Int’l People’s Tribunal finds Aquino, Obama guilty of human rights violations

WASHINGTON, DC – “We the jury, hereby renders judgement, finding defendents Benigno Simeon C. Aquino III and defendent’s Government of the United States of America represented by Barack Hussein Obama guilty!” said People’s Tribunal “juror” Azadeh Shahshahani.

Human rights attorney Shahshahani read the guilty verdict of the International People’s Tribunal against the alleged crimes of the Aquino and Obama governments against the Filipino people Saturday — from extrajudicial killings to war crimes and the presence of US military in the Philippines.

Shahshahani said, “And guilty of gross and systematic violations of the rights of the people to national self-determination and liberation, through the imposition of the US war on terror, “war of terror” and US military intervention.”

The three-day people’s tribunal is composed of human rights defenders, academics, church leaders, and political activists who also served as “jurors.”

Held in Washington, DC, the tribunal heard more than 30 witnesses and alleged victims.

“Witness” Rafael Mariano said, “On Nov. 16, 2004, seven people were killed or massacred and hundreds were wounded. That’s the Hacienda Luisita Massacre.”

“People and witnesses attested to seeing Americans in the combat operations and also reports of drones in the community,” said another “witness” Amirah Lidasan of Suara Bangsamoro.

Philippine Congressman Neri Colmenares, another “witness”, said, “We have a mother, a father, a friend , a neighbor, a cousin whom we know who died in a hospital because there were no medicine, there were no funds for medicine, and yet billions of pesos are diverted to pork barrel.”

President Obama and President Aquino were not able to defend their governments from these allegations during the People’s Tribunal proceedings. The People’s Tribunal claims to have notified and invited them, but they did not respond.

A people’s tribunal is an opinion tribunal. It aims to publicize cases of violations of fundamental rights.

While it’s non-binding legally, the group says their verdict will be served to the White House, the Philippine government, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank, and the United Nations.

Meanwhile, the US Pinoys for Good Governance, a group known to support both Presidents Aquino and Obama, doubts the tribunal’s verdict will carry any impact.

“If they are accusing President Aquino and President Obama, how can they be accused without having the right to defend themselves or to bring out witnesses?” said Loida Nicolas Lewis, national chair of USP4GG. “As you can see, it was only one way. They bring witnesses and they make a decision. What is this, kangaroo court?”

“They have no credibility,” she added.

You may contact Don Tagala at don_tagala@abs-cbn.com for more information.

8 Comments on this post.

Leave a Reply

*

*

  • Yves Nibungco
    21 July 2015 at 9:09 am - Reply

    To respond to Ms. Loida Nicolas-Lewis’ seemingly knee-jerk reaction to any criticism towards Aquino or Washington.

    First of all, the Aquino and Obama government were served notice and invitation to participate and present their side at the International Peoples’ Tribunal. This 3-day tribunal was even held in DC so that representatives of the US and Philippine government wouldn’t have to break a sweat to attend it. There was no response. This exactly shows the culture of impunity from these two governments.

    Second, Ms Loida is either intentionally distorting the truth or historically ignorant to ask where these activists were during the darkest times of the brutal Arroyo administration or any of the previous presidents. These activists suffered the most brutal repression and bore the heaviest brunt specifically for their consistent exposition of the injustices and lies of her government. These activists are already fighting against Arroyo’s de-facto dictatorship even before she joined the band-wagon. It would’ve helped if she did a bit of research. A permanent peoples’ tribunal was also held against the Arroyo administration in 2007. Prior to that, a permanent peoples’ tribunal was held against the late dictator, Ferdinand Marcos in 1980.

    Lastly, if Ms. Loida did a bit more research, again, she would’ve found out that these activists have been opposing China’s incursion on our territories since 2008. BAYAN MUNA sought to stop it and has challenged the constitutionality of the Tripartite Agreement for Joint Marine Seismic Undertaking (JMSU) with China and Vietnam. Instead of sowing disinformation about BAYAN activists’ position on China, it is Ms. Loida’s version of nationalism that must be put into question, her one-sided, selective assertion of sovereignty, one that is “raging” against China but willingly selling it to the United States.

    With that, I challenge Ms. Loida to face the witnesses of the International Peoples’ Tribunal and listen to their testimonies. I dare her to tell them that they have no credibility. I also dare her to take the position of fully asserting Philippine sovereignty and denounce all threats to Philippine sovereignty against all foreign powers whether it be China or the United States.

