Chronicling the Efforts for Justice

These efforts of Christian churches, especially the NCCP, and human rights groups were significant in exposing the poor human rights record of the Arroyo administration and in exerting pressure on the Arroyo administration to address the human rights crisis.

The book presents in full the “Let the Stones Cry Out: An Ecumenical Report on Human Rights in the Philippines and a Call to Action.”

The report has six parts.

Part I: A Cry for Justice: The State of Human Rights in the Philippines Today discusses the human rights situation in the Philippines and the expressions of concern by international human rights watchdogs, Church institutions and international government officials.

Part II: The Worst Since the Marcos Dictatorship provides information on the alarming statistics of human rights violations committed under the Arroyo administration. It also features selected cases of extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances, giving the numbers a human face. The accounts, though brief, are substantial and reflect the brutality of the perpetrators.

Among the cases cited are the attacks against Church people, human rights defenders, trade union leaders and members, women and indigenous peoples. The incidents took place in different parts of the county, notably in areas declared by the government as priorities in its counter-insurgency campaign.

Part III: Oplan Bantay Laya, A Tool for Political Persecution exposes the vicious counter-insurgency program of the Arroyo administration, the Oplan Bantay Laya (Operation Freedom Watch) and how the US continues to play a significant role in directing the national security doctrines of the Philippine government.

Part IV: The Political Crisis, Poverty and Armed Conflicts: The Social, Economic and Political Context of the Human Rights Situation contains the historical and the current social, economic and political conditions prevailing in the country. This section helps the readers, most especially foreigners, understand the context of the human rights situation in the Philippines.

Part V: The Culture of Impunity and the Collapse of the Country’s Legal and Judicial System highlights the factors contributing to the culture of impunity. It presents how the Arroyo administration has so far ‘responded’ to the cries for justice of the survivors and their families.

Part VI: Conclusion: Render Judgments of Truth That Make for Peace presents specific calls addressed to the United Nations Human Rights Council, to the Church and religious bodies in the international community and to the Philippine community.

The book in itself is an important contribution to the campaign to stop extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances and other abuses in the Philippines. It educates as well as it inspires all freedom-loving peoples of the world to continue upholding and protecting human rights.

For as long as human rights are violated, for as long as there are victims who seek justice, the book would not lose its relevance.

It will also serve as a guide for future generations. They will know that during this dark period, the Church people and the Filipino people never lost hope and did their part to bring light into the darkness. (

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