Tell it to Sun.Star: Not a convenor

I WISH to put on record that Bisdak Pride, Inc., (BPI) established ten long years ago, and a human rights group for persons with different sexual orientation and gender identity and expression (SOGIE), is not a convenor of Cebuanos for Good Governance and Development (CGGD).

However, as a human rights group, we are supportive of any efforts or advocacy that relates to the advancement of the rights and welfare of various marginalized groups and individuals. Advancement of such rights can only be achieved through good governance. Good governance will lead us to inclusive growth. And inclusive growth is something we aspire for.

On the other hand, we will never prohibit any members or gender equality advocates of our organization who wish to join or support any formal or informal alliances/associations/groups that advocates for a specific issue (i.e. CGGD etc.). or issues that violates the rights of our Lumad brothers and sisters in Mindanao, oil price hike, tuition fee increase, violation of our sovereignty etc.

In fact, we highly encourage members of the LGBT community to actively participate and exercise their civil and political rights in order to advance our rights and welfare as a marginalized and oppressed sector. In that way, we indirectly advance and help craft a political and economic agenda in the context of our inherent rights.

Hence, the involvement of some of our members in any political undertaking or advocacy is a welcome development. In fact, this is a rightful and timely opportunity to ensure that political candidates, whether local or national, vying for various elective positions to examine their gender and development agenda if it includes the rights and welfare of the LGBT community.--Roxanne Omega Doron, Executive Director, Bisdak Pride Inc.

Stop Lumad killings

Church people gathered together under the #StopLumadKillings Ecumenical Initiative in direct response to the swell in human right violations against the Lumad in Mindanao: we listened to the testimonials of internally displaced Lumad, analyzed the patterns of violations and their alleged motivations, as well as studied the dynamics of militarization, so-called “development” interests, and the resistance of Lumad communities to impending plunder of their ancestral domain Our unity to #StopLumadKillings has been affirmed by Church people across the country and around the world.

We will not be assuaged with simple lip-service nor bullied into silence by state actors. Lumad communities who have asserted their rights in their ancestral domain and have defended their ancestral lands must not be vilified and targeted by the Armed Forces of the Philippines under Operation Plan Bayanihan.

When wave upon wave of military operations bring with them human rights violations and terrorization of communities, the Lumad must resist using the tools at their disposal. Evacuation to town centers can be both an escape for their protection and a forced displacement; however, these have also galvanized the commitment of the Lumad to make their situation known to the wider world.

Our hearts continue to ache as we hear, document, and validate the dastardly acts that have been committed against our Lumad brothers and sisters. We stand united with the Lumad and continue to amplify their call:

President Aquino,

Stop the killings of Lumad in Mindanao.

Pull out military forces from Lumad communities.

Disband paramilitary forces.

Respect the Indigenous Peoples’ right to education, livelihood, and self-determination.

#StopLumadKillings--PCPR
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