Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Forum on HR, free trade and Asian democracy, Manila

There are two good fora this week and next week here in Manila, sponsored by the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Liberty, FNF Manila Office and Liberal International.

On Thursday this week, forum on human rights (HR) and free trade, and on June 1 Tuesday, forum on Asian democracy. I particularly like the May 26 forum. Though it seems that of the 4 speakers that afternoon, 3 would be coming from the Human Rights aspect and only 1, Dr. Medalla, coming from the free trade aspect.

Now, if I will be asked to answer this question, "Did the Philippines Sacrifice Human Rights in the Altar of Free Trade?", my quick answer would be NO. We are not a free trade country. The notoriety and corruption of the Bureau of Customs is one quick proof to that. Another would be the high difference between Philippine prices and foreign prices of certain products and services (computers, iPad, certain brands of cellphones, tv, rice, etc.). For me, the Philippines sacrifice human rights in the altar of bureaucracy and BIG government. It has nothing to do with free trade and free market.

On the June 1 forum, I like it because of the speakers, especially Rainer Adam. Rainer is the head of FNF South East Asia, and FNF is active in the human rights campaign in the region. Talk about human rights in front of the Myanmar and Laos generals, for instance, and one will see the difficulty of pushing the subject. Another good speaker there is Neric Acosta, former Congressman and incoming DENR Secretary.

These two events are free, no need to pre-register. Just show up at the venue and register right there.


Crosstown Journal said...

"For me, the Philippines sacrifice human rights in the altar of bureaucracy and BIG government. It has nothing to do with free trade and free market."

Well said, Nonoy! And I only wish I were in Manila to attend this forum. It looks to be very interesting, indeed!

Bienvenido Oplas Jr said...

Thanks Crosstown Journal. A very good example of absolute disregard for human rights is the Maguindanao massacre more than a year ago. More than 50 people were massacred, killed point blank, by a political clan, the Ampatuan of Maguindanao province. The victims were not rallying for free trade or free market or low taxes. They were just to file a certificate of candidacy by a rival politician, accompanied by media. The killers were the BIG government of the province -- Governor, mayors of some municipalities, dozens (if not hundreds) of relatives and cronies in various positions in the province, all from the Ampatuan clan.

Filipinofreedomfighter said...

Nonoy, this is awesome. BIG venues! Too bad I'm only returning to Metro Manila in June.

Bienvenido Oplas Jr said...

Sayang, FFF. There should be similarly good fora in the near future, I will announce in the group.