May 26, 2022
National civil society body Council for People’s Development and Governance (CPDG) warned of possibly worsening conditions for justice, human rights, and rule of law under the incoming presidency of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos’ son Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr.
“The successive protests decrying the election results were met with overwhelming and unnecessary police force. Added to this is the red tagging and fear-mongering against critical groups—both online and offline. These foretell of increased authoritarian rule,” said CPDG spokesperson Liza Maza.
Civil society organizations and rights groups hold that the “victory” of the Bongbong Marcos-Sara Duterte tandem is a complete “counterpoint” to the democratic victory of the Filipino people against the late dictator Marcos and a total reversal of Philippine history.
“A climate of injustice and impunity looms under the incoming presidency. Both are apologists for the outgoing Duterte administration’s misdeeds and vowed to continue its anti-people policies including the constricting of democratic spaces,” Maza pointed out.
CPDG, along with other civic groups, also hit the appointment of Cavite 7th District Rep. Jesus Crispin “Boying” Remulla as Justice Secretary. Remulla has a long history of indiscriminate red tagging even before his most recent accusations that opposition rallies especially by outgoing Vice President Leni Robredo and her running mate Senator Francis Pangilinan are “communist-infiltrated” activities. Maginhawa community pantry organizer Anna Patricia Non—who was among the ones vilified by Remulla—has already spoken out about his worrisome appointment.
“It is a farce to appoint a red tagger head of the Department of Justice (DOJ) amid the climate of impunity where red tagging has led to killings, arrests, and scores of human rights violations. The DOJ under Remulla, a known Marcos supporter, will likely turn a blind eye or at worst even enable state-sponsored rights violations,” Maza added.
The non-issuance of a temporary restraining order (TRO) on the canvassing of votes for candidate Marcos, Jr. by the Supreme Court (SC) is also concerning in disregarding petitions filed by different civic groups. Maza emphasized that the power of the SC to issue a TRO could have given at least a “little justice” to martial law victims.
“We should brace for the worst decline of justice and rule of law under Marcos Jr.’s governance. Notwithstanding this imminent threat, civil society will work doubly harder, unite and push back even stronger to protect and advance people’s rights and social justice” Maza ended. #