Hundreds of individuals made their way to Manila, the capital of the Philippines on Saturday and these people marched in a massive protest in line with the escalating number of victims prior to the extrajudicial killings or EJK. Other than that, these people also protest about other allegations such as tyranny, dictatorship, reign of terror, and other forms of injustice that have been observed during the reign of Ferdinand Edralin Marcos Sr., former president of the Republic of the Philippines.
The massive protest was led by a rights group based in the Philippines and congregated in one of the city’s public squares. The protesters marched toward Malacañang Palace where the current president’s office is. The main objective of the protest is to seek justice for all of the victims who had their taste of so-called ‘Marcos’ injustices.’ According to police authorities, the rally was composed of about 800 protesters. The protest also coincides with the International Human Rights’ big day.
Someone by the name of Cristina Palabay of the Karapatan rights group stated that under the counterinsurgency campaign of the Marcos administration, their group recorded around 17 EJK cases. In addition to these EJK cases that have been documented by the group, they also have 4 cases of violence which were luckily survived by the victims. According to Palabay, the total count of political prisoners is 828 and around 25 of these people were arrested after Marcos took his oath in June. Currently, the group has nothing to rejoice about as far as justice for these poor victims is concerned. She said that impunity still continues to rear its displeasing and hideous head.
The organizers of the protest said that the rally isn’t just held in Manila but in other parts of the country as well and is participated in by families of crusaders and activists who vanished or were tormented by the administration of Marcos. The protest also pointed out former president Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs that killed thousands of persons. Currently, this is still being heard and litigated by the International Criminal Court.
Because of the so-called ‘1986 People Power’ which was also backed by armies, Ferdinand Marcos Sr. was ousted from his office and was exiled to the United States without a word for any of the accusations and allegations bestowed upon him. In addition to these allegations is that his family along with other executives and associates collected 5 to 10 billion US dollars during Ferdinand Marcos Sr.’s reign.
Evangeline Hernandez, the chairperson of a group that works on the human rights of fallen victims, said that their group makes it a point to come up with a rally like this every celebration of International Human Rights Day. Apart from their unwavering call for equity and justice, they also work hard to fight off any act of injustice and would not let violence take place again.
Last month, Jesus C. Remulla, the Philippines’ Justice Secretary had his speech in front of the Council of Human Rights in Geneva, Switzerland. His speech entails the dismissal of all the accusations that the Philippines is being run using the impunity culture. He also stressed that the country’s present government administration will not sanction or allow the negation of justice or any act that aims to violate a person’s human rights.
Also coinciding with IHR day is Maria Ressa’s memoir. It is remembered that Ressa is currently facing a chain of criminal indicts and charges filed by the Duterte administration and its allies. The charges have something to do with Rappler’s EJK coverage and disinformation networks that, according to Rappler, are sponsored and backed by the government.