Progressive groups to stage protest over Duterte’s broken promises | Inquirer News

Progressive groups to stage protest over Duterte’s broken promises

/ 05:07 AM July 26, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — As President Rodrigo Duterte delivers his final State of the Nation Address (Sona) today, militant and progressive groups troop to the University of the Philippines Diliman to call out his failed promises, as well as his plans to extend his reign by running for the vice presidency in the 2022 elections.

The groups — led by Bayan, the umbrella organization of the national democratic movements in the country — will assemble at UP Diliman by 9 a.m. and then march toward Commonwealth Avenue at 11 a.m.

The mobilizations were made possible after Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte granted them permission to protest, contrary to initial police statements that no protests would be allowed because of the confirmed local transmission of the deadlier, more contagious Delta variant.


Renato Reyes, secretary-general of Bayan, gave assurance to Belmonte and the public that the protests would be peaceful and would follow standard health protocols.


Among other things, the groups are expected to voice out their opposition against any moves by Duterte and his daughter, Davao Mayor Sara Duterte, to cement their hold on Malacañang by running as president and vice president.

Duterte has expressed his intent to run for the country’s second-highest post next year in the false belief that it would grant him immunity from suit. The vice president does not enjoy that privilege.

According to the protest organizers, they are also expected to protest “against the unimaginable harms within the five years of Duterte’s tyranny.”

This included, they said, a flagging economy and rampant human rights violations under the twin conduct of his drug war and his counterinsurgency campaign.

“Mr. Duterte drives the people to protest even during the pandemic,” Reyes said. “On his last Sona, after more than five years of fascist rule, we say no more. Enough is enough!”

The protest’s centerpiece would be a 2D effigy created by the artist group UgatLahi Artists’ Collective. Called “Duter-tuko,” the effigy depicts Mr. Duterte as a gecko “desperately trying to hang on to power,” said Isis Molintas, spokesperson for UgatLahi.

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TAGS: Bayan, Rodrigo Duterte

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