A picture showing the state of human rights in the Philippines



56 Responses to “A picture showing the state of human rights in the Philippines”
  1. edgar lores says:

    It’s ridiculous and ironic, isn’t it? Her security phalanx is mimicking her iconic open-palm gesture.

    The raised hands are supposed to conceal the Senator and her gesture from the roving eyes of the cameras. But they are repeating the gesture. Pure Kafka.

    I wonder if, for some, the mimicking is intentional, in support of the Senator — and not in a parody.

    Or the commandant of the phalanx must be a secret sympathizer. Just like Uson is supposed to be a dilawan for single-handedly destroying the prospect of federalism.

    Thus, what is intended to be hidden is magnified, and what is suppressed is echoed a thousandfold.

    • I’m surprised the Senate, as a body, does not protest this treatment of a sitting senator. It actually demeans them all, as she is innocent until declared guilty, and the charges are so wild that only a purchased judge would respect them as evidence.

      I understand there is also a video of the incident, and it carries audio of the policemen coughing to drown out any attempt by the senator to speak.

      • edgar lores says:

        I saw the video but without audio so I couldn’t hear the coughs.

        It was in a corridor leading, I suppose, to the judicial chamber.

        There the replication of the gesture was more evident as she was shielded on all sides — like a tortoise Roman formation.

        The other import, I take, is that the administration is so afraid of her that she has to be provided with such a huge body of guards.

        • Mackie Cui says:

          I have long given up on our Senators and the Liberal Party in general, except for Robredo, Trillanes, Hontiveros and of course, De Lima. If at all, the others just offer token opposition. I wonder why. Are they afraid that Duterte and his minions will go after them? Seemed like it to me since day 1 of Duterte’s presidency.

          • edgar lores says:

            Yes, it’s been like that from Day 1.

            Self-interest, expediency, and groupthink theory partially explains it. If I may refer you to the post, “Groupthink in the Supreme Court.”

    • karlgarcia says:

      I thought the hand gesture was just to box out the media, I maybe wrong.

      • karlgarcia says:

        I haven’t seen the video, but how was this demeaning? Sorry if I can not see it.

        • karlgarcia says:

          If the escorts were really mocking her then that is so uncalled for.

        • Physically controlling a non-violent senator is demeaning, as she is innocent at this point. So is the childish restraint on her ability to thank her supporters.

        • edgar lores says:

          It’s demeaning because they are treating Senator De Lima as an object to be closely surrounded and closely guarded at all times. The Senator did not flee.

          There is no need for so many soldiers to escort her.

          There is no need for soldiers to hold her hand.

          There is no need to suppress her hand gesture.

          There is no need to incarcerate her.

          There is no need to prevent her from doing her senatorial duties.

          There was no need to delay her arraignment for more than a year.

          There was no need to place her under the forum of the RTC rather than the Sandiganbayan.

          There was no need for the Lower House to conduct hearings, shame her, suborn witnesses, and manufacture evidence.

          There was no need to change the original charge against her just because there was not a shred of evidence for the charge.

          So many wrongs have been visited on her. They have tried to demean her.

          But have they succeeded?


      • edgar lores says:

        Oh, you are right. But I look for deeper meaning. You never know.

    • I doubt it is intentional. The security people are very young and I think just doing a job. The large collection of press people is a result of the way the State is handling this, as confrontation.

  2. LG says:

    The photo invites tears to fall😢😢😢

    • I look at it as a statement of the strength of character of Senator de Lima and so get more determined myself to argue for a return to respect for human rights in the Philippines, and the dignity they assure all Filipinos. I don’t get sad as she is winning this confrontation.

  3. edgar lores says:



    • I hope her escorts’ superior will issue a statement on why Sen De Lima seems to be getting a different treatment than Revilla. It is nauseating to think that they are maltreating her because she told the court that she refused to plead on a trumped up and sham case (so the entered a not guilty plea for her).

      I heard some of the audio. I did not hear the coughing. I heard her supporters chanting what sounded like, “Made up evidence! Fight Leila! Free Leila!” in Tagalog.

  4. Micha says:

    I see Gloria Arroyo’s hand in all this drama.

    As then Justice Secretary, Leila de Lima played a major role in the indictment and detention of La Gloria.

    Hell hath no fury than a pandak detained.

    Being back in power and have all the connections she need, tables are being turned.

    From the perspective of the neck brace acting queen, this is poetic justice.

    • edgar lores says:

      I am sure Arroyo would like to see PNoy in a wooden neck brace — a pillory.

      So many tragic ironies. Almost everybody is wearing a cervical collar — the 184 reps who voted for Arroyo, the senators in that other photograph shown yesterday, and Duterte himself being led by Xi.

      Perhaps the dog’s collar and the wheelchair should replace the sampaguita and the pearl as the national symbols.

