DAVAO CITY, Philippines – The political left has accused President Rodrigo Duterte of leaning farther toward Martial Law, and said the President has made his idol the late strongman, Ferdinand Marcos, who declared martial rule in the 1970’s.
Militant groups here mounted protest activities on Friday afternoon to join their nationwide indignation to commemorate the 46th year of the Marcos’s declared Martial Law that left several thousands killed and detained, and which swelled the ranks of the then infantile revolution waged by the Communist Party of the Philippines.
Fe Salino, a Martial Law victim and secretary-general of Samahan ng mga Ex-Detainess laban sa Detensyon at Aresto-Southern Mindanao Region (SELDA-SMR), said the Martial Law commemoration “is a reminder that the economic and political crisis surrounding Duterte is a repeat of Marcos’ regime”
Salino added that the severe crisis back then during the Marcos administration was happening again under President Duterte, with economic problems like rising prices of commodities, rice insufficiency, worsening debt and devaluation of peso, hounding the current administration.
“The Duterte regime opts to find recourse through military solutions in economic problems.This is similar to that of Marcos whom Duterte idolizes” said Salino.
Karapatan Southern Mindanao Region said that the same grave human rights violations during the time of Marcos were still felt by Filipinos to this day.
The group said it has documented at least 87 victims of extrajudicial killings in Southern Mindanao since the Duterte administration came to power, 56 of which happened after President Duterte placed Mindanao under martial rule.
“After boasting of victory over ISIS in Marawi, which was the reason for the implementation of Martial Law in Mindanao,” said Jay Apiag, Karapatan secretary-general “the military has trampled on the people’s rights all over Mindanao.From staging forced and fake surrender schemes, demonizing labor unions and Lumad schools and at worse, killing Lumad, Moro, farmers and workers”
Karapatan noted that after Martial law was imposed, there was an increased military deployment in Mindanao up to 64 battalions, operating most especially in communities where people are strongly asserting for their rights.
Karapatan welcomes the decision of the International People’s Tribunal to convict President Duterte guilty of human rights violations in the country.
Promotion of Church People’s Response also expressed their solidarity with the protest action of different organizations here commemorating the martial law anniversary.
PCPR spokesperson Bro.Roland Balgado, CSsR said it is a victory that here in the hometown of the President, is where the unyielding voice of Filipinos is heard.
The labor group Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) spokesperson Bobet Pablo said Filipinos have nothing to expect with the Duterte administration, “and now people are rejecting it following the unfulfilled promises of the President”.
Students and other youth organizations also took part in the protest action. The Liga ng Mga Iskolar ng Bayan (LIB) chairperson Beverly Gofredo challenged fellow young Filipinos not to fear joining other sectors in fighting against tyranny.
Gofredo said that during the Martial Law, youth under Kabataang Makabayan (KM) already showed their strength in leading protests in the streets to frustrate the Marcos administration.
“Now, we the Iskolar ng Bayan, the youth, are also the one to topple the Duterte administration and this rotten system” Godofredo said.(davaotoday.com)