DAVAO CITY, Philippines – Activists in Davao City staged a protest rally calling for President Rodrigo Duterte’s ouster in time for his fourth State of the Nation Address on Monday, saying he failed to deliver his promises.
Carlo Olalo of Kilusang Mayo Uno said three years have passed but Duterte has failed to address issues concerning contractualization, salary increase, militarization of civilian communities, human rights violations, and martial law in Mindanao among others.
“Duterte for three years neglected us workers and the people whom he promised better living,” Olalo said.
The progressive groups also slammed Duterte’s “weak response” to China’s “encroachment” of the country’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) in the West Philippine Sea.
“Duterte betrayed us, he promised us an independent foreign policy but what he did in the past three years is a total sell-out of our country’s patrimony and sovereignty to China while he continues to be a puppet of the US,” Olalo added.
Meanwhile, Jong Monzon of Pasaka said the Duterte administration also failed the indigenous peoples of Mindanao, especially those who forcibly evacuated from their communities due to incessant militarization.
“Duterte turned a blind eye to the Lumad evacuees, when he ordered the bombing of IP schools in his previous SONA. He then declared martial law in Mindanao which exacerbated the militarization of our communities and now this government wants to close Lumad schools by ordering the Department of Education to deny the school’s permit to operate,” Monzon said.
Monzon gave President Duterte a “negative grade” for his failure to deliver on his promise to help the Lumad evacuees return safely to their homes.
“We don’t expect anymore from him. It is clear that three more years in office will only result to more poverty and human rights violations. The indigenous people, along with the broad unity of disgruntled Flipino people, will work hard to oust him from the palace,” Monzon added.
About 500 activists from different parts of Southern Mindanao region converged at the Freedom Park along Roxas Avenue here for a protest rally on Monday morning.
Here are some photos during the protest in President Duterte’s hometown as he is about to deliver his fourth SONA: