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Philippine News Digest 55

May 19, 2003 · 

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Contents:

  • Theater play tours Europe
  • Relief seen for death row minors
  • Farmers urge Congress to rush anti-Bt corn bills

Theater play tours Europe

The PREDA Advocacy Theater group of eight artists including its director left for Germany May 20 with two-time Nobel Peace Prize Nominee Fr. Shay Cullen to present the musical drama “Once There Was a Dream” in key cities in Europe. The stage play tackles the plight of children who are victimized by mafia-like syndicates who traffic children abroad for sexual purposes. For more information on the schedule of the tour, contact predainfo@preda.org.

Relief seen for death row minors

The Philippine Supreme Court has ordered April 1 the Muntinlupa Regional Trial Court to review the cases of the six inmates who were alleged to have been minors at the time of the offense. The six have all been convicted of capital crimes which the SC did not not specify. Being a minor is a privileged mitigating circumstance under the law and the penalty imposed would be reduced if it is pr oven that they were under 18 years when they committed the crimes. The six convicts were among the ten youthful offenders that the SC ordered transferred from death row to the national penitentiary’s medium security compound when the time came to review their appeal for conviction. Many minors in the Philippines are detained in subhuman conditions in jails in country. Source: Philip Tubeza, Philippine Daily Inquirer, 21 May 2003.

Farmers urge Congress to rush anti-Bt corn bills

Militant farmers called on Congress to enact bills that would prevent the entry of genetically engineered crops like Bt corn into the country. Rafael Mariano, chair of the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas, appealed to the members of the House to “immediately sit down, tackle and pass three measures that are pending in the chamber, which would halt the commercialization- planting and sale- of Bt corn in the country. House Bill (HB) 3381 seeks to suspend the entry, field testing and propagation of genetically-modified organisms pending a thorough investigation of their safety and compliance with health and environment standards. House Resolution 238 seeks to probe the role of the National Committee on Biosafety of the Philippines in the filed testing of Bt corn. HR 922 seeks to investigate the Bureau of Plant Industry for approving the commercial propagation of Bt corn under the Yieldgard label of Monsanto Corp. of the United States. Source: Gerald G. Lacuarta, Philippine Daily Inquirer, 2003.

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