Gabriela-LA, a progressive Filipino womens’ organization, performs a skit highlighting the need for Filipinos of all backgrounds to unite against another fascist dictatorship.(Courtesy Photo)

Around the world, protests were held on Sunday, July 24, when people unified against the election of Marcos-Duterte. The son of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos and the daughter of outgoing President Rodrigo Duterte are the new president and vice president of the Philippines.

In Los Angeles, Bayan SoCal and Malaya SoCal, along with many other Filipino organizations, held a rally in front of the Philippine Consulate.

The election of Marcos Jr., known as “Bongbong” in the Philippines who won by a landslide last May, was said to be fueled by a massive social media campaign and decades of “rebranding” the Marcos name and promises of more jobs and lower prices.

After ruling for 21 years, his father was ousted in a popular uprising following human rights abuses, corruption and pillaging billions from the public coffers. His wife, Imelda, known for her conspicuous consumption, was reported to own a legendary 3,000 pairs of shoes.

Human rights activists have publicly voiced their concerns about the next six years under another generation of Marcos governance.

Organizers of the local rally said during the 2022 Philippine National elections last May there were reports of vote-buying, the destruction of vote-counting machines and the invalidation of ballots due to paper jams or other malfunction. Poll watchers reported widespread voter disenfranchisement.

Patricia Roque and her family, who were attacked while in line at a North Hollywood McDonald’s drive-thru, were among the protestors. The incident is considered a hate crime.

“My family’s unfortunate experience is reminiscent of what the hundreds and thousands of people have suffered during the Marcos’ reign of terror during Martial Law and Duterte’s ruthless extrajudicial killings,” said Roque.

“We were scared for our lives, not knowing if we’ll be able to live life normally after, or if we could ever recover from an event such as this. Up to this day, we are still recovering from the trauma that the incident has brought on us. The same could be said of the victims and their families that the Marcos-Duterte administration has brought to the Philippines,” she said.

Their attempts to reach out for help from the Philippine Consulate have been ignored.

“If my family and I are being ignored by the Philippine Consulate here in America, what more could the Duterte-Marcos administration bring to the Filipino people in the Philippines?” she asked.

“They turn a blind eye to the reality that the Philippines and its people have been suffering due to corruption, lies and deceit for decades, and it’s all thanks to those responsible in government and their enablers.”

Roque and her family grew up in the Philippines before migrating to the United States. She said they’ve been constantly let down by the government.

Her father Gabriel Roque said that he lived through Marcos Sr.’s 20-year-long dictatorship.

“I grew up during the martial law years, declared in 1972. I was 12 years old, so I was there. So, I grew up with it and I just got so sick and tired of all the abuses and the poverty and the corruption.”

Gabriel lamented the fact that Marcos Jr. was recently elected, “Oh, it’s sad … very sad. I mean, in one of his [Ferdinand Marcos Jr.] interviews, he was asked what his first priority would be [as president], and he said it would be to clear the public opinion of his father. Well, you can almost imagine how I feel.”

“The Duterte-Marcos administration will bring nothing but the same old traces that their parents have left on the Filipino legacy: corruption, injustice, poverty and inequality. That is the legacy of the Duterte-Marcos name; an age that’s painted red by the blood of the Filipino people and our cry for democracy, hidden behind a facade of ignorance and glamour,” said Roque.

Amnesty International has reported that under the reign of Ferdinand Marcos Sr., more than 3,200 people were killed, 35,000 tortured and 70,000 detained during Martial Law (Amnesty International).

Thousands of Filipinos leave the Philippines every day to migrate overseas and over 4 million Filipinos currently live in the United States. Filipinos abroad voice their frustrations with the poor human rights record in the Philippines which is largely funded by US tax dollars in foreign military aid.