Monday| June 12, 2017
Survivors of martial law during the Marcos dictatorship, human rights and peace advocates, and Church, student and teachers groups will hold protest actions on Panay Island to mark Philippine Independence Day on Monday.
Members of the Samahan ng mga Ex-Detainees Laban sa Detensyon at Aresto and groups allied with the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) will call for the lifting of martial law in Mindanao.
In Iloilo City, protesters are expected to gather at 3 p.m. at the Plazoletagay, a main intersection in the city, to hold a rally and candle-lighting protest.
“Martial law is not necessary to quell the terror attacks of Maute and Abu Sayyaf groups. The continued implementation of martial law in Mindanao and its possible expansion to other parts of the country will only lead to more extrajudicial killings and curtailment of civil and political rights,” said Elmer Forro, chair of Bayan in Panay.
In Kalibo, Aklan, protesters will assemble at Crossing Banga-New Washington at 3 p.m. before marching to Pastrana Park, the town’s public plaza, where a candle-lighting protest will be held.
Similar activities are expected in Roxas City in Capiz.
Several personalities identified with Akbayan party-list are also scheduled to protest the imposition of martial law in Mindanao and airstrikes in Marawi City this Independence Day.
The “Gathering for Civil Liberties” to be held by Akbayan and its allied groups marks the second protest event to be held at 9 a.m. at Plaza Miranda on Monday.
Sen. Risa Hontiveros, Rep. Tomasito Villarin and former Human Rights Commissioner Etta Rosales will lead civil society groups in opposing “the Duterte government’s creeping authoritarianism.”
Signatories to the petitions filed at the Supreme Court over the past week are set to join the event.
An interfaith rally dubbed the “National Day of Prayer and Action for Peace and Human Rights,” will also be held at the Andres Bonifacio Shrine in Manila from 3:30 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Among those who signed the unity statement were Makabayan representatives Carlos Isagani Zarate, Emmi de Jesus, Arlene Brosas, Sarah Elago and Antonio Tinio; former senators Rene Saguisag, Aquilino “Nene” Pimentel Jr. and Wigberto Tañada; former congressmen Lorenzo Tañada III, Neri Colmenares and Teddy Casiño; Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo of the Archdiocese of Manila; and the National Union of People’s Lawyers president Edre Olalia.
Malacañang on Sunday called the interfaith rally a sign of the vibrancy of Philippine democracy.
“As [President Duterte], quoting a famous line, repeatedly said, ‘He may not agree with what you say, but he’ll defend to the death your right to say it,’” said presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella.
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