Wednesday, November 28, 2012


Cotabato chapter


July 14, 2011


          After  the aborted signing of Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domain (MOA-AD), the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) representatives met to discuss the resumption of the peace talks.  On July 7, 2009 a secret meeting was held at Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and revealed by the MILF in an interview over the radio at Cotabato City. MILF demanded that they want the previous agreed points and the provisions of Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domain (MOA-AD) as basis of the continued peace talks. 

          Subsequently, the panel met again on July 28, 2009 at Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and on July 29, 2009 both parties acknowledged each party’s stand that:  The GRP acknowledges the stand of MILF that MOA-AD was initialed, and the MILF acknowledges the stand of GRP that MOA-AD was unsigned.

          On the December 08-09, 2009 resumption of GRP-MILF formal talks, the parties made a joint statement which states among others that: With the resumption of the Talks, the Parties agree to begin in earnest the negotiations on a Comprehensive Compact;

Based on the joint statement, the peace talks between the GRP and MILF has reached this important stage where the parties AGREE to BEGIN the NEGOTIATIONS on a COMPREHENSIVE COMPACT skipping other substantive aspects of importance before negotiating a comprehensive compact agreement, and with clear implications of recognition of the (defunct) MOA-AD.

As MILF demanded, they have now the International Contact Group (ICG) to guarantee whatever shall be agreed or entered in the resumption of the peace talks, continued presence of International Monitoring Team (IMT), safe return of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), continued existence of Ad Hoc Joint Action Group (AHJAG), except the presence of a UN peace keeping force, a suspect but hidden in the new terms of reference of IMT.

On April 21, 2010, the GRP-MILF panels concluded their 18th round of exploratory talks and made a joint statement with the following excerpts of important points:

1.                              In these 18th exploratory talks, They (GRP and MILF) were joined by representatives of the International Contact Group (ICG) during the two-day session.

2.                              In Kuala Lumpur, the two parties met to review drafts on arrangements transitioning towards a Comprehensive Compact as well as xxx, support for the Bangsamoro Leadership and Management Institute (BLMI) and xxx.  

3.                              The Parties agreed to mobilize technical and administrative resources including the facility for the Bangsamoro Leadership and Management Institute (BLMI) to fulfill its role as a capacity building center for emerging Bangsamoro leaders and professionals.

4.                              The parties formally exchanged amended drafts proposal and matrices, discussed their proposals and agreed on areas of common ground, subject to endorsement by the Panels to their respective principals.  This would be the basis of crafting the interim document in early May 2010.(Taken from paper of Concern Christians/Lumads of Central Mindanao (CCCM) submitted to Hon. Rafael Seguis, Chairman of then GRP Peace Panel).

To date, people of Mindanao have not seen the amended draft proposals between the parties. The Arroyo administration left without the intended May 2010 interim document.


In its legislative brief on 28 September 2010, the Government Peace Negotiating Panel under OPAPP made the statement that, Earlier in June of this year (2010 under the outgoing Arroyo Administration), the Declaration on the Continuity of the  GRP-MILF Negotiations was signed by the parties. It contained consensus points achieved by both sides on the continuing engagement of the GRP and MILF Panels until the conclusion of the comprehensive compact. It acknowledged past gains and put a closure to this stage of the peace negotiations and laid down the foundation for the continuation of the peace process well into the next administration (referring to the new Aquino Administration).

The new administration stated five (5) parameters to guide the conduct of negotiations, and one of which is: (d) The sentiment of the general public, which is far as practicable, shall be taken into consideration;


Based on the joint statements and developments, the new administration has to consider much of the document in existent between former GRP Negotiating panel and MILF to include the MOA-AD and the MILF draft of the Comprehensive Compact MILF submitted on January 27, 2010 at Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia under the GRP Negotiating panel led by Hon. Rafael Seguis.

MILF had made a great leap and paving the way towards signing of the Comprehensive Compact and towards transfer of power from local leaders to the MILF. Their insistence and tenacity in the negotiation had brought them victory against erstwhile GRP Panels.

