The International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines (ICHRP) today commemorates the 37th anniversary of the EDSA Revolution, which ousted President Ferdinand Marcos from power on February 25, 1986. In a series of mass mobilizations involving millions of people from February 22 to 25, the Filipino people intervened in an internal security forces rebellion against Marcos and brought to an end a powerful military dictatorship by asserting their collective human rights.
The EDSA Revolution put an end to the era of Martial Law, which saw tens of thousands of human rights violations including torture, forced disappearances, killings, and illegal arrests. Under Marcos’ rule, the Marcos family and their cronies plundered billions of dollars in wealth while selling out the Philippines to transnational corporations and US military bases. The dictatorship was defended by the family and their loyal military faction up until the very end – including by Marcos’ son and current president, Bongbong Marcos – who attempted to push his father to order a military attack on Camp Crane where tens of thousands of civilians had rallied.
ICHRP commends the millions of people who participated in the EDSA revolution of 1986. It is only through their collective effort and mobilization that the Filipino people can defend their fundamental human rights, and this remains just as true now under the current regime of Bongbong Marcos as it did under the reign of his father.
The international community has condemned the brazen violations of human rights under the Duterte Presidency of 2016-22, and the International Criminal Court is pursuing its investigation of Duterte and his officials for the crime against humanity of murder. President Bongbong Marcos is continuing Duterte’s criminal policies, opening up new schemes to plunder the nation, and boosting US military bases in the country, while widespread poverty and hunger continues to oppress the Filipino people.
Perhaps history will also repeat with yet another EDSA Revolution. Perhaps the Filipino people will invent another way to win back their basic individual and collective human rights. ICHRP will always be advocating to the international community for solidarity with the brave Filipino people who continue to assert their rights no matter how heavy the repression that is thrown at them.