Saturday, 5 November 2016, 10:00am – 2:00pm, CHR Compound

Ever since the Martial Law years, the Philippines had experienced a great number of human rights intrusions. In fact, as recognized by our Supreme Court in the case of Brigido R. Simon Jr., et al. v. Commission on Human Rights, et al., G.R. No. 100150, 5 January 5, 1994, it outlined how the Martial Law Regime bastardized these rights, to wit:

“But while the Constitution of 1935 and that of 1973 enshrined in their Bill of Rights most of the human rights expressed in the International Covenant, these rights became unavailable upon the proclamation of Martial Law on 21 September 1972. Arbitrary action then became the rule. Individuals by the thousands became subject to arrest upon suspicion, and were detained and held for indefinite periods, sometimes for years, without charges, until ordered released by the Commander-in-Chief or this representative. The right to petition for the redress of grievances became useless, since group actions were forbidden. So were strikes. Press and other mass media were subjected to censorship and short term licensing. Martial law brought with it the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus, and judges lost independence and security of tenure, except members of the Supreme Court. They were required to submit letters of resignation and were dismissed upon the acceptance thereof. Torture to extort confessions were practiced as declared by international bodies like Amnesty International and the International Commission of Jurists.”

Now, in present time, various reports of alleged human rights violations, if proved to be true, essentially strip away the rights provided by our 1987 Constitution, and in effect, gradually open the floodgates to the hyenas and vigilantes in our country.

One of forefront institutions that upheld human rights and combatted against its intrusions is the Ateneo Law School. At the height of the Martial Law Regime, Evelio Javier, the former governor of Antique, and also an Ateneo Law School Alumnus, was murdered on 11 February 1986 while overseeing the snap elections between then incumbent President Ferdinand Marcos and Corazon Aquino. Evelio Javier best exemplified the battle against corruption and human rights violations, and a hero for anyone planning to step in public service. He served the people and the people, in turn, welcomed him with open arms.

Our organization, the Saint Thomas More Debate and Advocacy Society (“STM”) is the Ateneo Law School’s premier organization for debate, trial advocacy, and trial technique. In line with its mission to strengthen its core competencies, STM organizes activities, competitions and training in parliamentary debate, trial advocacy and public speaking. STM also engages in inter-school competitions and national debates such as the ANC Square Off: The Firm Debates, and the Association of Law Students of the Philippines (ALSP) National Debate Championships, and has placed several times and garnered numerous awards since the organization was first established.

Two years ago, our former Prime Minister Diego Santiago of our organization envisioned having an annual debate event commemorating and actively advocating the battle against human rights intrusions and corruption. Diego started this debate event, together with the partnership of the Commission on Human Rights, which is now commonly called as the “CHR CUP,” short of the Commission on Human Rights Debate Cup. He deemed it necessary to partner up with the foremost authority in upholding human rights – the Commission on Human Rights. They were very helpful in helping our organization breathe unto life this vision.

Now, on its third year, the CHR CUP III has broken a new milestone by expanding its participants from an “inter-Ateneo Law School” to an “inter-law school” event, such that we are inviting other premiere law schools in the country to join us in this vision.

For more information and details of this event, as well as, how to apply, please visit our Facebook Page (

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