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Long Live the Spirit of the EDSA Uprising!

Long Live the Spirit of the EDSA Uprising!

International Solidarity Coalition Stands with the Filipino People’s Continuing Struggle Against Foreign Intervention Via Cha-Cha

Press Statement
Feb 22, 2024

On the 38th anniversary of the EDSA 1 Uprising in 1986, the International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines (ICHRP) stands with the Filipino people in their continuing struggle for genuine freedom and democracy, especially as the Marcos Jr.-Duterte government pushes to undo the nationalist, protectionist, and pro-people provisions of the 1987 Philippine Constitution; in favor of term extension and unicameral legislature via Charter Change (Cha-Cha).

“The hard-won gains of the Filipino people through struggle to protect their rights are enshrined in the 1987 Constitution, and once again they stand to be revoked by the son of the ousted dictator, another puppet subservient to foreign dictates,” stated Peter Murphy, ICHRP Chairperson.

“Landlessness, poverty, hunger, and joblessness are all at the root of the chronic state of unpeace and widespread conflict in the country. The foreign predations on Philippine sovereignty via Cha-Cha are a violation of the people’s collective rights to self-determination,” Murphy continued.

ICHRP members worldwide draw inspiration from the February 1986 four-day uprising wherein the Filipino people united and took collective action to oust the 14-year dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos Sr. after declaring martial law nationwide in 1972. The brunt of the military’s bloody repression under martial law targeted the poorest, most marginalized sections of the rural population. The militarization of the whole country forcefully paved the way for massive land grabbing and control by the dictator Marcos Sr. and his cronies, and allowed foreign corporations to grab Philippine raw materials for export at the expense of the Philippine economy.

Under the current Marcos Jr.-Duterte regime, brutal militarization of the countryside—in violation of international humanitarian law—continues, and there remains an aggressive push by the ruling elite to further open up the Philippine economy and public utilities for foreign control, including the mass transit sector via the so-called Public Utility Vehicle (PUV) Modernization Program. The PUV modernization program aims to phase out the widely-used and accessible jeepney franchise in favor of a corporate-owned and more costly transportation system.  

“At the heart of the EDSA uprising was the spirit of rising up against the sell-out of the country and corruption of the Philippine ruling elite,” Murphy added. “If implemented, Cha-Cha will make the handful of ruling clans bowing down to foreign capital exponentially richer, while poverty will skyrocket and pound down hard on the suffering majority. Until these fundamental problems are resolved, we cannot expect a truly free and democratic Philippine society. ICHRP calls for all friends of the Filipino people around the world to support their struggle for self-determination against foreign intervention via Cha-Cha and other means. Long live the militant spirit of the EDSA 1 Uprising!”

Contact: Peter Murphy, Chairperson, International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines. Email: [email protected]