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Today, we push back

Letter

WHILE President Duterte keeps on trolling, the mass movement keeps on rollin’.

Duterte has embarked on a desperate effort to obfuscate the objectives of the today’s Sept. 21 rallies in Luneta and the entire country. He thinks that by trolling protesters and creating absurd scenarios, he can confuse the public into inaction.

The people however have had enough of Duterte’s demagoguery. Over the past few days, and at the height of Duterte’s ranting, there has been snowballing support for the rally in Luneta coming from various sectors. Students, professionals, workers, church people, national minorities, farmers and artists are expected to show up in the big rally in Manila. It is a broad united front against tyranny and dictatorship.

The issues are well-defined: extrajudicial killings, Martial Law, militarization in the countryside, the war in Marawi, attacks on institutions, the Marcos restoration, and the steady march towards dictatorship of the Duterte regime.

In Manila, Bayan and Sandugo will converge in front of UST at noon before marching to Mendiola with a Marcos-Duterte effigy described as a “Rody’s Cube”. Luneta will be the last stop for the national minorities and Moro groups of Sandugo who have been camped in the University of the Philippines since Aug. 31.

Contingents from Southern Tagalog and Central Luzon are also expected to join the today’s action in Manila. Rallies are planned across the country, from Baguio in the North to General Santos in Mindanao. Solidarity actions are also being readied in Hong Kong and the United States.

The rallies will be peaceful as it is not in the interest of protesters to engage in violence and be used by Duterte as scapegoat to fulfill his Martial Law fantasy. We call on the people to wear black as our protest color.

The Duterte regime has bullied and pushed the people too far, too long. Today, Sept. 21, we push back. –Bagong Alyansang Makabayan

 

Stop Reign of Terror

WE warn President Duterte not to sabotage the anti-martial law protest and using this as pretext to impose nationwide martial law as this will hasten his fascist regime’s downfall.

Out of desperation, Duterte has taken to mocking the Sept. 21 anti-martial law rally and trivializing the Filipino people’s legitimate grievances with his sarcastic comments about the protest.

By churning out ridiculous gags — from declaring Sept. 21 a “national day of protest” to challenging protesters to “occupy Edsa,” Duterte hopes to sabotage protests and discourage people from joining. The Filipino youth and people will prove him wrong.

If Duterte really wants to give support for the protests, the President should just step down and stop the reign of terror engulfing the country because of the “war on drugs,” the “all-out war” against the communist movement, and the anti-Moro “war on terror.”

We warn the President against pulling any more tricks up his sleeve as any further slide to tyranny would only galvanize the Filipino people’s resistance to his fascist rule.

Mr. Duterte, if you think declaring nationwide martial law will make you escape accountability and continue your tyranny, then you are dead wrong. It is better if you just step down.

Mr. Duterte, we are warning you. Your current rush towards outright fascist rule and threats of using the full force of the police and military apparatus to quell dissent is only bound to fuel more resistance and hasten your downfall.

Mr. Duterte, do not belittle the strength of the Filipino people’s collective action. Just as past generations marched in the streets against the Marcos dictatorial regime, our generation will not hesitate to overthrow your rising dictatorship.

In a signed statement, youth groups and students from the country’s biggest universities have vowed to join the protest rally amidst government announcements canceling classes and government work.

Youth and student groups in Metro Manila will hold walkouts and march to the gates of the Presidential Palace to hold protests 1 pm, before marching to Luneta Park by 4 pm to join other sectors in the Movement Against Tyranny-led rally.

Joining the protests in the national capital are student formations from the University of the Philippines, University of Santo Tomas, Ateneo De Manila University, De La Salle University, St. Scholastica University, College of Saint Benilde, Far Eastern University, Philippine Normal University, Technological University of the Philippines, Polytechnic University of the Philippines, and the Eulogio “Amang” Rodriguez Institute of Science and Technology.

There are protests at UP Baguio, University of the Cordilleras, Saint Louis University, Cagayan State University, Isabela State University in Northern Luzon; UP Pampanga, Nueva Vizcaya State University, Pangasinan State University, and Bulacan State University in Central Luzon; UP Los Banos, Ateneo de Naga University in Southern Luzon; and Palawan State University in Palawan.

Also joining nationwide protests are students from UP Visayas, Western Visayas State University, Iloilo Science and Technology University, and Central Philippine University in Iloilo; UP Cebu, University of San Carlos, and Cebu Normal University in Cebu; and UP Visayas-Tacloban and UP SHS Palo in Leyte.

Mindanao-based student formations from UP Mindanao, Mindanao State University-Iligan, Assumption College, University of Southeastern Philippines, Holy Trinity College General Santos, Midnanao Polytechnic College, MSU GenSan, Notre Dame of Marbel, and UP SHS Koronadal will also take part in protests. –Vencer Crisostomo, chairperson, Anakbayan

 

Glorifying Marcos

ABOUT a thousand Moro, lumad, Cordillera peoples and other national minorities joined in a rally at the Libingan ng mga Bayani to protest the sustained moves of President Rodrigo Duterte to “rehabilitate” the Marcoses such as the deal on the Marcos wealth and the decision to declare former President Ferdinand Marcos’s birthday on Sept. 11 as a holiday in Ilocos Norte.

President Duterte’s decision is an insult to the victims of Martial Law and those who fought Marcos fascist dictatorship. Glorifying him is exonerating the Marcos regime of the crimes against the people, including ethnocide and genocide of the Moro and indigenous people.

Duterte hinted of immunity for the Marcoses in exchange of their ill-gotten wealth—a huge amount of money and a few gold bars to whitewashing the crimes of Marcos and diminishing it to an issue of blood debt.

We remind President Duterte of Marcos’s crimes against the national minorities—the killing of Igorot leaders such as Macliing Dulag; the massacres such as Jabiddah, Palembang to Manili against the Moro and the Marag Valley massacre against. Martial law also led to the massive displacement of Moro and Indigenous peoples from their communities due to development aggression and the state-sponsored land grabbing of ancestral lands and Moro territories. These crimes against humanity led to the filing of complaints against the US-Marcos dictatorship at the International People’s Tribunal in 1980.

President Duterte is reviving the crimes of President Marcos against national minorities. His all-out war and “war on terror” may lead to ethnocide or the obliteration of their cultures and beliefs.

Duterte’s policy against the national minorities led to the destruction of communities and massive displacements as in the case of Marawi City and the Meranaw. The same is true among the lumad whose schools and communities are under attack, their leaders, youth and teachers killed. Thousands of hectares of ancestral domains and territories are targeted for plantations and mining projects. The Martial Law in Mindanao has so far resulted in the killing of more than 33 indigenous and Moro people, hundreds were illegally arrested and detained people because they had nom IDs or were mistakenly identified as Isis members. The president even threatened to bomb the lumad schools.

Like Marcos, Duterte’s war on drugs, anti-“terrorist” war, counter-insurgency Oplan Kapayapaan, and the suppression of the democratic rights of the people is already pushing his leadership into a dictatorship. Like Marcos, his subservience to US interest over the Filipino people will eventually lead to his isolation from the people. –Joanna Carino, chairperson, and Jerome Succor Aba, co-chair and spokesperson, Sandugo

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