Friday, June 10, 2022

Filipino migrants call on NZ to halt military aid to Philippines over Marcos election

Filipinos in the Wellington meeting make their pledge simultaneously with the
Auckland group for “history, truth and democracy” in the Philippines.
IMAGE: Del Abcede/APR


MIGRANTS and overseas Filipinos in Aotearoa New Zealand have called on the governments of both Australia and New Zealand to halt all military and security aid to the Philippines in protest over last month’s “fraudulent” general election.

At simultaneous meetings in Auckland and Wellington, a new broad coalition of social justice and community campaigners endorsed a statement pledging: “Never forget, never again martial law!”

“Bongbong” Marcos Jr, the son of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos Sr, was elected President in a landslide ballot on May 9 and will take office at the end of this month.

Philippine presidential election frontrunner Bongbong Marcos
Philippine President-elect Bongbong Marcos Jr wooing voters at a campaign rally in Borongan, Eastern Samar. Image: Rappler/Bongbong FB

His father ruled the Philippines with draconian leadership — including 14 years of martial law — between 1965 and 1986 until he was ousted by a People Power uprising.

Monday, June 6, 2022

Ramos-Horta challenges Pacific’s biggest threat to media freedom – China’s gatekeepers

Showing how it's done ... a "more open" media conference in Dili
with China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi. IMAGE: TL Presidential Palace media


Timor-Leste, the youngest independent nation and the most fledgling press in the Asia-Pacific, has finally shown how it’s done — with a big lesson for Pacific island neighbours.

Tackle the Chinese media gatekeepers and creeping authoritarianism threatening journalism in the region at the top.

In Dili on the final day of Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s grand Pacific tour to score more than 50 agreements and deals — although falling short of winning its Pacific region-wide security pact for the moment — newly elected (for the second time) President José Ramos-Horta won a major concession.

Enough of this paranoid secrecy and contemptuous attitude towards the local – and international – media in democratic nations of the region.

Under pressure from the democrat Ramos-Horta, a longstanding friend of a free media, Wang’s entourage caved in and allowed more questions like a real media conference.

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