From Ang Bayan: Filipinos And Australians Condemn Marcos’ Appearance Before Australian Parliament

Ang Bayan

February 29, 2024

Ferdinand Marcos Jr’s appearance at the Australian Parliament today, February 29, did not escape the protests and condemnation of Filipinos, Filipino-Australians and Australians. Inside the parliament, a placard with the slogan “Stop human rights abuses” was raised by Australian Senator Janet Rice while Marcos spoke in Capital Hill in Canberra, Australia. Filipino and Australian groups also staged a protest outside the chamber.

Senator Rice said, “Corruption intensified under President Marcos Jr. Hundreds of political prisoners remained detained and ‘anti-terrorist’ laws are used as a legal cover for extra-judicial killings.” She cited these as reasons why she believes Marcos should not have been allowed to address parliament. After her protest, she was forced out of parliament by fellow lawmakers. She later took part in the protest outside.

Cristina Palabay, Karapatan general secretary, thanked Senator Rice’s act of protest. Palabay also expressed her gratitude to other Australian senators from the Greens party for their solidarity with the Filipino people.

“The ongoing violations of human rights and international humanitarian law under Marcos, the prevailing culture of impunity and the Marcos family’s history of plunder and human rights violations during the dictatorship are compelling reasons why the Australian people should denounce this regime,” according to Palabay.

The Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan)-Australia led the protests outside parliament. People from Melbourne, Sydney, and Queensland joined the action to express their condemnation of the Marcos regime.

In addition to the regime’s bloody human rights record, the groups also condemned its charter change scheme. According to Alexia Fuentes, Bayan-Australia general secretary and Anakbayan-Melbourne chairperson, chacha will eventually lay open the Philippines to foreign ownership and plunder.

After the action on Capital Hill, the rally goers marched to the US embassy and held a short program. They condemned US imperialist interventionism and militarization in the Asia-Pacific which endangers the Philippines. They also called for the scrapping of AUKUS, the military alliance of the US, United Kingdom and Australia.

Similar actions were held in Melbourne, Sydney, and Perth. Marcos went to the country for an official visit and returned to the Philippines on the same day. Marcos is scheduled to return to Australia next week for the ASEAN Summit.

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