20th November 2016
CHRP-UK PRESS STATEMENT
Kaleb Lloyd, committee member, +447482 990557
Rafael Maramag, committee member, +447958 482753
The Campaign for Human Rights in the Philippines (CHRP), together with Filipino community organisations in the UK, joins the Filipino people, at home and overseas, in their condemnation and outrage over the guileful burial of the remains of the late dictator Marcos on Friday, 18th November 2016.
In a truly macabre, thief-like fashion, the abrupt burial of Marcos in the Heroes’ Cemetery (Libingan ng mga Bayani) on Friday is an affront to all those real heroes of our country who resisted and died opposing the Marcos regime and who succeeded in finally bringing his dictatorship down. We condemn the Philippines Supreme Court for permitting this offensive ceremony.
We equally condemn President Duterte for granting state honours for this vicious dictator in an attempt to rewrite history. The Filipino people will never forget the 70,000 people imprisoned, 34,000 people tortured, around 3,200 people killed, and countless more who have been forcibly disappeared during the Martial Law era.
We would instead urge the government to renew efforts to recover the $5-10 billion dollars of wealth plundered and hidden overseas by the Marcos family, and to provide restitution and compensation to the families of those who were killed, imprisoned, tortured or disappeared during the dictatorship.
The Campaign for Human Rights in the Philippines has its roots in the Philippines Support Group (PSG) which opposed human rights abuses in the Marcos era. It was PSG former members who came together again in 2006 as human rights abuses were once more on the increase under President Macapagal Arroyo. CHRP has campaigned constantly to promote human rights in the Philippines since then, including bringing Philippine human rights defenders and families campaigning on behalf of victims on speaker tours of the UK.
The reality is that there has been little or no reform of the military since the Marcos martial law era. Successive administrations since Marcos, drawn from the traditional wealthy elite families, have been ready to allow a climate of impunity towards human rights abuses committed by the police and military. These have resulted in a continuing toll of deaths and disappearances among community activists, trade unionists, church workers, journalists and many others. It is no surprise that it was the same army which pushed through with this offensive ceremony honouring the former dictator.
We join the Filipino people in the home front and abroad, in the call for mounting mobilisations until 30th November by staging a protest in London on Tuesday, 22nd November from 4.00pm at the Philippine embassy.
MARCOS IS NOT A HERO!
NEVER AGAIN TO MARTIAL LAW!
JUSTICE TO ALL VICTIMS OF HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS!