Grim future for Human Rights in PH predicted

A LABOR federation warned on Sunday of a grim future for human rights in the Philippines as the Duterte administration continues to encroach on the people’s political rights and civil liberties as it “tries to provoke the organized left into action to create a scenario of violence and lawlessness” in an obvious attempt to allegedly legitimize the implementation of the ruling elite’s fascist agenda.

The Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP) made the warning during a mass action commemorating the International Human Rights Day in front of camps Crame and Aguinaldo, the respective headquarters of the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in Quezon City.

At the same time, the BMP called on the police and military institutions to respect the people’s rights to live and to legitimate dissent as it noted that the PNP has again taken a lead role over the so-called “War on Drugs” while the AFP escalates its “War on Terror” against leftist organizations, particularly the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army, which President Rodrigo Duterte has recently labeled as “terrorist organizations.”

Thousands have been killed in Duterte’s ‘Giyera laban sa Droga’ on the pretext of protecting the republic from the menace of illegal drugs. This wanton killing spree, which has been attributed to the ‘bounty’ from the Office of the President itself, has claimed the lives of poor youths such as 17-year old Kian de los Santos. Due process of law is virtually non-existent for drug-related or insinuated cases. Worse, it is evident that such violence is perpetrated by rogue elements of the State,” said BMP Spokesperson Dominic Dilao.

He added that, “the brutal assassination of activist-priest Fr. Marcelino Paez of Nueva Ecija, which occurred a few days before Duterte formally labeled the Maoist inspired national democratic movement as terrorist, points to a grim future on the state of human rights in the country. The armed forces has been alleged as the culprits in this dastardly act.”

On the other hand, BMP President Leody de Guzman BMP said “it appears that every form of dissent, even if unarmed, is now viewed by the State as actions that promote terrorism and not an exercise of Constitutionally-enshrined political rights and civil liberties. This is absurd and illogical because it is precisely such Constitutional rights that prevent people to seek redress via illegal means like terrorism.”

Moreover, De Guzman insists that “the assaults on political rights and civil liberties are attempts to provoke the Left movement in order to create a scenario of lawlessness and violence, which would then serve as justification for direct authoritarian rule.”

Furthermore, De Guzman said “the tendency towards fascism is usually attributed to the uncouth personality of Duterte. But it also perfectly suits the objective of the Duterte-Arroyo-Marcos clique in particular, and the warlords and their political dynasties in general to further consolidate their political control under a federal government.”

Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino President Leody de Guzman in one of the many rallies where he spoke. Image ©

Their economic design is the full implementation of neo-liberal economics that serves the interests of foreign monopoly capital with the local oligarchy in connivance,” he said.

De Guzman also said there are now three possible tracks towards these economic and political objectives – Charter change (Cha-cha) through a Constituent Assembly (Con-Ass), the setting up of a Revolutionary Government (Rev-Gov) where the three branches of government are dissolved and/or a declaration of Martial Law.

He, however, observed that Cha-cha is unpopular because it is a traditional politician dominated process while the setting up of a revolutionary government did not gain the support of the pro-Constitution faction of the military. As regards the a declaration of martial law, that is only possible if there is a specter of rebellion or lawless violence.

The workers and the poor must not fall into their traps nor must we be cowed into fear and submission, De Guzman cautioned.

With the further encroachment on democratic rights – particularly on civil liberties and political rights – the BMP calls on its members and on the entire labor movement to close ranks and lead the people in the resistance movement against the fascist Duterte regime. Welgang bayan – sagot sa Con-ass at Rev-Gov! Rebolusyon – sagot sa Martial Law!” he added.

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