AFTER 114 YEARS, FILIPINOS NOW FEARFUL OF EJK's!
By JOSEPH G. LARIOSA
(© 2017 Journal GlobaLinks)
CHICAGO (JGL) — On August 17, 1903 or five years after America’s bloodless takeover of the Philippines from Spain, a Philippine Commission’s committee was assembled by the new Philippine
American Civil Governor made up of a U.S. Army Surgeon, a U.S. Missionary Bishop, a Filipino doctor, a stenographer and interpreter and disbursing officer. They left Manila on the steamer “City of Peking” headed for Japan, Formosa (now Taiwan), Shanghai, Saigon (now Vietnam), Singapore, Upper Burmah (now Myanmar), Java (now Indonesia) and the Philippine Islands to investigate ways to stop the flow of opium to the Philippines from China.
This was according to U.S. Congressional records and the book, “Modern China and Opium: A Reader,” by Alan Baumler (Univ. of Michigan, 2001).
One hundred fourteen years later, the United States Senate in S. 1055 “Philippines Human Rights Accountability and Counternarcotics Act of 2017” introduced by U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Ben Cardin (D-Maryland) is still at it — mandating the U.S. Secretary of State with concurrence of the Drug Enforcement Administration and Secretary of Defense to submit a report 180 days after the enactment of the bill on “Chinese and other sources of narcotics and precursor chemicals to produce narcotics in the Philippines.”
WHEN OLD FRIENDS MEET:
CONGRESSMAN Darin LaHood (R-18-IL, right) warmly welcomes his old friend, Joseph G. Lariosa, inside the Rayburn Reception Room of the Capitol in Washington, D.C. on Monday, Oct. 23, 2017, accompanied by representatives of the Filipino American Human Rights Alliance of Illinois and the Ecumenical Advocacy Network on the Philippines (EANP), who sought his support for the S. 1055 “Philippines Human Rights Accountability and Counternarcotics Act of 2017.” Mr. Lariosa also thanked the son of former Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood for supporting the Congressional Gold Medal for Filipino World War II Veterans. (JGL Photo by Mary Ellen Richardson, Esq., Legislative Assistant of Rep. LaHood)
Because of concerns on abuses on human rights, democracy and public health promotion by Philippine President Rudy Duterte, the Rubio-Cardin bill also appropriated US$25-M to be made available by the Department of State and the U.S. Agency for International Development to support global health and civil society, including human rights defenders, and to promote the rule of law and good governance in fiscal years 2017 and 2018 to support human rights, democracy, and public health in the Philippines.
An advocacy group, Filipino American Human Rights Alliance (FAHRA) has teamed up this year with the Ecumenical Advocacy Network on the Philippines (EANP) to support the S. 1055 to restrict “defense articles or defense services to be exported from the U.S. to the Philippines for enforcement, riot control or related purposes to the Philippine
National Police,” which have been accused of committing summary killings or extra-judicial killings (EJK’s) in carrying out Mr. Duterte’s bloody war on drugs that has claimed 7,000 people as of Jan. 31, 2017, quoting Amnesty International report.
The advocacy groups also placed a Leahy vetting report on foreign assistance cases related to PNP.
7,000 SUSPECTS KILLED
A Human Rights Watch report has also reported that since June 30, 2016, when Mr. Duterte took power, police and unidentified gunmen together have killed more than 7,000 suspected drug users and dealers, with police officials themselves claiming to have killed almost 3,000 in “encounters” with supposed drug sellers and users.
The police have attributed 3,271 other killings to “vigilantes” and drug gangs, although Human Rights Watch research suggests that many of the cases may also entail police and police agent involvement in EJK’s.
So far, seven senators have supported the bill. A House of Representatives bill is being crafted by Representatives Joaquin Castro (D-20-TX), founder of Asian Caucus, and Jackie Speier (D-14-CA), who has a huge presence of Filipino Americans in her district.
A Representative from Illinois, Darin LaHood (R-18th), an old friend of this reporter, said that he will consider supporting S. 1055 or its House version if it comes to his desk. Mr. LaHood had also co-sponsored the Congressional Gold Medal for Filipino World War II veterans at the prodding of this reporter.