 Several position papers were sent by MICHA to GRP panels from the time of Estrada government then to the two terms of Arroyo. It thanked God and the Seguis negotiating panel that the signing of comprehensive compact was not pushed through in 2010.

Lately, the MICHA reviewed the MILF draft of Comprehensive Compact submitted on January 27, 2010 and found it full of pitfalls and ruses. MILF had it mixed up to hide certain provisions with sugary and idealistic coatings which if left in the comprehensive compact will still lead to independence. Deception is intertwined with the draft.

The following general examples are briefly stated:

1.     Bases of the compact, “having in mind the principles embodied in the Initialed MOA-AD and its annexure xxx, (par. 5 of Preamble MILF Comprehensive Compact). Comment: It still seek to include MOA-AD when in fact it is already declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court and the GRP promise that it shall not be signed in whatever face it is.

2.     Parties affirmation to end the Conflict in Mindanao “xx traced to Historical injustices xxx”; acknowledgement of consolidation without  derogation of prior agreements xxx”; Recording of inclusions of conceptual network of the initialed MOA-AD xxx constituted comprehensive clauses xxx”; and recognition of “the conclusion of the agreement on ancestral domain xxx” (pars.: a, b, c and d of Section 1 Article 1, ibid). Comment: The same as to MOA-AD.

3.     Parties affirmation of the legitimacy of whatever choice the Bangsamoro People in regard to their national identity and the right to determine their political status, etc.; and that two sides acknowledged the present wish of a majority of the Bangsamoro people in Mindanao is a Territorial unit comprising their ancestral domain for asymmetrical compact of free association; It is understood that, the interim jurisdiction of  the Bangsamoro STATE covers the land base and territorial waters set out in the AGREED schedules (Annex 2), Category A,B & C) xxx (Sec. 1 & 2 of  Principles and Purposes, Article II, ibid). Comment: It seeks to legitimize the concept of first nation and ancestral domain by having the GRP affirm the identity, political status, governance and territory of the so-called Bangsamoro.

4.     Transfer of power and authority to Bangsamoro; the Bangsamoro Basic Law; Concept and Definition of who are Bangsamoro; Eligibility to public office based on citizenship  (Article X on Basic Rights and Safeguards, ibid). Comment: Simply stated, MILF tries to tell the government that since you can no longer govern us, you better transfer us the authority, then we make our laws, we determine who are our cohorts who shall only be eligible to public office, you not included as you are not Bangsamoro (Art. X, sec. 5).

5.     Moro province xxx in its entirety remain the heartland geographical areas of the Bangsamoro Ancestral domain and patrimony (sec. 1, Patrimony and Land Ownership, Art. XVI, ibid). Comment: xxx same. Do not forget that we the Bangsamoro has Moro province which comprise the entire Mindanao, Sulu and Palawan to start with, and wait until we can invade you in the future to seek redress of your conversion of our brothers in Visayas and Luzon.

6.     Bangsamoro also demands: reparation and restitution from GRP due to these historical injustices. Comment: xxx same, you pay us back for you lost the war and you consented to be subdued.

These are samples of the many basic dangerous  parts of  the  aims
and principles in the negotiation inside this MILF Comprehensive Compact which if PUT IN SUBSTANCE will lead to sub-state and eventually  to independence.

It is worth stating that what MICHA dislikes so much is that MILF reverses the situation as if it was the government that is troublesome when in fact it was them. They alluded to the MICHA and those who opposes the GRP-MILF MOA-AD as spoilers of peace, when in fact they were ones who started the fighting and all this trouble in Jolo, Basilan, Zamboanga, Lanao, North Cotabato and Maguindanao in Mindanao. Not to mention Christians and Highlanders and few Moro they massacred, kidnapped, beheaded and women raped including religious missionaries. Definitely, MILF has turned a deaf ear to these and often help to release victims of kidnapping but let the kidnappers (“kuno”) free with hefty board and lodging ransom. Added insult to injury, they get financial support from the comrades in ARMM and fellows in the government to finance their  nefarious activities (frying the government by its own oil) and laughed at previous GRP panels as they nearly got the MOA-AD out of their magic. A warning that the new GRP Panel should take note as under Muslim traditions even pledges/promises in words are binding like contracts in civil law and they will insist on performance no matter what even through violence. In addition, per our information MILF had inserted a mole to create a hole in the negotiating panel. This is following the strategy of infiltration,  conversion and intimidation, to deceive the panel to get at their aims.

