10 Aug Human Rights? Ano Yun??



JUAN SAYS: Everyday our human rights are violated. But nobody picks up the baton and wages war . Yet when lives are lost, most of which are those who have ruined other people’s lives (thus making them the prime violators of their rights), people are fighting tooth and nail for it. Atty. Bruce Rivera explains it better than we can.



I am one with the Catholic Church, CHR and Senator de Lima in upholding the sancity of a human life. I am proud to have taught Human Rights in San Beda and what I have learned is that the human rights many of the HR activists are talking about are those found in the Bill of Rights (Article 3 of the 1987 Constitution)

However, the Bill of Rights is only one aspect of human rights that admits of a much broader scope. The International Declaration of Human Rights will tell us that it not just the rights of an accused that is protected. And HR activists will tell me, but the Bill of Rights is the most violated.

I beg to disagree.

If you are talking to a citizen of the US or other first world country, that may be true. But from a Philippine perspective, this is so not true. Every day, every Filipino suffers from a deprivation of a human right. A lesbian couple who wants to get married is not given the right to be happy. A transgender not recognized in the gender he or she recognizes is deprived of his right to be a person. A person who buys water because he cannot drink the water from the faucet is deprived of his right to clean water. An indigenous person who is forced out of his ancestral domain because of a mining operation is deprived of his right to self-identity. A father who does not feel safe even in his own home because of the brazen criminality is deprived of his right to peace of mind. A person who believes what mainstream media told him is deprived of his right to honest public information.

When you are so afraid of intimacy because of the HIV scourge violates your right to the pursuit of happiness. These are law- abiding Filipino citizens whose human rights are being trampled on a daily basis. Even a slow internet is now considered a violation of human right. But the HR rights activists are not even pointing that out.

It is your job to point out violations of the police or the government pertaining to extrajudicial killings. And true that you have to give protection to an accused who is presumed innocent until proven guilty. But if that is what you will only talk about and in the process, disregard the basic human rights suffered by every law-abiding Filipino then that is a violation of human right itself.

When poor farmers who were so hungry they had to protest were shot, why was the outcry not as thunderous as the outcry now? Hungry poor farmers need more protection and support than suspected drug pusher who had guns, right?

I believe in the heirarchy of things. Hence, should we at least give premium to the law-abiding and productive members of society than those who disobey it especially when both are marginalized.

Yes there is a reason to cry and be angry at the spate of killings. It only shows the extend evil men can go just to protect their own. But, if you really care, try to look at the daily human rights violations committed on the normal law-abiding tax paying Filipino and also be angry about it. So at least we will not feel left out because it seems you need to commit a crime to gain your piety.

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