Rep. Carlos Isagani Zarate

BAYAN MUNA TO HOUSE LEADERS FAST TRACK HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDERS BILL On International Human Rights Day, Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Isagani Zarate challenged the House leadership to seriously consider and fast track the passage of the Human Rights Defenders Act that the Committee on Human Rights unanimously approved last week.

“The passing of this landmark bill which Bayan Muna had been filing since 2007 is historic because it is only now that it has passed the committee level. This is also very timely considering that human rights defenders now are under attack. The case of the illegal arrest of former Bayan Muna Rep. Satur Ocampo, Rep. France Castro and other members of Talaingod 18 as well as peace advocate Rey Casambre and his wife underscores the passage of a law that protects HR defenders,” said the progressive solon, who is one the principal authors of the Bill.

“Along with the increasing extra-judicial killings and harassment of activists, we can no longer ignore these glaring proof of the deterioting state of the human rights situation in the country, thus, it is imperative that we pass this bill,” he added. “We hope that this bill, when enacted can help protect and advance the rights of those who are defending human rights in the Philippines,” ended Rep. Zarate.###

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