UNDER WASHINGTON's LANSDOWNE PORTRAIT:
WITH GEORGE WASHINGTON portrait as a backdrop, Congressman Darin LaHood (R-18-IL, third from left) had a photo op with his visitors from left Linda & Tim McGloin of the Ecumenical Advocacy Network on the Philippines (EANP), Joseph G. Lariosa of the Journal GlobaLinks, Jerry Clarito and Marlon L. Pecson, all co-convenors of the Filipino American Human Rights Alliance of Illinois inside the Rayburn Reception Room of the Capitol in Washington, D.C. Oct. 23, 2017. His visitors sought his support for the S. 1055 “Philippines Human Rights Accountability and Counternarcotics Act of 2017." (JGL Photo by Mary Ellen Richardson, Esq., Legislative Assistant of Rep. LaHood)
Rep. Ted Yoho (R-3-FL) also expressed interest to support S. 1055 and intimated to FARAH/EANP team that he will be visiting the Philippines next year as chair of the House subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific of the House Foreign Relations Committee.
In their visit to Rep. Randy Hultgren (R-14-IL), FARAH-Illinois’s Jerry B. Clarito and Marlon L. Pecson had sought Mr. Hultgren’s support for the S. 1055. Mr. Hultgren had also planned to craft a letter along with Rep. Jim McGovern (D-2-MA), co-chairs of Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission, for Senators and Representatives to President Trump’s visit to the Philippines next week.
As of presstime, Representatives Hultgren and McGovern made good their plan to write a letter to President Trump to take up concerns for “human rights and democratic values” and “extra-judicial killings” on the war on drugs with President Duterte and other Asian leaders as Mr. Trump meets with them in Asia. It was Mr. McGovern, who famously suggested that if Mr. Duterte were to visit the White House, he would lead the protest at the White House. As a result, Mr. Duterte said, “There will never be a time that I will go to America during my term, or even thereafter," adding he was also surprised that the senator would think he was willing to go to the US. “I've seen America and it's lousy.”
On the other hand, U.S. Senators Chris Coons (D-Del.) and Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), co-chairs of the Senate Human Rights Caucus, released the following statement Tuesday (Nov. 7) concerning President Trump’s trip to Asia, “President Trump is in the midst of a trip to Asia with several important goals, including addressing the threat of North Korea’s nuclear program and promoting U.S. exports throughout the region.
“As co-chairs of the Senate Human Rights Caucus, we urge President Trump to raise these human rights concerns and to promote the United States’ commitment to human rights and democratic values during his meetings with President Xi Jinping in China, President Tran Dai Quang of Vietnam, and President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines. The United States must continue to stand up for the oppressed around the world.”
FARAH and EANP also sought the help of Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), who will also take a look at the bill; Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-2-H), member of House Foreign Relations committee, who was represented by Messrs. Adam Shantz, senior advisor, and Dave Chun, senior legislative assistant, during a call to her office; Rep. David Price (D-4-NC), who is a member of the Foreign Operations Subcommittee on Appropriation, represented by his legislative assistant, Samantha Schifrin; and Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), represented by her legislative aide, Ariel Eckblad.
EANP & FAHRA
The EANP and FAHRA are focusing their effort on Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN), chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Rep. Ed Royce (R-39-CA), chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, to secure their support for S. 1055.
In 2007, EANP was organized as a national network of faith-based leaders, human rights advocates, and Philippine-Americans after the publication of a report by UN Special Rapporteur in 2007 that documented human rights violations by the Philippine Army and security forces under their command, and recommended human rights restrictions on military aid to the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
Since 2008, EANP has advocated for human rights restrictions on Foreign Military Financing (FMF) to the Philippine Army, and from then until 2016, certain restrictions have been applied to FMF for the Philippines. Recently EANP has also conducted legislative advocacy to restrict assistance to the Philippine National Police due to the extrajudicial killings of the War on Drugs.
PLAQUE OF APPRECIATION:
U.S. CONGRESSMAN RANDY Hultgren (R-14-IL, center), co-chair of the House of Representatives’ Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission, receives a Plaque of Appreciation from Jerry Clarito (left) and Marlon Pecson, co-convenors of the Filipino American Human Rights Alliance –Illinois on Oct. 24, 2017 “for standing up for the rights of the oppressed and the marginalized everywhere, in general; and reminding the Philippine government to respect human rights amidst its war on drugs and to provide every person the protection and due process of law, in particular” when they visited Mr. Hultgren at his Rayburn House Office Building in Washington, D.C. to support the S. 1055 “Philippines Human Rights Accountability and Counternarcotics Act of 2017.” (JGL Photo)
Tim McGloin, co-coordinator of the EANP, and his wife, Linda McGloin, a Filipino American, had teamed up with FAHRA in seeking support for the S. 1055 in the Capitol last week. The visit to the Capitol was also coordinated by EANP's Paul Bloom.
