September 14, 2011
Hon. LORETTA ANN P. ROSALES Chairperson Commission on Human Rights of the Philippines (CHRP)
Greetings from the Philippine NGO-PO Network for ESC Rights!
The NGO-PO Network for ESC Rights is a formation of about fifty (50) organizations and alliances including the Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA), Freedom from Debt Coalition (FDC), and Education Network (E-Net Philippines). The network was established to advocate for the respect, protection, and fulfillment of economic, social and cultural rights including the rights to food, education, health, work and housing.
We are writing to request your good office to intervene in the impending eviction of the remaining 3,000 families in North Triangle, Quezon City which could very well lead to further violation of these residents’ basic rights.
Based on our meeting with the leaders of San Roque Community Council (SRCC) last September 6, 2011, the scheduled clearing operation sometime in October this year should not push through because the consultation process was still inadequate. Their basis for saying this was that the agencies have no clear response yet on their on-site development proposal which the residents formulated with the help of the National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC).
We also want to point out that international and local human rights standards give preference to on-site development option as this avoids physical and economic dislocation as well as psychological and social trauma usually associated with evictions.
In addition, the newly-crafted Philippine Development Plan (PDP) emphasized “inclusive growth” as economic strategy of the current administration. This emphasis is important to marginalized communities that will help in facilitating the progressive realization of their economic and social rights. It is only proper the North Triangle residents should benefit as well and be active participants in the Quezon City Business Development Plan (QCBDP) of the national government.
Thus, we are humbly asking the Commission to petition the authorities particularly the Office of the President to order a halt to the October clearing until a rights-based solution to the issue has been found and the residents’ proposal has been seriously considered. We also request CHR to closely monitor the situation in North Triangle and immediately act on allegations the its field personnel are members of the local inter-agency committee (LIAC) so as not to compromise your institution’s status as an independent human rights watchdog.
Lastly, we believe that it will be in the interest of the residents if the Commission will conduct an immediate field investigation in the North Triangle community and in the proposed relocation sites before the planned eviction on October to determine the situation on the ground and to ascertain the adequacy of the resettlement sites being offered.
Thank you very much and we look forward to your favorable response.
NYMIA PIMENTEL-SIMBULAN, Dr. PH