DAVAO CITY, Philippines — As the country commemorated the 34th EDSA People Power anniversary on Tuesday(Feb 25), survivors of Marcos dictatorship, along with human rights advocates, warned that the Duterte administration is “a haunting shadow of one of the darkest eras in Philippine history.”
“Aside from being an enabler of the Marcoses’ political rehabilitation, the Duterte militarist regime is also trying its best to replicate Marcosian rule by amplifying the existing culture of impunity and injustice through its intensive attacks towards the Filipino masses,” Samahan ng mga Ex-Detainees Laban sa Aresto at Detensyon (SELDA) said in a statement.
Comparable to the Marcos era, the group noted that rights violations against progressive organizations ranging from state-sponsored killings, raids, trumped-up charges, red-tagging, among others, continue to worsen under President Duterte.
“We in SELDA, being first-hand victims of injustice and political persecution, are enjoining the Filipino people to unite and continuously fight for our rights and freedom,” the group said.
After more than three decades after EDSA People Power, SELDA pays tribute to all victims and martyrs who “bravely” fought to restore democracy during Marcos dictatorship.
“That day, 34 years ago will always be remembered as the day when the collective action of the Filipino people toppled a dictator,” SELDA said.
Meanwhile, human rights group Karapatan said that today’s commemoration of EDSA People Power is “more relevant than ever” as Filipinos stand against what they deemed as a “looming dictatorship” under Duterte.
Karapatan slammed the “de facto martial law” in the country following the imposition of executive issuances like Executive Order No. 70 and its “whole-of-nation” counterinsurgency campaign as well as Memorandum Order No. 32.
They also said that government’s National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) leads the administration’s campaign of state terror and crackdown on all forms of dissent, from filing trumped-up charges against activists, issuing “dubious” search warrants in offices of progressive organizations and “planting” evidence, as well as red-tagging and delegitimizing them.
Even the Philippine media is facing attacks from the administration, Karapatan added, citing the case of threats against ABS-CBN.
Karapatan said: “The time to act is now. The time to put an end to this fascist dictatorship is now, as we persevere in our struggle for justice and accountability.” (davaotoday.com)