FAHRA-Illinois is a new US-based group which decided to promote human rights for all thru bayanihan (working together), kapitbahayan, which is neighbor helping neighbor and damayan, people helping each other in a passionate way. And be knowledgeable and aware of events happening around.
AS CHINA’S OPIUM LEAVES PH, US CIGARETTES ARRIVES
The Philippine Commission’s committee that investigated the opium and the drug traffic in Asia at the turn of the 19th Century were composed of Maj. Edward C. Carter, a surgeon in the U.S. Army and Commissioner of the Public Health for the Philippine Islands, the Right Rev. C. H. Brent, Bishop of the Missionary District of the Philippine Islands and Dr. Jose Albert of Manila, Philippine Islands based on the provisions of Act No. 800, as amended by Act No. 812, Philippine Commission. Mr. Carl J. Arnell was designated by the Civil Governor as disbursing officer, stenographer and interpreter for the Committee.
It took the committee five months to cover the territory to gather evidence but they faced challenges thru “difficulties of language” especially in Japan and China. The word “opium” embraces opium, raw or cooked, chandoo, morphia, codeia, the other soporific alkaloids found in opium and their salts, and all other articles containing any of these substances and commonly used to produce the same effects as opium.
IN THE U.S. SENATE HALL:
A GROUP TRYING TO change the world had a photo op inside the halls of the Hart Senate Office building after a long day of lobbying in Washington, D.C. on Oct. 23, 2017 for the passage of S. 1055 “Philippines Human Rights Accountability and Counternarcotics Act of 2017" and taking a slice from of 5% off the reported $66-M annual appropriation from the Enhance Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) for the rental of the U.S. bases that will used for their “increased rotational presence” in the Philippines for the next 10 years to fund the HELP (health, education, livelihood program) of children called Amerasians. They are children of Asian women fathered by American soldiers, who abandoned them and their mothers, but are unable to come to the US because these Amerasian children are not recognized by their fathers. Photo shows from left Joseph G. Lariosa, Linda & Tim McGloin, Jerry Clarito, Jenni Bartolome, Eric Lachica, Angie Cruz and Marlon Pecson. (JGL Photo)
Among the recommendations of the committee were:
(1) That opium and the traffic therein be made a strict government monopoly immediately;
(2) That three years after that shall have been done, no opium shall be imported, bought or introduced into these islands, except by the government and for medical purposes
(3) That the use of opium shall be prohibited to all inhabitants of these islands who are not males over 21 years of age.
(4) That only those males over 21 years of age who have licenses to use opium shall be permitted to use the drug.
(5) That licenses shall be issued to males over 21 years of age by the government only, when it is shown by sufficient evidence that said males are habitual users of opium and would be injured by
being compelled to discontinue its use suddenly.
(6) That no person who is known to be an habitual user of opium shall be authorized to exercise the franchise of holding office under the Government of the Philippine Islands.
(7) That in case a native of these islands (not a Chinese) violate any of the laws, regulations or rules against the use of opium, he (or she) shall be punished for the first and second offenses by fine
or imprisonment, or by both, and for the third offense by being deprived of his (or her) right to exercise the franchise or to hold office under the Government of the Philippine Islands.
(8) That the pupils in the public schools of the Philippine Islands shall be taught the evil and debasing results of the opium habit, and that a primer of hygiene containing this information (and such
other as the Honorable, the Secretary of Public Instruction, may deem fit) be prepared and used as a text book in said schools.
As opium recedes into the sunset in the Philippines, an importation of “morphia,” little cigarettes called “Pinhead Cigarettes” were making its way into the Philippine horizon in 1903.
James Buchannan Duke of Durham, North Carolina formed a tobacco business in 1880 that would later produce the “Pin Head,” "Cyclone," "Duke’s Best” and other cigarette brands. His company would later become The American Tobacco Company. It was broken up by the U.S. Supreme Court for violation of Sherman Anti-Trust Act into American Tobacco, R.J. Reynolds, Liggett & Meyers and P. Lorillard.
In 1903, the population of the Philippine Islands was 7,572,199. Today, it is more than 100-M.
The committee suggested that the anti-drug campaign in Japan was successful because Japanese “fear opium as we fear cobra or rattlesnake, and they despise its victims.”