These are the some of the reasons why Christians and non-Moro of Mindanao ignore MILF cravings for a Bangsamoro State. Christians and Highlanders do not want all these evils and scary pictures that this MILF and their terrorist cohorts were doing. That is MICHA is anathema to changes towards Bangsamoro State and so with the hideous Bangsamoro Basic Law which will legally force incorporation of the non-Moro to their lifestyle of hospitality and retaliation (Rido), the Islamic way.

As to the issue of alleged historical injustices, it is opined that based on the facts and direct observations of the Christians, Highlanders and even their fellow Filipino Moros, the root of injustice was traced from the Datuism in the area whereby many of the Datus denied or robbed their fellow hapless ordinary Moro of their lands and basic needs. To stress this point, when settlers of Mindanao arrived, ordinary Moros have no lands of their own and were used by their Datus as their workers and goons. It is only their Datus who have vast lands, and who dictate and regulate their living. It is hard to accept that long ago majority of the Moros are either slaves or purely workers of Datus and historically suffering from injustices. With definiteness, these alleged injustices were not caused by colonization or by settlers in Mindanao per se.

Another note of caution, the MILF had been following the archaic examples of the Ottoman Empire and was well into  the pan_Islamic idea. This conflict they stage stemmed from religious impositions by Prophet Muhammad and dream of having a nation of all Muslims. To reiterate, for the prophet, religion is non-negotiable, you have to subdue and convert. And that this conflict will follow the same pattern and cannot be resolved by negotiation as they will ask for the whole, not fractions, as we can see, many more groups will be born and seek another territory in Mindanao. That is the least we can think of if we lack foresight, but we are definite that they will ask for more, including the Visayas and Luzon. This is following the rule that if you cannot fight us now then you can never in the future – this knowing the psychological disposition of the government think tanks of economics of war and fear of bombings, hostage taking and kidnappings.

          This is the reason and basic aim of entrenchment and transfer of power, formulating basic law (to impose Shar’ia Law), reformulation of public land law based on ancestral domain and the withdrawal of GRP troops in Mindanao to hasten the subjugation and take over. It is clear that upon signing of the Comprehensive Compact and bearing in mind the MILF insistence of the defunct MOA-AD, etc., the Christians, Lumads and few Muslims against the MILF agenda together with their properties shall become the booty of war. All these are in the name of peace.

          The 1996 GRP-MNLF agreement is a litmus paper that showed clear and evidentiary result out of the GRP negotiation with MNLF. Out of which MILF surfaced. The war raged between GRP and MILF, but the MNLF sat down, watched, and many of them supported the MILF. Now GRP has not even concluded its negotiation with MILF, here comes now, Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) led by Ombra Kato, and other organizations like Abu Sayyaf, Jemaah Islamiah which will bear so many children in the future. To be definite, the BIFF as son of MILF (though they deny) conducts kidnapping to finance their activity and deceive the GRP that the same is distinct from them. Will the government ever learn out of this manipulative style of MILF? Will the GRP close its eyes on the massacre of innocent Christians that MILF did at Lanao? To rewind, part of those kidnappers killed and nabbed in Pigcawayan and Midsayap in the Province of North Cotabato were from Municipality of Sultan Kudarat, Province of Maguindanao, the present political base of MILF hierarchy at Barangay Darapanan and Simuay where Gadzhali Jaafar also has residence. And some kidnappers were known to be staff of MILF commanders.

MICHA will not elaborate on these points stated above as its stand was then and now is to scrap the MOA-AD and that the government should address only the basic problem of rehabilitation and development of Mindanao. If MILF continue to disrupt the peace in Mindanao or rebel against the duly constituted government then it is the responsibility of the government to address this with police action, notwithstanding the cost as its constitutional mandate. If the government needs MICHA and its sympathizers, then it will fight for the government until normalcy and peace reign in Mindanao.


