Amid the worsening COVID-19 pandemic in the Philippines, the U.S. government is brokering a $2 billion arms sale to Duterte’s repressive regime, fueling a human rights catastrophe.
As we have said, time and again, the fight for the ABS-CBN franchise renewal is a fight for free expression and a fight for all. But Parlade is instead red-tagging virtually everyone and anyone who supports the call for the renewal of the ABS-CBN franchise.
The recent spate of red-tagging and brazen use of authority against media and the people’s growing dissent speak volumes of how the Duterte administration – and its emboldened security forces – are facing the COVID-19 pandemic not only with apparent incompetence, but also with its usual self-serving and despotic brand of governance.
That is why the work of defending human rights must never flag as this crisis develops. While our programming is naturally affected by necessary constraints on travel and physical meetings, human rights work is never done in isolation. It is rooted in personal connections based on mutual understanding, respect, and trust. We will continue to find ways to nurture the connections and solidarity this work requires.
It comes as no surprise that the current lockdown has become a de facto crackdown for some of those who dare speak up against the government.
Letter to the Editor April 4, 2020 Much as we thank our friends in the media for highlighting the reality of uncertainty, some suggestions should be made in reporting the plight of the urban poor amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Feel-good stories that highlight resiliency help sell more papers, provide higher broadcast ratings and generate more…
As we witness the excruciatingly slow and inefficient governance of this administration, more lives are on the line – not only due to the dreaded disease but also due to hunger and desperation.
The WHO should not expect at this time, while the pandemic is raging, to find published clinical and population-based studies specifically showing these negative effects in COVID-19 patients. Their main concern should be to protect COVID-19 patients from unnecessary risks because of irrational use of anti-fever drugs.
COVID-19 has laid bare the class contradictions in Philippine society. Not only has it exposed the private sector for what it is – a profiteering class of capitalists, but it has also exposed the government and its institutions for what they are – tools of the same profiteering class to ensure that they can continue profiting.
But in the Philippines, the links between environmental degradation and militarization are intimate. Government counterinsurgency campaigns have been most violent in the regions of the Philippines with natural and mineral resources that are largely untapped by extractive projects, whether it’s Mindanao in the south or the Cordilleras in the north. Brandon was shot because he opposed a hydropower project that would have displaced indigenous communities in the north, while to the south, indigenous Lumad leaders have been killed and schools dedicated to the teaching of sustainable agricultural practices occupied under the guise of anti-communism.
But Paray was a wounded animal lashing out against the world that hurt him. This is the difference between a worker fighting against injustice and one fighting for their class. Alchie Paray is at once every single Filipino caught in the same situation, but at the same time, he is a reminder that we must all organize ourselves against the system that allows this exploitation to manifest.