Greens Australian Senator Janet Rice raised a placard with the slogan “Stop human rights abuses” while Marcos Jr was speaking in front of the Australian members of parliament last 29 February. At the same time, Filipino and Australian groups staged a protest rally outside the chamber.

Senator Rice declared corruption in the Philippines intensified under Marcos Jr. “Hundreds of political prisoners remained detained and ‘anti-terrorist’ laws are used as a legal cover for extra-judicial killings.” She said Marcos should not have been allowed to address Parliament.

Senator Rice was forced out of the session by other lawmakers. She then took part in the protest outside the building.

The Greens Foreign Affairs Spokesperson, Senator Jordan Steele-John, refused to attend the parliamentary session with Marcos Jr, and instead gave a fiery solidarity speech to the protest taking place outside the parliament. Another Greens Senator, David Shoebridge also spoke to the protest. The Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan)-Australia led the protests. People from Melbourne, Sydney, and Queensland joined the action to express their condemnation of the Marcos regime.

The rallyists then marched to the US embassy and held a short program where they  condemned US imperialist interventionism and militarization in the Asia-Pacific which endangers the Philippines. Furthermore, they called for the scrapping of AUKUS, the military alliance of the US, United Kingdom and Australia.

Cristina Palabay, General Secretary of Karapatan, thanked Senator Rice and the other  senators from the Greens party for their solidarity with the Filipino people. “The ongoing violations of human rights and international humanitarian law under Marcos, the prevailing culture of impunity and the Marcos family’s history of plunder and human rights violations during the dictatorship are compelling reasons why the Australian people should denounce this regime,” according to Palabay.

Peter Murphy, Chairperson of the International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines (ICHRP), a broad international organization, said the ICHRP expresses its gratitude to Senators Janet Rice, Steele-John and Shoebridge for their bold action. “President Marcos has done nothing but continue his father’s legacy of intensive repression, and has further empowered the mechanisms of terror set up under the Duterte regime.”