|Protesters react after tear gas was fired by security forces in an attempt to disperse them during a demonstration against the military coup in Yangon on March 4, 2021. (Photo from STR / AFP)|
[Asia News Communication = Reporter Reakkana] MANILA — Several civil society groups, labor groups, and non-government organizations on Friday pressed the Philippine government to join in an effort to "intercede" for Myanmar’s citizens resisting the military takeover of their democratically elected government. PhilStar said that this is according to a joint statement from regional advocacy institution Initiatives for International Dialogue and the Sentro ng mga Nagkakaisa at Progresibong Manggagawa (SENTRO).
The groups wrote Foreign Affairs Secretary, Teodoro Locsin Jr., seeking "a dialogue on how to best consolidate the efforts of the Philippine government and other non-state actors in support of the Burmese." "While we welcome the pronouncement of the Philippine government to stand by the people of Myanmar and will only accept the status quo ante, we were however expecting a more forward position in condemning the illegal coup and ongoing violence perpetrated by [Myanmar's military] and its increasingly bloody response on the peaceful protesters of the Civil Disobedience Movement (CDM),” their letter to the DFA reads.
They further recalled that the Philippines "has always been regarded as a citadel and champion of democracy in the region if not in all of Asia, particularly since the peaceful People Power revolution at EDSA in 1986." After the late dictator, Ferdinand Marcos was ousted in 1986, Locsin served President Corazon Aquino.