MIGRANTE Ontario Youth

Advancing the rights and welfare of Filipino youth

Philippine Vignettes: A Photo Exhibition by Alex Felipe

Posted by anakbayantoronto on April 8, 2008

Here is an exhibit that one of our good friends, photographer Alex Felipe, is conducting.

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Opening Night: 8 April @ 7:30pm.
Runs Tuesday, April 8, 2008 at 7:30pm
to Thursday, April 17, 2008 at 1:30pm
Cafe Tinto
89 Roncesvalles Avenue
Toronto, Ontario

Alex Felipe is a Filipino-Canadian photographer that has just returned to Toronto after spending three months following the human rights situation in his mother country—which included a disturbing Canadian connection.

The Philippines is a country stuck in the cycle of poverty shared by many other so-called developing nations. Sixty-nine million (out of a population of ninety-one million) are living on $2/day or less.

Corruption, neo-colonial policies, and human rights abuses are the norm. According to the latest corruption survey by Berlin-based Transparency International rates the country the worst in Southeast Asia.

The current administration, led by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, is accused of almost 900 extrajudicial killings and almost 200 disappearances—as well as torture, illegal detention, and displacement. UN Special Rapporteur Philip Alson visited the country in 2007 and his scathing report confirms much of this.

This exhibition will present an overview of the Philippine situation. From the family members of those killed, disappeared, and those under threat; to images from inside a prison holding accused terrorists; to protest rallies; and finally to a Canadian connection to these horrors.

Canada is one of the world’s largest mining nations. Over half of the world’s mining companies (and 2/3rds of the world’s mining exploration companies) are traded on the TSX. The Philippines is incredibly rich in mineral resources, it’s ranked second in terms of geological prospectively, and second in gold production (per land unit).

Two Canadian mining sites will be shown. Placer Dome/Barrick Gold on Marinduque Island, where three different sites have become contaminated with mine waste resulting in the loss of livelihood and extremely high incidences of heavy metal poisoning in the population. And Toronto Ventures Incorporated on Mt. Canatuan, Mindanao, where militarization, loss of livelihood, forced displacement, and looming health disasters threaten an indigenous community firmly against the mine’s presence.

According to respected human rights watchdog ‘Karapatan,’ the GMA regime (from 1 Jan to 31 October 2007) is accused of:

Extra-Judicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions… 68 // 209 in 2006, [Total: 887 (since 21.1.01)]
Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances… 26 // 78 in 2006, [Total: 185]
Torture… 29
Illegal Detention… 116
Forcible Evacuation or Displacement… 7542

Karapatan 2007 Human Rights Report: http://stopthekillings.org/stknpv2/files/karapatan_2007hr_report.pdf

UN Special Rapporteur Philip Alston confirmed much of this in his 2007 report and clearly points the finger at the government. To download his final report please visit:

Mining Links:

The Association for Responsible Mining: http://www.communitymining.org/
MiningWatch: www.miningwatch.ca
Oxfam-Australia: www.oxfam.org.au/campaigns/mining


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