      • Micha says:

        Versailles depicts the drama and dynamics of power in King Louis XIV court. It’s not much different from what we’re currently witnessing in the court of King Duterte.

  5. Jonima says:

    The picture shows intimidation from the powers that be, showing brute strength unnecessarily. It sounds like “crucify her, crucify her” on the way to the hole. No respect at all, thanks to the administration that enjoys the suffering of its defenseless citizens. Something is wrong with the present government and to the citizens who put that government over there.

  6. NHerrera says:

    What can’t be done by criticisms — of the assault on human rights and the obvious manipulation to take away all the hindrances to official criticisms/ actions by the move on De Lima, Sereno, the Overall Deputy Ombudsman — is slowly being done by items such as:

    – TRAIN1-exacerbated Inflation (granting external events beyond our control such as world oil price increase);
    – the not-too-hidden motivations behind the Federalism move;
    – the former House Speaker crude 2019 No-El move;
    – the vulgar Pepe-Dede-Ralismo Federalism information campaign of Mocha Uson, an official of the PCOO no less;
    – the Economic Managers strongly-expressed opinions of the economic risks and International Rating Agencies’ downgrading of the country’s credit rating due to the move for Federalism;
    – the economic trouble of China from where a significant amount of the funding for the BBB Program is to come;
    – the continued international reporting of troubles of countries getting infra loans from China;
    – the poor performance of the DPWH and DOTr, not being able to keep up with the capital inflow meant for the BBB Program;
    – the distraction of the Administration allies due to the coming 2019 Mid-Term Election.

    When it rains, it pours.

    • NHerrera says:

      And I have to add: that big item showing a huge police contingent surrounding De Lima. Shades of Ninoy Aquino and his airport escorts?

    • NHerrera says:

      Think back. What would have been the viewers, citizens reaction if two or four kindly and smiling but highly trained women police escorts were the one escorting De Lima?

      Really: READY-FIRE-AIM mentality.

    • NHerrera says:

      Related to my post above (@ August 11, 2018 at 11:12 am) —

      The following Inquirer Report which focused on the statement of the Administration’s Head of the Economic Team — DOF’s Sec Dominguez — I believe is an honest statement from the heart, from one who with his staff and his economic team knows how to analyze this thing. I will quote the Inquirer Report in full:

      Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III, the head of the Duterte administration’s economic team, warned that the draft federal Charter could lead to massive job losses in the public sector, reduce funds for the government’s ambitious infrastructure program, widen the budget deficit and downgrade the country’s credit ratings.

      “The possible repercussions could result in dire, irreversible economic consequences,” Dominguez said in a statement on Friday.

      Dominguez explained that “to avoid this negative economic consequence and maintain the current deficit target of 3 percent, the federal government will have to cut its expenditure program by P560 billion.”

      “This means the national government may have to lay off 95 percent of its employees, or reduce the funds for its ‘Build, Build, Build’ program by 70 percent, or a combination of both,” he said.

      The Department of Finance (DOF) chief said that while he and the economic team were not against federalism, the “ambiguous and unclear” fiscal provisions of the draft federal Constitution should be addressed.

      “We welcome a discussion on the draft so that it is clear and unambiguous. We do not want the revenue assignment and the expenditure assignment to be misunderstood,” Dominguez said.

      Credit rating downgrade

      If the fiscal provisions set forth in the draft Charter were to be implemented, “the federal government would incur a deficit of 6.7 percent, which may result in a credit rating downgrade for the Philippines,” and, subsequently, higher interest rates, the official added.

      According to the Department of Budget and Management, there are currently 1.46 million employees in the national government.

      Under the “Build, Build, Build” program, the government plans to roll out 75 “game-changing” flagship projects while spending up to P9 trillion on hard and modern infrastructure until 2022, to usher in what it called the “golden age of infrastructure.”

      At the Senate finance committee hearing on the proposed 2019 national budget on Wednesday, Dominguez said the country’s investment-grade credit ratings, which makes it cheaper for the country to borrow money, may “go to hell” while interest rates could rise by up to 6 percent under the “very confusing” fiscal provisions of the draft federal Constitution.

      Credit ratings are a measure of a government’s creditworthiness. As the stability of state finances is also related to a country’s performance, credit scores serve as a proxy grade for the economy.

      The Philippines currently enjoys investment-grade credit ratings from the top three debt watchers, namely Moody’s Investors Service, Fitch Ratings and S&P Global Ratings

      Call for dismissal

      Dominguez’s remarks at the hearing prompted Fr. Ranhilio Aquino, a member of the consultative committee that drafted the Charter, to call for the dismissal of both the DOF chief and Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia, who also expressed apprehensions over the fiscal provisions.

