Two days apart this week, two important commemorations took place. One evoked a resounding plea for long-delayed justice; the other, for the resumption of peace negotiations to attain just and lasting peace. In each case, concerned groups and advocates urged President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to act positively.
Tags: At Ground Level
“As Church, we are challenged by our present time and context to stand for truth… The Church will not and cannot be neutral on moral and ethical issues and concerns.”
“Withdrawal from the Rome Statute does not discharge a state party from the obligations it has incurred as a member. Consequently, liability for the alleged summary killings and other atrocities committed in the course of the war on drugs [during the Duterte administration] is not nullified or negated.”
In his first Cabinet meeting last Tuesday, Ferdinand Marcos Jr. announced that economic recovery takes precedence over all concerns under his administration and that his economic managers would set the “central policy.”
Deafeningly silent, however, was Marcos Jr. on national security management and its criminal consequences: foremost of which is the impunity enjoyed by state security forces in perpetrating massive human rights violations, under all administrations beginning with the Marcos dictatorship.
“We call on all the concerned sectors to stand together against the continuing wave of red-tagging and terrorist-labelling and to vigorously defend freedom of expression, freedom of the press, freedom of association and the right to peaceably assemble.”
Yesterday president-in-waiting Ferdinand Marcos Jr. named Juan Ponce Enrile as his presidential legal counsel. A key implementor during Marcos Sr.’s martial law dictatorship, Enrile figured prominently in the latter’s ouster by popular uprising in 1986. He still faces charges of plunder as former Senate president.
But this week, international attention has turned to the Philippines as Ferdinand Marcos Jr. prepares to become the country’s next president. Instead of stamping out reminders of tyranny, will there be a restoration? With an ousted dictator’s son taking power, will historical documents be destroyed? Will the memories of victims be forcibly erased?
President Duterte has just over a month to go in his six-year term. He could help much in enabling the succeeding administration to resume the GRP-NDFP peace talks, by removing a number of obstacles that his presidency has put in place.
Dubbed by the media as the “Batasan 6,” the accused (I was one of them) asked the Supreme Court to throw out the case for lack of probable cause. Meantime, under House protection, they stayed within the premises of the Batasang Pambansa for 71 days and nights, and continued to perform their official duties and functions.
Going into his final three months in office, President Duterte apparently realized he was far from achieving another one of his 2016 campaign promises: to achieve peace and end the 50-years-plus armed conflict with the underground Left revolutionary movement.