Karapatan on EDSA People Power’s 33rd anniversary: Dictatorship looms once again

Today, we are one with the Filipino people in commemorating the 33rd anniversary of the EDSA People Power. Karapatan remembers all the martyrs and victims of the brutal Marcos regime, and hails the unity of the Filipino people in toppling the Marcos dictatorship. This momentous event in our history should never be credited to one family, or to specific persons, but rather to the millions who marched and courageously fought tyranny and dictatorship. The EDSA People Power I reminds us that power emanates from the people and abusive governments will be held to account for their crimes.

Thirty three years later, our fight for justice and accountability continues. Last November 2018, criminal Imelda Marcos was convicted for 7 counts of graft, but she remains free despite the guilty verdict. Her stolen wealth and connections to the Duterte government have kept her from jail, and shielded her from justice. Imee Marcos, the chosen heiress of the deplorable Marcos family, is running for Senate in the 2019 mid-term elections, positioning her strategically for their presidential and vice-presidential ambitions.  The money stolen from the country’s coffers is continuously being used to finance their shameless campaign to climb the political ladder, while altogether revising history to erase their atrocious crimes against Filipinos. 

We note, however, that the Duterte government has been a very willing accomplice in all this injustice, even perpetrating new forms of violations that rival that of the dictator Marcos. Apart from the rehabilitation of the Marcoses graciously facilitated by Duterte, the President is also his own kind of monster. Many of the basic freedoms and civil and political rights that were fought for by the Filipino people are now being reversed by his government. We are now confronted with an array of intensified violations, new forms of harassment, and a string of repressive laws that curtail our basic rights and freedoms. The Duterte regime has already declared martial law in Mindanao. He has built a supermajority in Congress and has ensured a subservient Supreme Court. Like déjà vu, Duterte’s cliques are turning into cronies favored to handle billions in infrastructure projects. Other corrupt leaders like Gloria Arroyo are back at the helm of controlling the economy and dangling pork barrel to elicit docility. All while the Filipino people remain at the losing end, made to suffer attacks against their civil, political, economic, cultural, and social rights.

This year’s commemoration of EDSA People Power I is at the backdrop of a looming dictatorship, this time at the hands of a militarist and fascist Marcos fanatic. Thus, the people are called to task once again. Karapatan, alongside martial law victims, and the Filipino people, will continue to frustrate the political ambitions of the Marcoses, and demand accountability for the plunder and atrocities they have committed. Likewise, we will continue to resist tyranny and dictatorship in its new and emerging forms. 

Reference: Elisa Tita Lubi, Karapatan National President, +639173162831 

Karapatan Public Information Desk, 0918-9790580