June 30, 2022
“Today’s inauguration of Ferdinand Marcos Jr. as president of the Philippines, and the diplomatic congratulations of some heads of states cannot mask the deeply flawed recent election process and the premonitions of deeper crisis for the Filipino people,” said Peter Murphy, Chairperson of the International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines (ICHRP) today.
“Marcos Jr. is the dictator’s son who lived luxuriously while the Filipino people languished in poverty and repression back then. He has expressed zero remorse for the horrors of martial law but rather has spent millions to try to erase that record through paid dis- and misinformation. It is Marcos Jr. who has been co-sponsored into the presidency by the outgoing Duterte who has surpassed the crimes of Marcos Sr. and sanitized his image,” said Mr. Murphy.
The International Observer Mission, which was sponsored by ICHRP, Kontra Daya, and the United Church of Christ of the Philippines, involved over 60 international observers from 11 countries. Their Final Report has exposed the massive electoral failure: entertaining the populace with scantily clad girls, mis- and disinformation via paid vlogs, social media posts, and education modules, unprecedented scale of vote buying, paid rallyists, failure of Vote Counting Machines, misuse of SD cards from these machines, high speed announcement of results, and the life-threatening surveillance, red-tagging, arrests and harassment of opposition candidates and campaign workers, media repression, militarization, and extra-judicial killings. This ‘triumph’ of a coalition of notorious political dynasties cannot be afforded any legitimacy.
“What we in the international community in solidarity with the suffering Filipino people want to see, hear and feel is Marcos Jr. make a sincere public apology and serve justice to all Martial Law victims and survivors. We want him to announce a specific plan of action to uphold, protect, and advance the Filipino people’s socio-economic, political and cultural rights,” said Mr. Murphy. “He had three long decades and unquantifiable wealth to rectify his family’s crimes and to prepare for his gubernatorial, senatorial, vice presidential and presidential campaigns, but the people are still waiting to hear anything substantial.”
ICHRP is not reassured by the designation of freedom parks for rallyists and police being ordered to exercise maximum tolerance. “Having visited areas with armed forces and checkpoints, we know that what the 18,000 security personnel and the unknown number of checkpoints can do to hinder people’s mobility and participation in the people’s movement’s protest action. What the people want is for the government to listen to and heed their needs and demands, for only they know and hold the key to end poverty,” said Mr. Murphy.
“ICHRP urges the international community to heighten its monitoring of the human rights situation in the Philippines, and to boost the energy in the available accountability mechanisms – the International Criminal Court, the findings of the UN Special Rapporteurs, the use of the recent Magnitsky laws against notorious individual violators of human rights, immediate reviews of European Union and US trade preferences for the Philippines, and an urgent review of weapons and training support to the Philippine army and police who are responsible for thousands of extrajudicial killings”, concluded Peter Murphy.
For further comment: Peter Murphy +61 418 312 301