The Autism Society Philippines (ASP) is a national, non-profit organization dedicated to the well-being of persons on the autism spectrum disorder. We envision a society where Filipinos on the spectrum become the best of their potentials -- self-reliant, independent, productive, socially-accepted citizens of an Autism-OK Philippines.

05 May 2010

PWD’s Right to Suffrage

By: Atty. Leila de Lima

Below is an excerpt from the message given by Leila de Lima, Chairperson Commission on Human Rights during the Forum on Ensuring the Right to Suffrage of Persons with Disabilities in the 2010 Elections and Beyond last February 12, 2010 at Max’s Restaurant, Scout Tuazon, Quezon City. Chairperson De Lima is mother to Israel, a 27 year old man with autism.

My message of support comes at the end of a rather packed, and I am sure, productive day. Messages, presentations and support have been offered by our partners, such as the National Council on Disability Affairs, the British Embassy, the International Foundation for Electoral Systems, and the Commission on Elections.

To all of our partners in this effort, to promote and fulfill the human rights of persons with disabilities, let me say that we, at the Commission on Human Rights, greatly appreciate your dedication to this advocacy, and your support.

The time leading up to the national elections is running out, so it is crucial that we all together make that one final push, in order to maximize the exercise of the right to suffrage, by persons with disabilities, in 2010. This is our moment. This is the opportunity that we must seize. The next election is still years away, and persons with disabilities should not have to wait that long, for their rights to be genuinely addressed by our leaders.

Access to our schools, news and information, access to public transportation, government and health services, and especially freedom from discrimination as we go about our lives, these are only some of the rights of persons with disabilities which must be addressed now.

We cannot allow yet another child’s education to suffer, for lack of reasonable accommodation. We cannot permit yet another mother’s physical health to diminish. We cannot tolerate the dwindling of yet another family’slivelihood and standard of living. And we especially cannot accept the continued discrimination, both subtle and overt, to which persons with disabilities are exposed, on a regular basis.

It is time to bring this sordid chapter of prejudice, bias and discrimination to a close, and one way we can do this is by ensuring, that persons with disabilities are able to effectively exercise the power of their vote.

Click here to read more of De Lima's message.

(Source: Commission on Human Rights, Philippines)


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