|The International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines (ICHRP) completed its independent monitoring and assessment of the Philippine elections that took place on May 9, 2022. Two ICHRP members from Toronto traveled to the Philippines to participate in ICHRP’s International Observer Mission (IOM), and their experiences contributed to the main finding: that the election was not free, honest, or fair by international standards. These findings were collected in the Final Report of the IOM.|
“We witnessed a contest of ‘guns, goons, and gold’,” said Olivia Blahuta, ICHRP-Toronto regional coordinator and IOM participant. “We saw scare tactics, suppression, vote-buying, arrests, violence, and even killings.”
“There was a massive disinformation campaign to rebrand the disgraced Marcos family’s history of brutality and plunder as the golden age of the Philippines,” said Aidan Patterson, who also participated in the IOM as chairperson of the Canada-Philippines Solidarity Organization. “Now they are trying to claim that Marcos Jr. won the first majority mandate in the Philippines since his father, who was ousted in 1986.”
On June 30, Ferdinand Marcos Jr. was sworn in as the next president of the Philippines.
“Based on our findings, the inauguration of Marcos Jr. as president of the Philippines is illegitimate,” said Blahuta. “No free, honest, or fair elections can be said to have taken place in the Philippines.”
The Final Report of the IOM provides recommendations for electoral reform in the Philippines, touching on fundamental issues with the electoral process. The report also lists recommendations for the international community, in order to continue to stand with the Filipino people fighting to protect their democracy.
“Looking forward, there needs to be an intensified international focus on the new Marcos-Duterte government and their ongoing human rights record. The international community needs to strengthen the capacity of internal and external human rights organizations to monitor and report on the situation in the Philippines,” said Peter Murphy, Chairperson of the ICHRP Global Council.
“At the same time, the international community should continue to hold the outgoing Duterte team accountable for its abysmal human rights record. This work is underway at the International Criminal Court, and in the United Nations Human Rights Council processes, and can be pursued in national jurisdictions with Magnitsky-style laws. There should be no hint of a green light for continued human rights violations under the incoming Marcos-Duterte administration,” Murphy concluded.
Further comment: Olivia Blahuta (416) 885-2112
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