Rain did not stop protesters in Manila. (ABS/CN photo)

Filipino diaspora celebrates International Human Rights Day with protests

By Ted Alcuitas

Filipinos across the diaspora commemorated the 70th International Human Rights Day by holding rallies and discussions on the current situation in the Philippines.

Rallies were held on December 10 in San Francisco, LA, Paris, Sidney, Toronto and Manila.

In Vancouver, Global Pinoy Diaspora Canada -Human Rights Group attended a morning mass at the historic Sacred Heart Church. Pastor Fr. Garry Laboucane, OMI, read part of the message about the extra-judicial killings in the Philippines.

Fr.  Fr. Garry Laboucane of Sacred Heart pose with the gop after the mass. (Provided)

After the mass the goup gathered at organizer Treenee Lopez’s house for a surprise birthday for Ted Alcuitas. (Provided)

In Toronto, two dozen people gathered in front of Old City Hall to mark International Human Rights Day and bring attention to the expanding scope of extrajudicial killings being carried out in the Philippines by the Duterte administration. Protesters carried pictures of victims of alleged extrajudicial killings.

Protesters in front of Old City Hall in Toronto decry extrajudicial killings in the Philippines, on Human Rights Day. FACEBOOK

Relatives of slain priest Fr. Tito Paez came from Sacramento and San Jose. The assassinated priest’s nieces remembered him as a loving uncle who told them to “work for the poor and oppressed.” One of them remembered Fr. Paez saying, “Jesus Christ was scared as well, but he did what he had to do.”

Fr. Tito Paez was remembered in San Francisco with some reatives attending. (Facebook)

In Los Angeles, activist, community advocates and allies marked the 70th International Human Rights Day (IHRD) last December 9, with two new films that were shown for the first time in Los Angeles.
 The first film was “Grandpa Sam” by Fe Koons, which poignantly shows the plight of Filipino World War II Veterans in the twilight of their years yet still fighting for justice and equity denied them for 72 years.

The second film was the mind boggling “Tigbao” about the killing fields in Zamboanga peninsula in Mindanao. Mike Bonifacio, the director answered the questions about the film. It mirrors the reality today under the Duterte government.

Some thirty protesters gather in front of Manila Garden restaurant in Hayward to let Philippine National Police Chief General Ronaldo “Bato” dela Rosa know “he is not welcome in the San Francisco Bay Area.” INQUIRER/Jun Nucum

 In San Francisco, a planned meeting with visiting Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief General Ronaldo “Bato” de la Rosa’s meet-and-greet with supporters of President Rodrigo Duterte was canceled because of “security concerns,” Inquirer.net reports.

Protesters showed up at the Manila Garden in Hayward  attended mostly by Filipino youth members