Guest speakers: Ottawa launch


Clarizza Singson

Mme Clarizza Singson Dagatan

Ms Singson is from Negros Island, where the main sugar plantations in the Philippines are found, and landless farmers make up the majority of the population. The area is highly militarized and has been the site of several massacres and extra-judicial killings, including the latest slaying of 14 peasants in coordinated police operations on March 30, 2019.

Claring Singson is a front-line human rights defender and holds several positions in grassroots organizations. She is Chairperson of GABRIELA* Negros, and Secretary-General of KARAPATAN** – Negros. She is also the coordinator of Sugar Workers’ Solidarity Network.

*A national Alliance of grassroots women; ** A national Alliance of human rights organizations in the Philippines

“Ka Bea” Arellano

Gloria “Ka Bea” Arellano

Ka Bea Arellano is an urban poor community organizer and national Chairperson of KADAMAY. She became involved in the mid-nineties when she was a street vendor, and took an active role in setting up and coordinating KADAMAY chapters in all city centers.  Ka Bea rose to the spotlight as the poor resisted massive demolitions of their shanties

Under the Duterte administration Arellano and the organization KADAMAY were among the first to call out the regime for its murderous drug war, targeting primarily urban poor communities and the innocents within them. Bea fought for basic social services instead of state violence.

Ka Bea was one of the main spokespersons of the Occupy Bulacan movement, spending sleepless nights at the barricades protecting the people from police intrusion when thousands of homeless and urban poor moved into government housing units left unoccupied for more than five years.

Angie Gonzales

Ms. Angie M. Gonzales

Angie Gonzales is Global Coordinator of the International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines (ICHRP).

Gonzales is an MD by profession and decided to tread the less travelled path of serving remote rural communities after she graduated in 1991.

Aside from specializing in community medicine, she has also been active in training students and doctors who want to practice medicine in the underserved communities of the Philippines.

Gonzales has been based in the Netherlands since 2006, where she is currently Chairperson of the board of Stichting voor Filippijnse Kinderen, an organization promoting the rights and welfare of Filipino children both in the Philippines and in Europe.

Rev. Marma Urbano

Rev. Marma C. Urbano

Rev. Marma Urbano is an ordained minister of the United Church of Christ in the Philippines (UCCP), and has served the UCCP in various capacities, including Executive Secretary of the General Secretary from 2002-2006.

Under threat of abduction, Rev. Urbano went to the United States in 2007 at the height of the extra-judicial killings during President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s term. Thousands of community leaders were killed between 2003-2007, including twenty-six of Rev. Urbano’s colleagues.

While in the US, Rev. Urbano participated in forming the US Chapter of the ICHRP and was head of the Secretariat at its founding in December 2017.

Atty Edre Olalia

ATTY. Edre U. Olalia    

Edre Olalia is President of the National Union of People’s Lawyers (NUPL), the largest private organisation of pro bono/pro deo human rights lawyers in the Philippines.

Olalia has handled many of the high-profile cases of extra-judicial killings, torture and detentions, as well as challenging the “Hero’s Burial” of Ferdinand Marcos Hero’s, and the Martial Law on the island of Mindanao.

He has filed successful complaints against extrajudicial killings before the UN Human Rights Committee and numerous other international bodies, including against President Rodrigo Duterte for crimes against humanity before the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Edre Olalia has acted as Legal Consultant of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) in the peace negotiations between the Government of the Philippines and the NDFP.