Militants air support for Duterte, make demands
Militant groups from Southern Luzon trooped to Batasan Hills early on Monday to support President Rodrigo Duterte in his first State of the Nation Address (Sona).
Members of the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan), gathered at about 5 a.m. at the Department of Agrarian Reform, bearing torches and banners, and started marching towards the Batasang Pambansa.
At about 8:30 a.m., the rallyists arrived in Batasan Hills and held a program.
The rallyists called on Duterte to address among others the issues of contractualization, release of political prisoners, land reform, mining and peace talks.
Diego Torres, spokesperson of Bayan Southern Tagalog Chapter, urged Duterte to respond to the People’s Agenda for Change.
“We have given our demands and challenges as soon as President Duterte stepped into office last July 1 and the people are eager for true change in his term,” Torres said in a press statement.
The rally was more peaceful compared to previous Sona rallies, where militants clashed with police and burned effigies.
During Monday’s demonstration, militants brought three giant paper doves symbolizing their support for the resumption of peace talks between the government and the National Democratic Front.
The Bayan Southern Tagalog delegation were expected to be joined by contingents from other provinces or regions. They planned to converge near the Batasang Pambansa by noon. Jaehwa Bernardo, Czarina Fernandez, Kirsten Jamilla/Inquirer.net trainees
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