’70s anti-Marcos activists ready to pass baton to next gen
MANILA — The protest at the People Power Monument on Wednesday night against the hurried burial of dictator Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani drew crowds from different generations.
But one chant echoed through the night, “Marcos! Hitler! Diktador! Tuta!,” reminiscent of the rallying cry during the martial law regime.
Martial law victim Bonifacio Ilagan said that when he first heard the chant from the millennial crowd, he thought, “That’s not original. That’s from my generation!”
But during the protest, he told the mostly young crowd, “Now, you can take it away! We can rest in peace knowing that you will continue the struggle.”
Ilagan’s presence in the protest signalled a unity between different groups and political colors.
He serves as co-convenor of the Campaign Against the Return of the Marcoses in Malacañang, which held a previous protest on Friday at Luneta, which also drew thousands of black-clad protesters.
“Thank you, Marcoses,” Ilagan said in sarcasm. “Just when you thought you have one-upped the country… [this burial] might probably be the last act to wake up the Filipino people.”
He later hit on President Duterte, and his campaign slogan, “Change is coming,” which was met with loud booing from the crowd.
The crowd also expressed their rage when Ilagan mentioned the possibility of a presidential run for Marcos’ son, Ferdinand Jr, in 2022.
A group called Millennials Against Dictators also came onstage, with Nicole de Castro speaking to the crowd.
De Castro was a protester at Libingan who was sexually harrassed online.
“My empathy for martial law victims is stronger,” she said to the cheering crowd. “I won’t give them the satisfaction of seeing me depressed or backing down from the fight.” SFM
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