I am very grateful for this opportunity to once again speak before you my dear students and teachers of this beloved school. I accepted this invitation not because I am a worthy guest who could give a scholarly discussion on the subject but foremost because it really is my passion to share something I have learned, experienced or understood. In fact I am very much excited as again, I would be able to exercise one of my human rights, my freedom of speech. Thanks for reaching me out.
Today we celebrate the Human Rights Month. The United Nations declared the 10th of December as the Human Rights Day for this day in 1948 was the day when the UN General Assembly codified and inked the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which declared that the “Human Rights is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace,” and which paved the way to an insurmountable amount of progress against prejudice and discrimination.
The best way to celebrate Human Rights month is to take time to understand what exactly this codified set of freedoms does for you. Studying and researching it is a way to honor the work and lives that went into making sure this document came to exist for the good of all mankind.
Bago itong declaration of Human Rights, during World War II, there were four basic goals stated by the Allies, that every man and woman should know and experience. They spoke of four freedoms: Freedom of Speech (malayang pananalita), Freedom of Religion (kalayaan sa paniniwala), Freedom from fear (kalayaan mula sa takot), and Freedom from want (Kalayaan mula sa kahirapan). These ideas were set in place and upheld, but as was made clear by the atrocities committed by Hitler and others fascists, they were woefully insufficient to guarantee and enforce the freedoms they represented. So it came to pass in December of 1948 that the United Nations General Assembly put forth 30 articles that cover everything from rights to education, freedom, health, and more. Since this event these articles have served to help protect civilians in time of war or dictatorship, to help bring POW’s home, and to ensure that people everywhere are allowed to live in liberty and safety.
The theme this morning is very much appropriate and relevant. Napag-uugnay ito lalo na’t kasalukuyang pinag-uusapan sa buong Pilipinas ang pagtakbo ni Mayor Duterte at Bongbong Marcos sa pinakamataas na katungkulan sa pamahalaan. Forgive me for having to connect them to the subject but every time their names are mentioned, one thing normally crossed my mind: HUMAN RIGHTS. I hope you already get what I meant because I wouldn’t want to elaborate on it further.
Para po sa kaalaman ng lahat, throughout history there have been instances of wanton cruelty, and a blatant violation of the rights and privileges of mankind. Whether that was based on the color of one’s skin, their nationality, religion, or merely being unfortunate enough to be living under the regime of another country, people have regularly been treated like animals, or worse. Human Rights Month is here to remind us of that day in 1948 when the UN codified the basic human rights of every individual on the planet.
This month also marked the foundation of the Department of Education, which was established on December 20, 1863, by virtue of the Educational Decree of 1863, so that it would also be right to celebrate the same, for if not for the establishment of the educational system in the country, wala siguro ni isa man sa atin ang nandito ngayon.
However, let me give emphasis more on issue with regard to Human Rights. But what is human rights? What comprises of human rights? How are human rights protected in this country and internationally? How is human rights connected with education? Ito’y iilan lamang sa mga katanungan na maaaring manatili sa ating mga isipan bilang mag-aaral o guro. A very popular phrase, but what do we really understand of HUMAN RIGHTS?
Karapatang pantao. The basic rights and freedoms to which all humans are considered to be entitled. Inherent in all persons, from conception to birth until after our death, these rights are guaranteed not only by our laws but by the law of nations as well. Hindi ito binibili, hindi hinihingi, sa halip ito’y nakaugnay na sa atin simula sa ating pagkabuhay, o bago pa man tayo isilang hanggang sa kamatayan at lampas pa duon. Kaya nga po me dabate sa RH Law dahil sa pangangalaga ng karapatang pantao ng mga sanggol o mga hindi pa isinisilang.
We may never be cognizant of it but all of us must know and understand our basic rights. Pero anu-ano nga ba ito? Napakarami po, napakalawak po, at nakadikit sa kahit na napakaliit na mga gawain ang ating mga karapatang pantao.
Basic to our human rights are our right to life, right to liberty and right to property. Pinananagutan ng ating Saligang Batas at ng Pandaigdigang Kalipunan ng mga Bansa ang mga karapatang pantaong ito.
Right to life. Karapatang mabuhay. Kasama rito ang karapatan ng mga sanggol na ipanganak at mabuhay. Karapatan ng mga bata na mabigyan ng pagkain, mapag-aral at makapagsalamuha sa lipunan. Ngunit hindi lamang mga bata ang may karapatang mabuhay. Right to life does not identify any age, race, sex, civil status or financial standing. Lahat tayo sa mundo ay may karapatang mabuhay, bata-matanda, babae-lalake, me asawa o wala, me trabaho o wala, mahirap-mayaman. Walang pinipili ang pagkakaroon ng karapatang pantao.
