ILOILO City – Five thousand Panayanons joined the National Day of Protest Against Tyranny on Thursday, September 21, in time of the 45th year commemoration of dictator Marcos’ martial law.
Led by the Movement Against Tyranny and Bagong Alyansang Makabayan, the nationwide protest also signified the breaking of silence being instilled by the “unannounced” martial law of President Duterte.
Bayan Panay secretary general Elmer Forro stressed the rise of fascism under the Duterte administration. He added that the culture of impunity still continues while the Marcoses are given special treatment just like the late dictator being honored by Duterte through allowing him to be buried at Libingan ng mga Bayani while his family now awaits for immunity of their crimes against the Filipino people.
“All these sum up with Duterte becoming into another Marcos. With the continued injustice, killings, and violations of human rights, we have to rely on our collective strength. We have already proven that our collective and organized actions can beat a dictator,” Forro told about 2000 protesters gathered in the streets outside the Iloilo Provincial Capitol.
In Aklan, more than 600 protesters marched to Kalibo Pastrana Park and vowed not to allow the reign of another dictator in the country.
“The US-Duterte regime has fully unmasked itself in a desperate move to become a new dictator of the country. But he will fail,” said Mitchel Tagumpay of the farmers group PANGUMA.
Tagumpay added that by trying to control the supreme court and the ombudsman, and giving only P1,000 to the Commission on Human Rights (CHR), Duterte himself is destroying the checks and balances of the government and thereby signals the rise of another tyrant and dictator.
For his part, Bayan Aklan’s Kim Sin Tugna said that Duterte however has failed to realize that his tyrannical, fascist and dictator character will only speed up his ouster from Malacañang.
In Capiz, progressives throw rotten tomatoes to Duterte’s effigy which turns it into his bloody image as he continues to unleash his three wars against the Filipino and Moro people.
About 2,000 people joined the protest action in Plaza Bandstand of Roxas City calling for land, jobs, and social services and not martial law.
Reynaldo Giganto, a Tumandok leader lambasted the continuing militarization in their communities that disrupts their farming activities and puts them at risk of human rights violations just like during Marcos’ martial law.
The Philippine Constabulary under Marcos burned houses and farms and drove them into the lowland. The worst was the beheading of their leaders by PC troops, Giganto’s uncle included.
Recently, more than 100 troops of the Philippine Army have been deployed in upland communities of the Tumandoks.
Students from various universities and high schools of Iloilo City also joined the protest and commit to continue the legacy of heroes and martyrs of martial law.
“Our highest salutation to our martyrs and heroes that offered their lives to achieve democracy and basic human rights that we are enjoying today. Together as we remember their acts of heroism, we continue to exact accountability and call for justice to victims of state violence from Marcos regime until now under the Duterte regime,” said Bryan Bosque of Anakbayan Panay.
Iloilo protesters burned the faces of Duterte and Marcos as they chanted “Duterte, Marcos, Tuta, Pasista, Walang Pinag-iba!”
They capped the program with a march along city’s major streets while chanting “Never Again, Never Again, Never Again to Martial Law!” (John Ian S. Alenciaga | panaytoday.net)