Various groups to join protest on anniversary of Martial Law declaration
MANILA, Philippines — Various groups called on the public on Thursday to participate in a protest on September 21, the anniversary of the Martial Law declaration.
“Magsuot ng mga face masks. Dalhin ang face shields na simbolo ng kapalpakan ni Duterte at simbolo ng korupsyon. Magsuot ng itim. Magdala ng pampailaw. Sama-sama nating isigaw: Tama na, wakasan na,” Renato Reyes, secretary-general of the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan), said in a press conference.
(Wear face masks. Bring face shields which are the symbol of President Rodrigo Duterte’s failure and corruption. Wear black clothes. Bring lights. Together, let’s shout: Enough, end it.)
Among those who attended the online press briefing and have signified attendance to the Sept. 21 protest were former Duterte Social Welfare Secretary Judy Taguiwalo, former Reps. Satur Ocampo Neri Colmenares, and Erin Tañada, Fr. Christian “Toots” Buenafe, Sr. Mary John Mananzan, actress Mae Paner (Juana Change), and Ellecer “Budit” Carlos of the rights group iDefend.
The protest will be held at the Liwasang Bonifacio in Manila City from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Other movements will also be mounted in other parts of the country as September 21 is a national day of protest.
A group of people from Taft Avenue will also march to Liwasang Bonifacio. A caravan will also be held from Quezon City to Manila City, Sanlakas secretary-general Aaron Pedrosa mentioned.
“Itong ating pagkilos ay coordinated po sa mga kinauukulan at atin pong i-o-observe strictly ang mga health protocols. Gagamitin nilang dahilan ang muling pagsirit ng Delta variant para patahimikin tayo. Pero mula’t sapul sa ating mga pagtitipon, hindi po tayo nagkaroon ng ano mang insidente ng pagkakaroon ng positibo sa COVID dahil istrikto po ang ating pag-observe,” Pedrosa shared.
(The activity is coordinated with authorities and we will strictly observe health protocols. They will use the Delta variant to silence us. But our previous gatherings have not led to any incident of COVID-19 spread.)
The groups include those that represent the health sector, religious sector, and the youth.
They are calling to end Duterte’s reign during the martial law anniversary as they likened him to former dictator and late President Ferdinand Marcos in terms of human rights violation and corruption, among others.
“The Marcos dictatorship and the Duterte regime are competing to be the worst presidencies in the history of the Philippines,” Laban ng Masa chair Walden Bello claimed.
“Duterte has surpassed President Marcos in terms of human rights violations and wants to be the most corrupt administration based on the scandals that are coming out. It’s time to stop the administration of President Duterte,” Erin Tañada, human rights lawyer, noted.
Meanwhile, Bello requested the media to focus coverages on the struggles of the grassroots instead of politicians’ bickering.
“‘Yung focus at coverage kay Duterte at ‘yung mga alitan ng mga Duterte camp, they take up about 50 to 60 percent of ‘yung coverage… ‘Yung request lang natin sa media na i-focus ‘yung coverage sa actual grassroots’ actions against the regime on account,” he said.
(The focus and coverage on Duterte and the argument of his camp take up about 50 to 60-percent coverage. Our request to the media is to focus their coverage on the actual grassroots’ actions against the regime on account.)
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