We, the women of Center for Women’s Resources (CWR), mourn the death of genuine democracy with the widespread electoral fraud and violence. The results did not reflect our votes.
We rage against the systemic attack on our democratic rights with vote rigging and vote buying. The results did not reflect our votes.
As we mourn, as we rage, we join the Black Friday Protest with thousands of Filipinos to show our disappointment and disgust on how our democratic rights have been trampled. We join the protesting people because the results did not reflect our votes.
Lack of transparency and credibility had been so apparent right at the start. Some progressive partylists were disqualified, while those represented by elites and political clans were allowed. In fact, nearly half of 2019 partylist groups did not represent marginalized sectors, as 62 groups had links to political dynasties, to President Rodrigo Duterte, and to special business interests.
Election violence, harassment, and red-tagging became more rampant as the elections drew nearer. Progressive candidates and partylists were subjected to various forms of human rights and electoral violations. Worse, the Commission on Elections perpetuated these attacks by mere inaction.
Alarmingly, the politicians who are geared to win the elections are the same persons who expressed unwavering support to the President who wanted the implementation of death penalty, foreign ownership and perpetual power through charter change and federalism. They blindly support the President who orchestrated the killings and attacks of thousands through Oplan Tokhang, Martial Law in Mindanao, and crackdown against activists. In a week’s time, a new set of elected officials will take their posts. We urge the public, all democracy-loving Filipino people, and all human rights defenders, to remain vigilant in guarding our democracy and our rights. We may be going against the current, we may be treading a rocky path but we have proven in the past that through our collective action, we can steer change especially when we are challenged by a tyrannical rule.