Makabayan dares colleagues to join Sept. 21 protest
The seven-member Makabayan bloc on Wednesday said they would be joining the nationwide “Day of Protest” tomorrow, not just to mark the 45th anniversary of the declaration of martial law, but also to condemn human rights violations and the extrajudicial killings under the Duterte administration.
The militant bloc faced the media on Wednesday days after it bolted out of the supermajority coalition in the House of Representatives, daring its colleagues to join the protest activities tomorrow.
Act Teachers Rep. Antonio Tinio said the Makabayan bloc would join the protest actions at Luneta Park to call for an end to the killings of the administration’s war on drugs.
Tinio said the administration seemed in a state of panic — when it first wanted to hold a nationwide earthquake drill on Thursday, and then to take it back to declare it a day of protest.
The lawmaker said the administration only wanted to defeat the purpose of the protest actions, which was to criticize the administration’s policy of human rights violations, as well as the martial law imposition in Mindanao.
“Iba iba, may halong pananakot, tapos ngayon, panlilito. At may tangkang palabuhin yung mensahe ng kilos protesta bukas, palabnawin ‘yung mga panawagan ng pagkilos bukas,” Tinio said.
(It’s different things, it’s a mixture of scaring people, and now confusing them. And there’s an attempt to muddle the message of the protests tomorrow, to dilute the call of the protests tomorrow.)
“Ang Makabayan ay kaisa ng maraming kababayan natin, na hindi matanggap ‘yung garapalang paglabag sa human rights at due process ng maraming mamamayan sa ngalan ng war on drugs ng rehimeng Duterte,” he added.
(The Makabayan is one with many of our countrymen, who won’t accept the flagrant abuse of human rights and due process of many of our citizens in the name of the war on drugs of the Duterte administration.)
Gabriela Rep. Emmi De Jesus said she sent out personal invitations to her colleagues in the lower House to join the protest actions tomorrow.
Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate cautioned the President not to downplay the scheduled protest activities tomorrow by declaring a day of protest, especially because Duterte himself is the target of protesters’ ire.
“Huwag maliitin ni Pangulong Duterte yung gagawing pagkilos bukas sa pagdeclare niya ng national day of protest (The President must not belittle the protests tomorrow in his declaring of a national day of protest),” Zarate said, adding that the President is only confusing the public by saying he would even join the protests activities.
Zarate cautioned against the President’s “cryptic” message that the chief executive might be compelled to declare martial law if violence ensues.
“Ang gagawing pagkilos bukas, hindi lamang pagpapahayag, kundi pagpapalakas, pagpapalapad ng samahan ng mamamayan para labanan itong tunguhing diktadura ng rehimeng Duterte,” Zarate said.
(The protests tomorrow isn’t just a statement, but it’s also a strengthening, a widening of the unity of our countrymen to fight this dictatorship of the Duterte administration.)
“‘Yung cryptic statements na mayroong manggugulo sa inyong pagkilos, huwag kayong mag-violate ng batas kundi gagamitin ko pulis at militar, ito na ‘yung mensaheng dapat nating bantayan. Ito ay nagbabadya ng isang masamang pangitain sa mga darating na araw,” Zarate said.
(The cryptic statements that there there will be those stirring trouble in the protests, that you shouldn’t violate the law or else the force of the police and the military will be used, those are the messages we should guard. This shows a bad foreshadowing of the coming days.)
The Makabayan bloc then chanted “Stop the killings!” and “Never again to martial law!” /je
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