Vote Human Rights back into government- PAHRA
The Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates enjoins the nation to vigorously exercise their political right of suffrage on May 13, 2019 and elect candidates who hold human rights in the highest regard, especially those to be elected to the Philippine Senate.
Three years of President Duterte’s elite authoritarian rule brought thousands of deaths at our doorsteps due to a violent war against drugs which protected the big drug lords, increased drug supply in the market, and left thousands of orphans in its bloody wake. Widespread impunity and the culture of fear allowed for sexual exploitation of women and children in the hands of law enforcement officials, of whom the majority have not been brought to justice to this day. Those heavily associated with this hardline and bloody drug war are even among those running in the polls.
President Duterte’s government enacted the TRAIN Law which left the population reeling in skyrocketing prices of goods and commodities. His government is mired deep into unfair debt deals with China and other foreign countries with our territories as collateral. The burden of paying these debts fall upon the next generation of Filipinos.
This government made possible the release of the most corrupt politicians from incarceration while continuing its judicial persecution of critics and political opponents. President Duterte allowed for the rehabilitation of the former dictator Marcos’ family and their return to political power.
PAHRA warns that proposed legislation which are devastating to human rights are just waiting to be passed in Congress. As articulated by the President, a vote for pro-administration candidates means that there will be no substantial opposition to any and all legislation including charter change, return of the death penalty, lowering of the minimum age of criminal responsibility, ‘unli-martial law’ alongside ‘unli-term’ for incumbent local and national officials. The unhampered passage of these policies and legislations will usher in an even darker period for human rights, and the 2019 mid-term polls may just be the last free elections the country may see in a while.
Still, any and all attempts to hostage or sabotage the people’s will come May 13, should be resisted and remedied. The future rests on how we as a nation condemn or redeem ourselves from the nightmare gripping our people in fear and hunger.