Iloilo to remember martial law anniversary with prayers, songs, rallies
ILOILO CITY—Prayers, songs, paintings and protest rallies will mark the 46th anniversary of the declaration of martial law on Panay Island on Friday.
At least 7,000 protesters are expected to join different protest activities led by the United People’s Action Against Dictatorship in Iloilo, Aklan, and Capiz provinces.
Bishop Emeritus Angel Lagdameo, former president of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines, will be among those who will lead an ecumenical prayer and Mass in Iloilo City.
Leaders of the Iglesia Filipina Independiente, United Church of Christ in the Philippines, and Convention of Baptist Churches of the Philippines also announced their participation in the prayer rally.
In Iloilo City, artists will paint murals and perform songs near the grounds of the provincial capitol in the morning before the 1 p.m. Mass. This will be followed by a protest march along the main streets of the city.
Expected to join the protest actions are students, farmers, workers, survivors of martial law, and opposition leaders.
University of the Philippines Visayas (UPV) Chancellor Ricardo Babaran has approved the request of the UPV University Student Council to suspend classes in all it campuses to allow students to join the activities.
“In these crucial times, we call upon every student and youth to accept the challenge of the times and look upon history as our guide in being one with the fight of the masses. We demand an end to all political persecution and state-sponsored killings in the name of the Duterte administration’s “war on drugs” and “war on terror,” a UPV USC statement read.
Siegfred Deduro, a political detainee during the martial law and convenor of the Movement Against Tyranny in Panay, said the commemoration of martial law has become more urgent and significant because of the “creeping dictatorship under the Duterte administration.
He said there is a continued “rehabilitation” of the Marcos family under the present administration.
“Martial law should not be allowed to happen again and we should resist any effort to install another dictatorship,” he said.
Msgr. Meliton Oso, executive director of the Jaro Archdiocese Social Action Center, said there is a need for people to speak out amid the “climate of death, corruption, and fear.”
“We must express our opposition to what is happening,” Oso said in a press conference.
Similar activities are expected in Roxas City in Capiz and in Kalibo, Aklan. /ee