Activists, progressives: ‘No’ to Bongbong at the UNGA

On the 50th anniversary of the declaration of martial law, dictator Ferdinand Marcos Sr.’s son has been invited to speak before the United Nations General Assembly. Facebook photo

Community leaders, activists and progressive Filipino Americans are calling on the United Nations to “disinvite” President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr. from speaking before the UN General Assembly, the same forum that has provided a platform for the leaders of anti-western Iran, Russia and Cuba to tout their accomplishments.

“Fifty years to the day since a dictator declared martial law in the Philippines, the international community is poised to welcome his son into power with open arms,” says a statement from the New York Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines.

The United Nations has invited Marcos to speak at the UN General Assembly on September 20th. The invitation coincides with the 50th anniversary of the declaration of martial law in the Philippines by his father, Ferdinand Marcos Sr.

The statement continues: “Despite an outstanding $353 million contempt order related to human rights abuses committed under his family’s previous rule and a presidential campaign marred by claims of electoral fraud, violence, and misinformation, Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. is speaking to the international community on issues of inequality, poverty, and armed conflict – issues he has no right to speak about. The UN General Assembly must not be swayed by the Marcos family’s attempts to obfuscate their crimes against the Filipino people and must rescind Marcos Jr.’s invitation now. Anything less is a gross hypocrisy from a body that ‘promotes the realization of human rights and fundamental freedoms for all.’”

On September 20, hundreds of Filipino community members and allies will protest the first U.S. visit of Marcos and Vice-President Sara Duterte. Both will be at this year’s United Nations General Assembly.

“Their presence at the UN proves what writers and scholars have noted as the UN’s unconscionable practice of inviting and legitimizing dictators and human rights abusers such as former U.S. president Donald Trump, Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro, Egypt’s Abdel Fattah el-Sisi and Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan, to name a few,” the Northeast Coalition to Advance Genuine Democracy in the Philippines said in a separate statement.

The coalition is composed of community organizations and allies against the “fascist” leadership of Marcos and Duterte. Their protest against the Marcos-Duterte regime is based on the Marcoses’ role in history and the “questionable candidacy” of Marcos Jr.

“To date, Marcos Jr. has not paid in full the more than $175 million (or 10 billion pesos) owed to thousands of Filipino victims of Martial Law ordered by a U.S. court nor has he paid the $3.9 billion for his family’s estate taxes that have not been paid for 30 years,” says the statement.

For the coalition members, the September 20 protest is a community action “to right and to write history” as they urged the UN to disinvite Marcos and Duterte to the international forum.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: