duterte 2Akbayan partylist condemns Duterte's public threat to shoot human rights groups. The threat comes at a time when Oplan Tokhang has reached its bloodiest and human rights groups are needed to watch over the government's operations.

This statement is in response to Duterte's threat on Wednesday in a Volunteers against Crime and Corruption (VACC) event that he'll order police to shoot down human rights advocates who are critical of his murderous anti-drug campaign.

"Duterte has made killing machines out of our police force and now he's ordered them to train its sights on human rights groups," Akbayan President Machris Cabreros said.

Duterte's police operations have caused an uproar with 32 people killed in Bulacan in 24 hours on Tuesday and 19 killed in Manila on Wednesday. Akbayan Cong Tom Villarin in his statement has called out the raid killings.

cayetanoAkbayan Party-list slammed Department of Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Cayetano for toeing China’s false claims that reclamation has ceased in the West Philippine Sea.

The statement is in response to photos from Washington think-tank Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) showing that China’s reclamation activities in the disputed West Philippine Sea still continued beyond 2015, debunking the claims of Cayetano and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi.

The latest report dated August 5, 2017 show that China continues to reclaim land farther north of the South China Sea in the Paracel islands.

“With these latest reports showing China’s continuing expansion, Cayetano is caught, pants down, on his false claims submitting to China’s position,” Akbayan Party President Machris Cabreros said. 

studentAkbayan Party lauds the passage of two Akbayan reforms today: the Free Education Law and the Anti-Hospital Deposit Law.  

The Free Education Law provides free tuition for students who enroll in state universities and colleges (SUCs) and subsidy for private school students.   

The Anti-Hospital Deposit Law strengthens law against hospitals imposing restrictions on patients who either can't pay or show proof of financial capacity.   

Both laws are authored by Senator Risa Hontiveros and Cong Tom Villarin. These laws dismantle institutional and legal obstacles that keep these crucial social services away from the poor.  

"Despite Duterte's attacks against the opposition, Akbayan has proven that it continues to win important reforms for the people," Akbayan Party President Machris Cabreros said.  

"We are fulfilling what we have committed to do as a party by not only calling out excesses of this government especially against the poor but by also continuing to deliver key reforms that speaks of our hard work in both houses of Congress," Cabreros said.### 

tom villarinPrivilege speech of Akbayan Partylist Rep. Tom Villarin

July 31, 2017


Madam Speaker, distinguished colleagues.

In his State of the Nation Address last July 24, 2017, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte criticized the Commission on Human Rights for looking at human rights from just one lens.

He said: "Do not make it a one-sided affair. I will not allow it. As President, I will not allow it. Patas tayo. Justice for all. What is sauce for the gander is sauce for the goose. If you have not investigated the deaths of my police and military men, do not *#%% with us.”

President Duterte also defended the military on allegations of human rights abuses in areas where martial law is imposed. “There can never be a violation of martial law. Because even the killing itself is already a violation of human rights."

quiapo eid mubarak 01 CNNPHThe proposal to issue identification cards to Muslim member of communities in Central Luzon is not only offensive to the faith, it also violates freedoms that individuals should enjoy regardless of their religion: right to movement, to privacy, of expression, to equal treatment before the law and the right to exercise their faith without fear of reprisal and being singled out.

This proposal, which the regional military and police officials admitted to media was aimed at rooting out terrorist elements, also perpetuates stereotypes against the Muslim community as violent, and a hotbed of terrorism.

It does not help when the president himself  blames Muslims for allowing these terrorists to infiltrate areas like Marawi. Such victim blaming only worsens the oppression of othering and marginalization that Muslims face on a day to day basis in the Philippines.

It thus falls upon the Duterte administration to put its efforts into stopping these schemes that do not address the problem of terrorism and has only helped to escalate the violence and the body count. It should order the LGUs, the PNP and the AFP to desist from implementing the Muslim ID system or from replicating it anywhere in the country. It should lift ML in Mindanao which has proven inutile in staming down on the Maute terrorists.

We must remind our security forces that in our earnest zeal to pursue and defeat terrorists, that our responses be strategic and inclusive, sensitive to the beliefs of others, and unburdened by hatred and prejudice. Otherwise we risk running around in blood-soaked circles cycles while the  terrorists succeed in dividing and making us live in fear of each other.