Posted on Sep 22, 2021

ICHRP Canada commemorates martial law: past and present

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A rally in Ottawa Ontario in front of the the embassy of the Philippines September 18th

We commemorate the declaration of martial law across the Philippines on
the 21st of September in 1972 by President Ferdinand Marcos. His martial
rule lasted fourteen years and was responsible for thousands of killings and
human rights violations. For many of these cases, no justice has been
served. 

Contrary to the popular narrative since the end of Marcos’ rule in 1986,
human rights violations have continued in the Philippines. Killings of activists
by military state forces never stopped, and the Filipino people continue to
suffer.

Under the US-Duterte regime, martial law was declared in Mindanao four
years ago. Hundreds of thousands of Moro people were displaced and turned
into refugees by the wanton bombing and destruction of Marawi City at the
hands of the Philippine Army. Indigenous people’s schools have been
destroyed, and their communities remain under attack and occupation by
the Philippine Army. 

Under the US-Duterte regime, peasants in Negros and Panay islands are
being arrested and massacred as they defend their right to till their ancestral
domain.
 
Under the US-Duterte regime, the onslaught against the poor through
Duterte’s “war on drugs,” which has now claimed more than 27,000 lives,
including children. 

Under the US-Duterte regime, the National Task Force to End Local
Communist Armed Conflict had been used as a tool to vilify activists and
human rights defenders. They are tagged as “terrorists”, while Duterte’s
military has been on a killing spree. The Philippines is now one of the most
dangerous places in the world for human rights defenders. 

Ottawa’s march from the US embassy to the Philippines embassy September 18th

The International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines along with
our partners stand with the Filipino people in quest for justice as we
participate in InvestigatePH, an independent international investigation of
the human rights situation in the Philippines conducted by people’s
organizations and civil society from all over the world.

The three reports of InvestigatePH explore in depth the crimes of the US-
Duterte regime. These reports include recommendations to multiple global
actors, which reflect the demand of the Filipino people for justice. 
The International Coalition of Human Rights in the Philippines calls on
Canada to demonstrate its commitment to human rights by following the
recommendations of the report.

We call on Canada to immediately suspend the sale of arms to the Philippine
government; to vocally support the peace talks; to call on its ally, the United
States, to pass the Philippine Human Rights Act in Congress; and to
participate in multilateral global efforts to investigate and condemn the
extrajudicial killings and other abuses identified in the series of reports!
Canada must call on the Government of the Republic of the Philippines to
end its de-facto martial law and end attacks on human rights defenders! 
Martial law is not only a matter of history for the Philippines.
We say “never forget” but also to “never allow” the same breed of murderers
and criminals to hold power.

Support the calls of InvestigatePH and the Filipino people’s call for justice!
Long live international solidarity!

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