On martial law’s 50th anniversary, Marcos talks about human rights at UN

·2 min read
President Ferdinand speaks at the New York Stock Exchange as the Philippines marked the 50th anniversary of martial law.
Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. speaks at the New York Stock Exchange in New York, Monday, Sept. 19, 2022. Activists vowed to #NeverForget the human rights abuses under the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos Sr as the Philippines marked 50 years since his imposition of martial law on September 21, 2022. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

During the 50th anniversary of his dictator father’s declaration of martial law on Wednesday (September 21), President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. briefly talked about the country’s commitment to human rights.

“We need to reaffirm the wisdom of the founders of our United Nations,” he said. “This means transcending our differences and committing to ending the war, upholding justice, respecting human rights, and maintaining international peace and security.”

The dictator’s son highlighted the need for the system to “work for the most vulnerable” social groups.

“Our work must also focus on ensuring that the international system remains fair not only for all states, but more importantly for all peoples,” Marcos said. “This system must work for the most vulnerable, especially the marginalized, migrants and refugees.”

Additionally, Marcos briefly included in his speech the country’s United Nations Joint Program on Human Rights, which he claimed was an exemplary approach to human rights that puts people over politics.

“It provides a model for revitalizing the structures that facilitates solidarity between the United Nations and a sovereign duty-bearer,” he said.

Not a single word about his father, known as one of the country’s worst human rights violators.

Ferdinand Marcos Sr. ran the Philippines as dictator from December 30, 1965 until he was ousted in the People Power Uprising on February 25, 1986. Under his rule, there were 70,000 illegal arrests, 34,000 tortured individuals, around a thousand disappearances, and 3,240 killings documented.

Under his dictatorship, the country experienced one of its worst recessions, with the economic output contracting by 7.3 percent in 1984 and 1985.

Marcos mentioned in an interview that he was not bothered by people calling him “dictator’s son”, even denying that his father was a dictator.

His visit to the United States was met with protests in front of the New York Stock Exchange, where he rang the bell as the market closed on Monday.

Mark Ernest Famatigan is a news writer who focuses on Philippine politics. He is an advocate for press freedom and regularly follows developments in the Philippine economy. The views expressed are his own.

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