Lagman: Duterte’s National Day of Protest a farce
Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman, an independent minority lawmaker at the House of Representatives, branded as a “farce” President Rodrigo Duterte’s declaration of a National Day of Protest on September 21 supposedly to allow critics to take to the streets their disapproval of the administration’s policies.
In a statement, Lagman criticized the President for practically uplifting into a holiday the 45th anniversary of the declaration of martial law. Former President Ferdinand Marcos has placed the entire nation under martial law on September 21, 1972.
Lagman recalled: “In the past, declarations of instant holidays were made to dissuade people, particularly students and workers, from staging protest actions, not to encourage them to join rallies and demonstrations. The Duterte administration has no concrete program of action to make the supposed ‘day of protest’ a reality.”
Duterte suspended government work and classes in public schools at all levels on Thursday but would not want to call it a “holiday”. Instead, Duterte labelled his directive as a national day of protest.
But Lagman doubted Duterte’s sincerity on his declaration of a national day of protest, citing the President’s close ties with the Marcos family.
“With or without any such presidential declaration, citizens and multi-sectoral groups are determined to protest the ignominy of the declaration of martial law 45 years ago with its crippling effects still damaging the country until now,” Lagman said
“Moreover, Duterte’s ‘day of protest’ is grossly tainted with insincerity because he openly idolizes the dictator Marcos,” he added.
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