Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte had at least nine political activists executed in their homes and offices on Sunday, March 7. Fifteen more were arrested. This just two days after he ordered his police and soldiers to “finish off the communists.” All the victims were unarmed human rights defenders. Two were fisherman rights advocates whose 10-year-old son is missing. Two were part of an urban poor group.
Notorious for his “war on drugs” that killed thousands, Duterte’s new targets are political dissidents. Arrests of women, indigenous people, journalists, unionists, and lawyers are accelerating.
“Red tagging” political opponents as “terrorist” or “communist” is a death sentence in the Philippines. And, like QAnon Trump fans in the U.S., there is a powerful far-right backing Duterte on social media in the Philippines.
Despite this, thousands of Philippine women and men marched against the regime and burned Duterte’s effigy on International Women’s Day — the day after his Bloody Sunday!
These murders are an urgent call for leftist and progressive movements worldwide to stand together in our fight for a sane and humane world.