Watch elections for rights violations, global media told

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A GLOBAL human rights watchdog has called on international media to monitor the Philippine elections on May 9.

“We urge the international community, including global media outlets, to monitor these closely, to recognize the Filipino people’s effort to assert their civil and political rights in this election period,” the International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines said in a statement on Sunday.

They cited the need to ensure that the crimes committed under the dictatorship of the late Ferdinand E. Marcos are not repeated.

In February, the group started the International Observer Mission, a campaign that seeks to record instances of election-related violence, red-tagging and vote-buying during the election period.

The watchdog also started a campaign to sanction human rights violators in the country, specifically the so-called architects of President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s war on drugs.

“Even the possibility of a return of the Marcos family to power exposes the negligence of national and international institutions to hold accountable perpetrators of crimes against humanity, and by extension their complicity in the human rights crisis in the Philippines,” Peter Murphy, the group’s Global and Council head, said in the statement.

“After these elections, all democratic governments and organizations including the labor movement and faith communities need to radically increase their support for Filipino democracy and the Filipino people who passionately want to restore it,” he added.

The group earlier said the International Observer Mission (IOM) would provide independent monitoring of the May 9 elections to inform the international community about the election situation in the country.

The monitoring started in February and will end once elected candidates are confirmed by June. — John Victor D. Ordoñez

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