Pacific Media Centre, Asia Pacific Human Rights Coalition and APS mark 5th anniversary of Ampatuan massacre

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APS joined delegates from the Pacific Journalism Review’s 20th anniversary conference to mark the 5th anniversary of the Ampatuan massacre*.  Delegates from the conference at Auckland University of Technology and representatives from Amnesty International and APS condemned the massacre and the failure of the Philippine justice system to bring the perpetrators to account.

Five years on from the worst massacre of journalists in history none of the gunmen or their political handlers have been convicted.  Recently two witnesses of the massacre were ambushed by gunmen.  Among the 58 people killed in the 2009 massacre, 32 were journalists.

Professor David Robie of the Pacific Media Centre reads out a statement calling for justice for the victims of the Ampatuan massacre and an end to violence against journalists in the Philippines.

Professor David Robie of the Pacific Media Centre reads out a statement calling for justice for the victims of the Ampatuan massacre and an end to violence against journalists in the Philippines.

NZ Unions and APS mark 10th anniversary of Hacienda Luisita massacre

day against trade union repression 2014

16 November 2014





“Ten years on since the Hacienda Luisita massacre, the Aquino presidency has no indication that it will end the bloody land monopoly of his clan and slave wages for the farmworkers. It’s totally outrageous that the President’s family expects Filipino farmworkers and their families to survive on PhP9.50/day (less than 0.30 NZ$) and silence them with bullets when they assert their long-running demand for genuine land reform.”

Thus was the statement of NZ-based human rights advocacy group as New Zealand trade union and human rights activists gathered on Friday 14th November to mark the International Day of Action against Trade Union Repression, to show solidarity with all workers asserting their rights to form unions to fight for just wages, job security and humane working conditions.


Members of Auckland Philippines Solidarity (APS), FIRST Union and Unite Union lit candles after watching the documentary video on one of the worst attacks against workers’ right to freedom of association: Ten years ago, on November 16, 2004, the military and police forces opened fire on striking sugar workers of the 6,453-hectare Hacienda Luisita owned by one of the Philippines’ biggest landlords – the president’s Aquino-Cojuangco clan.

President Benigno Aquino III was the manager of Hacienda Luisita and member of Congress at the time of the massacre.

 “We lit candles to reiterate demand for justice for the seven martyrs of the November 16, 2004 tragedy and the scores of union leaders and supporters brutally killed in the following months. How many more lives of poor peasants and farmworkers will be taken before the President’s family heed the numerous court orders following massive strikes and solidarity actions demanding just distribution of the land in Hacienda Luisita,” APS asked.

“We dare Pres. Aquino and his family members to try living on PhP9.50/day like the thousands of families of the striking sugar workers who remain denied of justice and dignity of hard labour up to this day,” APS concluded.

Human Rights Lawyers Association of NZ Condemns Killing of Filipino Lawyer

hrla logo 

The following statement appeared on the website of the Human Rights Lawyers Association of Aotearoa/NZ.

Attorney Rodolfo R. Felicio, a member of the National Union of Peoples Lawyers, was gunned down while working on a land dispute in Rizal, east of Manila. Two caretakers of the disputed land were also injured in the attack.

Attorney Felicio was involved in important legal work, such as launching a private prosecution against those allegedly responsible for the infamous 1986 kidnap, torture and murder of Filipino trade union leader Rolando Olalia and his driver Leonor Alay-ay. He also was a member of the Quick Response team, staffed by members of the NUPL and human rights organisation Karapatan, to immediately respond to cases of human rights abuses, such as extrajudicial killings of political activists committed by the security forces and paramilitary groups. He provided legal advice to clients in a number of land disputes.

HRLA has written to the National Union of Peoples Lawyers to offer our condolences to Attorney Felicio’s family, friends and colleagues.

National Union of Peoples Lawyers: In the line of fire: Attorney Rodolfo Felicio

Bulatlat: Journalism for the People: Rights Lawyers Mourn Killing of Colleague

Attorney Felicio


Human Rights Lawyers Association (Aotearoa/New Zealand) 

To the National Union of Peoples Lawyers


The Human Rights Lawyers Association of Aotearoa/New Zealand strongly condemns the murder of Attorney Rodolfo R. Felicio. We extend our deepest sympathies to Attorney Felicio’s family, friends and colleagues at the NUPL.


The NUPL has an impressive record of standing up for the marginalised of Philippine society and supporting human rights around the World. The murders of five NUPL members over the past decade are an injustice that should concern lawyers around the World. We call for an end to violence and intimidation against lawyers and other human rights defenders in the Philippines for simply doing their job.


The murder of Attorney Felicio must be fully investigated and the perpetrators held accountable.


Yours Sincerely


Andrew Britton and David Tong
Human Rights Lawyers Association Aoteoroa New Zealand

Solidarity for Gaza in Auckland


Several thousand Aucklanders marched in solidarity with the people of Gaza on Saturday.  In recent weeks over 350 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli bombing and tank assaults, including a group of children playing on a beach and residents at a home for the disabled.  Auckland Philippines Solidarity was proud to be one of the endorsers of the Auckland march.






