The Philippine patriotic alliance Bagong Alyansang Makabayan-Europe led protest actions on 14 – 15 December against Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr, who was in Brussels, Belgium to attend the convening of the EU-ASEAN Interbloc Summit.

The protesters accused Marcos Jr. of not holding Duterte accountable for human rights abuses against the Filipino people. According to Bayan, Marcos “continues and expands the draconian and anti-people policies of the Duterte administration.”  This has resulted in the worsening human rights situation. There are at least 17 cases of extrajudicial killings including the recent killing of Ericson Acosta – NDFP resource person, and peasant organizer Joseph Jimenez. 

At least 150 individuals have been killed in the government’s anti-drug campaign, in the first five months alone of the Marcos Jr.’s rule. Some 10,000 civilians have been forcibly evacuated from their villages, their lives and livelihoods disrupted due to relentless military operations. An estimated 3,000 villagers have likewise been victimized and endangered by indiscriminate firing by soldiers conducting operations.

There are now 828 political prisoners, the highest number since the late dictator Marcos’ presidency. 25 of them were arrested during the present regime. Red-tagging and other human rights abuses and attacks on civil liberties continue.

Marcos Jr.'s visit to Brussels came in the wake of the European Parliament's resolution on 17 February 2022, urging the EU Commission to “set clear, public, time-bound benchmarks for the Philippines to comply with its human rights obligations”.  The resolution also warned of “temporary withdrawal of GSP+ preferences if there is no substantial improvement and willingness to cooperate on the part of Philippine authorities”. 

The EU Parliament Resolution was adopted by 627 votes and called on Philippine authorities to “carry out impartial, transparent, independent and meaningful investigations” into extrajudicial killings and “alleged violations of international human rights and humanitarian law.”

It called on the abolition of the anti-communist NTF-ELCAC government agency and for amendments to the draconian Anti-Terror Law. It also encouraged the International Criminal Court to continue its inquiry into allegations of Duterte’s crimes against humanity, despite the Philippine government’s decision to withdraw from the Rome Statute, and called on the EU member states to “refrain from all exports of arms, surveillance technology and other equipment that can be used for internal repression” by the Philippine government.