Bato’s “surprise” presidential run a mockery of elections, blatant plot to evade ICC probe

Photo by Noel Celis/Getty Images

Bato dela Rosa is making a barefaced mockery of the elections with his “surprise” run for the presidency when he filed his certificate of candidacy last Friday — a shameless tactic we know all too well to be ripped straight from the playbook of Rodrigo Duterte’s own drama when he ran as president in the elections in 2016.

As Bato said so himself, he supposedly delayed his candidacy and made his “surprise” announcement on the very last day of filing because he didn’t want to be a subject of public scrutiny — a recurring exercise especially with his hand in implementing the Duterte government’s murderous campaigns such as the sham drug war and in advocating for rabidly anti-democratic and repressive legislation in the Senate including the revival of the death penalty.

If Bato will indeed pursue his candidacy, his bid for the presidency in the 2022 elections is to not only continue the bloody legacy of the Duterte administration but to shield himself and others in the government including the President from accountability and prosecution now that the International Criminal Court is pushing forward in investigating him and Duterte for their crimes against humanity.

Bato is not the only one: this is also clearly the aim of rabid lying red-taggers and fake news peddlers such as the likes of Mocha Uson, Celine Pialago, and Jeffrey Celiz in deciding to run in the coming elections with their so-called party-lists. They claim to represent the marginalized, but nothing could be further than the truth — that their agenda is to prevent Duterte from being brought to justice and to ease out progressive partylists in Congress.

The period for the filing of candidacy has ended, but there are more sinister plots that may definitely play out in the coming days and months. We cannot discount the possibility of Sara Duterte eventually running either as president by substituting for Bato or as vice president to Marcos Jr.

Karapatan strongly denounces this clear mockery of our supposedly democratic electoral processes. We urge all Filipinos to remain vigilant, and to resist all efforts of this tyrannical regime to undermine what is left of our democracy and repress the calls for justice and accountability. Now more than ever, we must all stand and fight back together to uphold people’s rights and our civil liberties.

Cristina Palabay
Karapatan Secretary General