By JONAS ALPASAN
MANILA — A human rights group has called on the public to express their rejection of Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and Sara Duterte as they lead the number of unofficial transmitted votes from yesterday’s elections, saying they represent the “the worst brand of traditional politics and governance.”
In a statement, the human rights group Karapatan said both Marcos Jr. and Duterte promote, “authoritarianism as a response to legitimate exercise of political dissent, upholds mendicancy to foreign interests over national sovereignty, and uses an empty and fake rhetoric of unity to sugarcoat their incompetence to respond to social problems and their adherence to neoliberal policies that will further demean human dignity.”
This morning, survivors of martial law and human rights advocates joined the protest action in front of the Commission on Elections office in Intramuros, Manila. Protesters called out the poll body over reported incidents of malfunctioning vote counting machines, delayed elections, and fears of disenfranchisement of thousands of Filipinos.
So far, Marcos and Duterte are the frontrunners based on the unofficial transmitted votes to Comelec’s transparency server.
But for the human rights movement, the fight is not over.
“Marcos Jr. continues to spit on the graves and sufferings endured by all the martial law victims by feigning ignorance on the numerous documented atrocities of his father and his cabal of mass murderers, and worse, he has portrayed the victims of human rights violations as money-seeking opportunists — while all throughout his father’s reign, their megalomanic opportunism has been at the expense of numerous lives,” said Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay.
During the election campaign, Marcos Jr. claimed that he does not know how the human rights record during the martial law of his father, the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos Sr., was generated.
Read: Martial law spawned tyranny, plunder, rights groups tell Marcos Jr.
The group also pointed out how the imprints of the Marcos dictatorship remain palpable in the laws and decrees in the country. Apart from the whitewashing of his father’s dictatorship, Karapatan said his family also refused to return looted public funds, including the P203-billion tax liabilities that surfaced during the election campaign.
Meanwhile, the rights group said the president’s daughter has remained unapologetic in defending his father’s policies, which she promised to continue.
Palabay said, “we thus call upon the Filipino people to strongly reject the notorious tandem and to stand strong against possible and further suppression and violation of people’s rights.” (RVO)