      In a Facebook post on Thursday, Aquino, dean of San Beda Graduate School of Law, said: “If (President Duterte) favors federalism, let him sack Dominguez and Pernia or command them to keep their traps shut.”

      Dominguez shrugged off Aquino’s suggestion. “We respect the opinion of Father Aquino, but we believe that such attitude would not enrich the level of discourse on the proposed Constitution.”

      Malacañang remained mum on Aquino’s call, with presidential spokesperson Harry Roque saying on Friday that the Palace “views the differences of opinion on federalism as part of the continuing discourse among members of the President’s official family.” —WITH A REPORT FROM JULIE M. AURELIO


  7. arlene says:

    They’re afraid of de Lima? Is that it? Good afternoon everyone, rainy Saturday here 🙂

  8. Found a video where the coughing could be heard. The tweeter also heard what Sen De Lima said.

  9. andrewlim8 says:


    I wonder about this because the recent spat made me realize the current composition of the 25 member Con-Com are largely made up of politicians, judges, lawyers and political science persons.

    Back in university, the conventional wisdom was that if you are poor with numbers – you go into political science, law or the social sciences (except economics, which is numbers heavy). You avoid finance, economics, statistics, engineering, etc.

    • andrewlim8 says:

      My impression is that the output of the Con-Com reflects this imbalance in the expertise of the group, which is why the call of Koko Pimentel to bring out the numbers, the financials of the proposed shift to federalism be brought out is crucial. My hunch? There is none – if any, it will be rushed, too shallow, with no details.

      I think the current Con-Com members are good only with concepts, theories, philosophies but are poor with numbers. And that will reflect in how badly they can make the transition to federalism!

    • There is no financial rigor at all to the draft. It is a political document essentially with a lot of holes and no real concern about the financials other than, apparently, a thumb in the sky allocation of revenues. I’m doing a write-up as we speak and will recommend that 19 financial pro formas be drawn up, one for each region and the Federal Government, showing revenues by source and income by function, each projecting forward five years. DBM would be the best unit to do this as they understand the expenses better than anyone. It cannot be rushed.

      I think Federalism is dead myself. It cannot be done responsibly on a fast schedule. Def. Sec. Lorenzana hammered another nail in it when he declared the Philippines is “not ready”.

  10. Anacleto Espinosa jr says:

    The acts of the policemen is suppression of the freedom of speech.

    • I’m not sure it is a free speech case inasmuch as she is in jail and does have certain behavior restraints that the rest of us don’t have. She is allowed to read what her staff bring in, and write things that her staff take out, and uses this extensively. To me, it is just a matter of decency and restraint or use of ‘maximum tolerance’ for a senator of the Republic. This is all aggravated because we all know her case was concocted by vengeful people using stained evidence from convicts who have a vested interested in the outcome of the case. Then there is the horror of the Supreme Court’s political renditions, rather than deciding on laws and justice.

  11. NHerrera says:

    This post was sparked by the wife’s question while watching the “Dunkirk” movie.

    I am glad the forthcoming blog articles/ essays from chemrock, Juana and Joe will continue to focus on items which may be disastrous if the trend of Philippine events are not reversed or at least strongly re-routed. I know some in TSH do not have “miracle” in their dictionary but we need — through the collective efforts of all in the PH and those outside — something that will result in a miracle akin to the “Dunkirk rescue of the allied soldiers” in WWII.

  12. caliphman says:

    This picture symbolizes the death pangs of human, and more grimly, constitutional rights in the Philippines. Here is a senator heading a justice committee and formerly head of its human rights comission and secretary of justice can be jailed without due process as a result of the personal and political vendetta by the man she was investigating for human rights violations.
    That the photo captures what happens when all the administrative, legislative, and judicial bodies of the country are all unconstitutionally complicit in depriving her of liberty, civil and human rights speaks more than a thousand words. But it seems that these words are falling on deaf ears or a country content with living like carabaos. This is the ultimate tragedy.

    • Nicely put. A lot of ears are not deaf, and the mouths attached to them are working hard, but the masses have not yet figured out that their chosen solution is actually the problem. International organizations are helping. Yesterday Rappler’s Ececutive Editor Maria Ressa received one, and these things inspire the opposition.

  13. karlgarcia says:

    What we ask of the system( including society)is not special treatment but equal treatment.
    Everyone is innocent until proven guilty.
    Some suggest that in order to lessen prison population, so long as there is no conviction, keep people out of jail.
    There is a problem, and there will always be a problem for every solution,what if there is an obvious menace to society but no evidence can be produced for conviction.
    But I am digressing, we all need human rights, and it is not a case to case basis need.

  14. Tweeto Wakatono says:

    There is a place on earth where nights are long and cold. I gather HERE the struggle to make this country warm and the days obliterate the persistent darkness that sickened people’s souls.

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