Anti-ADB protest in Manila: Photo slideshow

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On May 4, activists from the multisectoral group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) trooped to Roxas Boulevard in Manila to protest the ongoing 45th meeting of the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

(Read Bayan’s news release here, and more about the ADB and its role in Philippine maldevelopment here and here)

Photo slideshow: groups press for increased health budget anew

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Health advocates marched to the Senate Friday (November 26) to press anew for increased allocation for public health services in the proposed 2011 national budget. The Senate is currently reviewing the P1.645-trillion budget proposal of the Aquino administration, which critics like think tank IBON Foundation said shows a “diminishing priority for health”. The proposed budget reduced the allocation for 55 public hospitals nationwide by P363.7 million while funds for specialty hospitals like the Lung Center, Philippine Heart Center, and the Philippine Children’s Medical Center, among others, have been cut by P970.6 million. Meanwhile, debt servicing continues to eat up a major portion of the national budget with interest payments alone eating up 21.7 percent of the planned spending program. Including principal amortization, the debt burden actually represents 38.9 percent of what the Aquino administration is willing to spend in its proposed 2011 national budget (read more here).

Photo slideshow: people’s protest vs PPP summit

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Activists from various people’s organizations under the umbrella group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) today (November 18) trooped to the Manila Marriot Hotel in Pasay City where a summit aimed to promote the Aquino administration’s public-private partnership (PPP) scheme is being held. In his speech to officially open the summit, President Aquino, as expected, promised to guarantee PPP projects in a bid to attract more investors. Read more about the PPP summit here and why the people should denounce it.

“Parade of coffins”, march against Oplan Bantay Laya: a photo slideshow

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April 14, 2010 (MANILA) – A protest march in Manila was held today highlighted by a parade of mock coffins draped in flags of different people’s organizations whose leaders and members had been assassinated or abducted by elements widely believed from the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP). Human rights groups have blamed the government’s counter-insurgency program Oplan Bantay Laya (OBL) for the spate of extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances, and other forms of human rights abuses that specifically target unarmed political activists and civilian populations.

Human rights defenders and the victims’ relatives are holding accountable Gen. Jovito Palparan, Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita, Defense Secretary Norberto Gonzales, and President Gloria Arroyo herself for their role in the murderous OBL, which has since 2001 resulted in more than 1,000 cases of extrajudicial killings, more than 200 cases of enforced disappearances, as well as hundreds of illegal and politically motivated detention such as the controversial case of the Morong 43.

For more information on the human rights situation in the Philippines, please visit the Karapatan website.