          Considering the above facts, the MICHA proposes to the new administration of His Excellency Benigno Simeon C. Aquino III to be circumspect in entering into any agreement with the MILF and beware of their deceptive hospitality, as any agreement entered into affects the 80% majority Christians and Lumads of Mindanao and other non-Christians outside of MILF.

          MICHA also proposes to de-emphasize so much illegitimacy and memories of historical injustices and instead to discuss with them plans  how to live and  work for the better future of all Mindanaons and the Republic of the Philippines.

          MICHA members pray  that the members of the GRP panel, especially the Honorable and Panel Chairman Atty. Marvic Leonen and his team be guided by the Almighty Father, the God of Abraham, and of Aaron in handling the peace talks.

          For the MILF, MICHA members also wish that they (MILF members) go back to the mainstream of the Philippine society and live as good Filipinos in every aspect of their life, living in their normal Islamic way without necessarily bringing forth secessionist ideals and terrorists’ activities brought about  by concept of new identity as Bangsamoro.

          And  lastly, MICHA also pray that in all phases of negotiation, the GRP panel should be transparent and ascertain first from the majority people in Mindanao their true position in the on-going peace talks before any decision is made.

          As always, MICHA embraces peace and denounces war, but is ready for war if time calls for it.

                                                          (Sgd.) MIKE SANTIAGO
                                                          Chief, MICHA Information Office    

Saturday, November 24, 2012

JURIST - Paper Chase: UN passes resolution condemning executions based on LGBT status

See -  JURIST - Paper Chase: UN passes resolution condemning executions based on LGBT status

The PHL should have an anti-discrimination law that will protect LGBT. Read related article below.

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UN passes resolution condemning executions based on LGBT status 
Benjamin Minegar at 12:44 PM ET

Photo source or description
[JURIST] The UN General Assembly (UNGA) [official website] on Tuesday passed a resolution [text, PDF; press release] condmening extrajudicial, summary, and arbitrary executions on the basis of "gender identity" for the first time. In a vote of 108 to 1, the UNGA amended the resolution to include language urging states around the world "to investigate...all killings committed for any discriminatory reason, including sexual orientation or gender identity." The UNGA's approval of the amendment effectively overturned a 2010 resolution [press release] that removed references to protection from extrajudicial execution on the basis of "sexual orientation." Rights groups from around the world have praised the UNGA's decision to support protections from discriminatory execution based on LGBT status. Amnesty International's [advocacy website] UN representative, Jose Luis Diaz said Wednesday: "The [UNGA] sent a strong message, reaffirming everyone must be protected from extrajudicial killings." Changes in the resolution were originally introduced by Sweden and co-sponsored by 34 states from around the world.

Sexual orientation and LGBT rights continue to be a contentious issue in societies worldwide. In July UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon praised [JURIST report] human rights activists for their work to protect LGBT rights while calling for an end to discrimination based on sexual orientation and stressing that violence and discrimination against the LGBT community is a human rights violation. In June Human Rights Watch urged [JURIST report] the Bulgarian Justice Minister Diana Kovacheva to denounce calls to violence by anti-gay groups in anticipation of a LGBT pride parade in Sofia, Bulgaria. During the same month, Ugandan Minister of State for Ethics and Integrity Simon Lokodo said [JURIST report] that the government was not discriminating based on sexual orientation. The statement came days after the government had announced [JURIST report] that it would ban at least 38 non-governmental organizations that are accused of recruiting children to homosexuality.

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Monday, November 19, 2012

DOJ FORMALIZES RULES AND MECHANISMS FOR THE PROTECTION OF REFUGEES AND STATELESS PERSONS :: Department of Justice - Republic of the Philippines :: Tel: (+632) 523 8481, (+632) 523 6826

See  -  DOJ FORMALIZES RULES AND MECHANISMS FOR THE PROTECTION OF REFUGEES AND STATELESS PERSONS :: Department of Justice - Republic of the Philippines :: Tel: (+632) 523 8481, (+632) 523 6826

"x x x.

