AGHAM – Advocates of Science and Technology for the People supports the fight of the Filipino people in the recently concluded International People’s Tribunal (IPT) 2024 that found the regimes of former President Duterte and current President Marcos Jr. guilty for their war crimes and other violations of the International Humanitarian Law. The cases include “extrajudicial and summary killings of civilians and hors d’ combat, the massacre of civilians and other forms of collective punishment, torture, enforced disappearances, mass arrests, indiscriminate aerial bombing of communities and use of white phosphorus bombs,” among other crimes.

According to a report by human rights advocacy group Karapatan, there were 378,203 victims of bombings-related human rights violations during the US-Duterte regime (July 2016 to June 2022), while there were 22,391 violations during the US-Marcos regime (July 2022 to November 2023). This is not to mention that indiscriminate bombings of communities are still ongoing, the latest being an incident in Abra and Ilocos Sur in April 2024 which affected an estimate of 650 individuals. These incidents, along with other cases of human rights violations, underscore the widespread and systematic nature of the abuses perpetrated under the guise of counterterrorism and internal security.

Though not legally binding, the people’s tribunal is an important moral and political platform where the opinions of victims, advocates, and national liberation and social justice movements are given their due weight, in contrast to traditional courts and international accountability mechanisms that are heavily influenced by imperialist interests.

AGHAM believes that the scientific community has a crucial role in supporting human rights and social justice. The misuse of science and technology in perpetrating state violence – through surveillance, targeted bombings, and the use of chemical agents – must be condemned. Instead, science and technology should be used to document abuses, support the resilience and recovery of affected communities, and push for policy changes.

In solidarity with the IPT 2024, AGHAM urges scientists, technologists, and concerned citizens to support efforts to hold the Duterte and Marcos regimes accountable. This includes joining fact-finding missions, aiding independent investigations, providing expert testimony, and supporting advocacy campaigns. Only through sustained effort can we achieve justice for the victims and create a more humane society.#






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