At FORUM-ASIA, we employ a range of strategies to effectively achieve our goals and create a lasting impact.

Through a diverse array of approaches, FORUM-ASIA is dedicated to achieving our objectives and leaving a lasting imprint on human rights advocacy.

Who we work with

Our interventions are meticulously crafted and ready to enact tangible change, addressing pressing issues and empowering communities.

Each statements, letters, and publications are meticulously tailored, poised to transform challenges into opportunities, and to empower communities towards sustainable progress.

Multimedia Stories

With a firm commitment to turning ideas into action, FORUM-ASIA strives to create lasting change that leaves a positive legacy for future generations.

Explore our dedicated sub-sites to witness firsthand how FORUM-ASIA turns ideas into action, striving to create a legacy of lasting positive change for future generations.

Subscribe our monthly e-newsletter

Philippines Government’s commitment to OCPAT a “sham”, NGO says

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

The Task Force Detainees of the Philippines, a FORUM-ASIA member, has branded the Philippines Government’s commitment to the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture (OCPAT) a sham and a public relations stunt after the Department of Foreign Affairs allegedly asked the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to freeze its ratification.

Press release

Malacanang announcement of OPCAT ratification a sham
DFA asked Senate Foreign Relations Committee to freeze ratification

(21 May, 2008) The Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP) learned yesterday that the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has allegedly asked the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to freeze the ratification of the Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture (OPCAT), according to a senior staff of the said committee.

This news proves that the jubilant announcement made by Malacanang last April 22 that President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo has already ratified the OPCAT is nothing more than a public relations coup aimed at boosting the human rights image of the President while ensuring that the concrete result – the Senate ratification of the OPCAT – will remain suspended in political limbo.

Like a hot potato, President Arroyo has effectively passed on the issue of the OPCAT ratification and the political pressure on Malacanang brought about by the recommendations of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) during the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of the Philippines to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

We fear that the Senate Foreign Relations Committee will likely acquiesce to the request of the Executive Department as represented by the DFA due to the fact that its head is no less than President Arroyo’s staunch ally Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago.

We are also not surprised at the recent turnabout of events. The OPCAT, if ratified, will establish an international and a national mechanism that will have the power and authority to inspect detention areas so as to prevent the possibility of torture while in detention from occurring. In light of the fact that recent documentary evidence shows that state security forces have been using camps and other safe houses as secret detention areas, it is therefore quite in character for this administration to derail the ratification of the OPCAT.

We call on the members of the Senate, particularly the head of the Committee on Justice and Human Rights, to thwart this ploy of Malacanang and ensure that the ratification of the OPCAT will be given priority status.

Our government has pledged to the UNHRC that it shall strengthen domestic support for the signing and ratification of the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture, therefore it is now up to the distinguished members of the Senate to fully realize this pledge.

Sr. Crescencia Lucero, sfic
Executive Director