Reaffirming the Aquino Administration's commitment to the promotion and protection of human rights, the Department of Justice issued last 18 October 2012 Department Circular No. 058 or the rules on "Establishing the Refugee and Stateless Status Determination Procedure."
As a signatory to the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees and the 1967 Protocol, the Philippines has been progressively implementing its obligations under the Convention, ensuring refugees' access to economic and social rights. Department of Justice Secretary Leila M. De Lima confirmed that it was only during the term of President Benigno S. Aquino III when the Philippine Government finally acceded to the 1954 U.N. Convention Relating to the Status of Stateless Persons. She
explained that while the Department, as early as 1998, already had a Refugee Processing Unit ("RPU"), such unit, however, did not have the mandate to cater to the needs of stateless individuals.
De Lima explained that under the present rules, the DOJ's Refugee Protection Unit (RPU), renamed to Refugee and Stateless Persons Protection Unit ("RSPPU"), will help ensure that this highly vulnerable group of refugees and stateless persons will have access to a facilitated, prompt and efficient process application for the granting of a refugee or a stateless status. The said rules and mechanisms also provide for the standard of proof to establish such status and, more importantly, allow for the suspension of deportation proceedings pending consideration of the application. She underscored, further, that recognition of stateless or refugee status will directly benefit both the applicant and his or her family members, entitling them the enjoyment and exercise of rights and privileges provided for by the United Nations Conventions on refugees and
stateless persons subject to Philippine laws and regulations.
 "The refugees and the stateless persons are the most vulnerable. They fall easily through the cracks of our system," says De Lima. "Consider the challenge of having no Government to safeguard your rights. You have no Government that will ensure yours and your family's physical security. Even a stateless or refugee child's identification becomes a contentious issue unless the receiving country has safety nets and mechanisms in place that will ensure and declare to the world that such child matters, that he or she counts." De Lima points out, "The enjoyment of basic human rights and freedoms should never be dependent on the presence or absence of a person's nationality or his affinity to his country. The universality of human rights and the respect thereof demands a standard of treatment from the Government that is not only tolerant but accepting and inclusive."
The Rules will be effective and executory fifteen (15) days from publication.
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Right of reply? | Inquirer Opinion

see - Right of reply? | Inquirer Opinion

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Should the right of reply become part of the Freedom of Information bill or of the cybercrime law, it will be a good issue to take up as speech and not just as illicit taking of property. And since we follow the American tradition on speech jurisprudence, we will be looking for American cases on the subject. Fortunately there is one that is ready at hand that takes up both sides of the debate.
Miami Herald v. Tornillo (1974) involved a Florida law on the right of reply. Candidate Tornillo, relying on the Florida law, demanded that the Miami Herald print his reply to the editorial comments of the Herald. But the Florida law was declared unconstitutional.
It is interesting that the US Supreme Court took pains to summarize the arguments brought up in favor of a right of reply. They are worth recalling if only to see if they find resonance in our condition.
Essentially the argument in favor of a right of reply rested on the historical premise that “at the time the First Amendment to the Constitution was ratified in 1791 as part of [the] Bill of Rights the press was broadly representative of the people it was serving and collectively presented a broad range of opinions to readers. Entry into publishing was inexpensive … A true marketplace of ideas existed in which there was relatively easy access to the channels of communication.”
However, the argument ran, because of changed circumstances newspapers had ceased to be “a true marketplace of ideas.” “The result of these vast changes has been to place in a few hands the power to inform the American people and shape public opinion.”
Proponents also sought support from certain dicta of the US Supreme Court suggesting that the guarantee of a free press also imposed obligations on owners of newspapers. The First Amendment, they quoted, “rests on the assumption that the widest possible dissemination of information from diverse and antagonistic sources is essential to the welfare of the public.” Cited also was the dictum that spoke of “a profound national commitment to the principle that debate on public issues should be uninhibited, robust and wide open.”
In the end, however, the Court was deterred by problems of implementation. “However much validity may be found in these arguments, at each point the implementation of a remedy such as an enforceable right of access necessarily calls for some mechanism, either governmental or consensual. If it is governmental coercion, this at once brings about a confrontation with the express provisions of the First Amendment and the judicial gloss on that Amendment developed over the years.”
The Court also said: “The power of a privately owned newspaper to advance its own political, social and economic views is bounded by only two factors: first, the acceptance of a sufficient number of readers—and hence advertisers—to assure financial success; and, second, the journalistic integrity of its editors and publishers….The clear implication has been that any such compulsion to publish that which ‘reason’ tells them should not be published is unconstitutional. A responsible press is an undoubtedly desirable goal, but press responsibility is not mandated by the Constitution and like many other virtues it cannot be legislated.”
I might also add that a right of reply in the context of current Philippine society today will not really add anything to what people who pay attention to media already know. Newspaper readers, radio listeners and television viewers already are bombarded with assertive reporting, some straight and others biased, and opposing opinions of columnists. The strong temptation in fact is to ignore them or sometimes to go over media, just for fun, as a vacuum cleaner would—only to look for dirt.
x x x."

