Contributed by Migrante Australia
Today (21 September 2017), we commemorate the 45th year of Martial Law declaration with a sense of déjà vu with the transformation of President Duterte into a despotic ruler now almost complete.
So as a Dutertian dictatorship looms in the horizon and as tyranny rears its ugly head, those of us living and working abroad are called upon to stand together with our freedom-loving Filipino sisters and brothers to stop the dawning of another long and dark era of more unprecedented killings, massive destruction of our resources and unimaginable human rights atrocities. We in Migrante Australia say enough is enough! We may be overseas but our families, our friends our communities are not spared by this cruel government. We cannot remain silent about the killings and oppression surrounding us!
The senseless killings of small-time drug users and pushers including innocent people to draw attention away from the big and powerful drug pushers and to give police extraordinary powers to kill must stop. We demand an end to extrajudicial killings and mass murder in the name of the Duterte regime’s “war on drugs” and “war on terror”!
The indiscriminate aerial bombings, artillery fire and other destructive military operations that target civilian communities like Lumad and Moro communities, especially residences, schools, farms and commercial/business establishments must stop. We demand the military to pull out of communities and leave the people in peace!
The practice of filing trumped-up charges against activists and government critics, thus accumulating political prisoners must end. We call for the release of all political prisoners!
The undermining and pressure put unto the very institutions that exist as a check and balance to his powerful office, including the Supreme Court, Congress, the Office of the Ombudsman, and the Commission on Human Rights must be reined in. We demand respect for these institutions, that they be allowed the unbridled execution of their tasks to the nation.
The constant flogging of the mass media for its critical reports of his administration’s unfavourable policies and pronouncements must stop. The Filipino people deserve an honest media. We demand respect for the media!
The nonchalance with which he treats the sanctity of upholding the human rights of the people is totally unacceptable. We demand a stop to goading the police, military and paramilitary groups to violate human rights as we demand a stop to inciting state security forces to commit willful violence against the people while assuring them of protection from investigation, prosecution and punishment.
Let us break the silence, fear and acquiescence that have afflicted many, especially the victims of human rights violations, corruption and abuse.
Let us defend and promote human rights and civil liberties at all cost.
Let us oppose tyranny wherever and whenever it rears its ugly head.
Stop the killings! Stand against tyranny!