Hindi nga ba’t pinatigil pagpapatupad ng Death Penalty dahil sa pagpapatibay ng karapatang ito? Hindi nga ba’t mahigpit na pinagbawal ang pang-aalipin o pagbebenta ng mga alipin? Hindi nga ba’t may mga batas na itinakda para protektahan ang buhay? Kaya nga po may paglilitis, kaya nga po may husgado, kasi ito ay pagbibigay-halaga sa buhay. Ito ay pagpapatunay na walang karapatan ang sinuman na kunin ang buhay ng isang tao kahit gaano pa man siya kasama hangga’t walang paglilitis na patas at walang kinikilingan. Extrajudicial killings, summary executions, salvaging are violations of right to life, violations of human rights.
Right to liberty. Karapatang maging malaya. You cannot be detained or imprisoned without due process of law. Walang karapatan ang sinuman na ikulong ang kanyang kapwa kung walang dahilan at walang paglilitis. This is the reason why the law penalizes illegal detention at kidnapping. This is the reason why we have courts, upang litisin ang mga may sala. We cannot just send or drag criminals to prison. Why? Because everyone is entitled to his right to liberty or freedom.
Kasama sa mga karapatang ito ay ang ating iba pang karapatan tulad ng Freedom of expression (karapatang magsalita), freedom of the press (karapatan sa pamamahayag), Freedom of association (karapatang makipag-ugnayan), right to travel and abode (karapatang maglakbay at magkaroon ng tirahan) at marami pang iba.
Right to property. Karapatan sa pagmamay-ari. Who among you here wants his property taken for no reason at all? Kaya nga po the law penalizes theft, pagnanakaw, corruption. This is to protect our right to property. Corruption is a form of violation of human rights, particularly of our right to property, don’t you know that? Why? Because we have a government of the people. The Philippine Government is owned by the Filipino People, so that anyone who takes away or plunders the property of the people should be held responsible.
Included in this right is the right of suffrage o ang karapatang bomoto. Sa pagboto, pumipili tayo ng ating mga pinuno na mangangalaga ng ating pamahalaan, who will protect our property in the government.
There are a litany of human rights but if we would be discussing each of them right now, we would be spending too much time and I will already be violating your right to attend your classes or to have some rest.
But let me discuss a very relevant subject. Very relevant to you now is your right to education. Karapatang makapag-aral, matuto at mabigyang-kaalaman. This is the reason why the government spends budget for free basic education. Libreng pag-aaral sa elementary at highschool. Libre po ang edukasyon mula elementarya hanggang highschool. Maaaring kulang ang mga pantugon ng pamahalaan sa mga karapatang ito, ngunit kahit sa maliit na paraan, ito ay pagpapatunay lamang na dapat pahalagahan ang ating karapatan sa edukasyon.Sa pagpapalakas ng karapatang ito. Public elementary and high schools are probihited to reject enrolees for any reason, it may be because of failure to pass entrance examinations, overcrowding or others. Walang karapatan ang mga pampublikong paaralan sa elementarya at sekondarya na tanggihan ang sinumang gustong magpatala. Any violation of this is an actionable wrong and would subject the administrator to certain sanctions. Kailangang gawan ng paraan na pagbigyan at tanggapin ang mag-aaral.
However, but, datapwat, ngunit, subalit, may kasabihan, ani Uncle Ben ni Spiderman, “With great power comes great responsibility.” Napakalawak man ating mga karapatan, lahat ng ito ay may kaakibat na responsibilidad o tungkulin. Every right must be exercised with due respect to the rights of others. Any abuse in the exercise of these rights are considered violations of the rights of others. Dire la kit mapatunga sa ato mga katungod, because other people around us have their human rights also. Yes, yaon ka katungod magkanta saim videosinco, pero dire karuyag sidngon na puede ka magngalngal mag-aga hasta makapurisaw saim mga higripid, because by that you are already violating the right of your neighbours to have a good sleep.
So that, if you have the right to education, you also have the responsibility to study. You have to make sure that you exercise you right fully and responsibly. The government spends for your education so much, don’t let that expense go in vain, because you are actually violating the right to property of the people who pay taxes, from where this budget for education are being drawn.
With these I would like to end by saying, “Learn and harness your human rights, exercise them but with fairness, justice and with due regard to the rights of your fellowmen. #
Thank you and good day.