The Geneva Conventions of 1949 and their Additional Protocols

See  -  The Geneva Conventions of 1949 and their Additional Protocols

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The Geneva Conventions of 1949 and their Additional Protocols

The Geneva Conventions and their Additional Protocols are at the core of international humanitarian law, the body of international law that regulates the conduct of armed conflict and seeks to limit its effects. They specifically protect people who are not taking part in the hostilities (civilians, health workers and aid workers) and those who are no longer participating in the hostilities, such as wounded, sick and shipwrecked soldiers and prisoners of war. Read full overview


See  -  ASEAN SUMMIT 2012 .:. One Community, One Destiny.

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WE, the Heads of State/Government of the Member States of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (hereinafter referred to as "ASEAN"), namely Brunei Darussalam, the Kingdom of Cambodia, the Republic of Indonesia, the Lao People's Democratic Republic, Malaysia, the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, the Republic of the Philippines, the Republic of Singapore, the Kingdom of Thailand and the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam, on the occasion of the 21st ASEAN Summit in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

REAFFIRMING our adherence to the purposes and principles of ASEAN as enshrined in the ASEAN Charter, in particular the respect for and promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms, as well as the principles of democracy, the rule of law and good governance;
REAFFIRMING FURTHER our commitment to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Charter of the United Nations, the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action, and other international human rights instruments to which ASEAN Member States are parties;
REAFFIRMING ALSO the importance of ASEAN’s efforts in promoting human rights, including the Declaration of the Advancement of Women in the ASEAN Region and the Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women in the ASEAN Region;
CONVINCED that this Declaration will help establish a framework for human rights cooperation in the region and contribute to the ASEAN community building process;
1. All persons are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of humanity.
2. Every person is entitled to the rights and freedoms set forth herein, without distinction of any kind, such as race, gender, age, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, economic status, birth, disability or other status.
3. Every person has the right of recognition everywhere as a person before the law.  Every person is equal before the law. Every person is entitled without discrimination to equal protection of the law.
4. The rights of women, children, the elderly, persons with disabilities, migrant workers, and vulnerable and marginalised groups are an inalienable, integral and indivisible part of human rights and fundamental freedoms.
5. Every person has the right to an effective and enforceable remedy, to be determined by a court or other competent authorities, for acts violating the rights granted to that person by the constitution or by law.
6. The enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms must be balanced with the performance of corresponding duties as every person has responsibilities to all other individuals, the community and the society where one lives. It is ultimately the primary responsibility of all ASEAN Member States to promote and protect all human rights and fundamental freedoms.
7. All human rights are universal, indivisible, interdependent and interrelated. All human rights and fundamental freedoms in this Declaration must be treated in a fair and equal manner, on the same footing and with the same emphasis. At the same time, the realisation of human rights must be considered in the regional and national context bearing in mind different political, economic, legal, social, cultural, historical and religious backgrounds.
8. The human rights and fundamental freedoms of every person shall be exercised with due regard to the human rights and fundamental freedoms of others.  The exercise of human rights and fundamental freedoms shall be subject only to such limitations as are determined by law solely for the purpose of securing due recognition for the human rights and fundamental freedoms of others, and to meet the just requirements of national security, public order, public health, public safety, public morality, as well as the general welfare of the peoples in a democratic society.
9. In the realisation of the human rights and freedoms contained in this Declaration, the principles of impartiality, objectivity, non-selectivity, non-discrimination, non-confrontation and avoidance of double standards and politicisation, should always be upheld. The process of such realisation shall take into account peoples’ participation, inclusivity and the need for accountability.


