torture, and by its national counterpart, the National Preventive Mechanism, which will be established within one year of ratification. We are also pushing together and with other civil society organizations for the ratification of the Convention for the Protection of All Persons Against Enforced Disappearances and for the enactment into law of the bill criminalizing enforced disappearances in our country.
These and other tasks lie ahead of us, advocates of human rights. We are happy and we are honored that MAG is there with us in that continuing struggle. As we try to express this in our slogan for our Human Rights Day celebration next week,’ Karapatang Pantao: Sama-sama sa Isang Daan.”
Mabuhay po kayo! Maraming salamat!
Chairperson Loretta Ann P. Rosales
From Sulong CARHRIHL:
As we are all caught in the dawn of the new administration, we are one with you in hope and prayers for the observance of human rights and the attainment of a lasting peace. We are one with you in overcoming the challenges of the past that we have yet to resolve and of the challenges in the future that we have yet to understand.
We hope that MAG and Sulong CARHRIHL can continue to work as partners not only in our current projects but to expand our partnership further in bringing much needed health services in the areas affected by the armed conflict. We also hope to work with MAG to include health as a basic component in the initial action response to these communities and to include a medical professional with each of the action response team that will be formed in the areas.
Lastly, Sulong CARHRIHL would like to congratulate MAG on its 28 years of relentless service to the country. We admire your determination in delivering and calling for health services for all especially for those who needs them the most. We hope that your work will continue to be an inspiration to other organizations, medical professionals and health institutions in the country.
Ms. Joeven Reyes, Executive Director
From Families of Victims of Involuntary Disappearances (FIND)
To our dear friends at MAG:
The Families of Victims of Involuntary Disappearance (FIND) warmly congratulates you as you celebrate your 28th year of existence in the struggle for health and human rights for all. We all know that such struggle has been full of difficulties and challenges but you have surmounted it all.
As we take this opportunity to thank you for the strong and reliable partnership as well as the warm friendship and genuine concern that you have shown to the desaparecidos, their families, the FIND staff and to FIND as an organization, we wish you more power in advancing the people’s right to health amidst old and new challenges.
Mabuhay kayong lahat!
Ms. Wilma Q. Tizon, Secretary-General
From Children’s Legal Rights and Development Center, Inc. (CLRD)
The Children’s Legal Rights and Development Center, Inc. congratulates the Medical Action Group for its 28th year of relentless effort in promoting human rights especially the right to health.
You have moved and touched so many lives through your untiring support to protect the human rights of the marginalized people especially the rights of the political prisoners. You also left a mark of hope to the children detainees whom at one time you have helped through the medical mission organized by our organization. These children detainees, whom the society escapes notice of and are left to oblivion, cherished this brief but meaningful encounter with you in the said medical mission, you have left a part of yourselves to them. We hope to partner with you again in this meaningful endeavour.
With passionate souls in you sharing the same goal of creating a universal culture of human rights, hope springs eternal for all of us.
Thank you and wishing you more anniversary celebrations!!!
Atty. Rowena Legaspi, Executive Director
From Former Political Prisoners:
Kami bilang bilanggong pulitikal ay nagpapaabot inyo ng isang Maligayang Araw sa inyong ika – 28 na Anibersaryo ng pagkakatatag ng Medical Action Group. Saksi ang aming hanay sa inyong walangsawang pagtulong at pag-agapay sa aming kalagayan sa loob ng at labas ng piitan kung kaya kami ay taos pusong nagpapasalamat sa inyo.
Naway ang inyong nasimulan ay lalong patuloy na umunlad at lumawak. Kami ay nagagalak sa inabot na tagumpay ng Medical Action Group. Asahan ninyo na kami ay lagi ninyong kasama sa inyongpagtahak para makamit ang makabuluhang pagbabago. Muli binabati namin kayo sa inyong ika – 28 Anibersaryo.
From Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA)
Go for the next 25 years when Human Rights perspective permeates the medical sector and when Human Rights are the preferred values expressive of the Hippocratic Oath.
Mabuhay ang MAG!
Mr. Max de Mesa, Chairperson
Al Obre (formerly KAMP Staff Member)
Happy Anniversary Po!
