Reject Marcos Jr. and Sara Duterte in the elections and beyond!

We call on the public to express our rejection of the Marcos Jr.-Sara Duterte tandem in the 2022 polls and beyond. The two represent the worst brand of traditional politics and governance in our nation’s history — one that promotes authoritarianism as a response to legitimate exercise of political dissent, upholds mendicancy to foreign interests over national sovereignty, and uses an empty and fake rhetoric of unity to sugarcoat their incompetence to respond to social problems and their adherence to neoliberal policies that will further demean human dignity.

As in previous years, Marcos Jr. has not only refused to publicly acknowledge the crimes of his father and his family’s role as direct beneficiaries of such crimes: he has whitewashed, even legitimized, the atrocities of his father’s dictatorship. He and his family have refused to return all the looted public funds and assets they amassed for private gain during his father’s dictatorial rule, while Duterte gives them a free pass for these crimes especially with his lackluster efforts to collect the Marcoses PhP203 billion tax liabilities and his recent statement denying the existence of the Marcoses’ ill-gotten wealth.

Marcos Jr. continues to spit on the graves and sufferings endured by all the martial law victims by feigning ignorance on the numerous documented atrocities of his father and his cabal of mass murderers, and worse, he has portrayed the victims of human rights violations as money-seeking opportunists — while all throughout his father’s reign, their megalomanic opportunism has been at the expense of numerous lives.

He has committed to ensure Duterte’s protection from accountability for his bloody drug war by his public expression of rejection of the International Criminal Court’s jurisdiction on the investigation on these crimes. He affirmed his support for the notorious NTF-ELCAC which has churned out countless lies against Duterte’s critics, on whose heads hang the Damocles sword of the anti-terror law.

Countless historical lies and disinformation pervade online and offline to rehabilitate the Marcoses’ detestable record, but the sickening acts are the hero’s burial of the dictator and the non-implementation of Republic Act No. 10368 on the State’s role in ensuring that education on martial law atrocities are promoted in our educational system and in government bureaucracy.

The palpable imprints of the Marcos dictatorship remain in the laws and decrees issued during the martial law regime and in the framework of counterinsurgency programs continued by the succeeding administrations. The infrastructure of impunity that pervaded during the Marcos years has not been fully dismantled — impunity has worsened because perpetrators of the worst crimes against the people, especially the Marcoses and their cohorts, have remained unpunished. Under Duterte, the human rights crisis has spiralled with extrajudicial killings, arrests and detention, forcible evacuation and other human rights violations, including violations on press freedom and freedom of association.

Meanwhile, Sara Duterte has remained unapologetic in defending and in promising the continuation of her father’s policies. Both Marcos Jr. and Sara Duterte vowed to continue Rodrigo Duterte’s neoliberal programs, including the Build, Build, Build projects which have driven higher foreign debts, and an economy that is dependent on foreign investments and is unable to provide decent work for the people. Both also committed to continue the Duterte administration’s lopsided relations with the US and China.

A broad mass movement condemning the Marcos-Duterte tandem has emerged stronger during the election campaign period, despite numerous threats and red-tagging, and a gigantic disinformation machinery oiled by the Marcos ill-gotten wealth. We thus call upon the Filipino people to strongly reject the notorious tandem and to stand strong against possible and further suppression and violation of people’s rights.

Cristina Palabay
Karapatan Secretary General