Mong Palatino

Blogging about the Philippines and the Asia-Pacific since 2004


@mongster is a Manila-based activist, former Philippine legislator, and blogger/analyst of Asia-Pacific affairs.

Published by Bayan Metro Manila

Myanmar’s junta and the Philippines’ Duterte government are among the worst violators of human rights today.

After grabbing power on February 1, the Tatmadaw (armed forces) detained the country’s duly elected leaders and brutally suppressed the anti-coup resistance.

The Philippines is among the many countries which expressed concern over the escalation of violence in Myanmar. It even asked Myanmar authorities not to use ‘excessive violence’ against ‘unarmed protesters’. Yet it rejected the UN resolution condemning the actions of the Tatmadaw.

Our diplomats feign concern about the situation in Myanmar but silent while our own security forces have been on a rampage since 2016. From Tokhang killings to raids targeting the homes and offices of activists, our police have resorted to violence in waging a crackdown on dissenters.

The Department of Foreign Affairs has called for the release of Myanmar State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi while oblivious to the jailing of opposition forces in the Philippines like Senator Leila de Lima and consultants of the National Democratic Front.

The usurpation of power by the junta in Myanmar should alert us to the dangers of having a military-dominated Cabinet and the continuing militarization of the bureaucracy.

Before the coup, Myanmar’s military gained notoriety for the atrocities it committed against the Rohingya. To a certain extent, its genocidal treatment of the ethnic minority mirrors the Duterte government’s policy towards the Lumad and peasant communities covered by the all-out-war against communists and their suspected sympathizers.

Both the Philippines and Myanmar should face global scrutiny for their bloody human rights record. As repression worsens in these two countries, the people are rising up to demand justice and accountability. China’s support for these repressive regimes is also deplored. From Mandalay to Manila, pro-democracy forces are raising the flags of resistance against the authoritarianism of the Tatmadaw and Duterte.

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