South Luzon activists launch simultaneous protests on 46th anniversary of Martial Law
SAN PEDRO CITY – Activists from various sectors launched simultaneous protests across Southern Luzon on Friday against state repression and failed government policies akin to what they say is a “de facto” martial law existing today.
The activities, all in line with the 46th anniversary of Ferdinand Marcos’ declaration of martial law, started with an early morning mass at the St. Paul the First Hermit Cathedral in San Pablo City, Laguna.
At the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB), about 300 students attended a forum dubbed “Magkaisa, Labanan ang Diktadura,” Friday morning.
“(The forum) features the history of UPLB under the Marcos era and how (the situation) is parallel today under (President Rodrigo) Duterte,” said Casey Cruz, spokesperson of the Bagong Alyasang Makabayan-Southern Tagalog (BAYAN-ST).
Under the Duterte administration, Cruz said Southern Tagalog, including the Bicol region, saw a rise in human rights violations, placing it second to Mindanao in terms of military atrocities.
Historically, she said, Southern Tagalog also served as a “laboratory” of the government’s counterinsurgency or militarization programs before they were implemented elsewhere in the Philippines.
Similar protests and candle-lighting for martial law victims were also held in Bacoor City, Cavite; Antipolo City, Rizal; and in front the Army’s Southern Luzon Command headquarters in Lucena City, Quezon.
In the afternoon, contingents from Laguna and Batangas provinces were set to converge for the regional “salubungan” in Calamba City, Laguna.
Activists are gearing to burn a large mural of Marcos, Duterte, and former president and now House Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
Cruz said they were expecting “a thousand” people to join the afternoon mobilization representing the workers, farmers, women, and youth sectors.
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