As expected, Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.’s speech before the United Nations General Assembly in New York yesterday, September 21, was nothing but another lame attempt to resurrect his family’s tarnished name in the eyes of the international community.

To stand before the world on the 50th anniversary of his father’s formal declaration of martial rule is not a simple case of selective memory on the part of the president of the Philippine government. It is an act that challenges truth and all known norms of decency. Worse, this act, committed in the name of the Filipino people, disrespects the thousands killed, disappeared, tortured and raped during the 22 years of the first Marcos regime. It is not only contemptuous of the many victims of human rights violations in the current and second Marcos regime. It also aims to deny that the late dictator’s son and namesake is well on his way to committing his own bloody record of injustices and plunder.

The entire world could not be as gullible as the Marcoses think it is by painting a picture of social progress and government benevolence.

In his speech, Marcos discussed issues pertaining to climate change, new technologies, multilateralism, peace and security, and sustainable development.

And yet only two months into this second Marcos regime, his government is already rocked by revelations of malfeasance, such as in the importation of agricultural products. Already, his closest aide has been forced to step down after questionable sugar importation orders has been traced to have come from Malacanang Palace itself. The Filipino people are currently suffering food shortages and crippling inflation that parallel the economic and social crises of the first Marcos regime.

As in the dark days of the first Marcos dictatorship, the Marcoses are trying to hoodwink the Filipino people and the world with fictional tales of unity and successful governance. But however much the current Marcos regime denies and belies truth, it is clear that the political persecution of human rights defenders, violations of constitutionally-guaranteed freedoms, the drug war, impunity and absence of working domestic mechanisms continue unabated. It utilizes to the hilt weaponized laws such as the Anti-Terrorism Act, the Anti-Money Laundering Act, the Anti-Cybercrime Act and many others to terrorize the populace. Meanwhile, social services such as health, education, housing, welfare and development, job generation and environmental protection are being denied much-need public funding in favor or confidential (intelligence) funds that unjustly targets critics and political dissenters.

But, as was during his father’s dictatorship, these injustices are being challenged and exposed. On October 5, 2022, Philippine human rights organizations will present oral statements during the enhanced interactive dialogue at the 51st session of the UN Human Rights Council on the technical cooperation and capacity building programme on human rights in the Philippines.

On October 10 to 11, 2022, Philippine NGOs will participate in the Fifth Periodic Review of the UN Human Rights Committee, a decade since the Philippines reported on its compliance to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Days leading to November 14, 2022, during the UPR of the Philippines, a delegation composed of representatives from human rights organizations, faith-based institutions, non-governmental and people’s organizations will travel to Geneva, Switzerland to counter Marcos Jr.’s lies and tell the world about the ongoing human rights and social crises in the Philippines.

The world knows the truth and we vow to always remind the world what the Marcoses have done and continue doing. #