Luis Jalandoni, Chief International Representative
National Democratic Front of the Philippines
The National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) is disheartened with the declaration of EU President Ursula von der Leyen that the human rights environment under Marcos Jr.’s administration has been “much better.”
Marcos Jr. gloated as he declared that “…the Philippines and EU are like-minded partners through our shared values of democracy, sustainable and inclusive prosperity, the rule of law, peace and stability, and human rights.” This is clearly a distortion of reality.
The EU’s change of perception is difficult to understand because the European Parliament adopted the resolution on human rights in the Philippines in 2022 that urged the Government of the Philippines among others to:
- end the red-tagging of organisations and individuals to communist groups by the authorities including human rights and environmental defenders, journalists, trade union activists and church and humanitarian workers;
- end the political harassment of Senator Leila De Lima, to order her immediate and unconditional release, and to prosecute in fair trials those found to be responsible for her arbitrary detention and other human rights violations committed against her;
- immediately carry out impartial, transparent, independent, and meaningful investigations into all extrajudicial killings, and;
- ensure investigations into and prosecutions of all senior police and politicians where there is reasonable suspicion that they have direct and/or command or superior responsibility for crimes under international law and other serious violations and abuses of human rights amend or repeal legislation which continues to discriminate against women and to promote and protect women’s rights.
Moreover, the resolution called on EU member States to refrain from all exports of arms, surveillance technology and other equipment that can be used for internal repression by the Philippine authorities.
There has been no change in form and substance of Marcos Jr’s campaign of suppression from those of his predecessors.
Under his watch, there were 94,448 victims of human rights violations in 954 separate cases. This translates to two victims per day from June 30, 2022, to June 30 this year.
Despite the dismissal of most cases filed against her, Senator Leila De Lima is still in prison facing endless trumped-up court cases.
Instead of ending impunity in red-tagging of human rights and environmental defenders, Marcos Jr. empowered impunity of the government’s witch-hunt machinery, the National Task Force- to End Local Communist Conflict (NTF-Elcac). He appointed the Vice President and his cabinet members in key positions in the Task Force. The NTF-Elcac orchestrates state-instigated terrorism.
Marcos Jr. further enables impunity in human rights violation with his decision to totally disengage from the International Criminal Court (ICC), rejecting accountability for rampant human rights violation of his predecessor, Duterte. Marcos Jr. is coddling human rights violators in his government. This should be reflected upon by the EU, considering that all its member states are affiliates and supporters of the ICC.
The EU should re-evaluate its tendency to be drawn into the US war preparation against China involving the Philippines. If ever war breaks out between the US and allies against China, a much bigger humanitarian crisis than the current US/NATO proxy war against Russia will ensue.
The immigration crisis faced by Europe and the severe economic crisis experienced by peoples of the world is mainly due to wars instigated by the US against its rival superpowers. #