Monday, May 22, 2006

*Taiwanese Groups Protest Against Attacks on the Civil andPolitical Rights of the Filipino People

MARCH 31, 2006

Reference: Mr. Gi Estrada, Area Coordinator in Taiwan, Asia Pacific Mission for Migrants (APMM) Contact Nos. (+886) 917-423-130

Taiwanese Human Rights organizations together with other civil society and labor groups staged this morning the biggest protest action in Taiwan to date to denounce the continuing human rights violations in the Philippines. This was held in front of the Manila Economic and Cultural Office (MECO) in Taipei and was participated by around 60 Taiwanese and 10 Filipino migrants. Other issues raised were the continuing attacks on the civil and political rights of the Filipino people and the arrest and detention of Representative Crispin Beltran.

Rep. Beltran¡¦s message was even read to the protesters by the Asia Pacific Mission for Migrants. He thanked the participants for their mass action and vowed that he would one day meet them soon.

The activity was organized by the Chang Fo-Chuan Center for the Study of Human Rights, Soochow University in Taipei and was endorsed by 51 organizations and labor groups and 175 individuals. The picket in MECO was the third held in Taipei in a months time. Migrante Sectoral Party - Taiwan chapter, initiated the first two. These were held on February 28 and March 5 respectively.

A one-minute of silence was offered to the human rights victims and defenders in the Philippines. After which a number of slogans including Release Ka Bel, Zero Tolerance to state violence and long live international solidarity were heard. Speakers from the various participating organizations were allowed to air out their views. Atty. Carlo Aquino, head of MECO¡¦s assistance to nationals received the petition letter from the organizers including that of the Labor Rights Association, which collected the signatories from labor groups.

The participants then shouted liar and release Ka Bel when he was allowed to air out the Philippine governments position to the crowd.

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