  • Yves Nibungco
    21 July 2015 at 9:24 am - Reply
  • Anakbayan USA
    21 July 2015 at 12:23 pm - Reply

    The coverage of the International Peoples’ Tribunal by Balitang America got one glaring fact wrong – the indictment was indeed served to the defendants (US & PH governments) 10 days prior to the trial: (VIDEO) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GnCeuC3gXNI

    Reporter Don Tagala’s statement that “President Obama and President Aquino were not able to defend their governments from these allegations during the people’s tribunal proceedings” is incorrect and misleading.

    The subsequent interview with pro-Aquino billionaire Loida Nicolas Lewis only shows how misinformed she is and that she needs to get her facts straight before she speaks.

    1) The indictment was served to the defendants on July 6, 2015.
    2) There was a Permanent People’s Tribunal held in 2007 in The Hague, Netherlands also found the Gloria Macapagal Arroyo regime guilty of gross human rights violations. It had a significant impact by bringing international pressure to curb the killing spree of the AFP at that time.
    3) The US has repeatedly declared that it will not help the Philippines in a military dispute with China. The AFP itself has admitted that it is alone should there be a miltary conflict.
    4) The Philippines reopened Subic Bay for AFP & US military use last week.
    ‪#‎PeoplesTribunal‬

  • Demetrius
    21 July 2015 at 12:44 pm - Reply

    There was letters sent to the Aquino administration stating where and when this event would take place. They had a chance to send to defend himself or send representation to make a defence at this court. All proceedings followed international court law and since the Aquino government failed to produce representation it is his own fault.

  • Yves Nibungco
    21 July 2015 at 12:56 pm - Reply

    For viewers’ reference. The Aquino and Obama governments were duly served on July 6, 2015 via certified mail letter by the convernors of the International Peoples’ Tribunal informing them of the said indictment and asking them on how they intend to participate in the tribunal but have not responded.

    Here’s a video proof: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GnCeuC3gXNI

  • Redante Asuncion-Reed
    26 July 2015 at 8:15 am - Reply

    I’m a Filipino-American who has been following the issues the tribunal raises for several years and I’ve volunteered for a grassroots advocacy organization that has been working on human rights abuse issues since the Gloria Arroyo administration. I am appalled, saddened and highly disappointed at the dismissiveness and disrespect Loida Nicolas Lewis demonstrates in disparaging the work of the advocates who organized the tribunal.

    Lewis, for those who do not know, is a highly prominent and influential Filipino-American business person and philanthropist whose words and support carry a lot of weight in the Filipino-American community and in philanthropic and advocacy circles in the US.

    http://www.therichest.com/celebnetworth/celebrity-business/women/loida-nicolas-lewis-net-worth/

    The tribunal’s convenors and supporters are primarily church-based human rights advocates, representatives of grassroots peasant and worker organizations, and public interest NGOs and research institutions.

    http://internationalpeoplestribunal.org/conveners/

    The tribunal convenors have issued a response to Lewis which addresses her disparaging comments point by point:

    http://internationalpeoplestribunal.org/press/

    If Lewis does not care for the issues of human rights abuses, extrajudicial killings, and other issues the tribunal raises that is a fair point to make. Then she should just come outright and say it. If that is true, then I wonder why Balitang America chose to have her speak on camera in response to an issue she does not care about. It would have been more appropriate to have the counterpoint from someone in the Philippine government or the US State Department who would have been able to speak more substantively on the issue at hand.

    If, on the other hand, Lewis does, indeed, care about the issues of extrajudicial killings, abductions, disappearances and human rights abuses in the Philippines that organizations behind the tribunal have been working on for many years, I urge her to reach out and thoughtfully and constructively engage with the tribunal convenors who have issued an invitation to her to discuss the findings of the tribunal in a public forum.

  • JRB
    27 July 2015 at 9:25 pm - Reply

    I think this people is all under water. There in the wrong country they should open there big mouth in Philippines, and see what result there all will get. Obama should kick there “ASS.” It’s a shame for this Filipinos to say all the bad things about Aquino and Obama.

    • jose
      30 July 2015 at 12:08 pm - Reply

      True. Tama din si Lewis na it’s “kangaroo court.”

    POPULAR POSTS