Corruption of the Duterte Regime Shows its Face in the Philippine Elections

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The Portland Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines condemns in the strongest possible terms the blatant and inexcusable fraud pervading the Philippine midterm elections to eliminate all checks and balances and concentrate even more power into Duterte’s bloody hands.

It is clear that widespread election fraud and manipulation tactics have pre-determined the results, with no regard for the will of the people. Vote counting machines were flagrantly tampered with, election "oversight" was carried out by the very people seeking election, and mail-in ballots critical to vulnerable segments of the population were "lost,” "delayed” or secretly destroyed in mass quantities. In addition to tampering involved with the voting machines themselves, extreme irregularities occurred within the transparency system designed to give people a view into the COMELEC's digital transmission of voting records from the machines to the central tallying system. This included a supposed "Java error" which led to a total failure of the transparency server, which already provided only a tenuous and incomplete view into the Central Server and the Transmission Router. This made real-time monitoring of the official vote tally impossible.

On top of all this, illegal red-tagging propaganda distribution - expressly forbidden by the laws governing election day - by the Philippine National Police turned thousands of voters away from progressive candidates and parties who have a history of criticising the Duterte regime for its legacy of tyranny and fascism. An anonymous text message "warned" anyone thinking of voting for those same regime-critical candidates and organizations that they would be placed on a "list" and tracked for daring to exercise their legal democratic rights. The PNP continues to use scare tactics to threaten anyone  voting for candidates most ready and willing to put themselves on the line to affect real change.

The Filipino People have been ravaged and terrorized by the Duterte regime since the day of his election. From his reinstatement of Martial Law in Mindanao taking the lives of untold thousands, to the US-funded "Drug War" that has amounted to the slaughter of over 30,000 people with zero due process, the overwhelming majority of Filipinos have completely seen through Duterte's campaign lies. This election is yet another display of government corruption and rising fascism as the Duterte regime attempts to consolidate its authoritarian power through Charter Change.

The dictator Marcos used Charter Change - and its associated "brief period" of constitutional suspension - to usher in the years of wholesale Martial Law that has gone down in history as one of the darkest stretches of time for the Filipino people, marked by torture, mass murder, and a total destruction of democracy. It is clear that Duterte intends to do much the same, and by testimony of those who survived the Marcos regime, Duterte is in many ways already worse.

In the face of this tide of rising fascism, we the masses of the United States must stand in solidarity with the Filipino People as a whole, as they rise to reassert their democratic sovereignty. PCHRP calls on all those concerned with peace and democracy  to join us in the struggle for human rights in the Philippines. Join us on June 14th in Portland for a march and rally to defend Philippine sovereignty and demand an end to US military aid in the Philippines!

Long Live International Solidarity!