10. ASEAN Member States affirm all the civil and political rights in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Specifically, ASEAN Member States affirm the following rights and fundamental freedoms:
11. Every person has an inherent right to life which shall be protected by law. No person shall be deprived of life save in accordance with law.
12. Every person has the right to personal liberty and security. No person shall be subject to arbitrary arrest, search, detention, abduction or any other form of deprivation of liberty.
13. No person shall be held in servitude or slavery in any of its forms, or be subject to human smuggling or trafficking in persons, including for the purpose of trafficking in human organs.
14. No person shall be subject to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
15. Every person has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each State. Every person has the right to leave any country including his or her own, and to return to his or her country.
16. Every person has the right to seek and receive asylum in another State in accordance with the laws of such State and applicable international agreements.
17. Every person has the right to own, use, dispose of and give that person’s lawfully acquired possessions alone or in association with others. No person shall be arbitrarily deprived of such property.
18. Every person has the right to a nationality as prescribed by law. No person shall be arbitrarily deprived of such nationality nor denied the right to change that nationality.
19. The family as the natural and fundamental unit of society is entitled to protection by society and each ASEAN Member State. Men and women of full age have the right to marry on the basis of their free and full consent, to found a family and to dissolve a marriage, as prescribed by law.
20. (1) Every person charged with a criminal offence shall be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law in a fair and public trial, by a competent, independent and impartial tribunal, at which  the accused is guaranteed the right to defence. 
 (2) No person shall be held guilty of any criminal offence on account of any act or omission which did not constitute a criminal offence, under national or international law, at the time when it was committed and no person shall suffer greater punishment for an offence than was prescribed by law at the time it was committed.
(3) No person shall be liable to be tried or punished again for an offence for which he or she has already been finally convicted or acquitted in accordance with the law and penal procedure of each ASEAN Member State.

21. Every person has the right to be free from arbitrary interference with his or her privacy, family, home or correspondence including personal data, or to attacks upon that person’s honour and reputation. Every person has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.

22. Every person has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion. All forms of intolerance, discrimination and incitement of hatred based on religion and beliefs shall be eliminated.
23. Every person has the right to freedom of opinion and expression, including freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information, whether orally, in writing or through any other medium of that person’s choice.
24. Every person has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly.
25. (1)  Every person who is a citizen of his or her country has the right to participate in the government of his or her country, either directly or indirectly through democratically elected representatives, in accordance with national law.
(2) Every citizen has the right to vote in periodic and genuine elections, which should be by universal and equal suffrage and by secret ballot, guaranteeing the free expression of the will of the electors, in accordance with national law.
26. ASEAN Member States affirm all the economic, social and cultural rights in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Specifically, ASEAN Member States affirm the following:
27. (1) Every person has the right to work, to the free choice of employment, to enjoy just, decent and favourable conditions of work and to have access to assistance schemes for the unemployed. 
(2) Every person has the right to form trade unions and join the trade union of his or her choice for the protection of his or her interests, in accordance with national laws and regulations.
(3) No child or any young person shall be subjected to economic and social exploitation. Those who employ children and young people in work harmful to their morals or health, dangerous to life, or likely to hamper their normal development, including their education should be punished by law.  ASEAN Member States should also set age limits below which the paid employment of child labour should be prohibited and punished by law.
28. Every person has the right to an adequate standard of living for himself or herself and his or her family including:
a. The right to adequate and affordable food, freedom from hunger and access to safe and nutritious food;
b. The right to clothing;
c. The right to adequate and affordable housing;
d. The right to medical care and necessary social services;
e. The right to safe drinking water and sanitation;
f. The right to a safe, clean and sustainable environment.

