Bayan blasts abuses under Duterte
“We say, enough!”
The progressive Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) has had it with President Rodrigo Duterte and called for protests against increasing human rights violations on Dec. 10, International Human Rights Day.
In a blistering statement on Friday, the left-wing group assailed the administration’s human rights record and denounced the President for the sneaky hero’s burial for dictator Ferdinand Marcos and his refusal to release political prisoners.
“The President keeps saying that we cannot build a nation on the bones of dead Filipinos. Yet the bones keep piling up. The death toll keeps rising and there are no indications that the abuses will stop,” Bayan said.
Bayan said it was supportive of Mr. Duterte, including his thrust toward an independent foreign policy and pro-people reforms.
“However, we will not countenance and we will strongly denounce his stance on many human rights issues,” it said.
Bayan said Mr. Duterte must listen to the grievances of the people “not the generals, big business, multinational corporations, opportunist politicians, corrupt justices and other vested interests.”
A picture of impunity
The group said human rights had taken “a serious beating” in the past few months, citing Marcos’ burial, the unjust detention of more than 400 political prisoners, the militarization in the countryside, and the staggering death toll in the government’s war on drugs.
It said deaths from extrajudicial killings of drug suspects presented a “shocking picture of impunity and police abuse that cannot be tolerated under any circumstances.”
In addition, congressional efforts to revive the death penalty, the appointment of a general with a “questionable human rights record” as military Chief of Staff and threats to suspend the privilege of habeas corpus were aggravating the human rights situation in the country, the group said.
“It is with these developments that we call on the people to go out, protests and stand for human rights this Dec. 10. It is with a great sense of urgency that we ask the people to protest,” the group said.
Bayan said the state had been committing human rights violations under various pretexts, including drugs, terrorism, counter-insurgency, peace and development and the abuses are being justified by the President himself.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.