Tearing down tyranny in Philippines, Myanmar begins with rebuke of past and present regimes
- This week, Ferdinand Marcos Jnr defended his father’s leadership, and the use of martial law in an ongoing attempt to rewrite Philippine history
- Meanwhile, a government paper praised the junta for ‘uplifting the prestige of Myanmar throughout the world’ following a meeting with Vladimir Putin
Tyranny, whether past or present, is unappealing enough. What is worse is having to hear it being defended, and even glorified.
He said his father declared martial law not to stay in power but because the “government had to defend itself” from the perils the country was facing.
On Monday, the Global New Light of Myanmar praised the current military junta on its front page for “uplifting the prestige of Myanmar throughout the world”.
In both these countries, egregious human rights abuses and violations have been perpetrated.
Described as “a dark period of Philippine history”, the martial law era lasting from 1972 to 1981 showed a pattern of widespread arrests and detention, enforced disappearances, and killings including extrajudicial executions of people that were critical of the government or viewed as political opponents.
Those arrested included church workers, human rights defenders, legal aid lawyers, labour leaders and journalists.
In Myanmar, since the coup by the military which had illegally seized power from the elected government, 2,148 people have been killed while thousands have been arrested, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners NGO.
Pointing to the evidence showing that the children were not only being caught in the crossfire of escalating attacks but were often the targets, Tom Andrews said that children “were beaten, stabbed, burned with cigarettes, and subjected to mock executions”.
“[They] had their fingernails and teeth pulled out during lengthy interrogation sessions,” Andrews said, adding that the junta’s attacks on children constitute crimes against humanity and war crimes.
Global and regional leaders need to play their part too in not allowing meetings with the military government, so as not to lend legitimacy to the junta or worse end up being an accomplice to the glorification of the regime.