Youth groups to stage alternative to Duterte’s ‘fake news Sona’
Various youth groups, in a movement called #YouthResist, called on fellow millennials to join their alternative State of the Nation Address (Sona), to be held on July 18 at St. Scholastica’s College-Manila, to counter what they called the “fake news Sona” of President Rodrigo Duterte.
In a statement on Tuesday, the groups also condemned the “killing spree” of drug suspects and pushers in the administration’s war on drugs.
“Let us fight extrajudicial killings. Let’s fight the president’s ‘license to kill.’ Let’s fight the insensitivity to these murdered bodies on the streets,” Shibby De Guzman, a 13-year old Grade 9 student of St. Scholastica’s College-Manila, said in the statement.
#YouthResist is a movement against the spate of summary killings at the height of the administration’s brutal narcotics crackdown.
“The 18th of July marks the day that this movement is born,” De Guzman said. “Forty-five years ago, a dictator was toppled down with the help of a youth movement. Today, any emerging dictator will be stopped.”
Also joinging the alternative Sona are the Millennials Against Dictators (MAD), Student Council Alliance of the Philippines (SCAP), Akbayan! Youth (A!Y), and other campus- and community-based youth groups nationwide, including youth groups from Cebu and General Santos City.
The groups compared the killing spree during the Duterte administration to the regime of the dictator Ferdinand Marcos, accusing the administration of killing over 7,000 alleged drug suspects in just its first year.
“Duterte managed to accomplish more in one year than the dictator Marcos in terms of death toll,” Karla Yu, a co-convenor of MDA, said. “Marcos extrajudicially-killed more than 3,000 in his 20-year regime. Duterte killed more than 7,000 due to the brutal and corrupt war-on-drugs a year into office.”
The groups also slammed the administration for the children included in the casualties in its bloody war on drugs.
“How young and how many before we become outraged by this President’s killing spree?” Jeza Rodriguez of SCAP said.
“The all-out war on drugs also kills the youth and our capacity to dream. The more it kills young and innocent people, the more it kills the hope for a better future for our country,” she added. –Celine Amilhamja, INQUIRER.net trainee/atm
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