Press release by KAIROS Canada:
From March 27th – April 16th, three Philippine human rights defenders will be touring across Canada to raise awareness about the grave realities of human rights violations occurring within a climate of impunity in the Philippines. The tour will expose the violence endured by women prisoners, told first-hand by two former political detainees, Dr. Merry Mia-Clamor and Ms. Angelina Bisuña Ipong, who were subjected to torture, sexual harassment and physical abuse while incarcerated. It will also feature perspectives from General Secretary of the United Church of Christ in the Philippines, Bishop Reul Marigza, who has initiated a legal case to hold former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and other top military officials legally accountable for their responsibility in human rights violations.
March 28, 2012 3-5pm
310 Dupont St., Suite 200
Saturday, March 31 3-5pm
Ontario Institute of Studies in Education,
252 Bloor St. W.
Sunday April 1, 2-4pm
320 Olmstead St.
Saturday April 7, 2-4pm
Mont Royal United Church
1800 Graham Blvd.
Town of Mont Royal
April 11, 7-9pm
159 Henderson Hwy
April 13, 2012 5pm
Bayanihan Community Centre
1709 Blanshard St.,
Unceded Coast Salish Territory
April 14, 2012 2-5pm
Sauder Industries Policy Rm
SF University-Harbour Centre
Unceded Coast Salish Territory
This tour of Philippine human rights defenders in Canada is part of an international effort organized in preparation for the upcoming UN Universal Periodic Review (UPR) session in May 2012. The human rights record of the Philippines will be under examination, and member states to the UN, such as Canada, will have the opportunity to recommend remedial action.
The delegation will visit Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Winnipeg, Vancouver. They will spend their time meeting with students, politicians, church communities and leaders, migrant and Indigenous communities. KAIROS looks forward to welcoming the delegation to Canada! We ask that you keep the delegates and their work in your prayers as they work for human rights and ecological justice in the Philippines.
For more information, please contact Connie Sorio, Asia Partnerships Program Coordinator, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dr. Merry Mia-Clamor
Coordinator of Council on Health and Development and former political Detainee (2010)
Dr. Merry Mia-Clamor, is a community health worker and currently acting coordinator of the Council for Health and Development. On February 6, 2010, she along with 42 other health workers taking part in a medical training were taken into military custody and incarcerated for ten months. They were blindfolded, subjected to physical and psychological torture, abused and interrogated without access to legal counsel. Dr. Clamor—along with most of the other 43 prisoners—was released in December 2010 after charges were dropped. She has joined with others from the group of 43 to file a civil law suit against the military, police officials and former Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, in an effort to hold the perpetrators of their torture and abuse accountable for gross violations of human rights.
Angelina Bisuña Ipong
Coordinator of the Association of Ex-Detainees Against Detention and Arrest (SELDA) and former political prisoner (2005-2011)
Angelina Bisuña Ipong has been involved in supporting indigenous and peasant communities as a community health and outreach worker, educator and peace advocate since the 1970s. In March 2005, she was arrested by a heavily armed police and charged by the state with rebellion. She was held incommunicado, blindfolded, tortured, sexually molested, denied legal counsel, and continuously interrogated. Six years later, in February 2011, Ipong was released with all charges against her dismissed for lack of evidence. In prison, Angie wrote the book “Garden Behind Bars”, taught basic literacy to the other prisoners and kept a vegetable garden. After her release, Ipong joined SELDA – the organization of former political detainees in the Philippines – to work for the release of all other political prisoners in the country.
Bishop Reuel Norman Marigza,
Bishop Marigza, General Secretary of the United Church of Christ in the Philippines (UCCP) and Vice-Chair of the National Church of Christ in the Philippines (NCCP)
As the General Secretary of the United Church of Christ in the Philippines (UCCP), Bishop Marigza initiated the process of filing a legal suit in June 2011 against former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, high ranking officials, and the military to hold them legally accountable for human rights violations. The suit cites 28 cases of members, lay leaders and ministers of the UCCP killed extra-judicially, abducted and tortured, arrested, forcibly disappeared and believed killed, or surviving attempted killing.