Auckland Philippines Solidarity endorses Palestine Solidarity Rally

Moro protest for Palestine

Members of Suara Bangsamoro, a Moro people’s organisation in Mindanao, hold a picket to support Palestine in Cotabato City.


Auckland Philippines Solidarity will be joining the protest in Auckland this Saturday against the Israeli Defence Force’s (IDF) attack on Gaza, which has cost the lives of at least 192 Palestinians, many of whom were civilians.  The IDF has bombed civilian buildings, including a home for the disabled.

The US government provides US $3.1 billion aid annually to the Israeli government, despite the Israeli government’s ongoing violence against the Palestinian people.  This has similarities to the huge military assistance provided by the US to the Philippines, despite the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ (AFP) abysmal human rights record.

Progressive organisations in the Philippines, including the leading human rights organisation Karapatan, have condemned the Israeli government’s bombing of Gaza.  Karapatan released a statement supporting the Palestinian people and condemning the assault on Gaza:

We are one with the calls of human rights organizations on the international community to immediately act to stop the Israeli offensive and protect Palestinian civilians.  We also call for the prosecution of those who are accountable for their war crimes against Palestinian civilians.


We salute the work of the rally organisers, Kia Ora Gaza, Palestine Human Rights Campaigns, Global Peace and Justice Auckland and Students for Justice in Palestine.  These groups have provided practical support to the Palestinian people and work tirelessly to keep the Palestinian struggle on the political agenda in New Zealand.

Details for rallies around New Zealand this weekend

WHEN: Friday 18th July, 12.30pm – 1.30pm
WHERE: Embassy of Israel – Baileys Building, 36 Brandon Street (off Lambton Quay), Wellington

Rally: 2pm Saturday 19 July at the Octagen.

Rally: 2pm Saturday 19 July, Aotea Square, Queen St. Bring your own placards, banners & olive tree branches. Rally will hear brief speeches then march via TVNZ & Herald to the US consulate.

Rally: Saturday 19th July, 2.00pm Cathedral Square, Colombo Street, Christchurch Central




New Zealand Philippine Solidarity Groups Call for Justice for Andrea Rosal and Baby Diona


May 22, 2014

Press Release – Auckland Philippines Solidarity

New Zealand Philippine Solidarity groups are distressed by the death of baby Diona Rosal, the daughter of political prisoner Andrea Rosal. Baby Diona died aged two days old on May 18th due to hypoxemia, a deficiency of oxygen in the blood.21 May 2014.  Rosal was arrested in March, while 7 months pregnant.  Human rights organisations in the Philippines argue that the inhumane prison conditions faced by Rosal contributed to the death of her daughter.  They also contend the charges of murder and kidnapping faced by Rosal are fabricated and based on no real evidence.

NZ Groups Call for Unconditional Release of Andrea Rosal and all Political Prisoners, Prison and Military Authorities must be held accountable for Baby Diona’s Death

New Zealand Philippine Solidarity groups are distressed by the death of baby Diona Rosal, the daughter of political prisoner Andrea Rosal. Baby Diona died aged two days old on May 18th due to hypoxemia, a deficiency of oxygen in the blood.

“The inhumane conditions of Andrea’s detention are likely to have contributed to this tragedy. At the time of her arrest, Andrea was due for a pre-natal check but was not granted adequate medical or pre-natal care while in custody. This is in direct conflict with the UN Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners which states for pregnant prisoners ‘there shall be special accommodation for all necessary pre-natal and post-natal care and treatment,’” Cameron Walker, Spokesperson of Auckland Philippines Solidarity (APS) lamented.

“Rosal was held in a 5×10 metre cell with 31 other inmates at the Philippine National Police’s Camp Bagong Diwa in Manila, hardly suitable conditions for an expectant mother,” Walker continued.

TRAVESTY OF JUSTICE: Death of Baby and Continuing Detention of Andrea

“Two months ago Andrea lost her freedom and now she lost her baby. It would be a travesty of justice to keep Andrea in illegal detention on trumped-up charges.”

“We call on Pres. Benigno Simeon Aquino III to heed the appeal for immediate release of Andrea Rosal and over 400 political prisoners unjustly detained on trumped-up criminal charges.” Auckland Philippines Solidarity (APS) and Wellington Kiwi Pinoy (WKP) declared in a joint statement.

“The deplorable conditions under which Rosal was detained and the tragic death of baby Diona strengthen our resolve to support the international campaign for an unconditional amnesty for political prisoners in the Philippines,” Walker concluded.

Typhoon Haiyan Fundraiser update: New venue for garage sale

Typhoon Haiyan Fundraiser update: New venue for garage sale

Kindly share with friends, new venue for our 23rd November garage sale: St Joseph Parish Hall, 10 Taharoto Rd, Takapuna, North Shore. Donate, volunteer, let’s ensure the relief goods reach the victims through Sagip Migrante!


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