MANILA – As thousands of protesters march in the streets Thursday to call for a stop to the killings under the Duterte regime’s ‘war on drugs’, counterinsurgency ‘all-out war’, and martial law in Mindanao, youth group Anakbayan said Duterte has been fully unmasked as a fascist who wishes to follow the footsteps of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos.
“45 years ago, today, the dictator Marcos declared Martial Law. Today, amidst rising killings, political repression, and threats of martial law under Duterte, we take to the streets to resist and foil Duterte’s plans to install himself as a fascist dictator,” said Anakbayan National Chairperson Vencer Crisostomo.
“The emperor has no clothes. More and more are seeing through Duterte’s worn-out tricks and empty promises. Duterte is now fully unmasked as a tyrant and charlatan faced with an ever-widening mass movement holding him accountable for human rights abuses and other crimes against the people,” said Crisostomo.
On top of the 14,000 dead in Duterte’s ‘war on drugs’ and the destruction of Marawi, human rights group Karapatan has documented 420,046 victims of forced evacuation, 891 victims of illegal arrest, and 357, 754 victims of aerial bombings and indiscriminate gunfire in relation to Duterte’s counterinsurgency program Oplan Kapayapaan.
Crisostomo said Duterte must also be held accountable for his puppetry to US imperialism and his perpetuation of anti-people neoliberal programs that include the sell-out of the economy to foreign capitalists and the implementation of big infrastructure projects to be funded by new taxes and billions worth of onerous loans from China.
The youth leader said all of these are compelling more and more people to clamor for the overthrow of Duterte’s regime of death and destruction. He added that any step by Duterte towards open dictatorial rule would only further rouse the Filipino people’s resistance to his fascist regime.
Students and youth groups from the country’s biggest universities led by Anakbayan and the broad alliance Youth Act Now Against Tyranny joined Thursday big protest actions amidst gov’t announcements canceling classes and government work.
Major universities across country joins September 21 protest
Youth and student groups in Metro Manila held walkouts in the morning and marched to the gates of the Presidential Palace in Mendiola noontime before marching to Luneta Park by 4:00 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 on 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 also took part in protests.