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 Anti-Torture Bill is now on PGMA’s desk

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KAKAMMPI



Female Number of posts : 880
Registration date : 2008-01-06

PostSubject: Anti-Torture Bill is now on PGMA’s desk   Wed Sep 16, 2009 8:10 am

Dear fellow freedom from torture advocates,

We would like to inform you that the Enrolled Anti-Torture Bill is now on PGMA’s desk, ready for signing. Unfortunately, we have received word that GMA has plans to veto the measure since it does not include the accountability of Non-State Actors. If this happens, the proposed bill will be returned to the legislative branch for reconsideration.

This situation will yield one of two possible scenarios:

PGMA’s veto is overridden by a two thirds vote in each chamber.
The bill is not approved during the 14th congress. It will have to be re-filed next congress (yes, another round of campaigning and lobby work for us)

Here are the results of our consultation with our HR lawyers focused on the measure:

Once a bill is returned to the legislative branch due to a veto and is not overridden by a two thirds vote in each chamber, there is no possibility of reformulating the measure to satisfy the grounds for which the veto was made within the same congress. This means that the bill will have to be refilled next congress.

There are several reasons why lobbying for the Senate and the House of Representatives to override the veto is immensely difficult at this point in time:

An overwhelming majority at the House of Representatives is pro-administration
Due to the upcoming elections, should any administration legislator be in favor of voting for an override, he or she most likely will hesitate to do so for fear of upsetting the executive.
It is budget season already.

In consideration of the abovementioned concerns, the situation leaves us with one immediate option; lobby the Philippine President to reconsider her veto.

We can offer concessions such as presenting future support in lobby efforts for the amendments of the measure’s infirmities later.

Here are immediate steps we can take in order to make a final stand for the passage of the anti-torture law:

International Human Rights Organizations:

1. Sending Letters of Appeal/other forms communication to Malacanang urging PGMA to sign the enrolled bill.

2. Public Statements

Diplomatic Community Partners

1. Supporting/Joining upcoming lobby actions for the passage of the law

2. Sending Letters of Appeal/other forms communication to Malacanang urging PGMA to sign the enrolled bill.

3. Public Statements

4. Press Conferences


Local Partners:

1. Supporting/Joining upcoming lobby actions for the passage of the law

2. Sending Letters of Appeal/other forms communication to Malacanang urging PGMA to sign the enrolled bill.

3. Public Statements

4. Press Conferences

Should anyone have ideas on other possible solutions to this challenge, we would very much appreciate it. Kindly feel free to put forward your ideas and viewpoints in support of the anti-torture law. We would also like to encourage any direct actions in favor of PGMA’s signature should any individual or group afford to do so.

Remember, time is of the essence. PGMA has less than thirty days to veto. We are as of now unsure when the transmittal to Malacanang was officially logged but we definitely have less than a month.

Thank you very much for the continued support for the advancement of the right not to be tortured in the Philippines.

For the immediate passage of the Anti-Torture Law in the Philippines,

Ellecer Ebro Carlos
PDRP-STOV Team
BALAY Rehabilitation Center, Inc.


URL: www.balayph.net & www.opcatph.org
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