PATH

Peace Advocates For Truth, Healing & Justice

What is PATH?
Peace Advocates for Truth, Healing & Justice (PATH) was formally organized in 2002, pioneering in its focus on human rights violations by a non-state armed group. Composed of torture survivors, families, relatives and friends of victims missing or executed during the anti-infiltration campaigns within the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army (CPP-NPA) in the 1980s, PATH seeks truth and justice from the CPP-NPA and other Left blocs involved in the anti-infiltration campaigns. PATH believes that all non-state armed groups, including those not from the Left movement, should observe human rights in the conduct of their resistance against the State. Ultimately, PATH holds the State accountable as well for the purges, and for military atrocities during martial law and throughout successive administrations.
Goals & Objectives
PATH's goals and objectives are as follows:
  • 1. Complete the documents of the cases of all victims during the purges and all those involved.
  • 2. Organize a national community of human rights defenders and advocates composed of survivors, families, relatives and friends of victims during the purges.
  • 3. Facilitate the healing of survivors as well as the families, relatives and friends of purge victims.
  • 4. Conduct exhumations so that victims are given due respect and proper burial.
  • 5. Conduct a comprehensive advocacy work. Its main components will be public information and campaign, solidarity-building and lobbying at the local, national and international levels.
  • 6. Deepen and popularize the culture of human rights through artistic and popular education, productions and other cultural endeavors.
  • 7. Come up with case studies of country experiences on the setting up of Truth and Justice Commissions and strive for the creation of a Truth and Justice Commission in the country together with other human rights organizations and individual human rights advocates.
  • 7 Committees
  • Research & Documentation. Documents stories and produces a database of victims in aid of locating burial sites; conducts research to surface facts and circumstances of the purges; publishes materials as tools for justice campaigns; ensures confidentiality and security of records and files.
  • Recovery of Victims' Remains. In cooperation with the victims' kin, locates gravesites, retrieves the remains and arranges their proper burial; mobilizes the services of forensic experts and other professionals; initiates dialogues with the victims' families as well as with perpetrators.
  • Counseling & Therapy. Facilitates healing sessions that address the long-term trauma of surivivors and victims families; mobilizes professionals in the fields of psychology and psychiatry; builds support groups for victims and their families towards eventual closure.
  • Communications & Popular Education. Develops education programs, including theoretical materials and tools for reflection, that revolve around human rights and respect for human dignity; holds commemoration activities and builds memorials for the victims; develops external communications through publications and mass media.
  • Legal & Security. Leads in the initiation and pursuance of legal actions for victims; assist in the handling and protection of material evidence in coordination with the RVR Committee; conducts research on the possibilities of a Truth Commission; studies the implications of PATH's work on the peace negotiations between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the CPP-NPA-NDF; and ensures lines with established institutions that will help strengthen PATH;
  • Arts & Culture. Produces musical compositions, literary works, plays, video documentaries, films, and other cultural works from the stories of survivors and victims.
  • Organizing & Advocacy. Reaches out to survivors and victims' families in different regions and encourages solidarity in their journey towards justice and healing.
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    Monday, August 27, 2007
    UN asked to recall its highest official in RP
    NGOs accuse exec of abuse, harassment

    By Veronica Uy
    INQUIRER.net
    Last updated 10:58am (Mla time) 08/27/2007

    MANILA, Philippines -- Former senator Wigberto Tañada and 48 other leaders of non-government organizations have asked the United Nations to recall its highest official in the Philippines for alleged arbitrariness, unilateralism, abuse, and harassment.

    In a petition, members of the civil society community said:
    “Arbitrariness. Unilateralism. Abuse. Harassment. These are words we do not normally attribute to the UN.”

    “Oftentimes we have seen the UN proactively responding to cases involving these. We are alarmed that now, a UN official is associated with the very things that are anathema to UN values,” they said of Nileema Noble, UN resident coordinator and UN development program representative in the Philippines.

    “We call upon the UN to deal decisively with the living paradox within its ranks as embodied by its highest official in the country, Ms. Nileema Noble. It is imperative that the UN correct this intolerable situation. We expect far higher standards of ethical conduct and professionalism from its representatives. Otherwise, they must go.”

    Noble, who has been at her post for more than a year, is being investigated by the UN for alleged abuse of authority over Filipino employees of the UN office here in Manila.

