Human rights defenders in the Philippines have voiced support for the candidacy of Vice President Leni Robredo and Senator Francis Pangilinan in this year’s national elections.
“We agree with the platform of an honest government which espouses accountability and real compassion for the people, especially in the midst of the pandemic ravaging our nation,” read the statement released by the human rights activists.
Among those who spearheaded the initiative are former Senator Wigberto Tañada Sr., UN Special Rapporteur Vicky Tauli-Corpus, 2017 Franco-German Human Rights Prize awardee Rose Trajano and international activist-feminist Edna Aquino.
In a joint pledge written in Filipino, signatories expressed “grave concern” over the situation in the country amid what they described as the “widespread violation” of human rights.
“We support the aims of [Robredo] and [Pangilinan] to implement social justice in order to address inequality and uplift those in the margins,” said the group.
The activists said they stand by “a leadership that will end the blatant violations of human rights, the rule of violence, the widespread killings, and will protect the thousands who defend our people’s rights to livelihood, the environment and peace.”
They cited attacks against those critical of government policies, those who defend their rights, members of the media, women and youth activists “who are slowly standing up and raising their voices.”
They said these attacks and violations “have been perpetrated alongside the spread of lies, the destruction of the rule of law, the setting aside of checks and balances in government, and the erosion of integrity in public service.”
The signatories also said that allowing the Marcos family to bury the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos at the “Libingan ng mga Bayani,” or Heroes’ Cemetery, “heralded the rise of historical distortion of martial law and the sanitizing of the dark legacy of the Marcos dictatorship.”
Leave a Reply