‘Black Friday’ protesters in Visayas undeterred by ‘Marce’
ILOILO CITY, Philippines—Not even a storm could stop protest rallies on Panay and Negros islands against the burial of former President Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.
In Iloilo City, about 500 mostly student protesters joined a rally led by the Campaign Against the Return of the Marcoses to Malacañang and Bagong Ayansang Makabayan along Bonifacio Drive.
A makeshift stage was erected and covered by a canopy but most of the protesters were drenched with continued rains brought by tropical storm “Marce” (international name: Tokage).
Panay Island was among the areas placed under Storm Signal No. 2.
Upon prodding of the students and calls for “Busina para sa hustisya (Honk for Justice)”, drivers of vehicles sounded their horns as they passed by the rally.
The protesters included students of the University of the Philippines Visayas (UPV) who traveled on three buses from the school campus in Miag-ao town in Iloilo, 42 kilometers south of here.
“We do not mind the rain. If we get sick, that is only for a short time. But the evils of Marcos and the injustice will persist for a long time if we allow this,” said UPV history student Joeylyn Terania.
She said she was yet not born during Martial Law and the 1986 EDSA People Power revolt that toppled Marcos
“When I was in the elementary and high school, I had believed that Martial Law was the “Golden Age” of our country because of the touted economic development. But when I studied history, I learned of the corruption and the abuses of Marcos.”
Former political detainees and government workers were also at the rally.
Businessman Aurelio Servando said he came on his own after he learned from social media about the scheduled protest.
A human rights volunteer in Negros Occidental during the Martial Law period, he said he documented cases of human rights violations against farmers and other sectors.
“I was fortunate that I was not imprisoned or tortured. But I am witness to the horrors under Marcos’ rule,” he told the INQUIRER.
Hundreds of protesters also braved the rain in Roxas City in Capiz where a rally and noise barrage was set early evening. Protesters led by Bayan-Capiz will also light candles.
In the capital town of Kalibo in Aklan, protesters wearing black gathered at the Pastrana Park.
In Bugasong town in Antique, journalists and former activists wore black to show solidarity for the nationwide protest, said broadcaster Jose Allan Bartolo.
In Bacolod City, about 100 protestors drenched by the ‘Marce’ rains were not deterred from staging a Black Friday rally to call on President Rodrigo Duterte to end his alliance with the Marcos family and stop their return to power.
“This protest is being staged to give notice to the Duterte administration to end its political rehabilitation of the Marcos family, we don’t want them to return to power because they have no conscience and have not admitted the wrongs committed by their father,” Bayan Negros secretary general Christian Tuayon said./rga
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