    At least 13 Filipino staffers of the United Nations office here, including two who have left the office, have sought the ouster of the UN-Manila chief for her “autocratic and oppressive behavior,” according to their letter to Kemal Dervis, administrator of the United Nations Development Program in New York, a copy of which was obtained by INQIUIRER.net.

    Mary Gemme Montebon, Jennifer Navarro, Amelia D. Supetran, Emmanuel E. Buendia, Morito G. Francisco, Imee F. Manal, Clarissa Arida, Roberto V. Carandang, Anna L. Senga, Frances M. Solinap (former UNDP staff), Francis Gertrud R. Mercado (former UNDP staff), Jay-Ann Arandia, and Elcid C. Pangilinan asked that Nileema be punished for “verbal and physical harassment,” “abuse of authority,” and “violation of the rights” of the staffers, particularly rights to effective remedy and due process.

    When asked for comment, Noble’s office said she has been instructed by the UNDP headquarters in New York to refrain from talking about the case.

    The petition was preceded by a short note saying: “We hope that you will agree that no international official, no matter if resource-bearing nor how well-intentioned and even progressive, has the right to treat Filipinos shabbily in their own country.”

    The petitioners noted that Noble’s behavior to UN staff has been known to them. “We are aware that numerous staff under her, whether temporary or fixed term, have complained and filed cases detailing verbal and physical abuse and arbitrary termination of employment contracts. We are appalled that numerous incidents involving Ms. Noble establish a pattern of systematic abuse of authority and downright harassment,” they said.

    The letter said Noble has also been arbitrary in her behavior of lack of consultation, mutual respect, and professionalism toward partner government and academic institutions by invalidating contracts.

    “The UN has set historic precedents in human rights observance over the past decades. Ironically now, the human rights and dignity of UN staff in the Philippines are being trampled. We cannot stand idly by,” it said.

    The other petitioners are Ana Maria “Princess” R. Nemenzo of the Freedom from Debt Coalition; Rosselynn “Jae” dela Cruz, Initiatives for Dialogue and Empowerment through Alternative Legal Services (IDEALS); Luzviminda “Vim” Santos, People’s Global Exchange (PGX); Mary Aileen D. Bacalso, Asian Federation Against Involuntary Disappearances (AFAD); Maria “Mars” Mendoza, Children's Initiatives for Learning and Development (CHILD) Inc.; Earl Parreno, Altertrade..."

    (Note: The list has been updated since. There are 112 names as of 6 September 2007. Please see separate posting below, A Call to Action," for the complete list).

    posted by PATH @ 8/27/2007 10:59:00 PM  
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    About Me

    Name: PATH
    Home: Quezon City, Philippines
    About Me:
    See my complete profile
    Where to send your donations and order the book

  • Peace Advocates for Truth, Healing and Justice (PATH) 45 Matimtiman St., cor. Magiting St., Teachers' Village East Quezon City 1101, Philippines Tel. No: (632) 921-8049 Telefax: (632) 926-2893
  • You can also donate to PATH by clicking on the ads below
    The book about the CPP-NPA Purges
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  • "Bobby Garcia provides a riveting account of the Communist Party of the Philippines' "killing fields" and situates it within the context of a revolutionary movement that was nobly motivated but also tragically flawed. To Suffer Thy Comrades goes beyond Garcia's narrative of his and other survivors' harrowing experiences and explains why the purges took place, how both torturers and victims coped and made sense of their plight, and how they survived in the aftermath of the purge. The book sheds light on the darkest and deepest secrets of the revolutionary movement and provides insights that are useful now that the communists are negotiating peace with the government" - SHEILA CORONEL, Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism
  • "...Bobby Garcia had the courage to write about the 'killing fields' despite some people's efforts to dissuade him. Bobby was one of its victims -- he was 21 when his entire future was nearly taken away from him -- who was lucky enough to survive. And who is even luckier to retain a huge sense of humor and equanimity, even when talking about his ordeal, at least with friends. His book is called "To Suffer Thy Comrades"...It is certainly not something that will set your mind at rest. But read it anyway. Its virtue is to be found in that biblical observation, 'The truth shall set you free.' - CONRADO DE QUIROS, Philippine Daily Inquirer
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