29. (1)  Every person has the right to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical, mental and reproductive health, to basic and affordable health-care services, and to have access to medical facilities.
(2)  The ASEAN Member States shall create a positive environment in overcoming stigma, silence, denial and discrimination in the prevention, treatment, care and support of people suffering from communicable diseases, including HIV/AIDS.
30. (1)  Every person shall have the right to social security, including social insurance where available, which assists him or her to secure the means for a dignified and decent existence.
(2) Special protection should be accorded to mothers during a reasonable period as determined by national laws and regulations before and after childbirth. During such period, working mothers should be accorded paid leave or leave with adequate social security benefits.
(3)  Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance. Every child, whether born in or out of wedlock, shall enjoy the same social protection.
31. (1)   Every person has the right to education.
(2) Primary education shall be compulsory and made available free to all. Secondary education in its different forms shall be available and accessible to all through every appropriate means. Technical and vocational education shall be made generally available. Higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit.
(3)  Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and the sense of his or her dignity. Education shall strengthen the respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in ASEAN Member States.  Furthermore, education shall enable all persons to participate effectively in their respective societies, promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial and religious groups, and enhance the activities of ASEAN for the maintenance of peace.
32. Every person has the right, individually or in association with others, to freely take part in cultural life, to enjoy the arts and the benefits of scientific progress and its applications and to benefit from the protection of the moral and material interests resulting from any scientific, literary or appropriate artistic production of which one is the author.
33. ASEAN Member States should take steps, individually and through regional and international assistance and cooperation, especially economic and technical, to the maximum of its available resources, with a view to achieving progressively the full realisation of economic, social and cultural rights recognised in this Declaration.
34. ASEAN Member States may determine the extent to which they would guarantee the economic and social rights found in this Declaration to non-nationals, with due regard to human rights and the organisation and resources of their respective national economies.
35. The right to development is an inalienable human right by virtue of which every human person and the peoples of ASEAN are entitled to participate in, contribute to, enjoy and benefit equitably and sustainably from economic, social, cultural and political development. The right to development should be fulfilled so as to meet equitably the developmental and environmental needs of present and future generations. While development facilitates and is necessary for the enjoyment of all human rights, the lack of development may not be invoked to justify the violations of internationally recognised human rights.
36. ASEAN Member States should adopt meaningful people-oriented and gender responsive development programmes aimed at poverty alleviation, the creation of conditions including the protection and sustainability of the environment for the peoples of ASEAN to enjoy all human rights recognised in this Declaration on an equitable basis, and the progressive narrowing of the development gap within ASEAN.
37. ASEAN Member States recognise that the implementation of the right to development requires effective development policies at the national level as well as equitable economic relations, international cooperation and a favourable international economic environment. ASEAN Member States should mainstream the multidimensional aspects of the right to development into the relevant areas of ASEAN community building and beyond, and shall work with the international community to promote equitable and sustainable development, fair trade practices and effective international cooperation.
38. Every person and the peoples of ASEAN have the right to enjoy peace within an ASEAN framework of security and stability, neutrality and freedom, such that the rights set forth in this Declaration can be fully realised.  To this end, ASEAN Member States should continue to enhance friendship and cooperation in the furtherance of peace, harmony and stability in the region.

39. ASEAN Member States share a common interest in and commitment to the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms which shall be achieved through, inter alia, cooperation with one another as well as with relevant national, regional and international institutions/organisations, in accordance with the ASEAN Charter.

40. Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted as implying for any State, group or person any right to perform any act aimed at undermining the purposes and principles of ASEAN, or at the destruction of any of the rights and fundamental freedoms set forth in this Declaration and international human rights instruments to which ASEAN Member States are parties.

Adopted by the Heads of State/Government of ASEAN Member States at Phnom Penh, Cambodia, this Eighteenth Day of November in the Year Two Thousand and Twelve, in one single original copy in the English Language.

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