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    PINAS FIRST condemns threats to environment activist

    18 August 2011

    H.. E. Benigno S. Aquino III
    President of the Philippines
    2/F Bonifacio Hall, Malacañang, Manila
    Tel: 733-3010 loc 882/ 887
    Website: president.gov.ph

    Dear H.E. President Benigno Aquino III,

    We at PINAS FIRST condemn the threats and intimidation to which Vince Cinches, a coordinator of the environment watchdog 350.org, was subjected by suspected state security forces in the Visayas.

    Vince Cinches strongly suspects the men to be military agents because of their conduct which falls  into the pattern of harassment of activists in Dumaguete and Cebu.

    He had been subjected to military harassment before as a student activist at the University of San Carlos, Cebu City, and later as public information officer of BAYAN-Central Visayas. His present group –  350.org –  is an international organization campaigning to address the causes of climate change. The group is currently preparing various communities and stakeholders around the world for a September event called “Moving Planet.”

    It is time to stop the politics of harassment and vilification and focus on policies and programmes that address the urgent and long-term problems facing our nation and the world.

    We cannot afford to hinder Cinches from doing his share to save our plundered country, our plundered planet.

    We demand that
    an immediate thorough investigation and documentation of the case be conducted by a multi-sectoral team and the Commission on Human Rights and if and when appropriate, the corresponding legal process be initiated

    Mr. Vince Cinches be given due protection to allow him to do his work and have safe and unhampered trips to consult with members of his organization

    the military ensure its rank and file’s adherance to its purported “broader framework of security serving society, acting in harmony with other government strategic policies for peace, security and development”

    our Government comply with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights to which it is a party.

    Respectfully yours,

    Manuel Sarmiento
    Chairperson, Pinoy In Austrian Society For Integrity,
    Reforms & Social Transformation (PINAS FIRST)
    Adolf Loos Gasse 6/17/10
    1210 Vienna, Austria, Europe
    Website: pinas-first.com
    Email: sarman.manuel@gmail.com

    cc:

    Hon. Secretary Teresita Quintos-Deles
    Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP)
    7/F Agustin I Building, F. Ortigas Jr. Road, Ortigas Center, Pasig City
    Tel: 6360701 to 06 / 637-6083
    Fax: 638-2216
    Email: stqd@opapp.net
    Website: opapp.gov.ph

    Hon. Ret. Lt. Gen. Voltaire T. Gazmin
    Secretary, Department of National Defense
    Room 301 DND Building, Camp Emilio Aguinaldo,
    E. de los Santos Avenue, Quezon City
    Voice:+63(2) 911-9281 / 911-0488
    Fax:+63(2) 911 6213
    Email: osnd@philonline.com

    Hon. Atty. Leila De Lima
    Secretary, Department of Justice
    Padre Faura St., Manila
    Direct Line 521-8344; 5213721
    Trunkline  523-84-81 loc.214
    Fax: (+632) 521-1614
    Email:  soj@doj.gov.ph

    Hon.  Loretta Ann P. Rosales
    Chairperson, Commission on Human Rights
    SAAC Bldg., UP Complex
    Commonwealth Avenue
    Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines
    Voice: (+632) 928-5655, 926-6188
    Fax: (+632) 929 0102
    Email:   chair.rosales.chr@gmail.com, lorettann@gmail.com

    KARAPATAN Alliance for the Advancement of People’s Rights
    National Office
    2/F Erythrina Bldg., #1 Maaralin cor Matatag Sts., B
    rgy. Central, Diliman, Quezon City 1100 PHILIPPINES
    Voice/Fax: (+632) 435 4146
    Email: urgentaction@karapatan.org

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