CHR eyes advisory on hate mail vs. Filipinos

September 5, 2010 2:12 am 

By Catherine J. Teves

MANILA, Sept. 4 -– A Commission on Human Rights (CHR) official expects the agency to issue soon an advisory to Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) regarding spread of e-mail messages denouncing and humiliating Filipinos for the Aug. 23 Manila hostage crisis' handling and deadly ending.

CHR Human Rights Education and Research Office Director Ana Elzy Ofreneo hoped that the matter must be brought to the attention of agencies concerned, noting spread of such messages violates the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.

”These messages are part of the widespread campaign to discriminate against Filipinos due to the hostage crisis,” she said on the side of Kapihan sa Sulo forum.

She said such discrimination was uncalled for since Filipinos in general were not "idiots" as such messages imply.

Authorities earlier cited lack of police logistics and training as among reasons for the crisis' deadly outcome.

Ofreneo said she would draft this week the advisory for DFA so this document could be presented for CHR's review and approval.

She also hoped that CHR's top officials would start discussing soon the agency's official action on the matter.

Such discussion is possible since Malacanang already formally appointed former party list representative Loretta Ann Rosales as CHR's new chairperson, she said.

Ofreneo said an e-mail received last month indicated that the Manila hostage crisis “just highlights the idiotic nature of Filipino culture.”

She said the e-mail sender claimed to be a white Dutch married to a Filipina.

Ofreneo called on all Filipinos to exert their best efforts in various endeavors to help improve the international community's impression about the Philippines and its people.

”We must help each other,” she said. (PNA) RMA/CJT/rsm

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