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[ 22 Feb 2017 | No Comment ]
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PRESS RELEASE
22 February 2017
Reference: ACT Teachers Rep. France Castro
IMG_2017-02-22 17:36:49ACT Teachers Representative France Castro today joined child rights advocates in calling for the scrapping of the proposed bill to lowering the minimum age of criminal responsibility (MACR). The protest was held in front of the House of Representatives (HOR) after representatives from the Makabayan bloc walked out from the hearing of the Committee on Justice.
The bill seeks to lower the MACR from the current 15 years old to nine years old. Children in conflict with the law (CICL) who are nine to below 18 years old will be subject to criminal proceedings if they are alleged to have acted with discernment, or knew their action was wrong.

“As a teacher, I know the mentality of my students and children at that tender age. They still don’t have sufficient capacity to distinguish right from wrong and are vulnerable to authority, pressure, or deceit from adults,” Castro said. “When they do wrong, it is when they need most to be put in nurturing environments and not be ostracized as criminals.”
Read more…

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[ 8 Dec 2016 | No Comment ]
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PRESS RELEASE
07 December 2016
Reference: ACT Teachers Party-List Rep. Antonio Tinio (0920-922-0817) and Rep. France Castro (0920-969-8457)
 
ACT Teachers Party-List Representatives Antonio Tinio and France Castro scored the naming of Lieutenant General Eduardo Año as chief of staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), saying that President Duterte should take a second look at Año’s long record of human rights violations and reconsider the appointment.
“The Army under Año’s command was responsible for various human rights violations, including the Paquibato massacre in June 2014 which killed three indigenous peoples (IPs) and the pouring in of battalions in Mindanao which caused widespread displacement of IPs,” said Tinio.  “When he signed Año’s appointment papers, the President might as well have signed the death warrant for the search for justice and accountability for these human rights violations.”
Año is also linked to the enforced disappearance of farmer-activist Jonas Burgos who was taken by armed men under his command, among them then-Army Lt. Harry Baliaga.
“Año’s appointment implies that human rights violators and those who allow them are rewarded with higher ranks rather than jail time.  His appointment is a huge mockery to human rights, which is unfortunate since we would be celebrating the International Human Rights Day in a few days,” said Castro.  “Appointing Año as AFP chief is to pardon grave human rights violations.  It is a slap on the face of victims their families and supporters whose outcries for justice remain unanswered.”
“We urge President Duterte to reconsider this appointment and to reassess his recent decisions involving the military and their implications.  The government should uphold, protect and defend the fundamental human rights of Filipinos, especially the marginalized and oppressed,” the solons ended. ###

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[ 19 Oct 2016 | No Comment ]
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PRESS RELEASE
19 October 2016
Reference: ACT Teachers Rep. Antonio L. Tinio (09209220817)
ACT Teachers Rep. Antonio Tinio on the violent dispersal of Lumad and Moro rallyists at the US Embassy:
We strongly condemn the brutal dispersal of thousands of  Moro and indigenous people holding a peaceful demonstration in front of the US Embassy this morning. Manila Police District officers, led by Col. Marcelino Pedrozo, Jr., used tear gas and truncheons as the demonstrators were about to end their program. More than 50 have been injured, including some lumad who were run over by a police vehicle.
The lumad have traveled from Mindanao to raise awareness of their plight, particularly the militarization of their communities as mining and logging interests attempt to displace them from their lands. Tragically, the Manila police have welcomed them with similar brutality.
We call for an immediate investigation into this incident and for the responsible police officials to be held accountable. ###

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[ 29 Sep 2016 | No Comment ]
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photo_2016-09-29_21-30-40Rep. Castro: “Sa bahagi ng ACT Teachers Party-List, tingin namin na ang panukala ng DOF na tax reform ay anti-teacher, anti-people. Tatanggalan nito ng VAT exemption unang-una ay ang mga senior citizen at mga PWD kaya mariin naming tinututulan ang panukalang ito. Isa pa, tama si Speaker na walang binanggit na solusyon sa inefficiency sa tax collection.”

Rep. Zarate: “Tayo sa Bayan Muna, author ng HB333, ay mariing tumututol sa panukala ng DOF. Napaka-arbitrary ng pagdedesisyon na kumikita ng bababa sa P250,000 lamang ang exempted sa pagbubuwis. Saan nagmumula ang posisyong ito? Samantalang ang cost of living ng isang pamilya (sa loob ng isang taon) ay mahigit P300,000 na. Bilang karagdagan pa, sa pakete ng DOF, binabaan nga nila ang income tax pero nag-impose naman ng excise tax. Matagal nang pinag-uusapan ang added tax sa sigarilyo, inumin pero huwag sa diesel at gasolina dahil domino effect ang mangyayari ‘pag nadagdagan ang diesel ng P6. Cascade effect yan sa mamamayan. Read more…