Pagpupugay sa inyong 28 taong pagsisikap na magbigay ng LUNAS hindi lang sa karamdaman ngkatawan lalot higit sa SAKIT ng LIPUNAN.
From Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP)
Mensahe ng Pakikiisa Sa Okasyon ng Ika-28 na Anibersaryo ng Medical Action Group, Inc. (MAG)
Isang mainit na pagbati sa inyo, aming mga kasama sa Medical Action Group (MAG) sa inyong anibersaryo ng pagkakatatag. Sa loob ng dalawampu’t walong taon, kayo ay humarap sa maraming mga pagsubok na lalong nagpapanday at nagpapatibay sa inyo sa inyong pakikibaka para sa karapatan sa kalusugan ng mamamayang Pilipino.
Sa inyong anibersaryong ito, napakaangkop ng inyong napiling tema na “Advancing the People’s Right to Health in Midst of Old and New Challenges.” Tunay na maraming hamon – luma at bago – na kailangan harapin at lagpasan. At sa pagharap sa mga pagsubok na ito ay laging dapat isaalang-alang na ang isinusulong ay ang karapating ng mamamayan.
Mabibigat ang tungkuling sa inyo ay nakaatang. Hindi madali ang magtulak ng paggalang, pagprotekta, at pagsulong ng karapatan sa kalusugan. Lalo kung ang serbisyong panlipunan, lalo na ang ang kalusugan ay hindi kasama sa binibigyan ng mataas na prayoridad ng gobyerno. Lalo kung sa pagtataguyod ng karapatan sa kalusugan ay mayroong mga binabanggang mga institusyon o mga taong nasa kapangyarihan. At higit lalo kung ang mga pinagseserbisyuhan ay ang siyang mga inaapi at ang mga walang kalaban-laban.
Ang Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP) ay nakikiisa sa inyong patuloy na pagpupunyagi. Kami ay kasama ninyong patuloy na magseserbisyo para maisulong ang karapatang pantao.
Tunay na maraming hamon at pagsubok. Ngunit sa sama-sama nating pagkilos, tayo ay nakakaranas ng maliliit na tagumpay na syang tumutulak sa atin upang patuloy na makibaka. Ang ating mga pinaglilingkuran ang siya ring ating insipirasyon upang patuloy na manindigan.
Muli, ang aming pagbati sa inyo. Mabuhay kayong lahat. Padayon!
Mr. Emmanuel Amistad, Executive Director
From Freedom from Debt Coalition (FDC)
It brings us great news to celebrate the 28th year of the Medical Action Group. As a development organization. MAG has made its indelible mark in the arena of health for all. It has institutionalized itself in the field of health and human rights and that by itself, among many and various achievements of MAG, brings us pride and joy to be a continuing partner.
FDC also extends its heartfelt gratitude to MAG for its continuing partnership with us in our campaigns and advocacy endeavours to bring the issues of health and debt in the halls of the executive, the legislative and the communities you serve.
The challenges ahead for MAG will surely be hurdled with much aplomb by its very able officers and management staff. It will be a standard among health and human rights development organizations to emulate and uphold.
Most of all, people from the grassroots who have the most need for unparalleled health and human rights programs and services will find a truly rewarding champion that is MAG.
Mr. Milo Tanchuling, Secretary-General
From Balay Rehabilitation Center
PAHAYAG NG PAKIKIISA SA IKA-28 TAONG PAGSUSULONG NG MEDICAL ACTION GROUP (MAG) SA KARAPATANG PANGKALUSUGAN AT KARAPATANG PANTAO PARA SA LAHAT
Ang araw na ito ay sadyang makasaysayan para sa Medical Action Group hindi lamang dahil ginugunita ng buong mundo ang taunang pandaigdigang pagdiriwang ng United Nations Declaration of Human Rights kundi ang pagdiriwang din ng MAG ng ika – 28 taong paninilbi at pakikibaka sa karapatang pangkalusugan at karapatang pantao para sa lahat.
