FilAm activists remember Nelson Mandela on Intl Human Rights Day

By Steve Angeles

Dec. 11, 2013

LOS ANGELES–As the world continued paying tribute to the late freedom fighter Nelson Mandela, Filipino-American activists paid tribute to the human rights icon during their candlelight vigil commemorating International Human Rights Day.

Filipinos say Mandela’s fight to unify a racially divided South Africa and his years in prison as a political prisoner should serve as inspiration to the Philippines as it continues to deal with its own problems—from natural disasters, to government corruption, and poverty.

“Nelson Mandela is important as a leader, as a freedom fighter, as a person who stood for justice in his own country, and for people around the world,” Theresa Jaranilla of Bayan USA said. “For us as Filipinos, we see a lot of different human rights violations in our own country. We see the suffering of our people in extreme poverty. Nelson Mandela has spoken on the issues of poverty to the issues of human rights violations.”

With reports of slow government response to typhoon victims and the alleged embargo on relief goods,
activists say human rights violations continue amidst the one of worst situations in the world.

“That really is one of the biggest issues—is the corruption and really the greed of a lot of big businesses and Philippine government officials,” Alex Montances of the National Alliance for Filipino Concerns said. “The fact they would try to sell food and relief packs to disaster victims when all of those things should be provided for free.”

Since 1950, the United Nations has designated December 10th as International Human Rights Day to remind the people of the world of their rights and to honor those who defended them.

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  • JT
    12 December 2013 at 2:22 am - Reply

    I heard that news also, P5-P10 for door to door delivery of relief goods, to typhoon victims…How could you trust the PH government…If you want to donate give it to American Red Cross… There is internal investigations being conducted about relief aids at PH Red Cross. Maski saan private or public sector maraming magnanakaw..