Hindi lingid sa ating kaalaman na ang MAG ay itinatag ni Sen. Jose Diokno noong 1982 kasama ng ilang makabayang manggagamot sa panahon ng rehimeng Marcos na kung saan labis-labis ang panunupil at paglabag sa karapatang pantao ng mga sibilyang walang takot na lumalaban sa kanyang rehimen. Sa panahong ito, libo-libong bilanggong pulitikal ang nakapiit sa ibat-ibang kulungan sa buong bansa at gayundin ang libu-libong pamilyang nagdurusa sa pagkawalay ng kanilang mahal na ama’t ina.
Sa loob ng 28 taon, ang MAG ang isa sa mga nangunguna sa pagbibigay tulong medikal sa mga bilanggong pulitikal at mga nasa laya na kasama ang kani-kanilang mga pamilya. Nangunguna din sa madugong dispersal sa mga kilos protesta, marahas at madugong pagbuwag sa picket line ng mga manggagawa. Hindi alintana ang layo at liblib ang mga lugar na kung saan may komunidad na naipit sa armadong tunggalian na ihatid ang tulong medikal sa pamamagitan ng kanilang Outreach Medical Missions.
Sa mga nakaraang taon, ang Balay at MAG ay masugid na isinulong ang kampanya laban sa torture hanggang sa maisabatas an RA 9745 o yong tinatawag na Anti-Torture act of 2009, isang mahalagang hakbang sa pagbura ng kultura ng karahasan sa ating bansa. Magkatuwang pa rin ang BALAY at MAGsa pagsulong ng pagraratipika n gating bansa sa OPCAT sa pamamagitan ng masusing pag-lobby sa mga ibat ibang ahensiya ng gobyerno kasama na ang House of Congress at Senate.
Ang mga nabanggit na ito ay ilan lang sa maraming gawain ng MAG na ambag o kontribusyon sa makabuluhang pagbabago sa ating lipunan. Sa loob ng 28 ng taon, marahil hindi na mabilang kung ilang bilanggong-pulitikal, ilang panilya o ilang komunidad na ang napagsilbihan ng organisasyon kasama na ang mga tapat at propesyonal na doctor, sikolihista, narses, dentist at iba pang manggagawang pangkalusugan na miyembro nito.
Sa lahat ng namumuno, kasapi at kapanalig ng Medical Action Group, buong puso kaming nagpupugay sa inyong walang sawang paninilibi sa sambayanang Pilipino. Mabuhay kayo at mabuhay tayong lahat.
Ernesto Anasarias, Executive Director
From the Asian Federation Against Involuntary Disappearances (AFAD)
To the Medical Action Group on its 19th General Assembly and 28th Anniversary celebration
On behalf of the Asian Federation Against Involuntary Disappearances (AFAD), we would like to express our warmest greetings to the officers and members of Medical Action Group on your 19th General Assembly and 28th anniversary celebration.
Your establishment 28 years ago is undoubtedly a milestone in the struggle for human rights in the country. Your years of work have proven that the health sector is a vital force not only in the promotion and defense of the right to health and other human rights for all but also by taking the forefront in the struggle against oppression and repression.
Your primary work in providing services to victims of human rights violations particularly those who are subjected to torture and abuses under official custody runs parallel and complementary to the work of AFAD. Enforced disappearance is also a form of torture. It is perpetrated not only on the disappeared person but also on his or her family. The forceful removal of any person from the protection of the law and the prolonged isolation and deprivation of communication are, in themselves, a form of cruel and inhuman treatment of victims while the uncertainty, doubt and apprehension suffered by their loved ones in their search are no less a torturous ordeal. In enforced disappearance, multiple human rights violations are committed.
The bleak human rights situation in the country gives us the reason to work harder and commit further to serve the violated, dehumanized and the downtrodden. Our years of labor for a better human rights protection have finally gained fruits in the recent passage of the anti-torture law. But we all know that this is not enough. It is imperative for us to take firm steps to see not only the eradication of torture but all also forms of human rights violations including enforced disappearance. Our joint efforts at the international level have also achieved significant progress with the entry into force of the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance on 23 December 2010 following the deposit of the 20th instrument of ratification by
Signed and authenticated by:
MUGIYANTO, Chairperson and MARY AILEEN BACALSO, Secretary-General