Protesters allowed to march, air grievances

Published July 22, 2019, 11:36 PM

by Ellalyn De Vera & Richa Noriega

By Dhel Nazario

The incessant rains did very little to stop the angry protesters who marched along Commonwealth Avenue in Quezon City to air their concerns at the same time with the fourth State of the Nation Address of the President.

Protesters from different militant groups march as they approach the protest area along COmmownealth Ave in Quezon City, in time for the 4th State of the NAtion Address of President ROdrigo Duterte, July 22, 2019. (mark Balmores)
Protesters from different militant groups march as they approach the protest area along COmmownealth Ave in Quezon City, in time for the 4th State of the NAtion Address of President ROdrigo Duterte, July 22, 2019. (mark Balmores)

The country’s ownership of the West Philippine Sea has been the main issue pressed by protesters during their United People’s SONA on Monday.

As the SONA went on, the militant groups burned a huge effigy of the President which depicted a sea creature. Most are mostly water-themed, ranging from small boat-shaped ones to a large fish representing their sea of protest.

A song was even created by the protesters with the words “Atin ang Pinas, China layas (The Philippines is ours, China leave)” which was played during the program.

Protesters decried the administration’s friendship with China who according to them, resulted to additional unlawful acts of intimidation and bullying in our very own waters.

Previously, former Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario secured the country’s triumph that invalidated China’s “nine-dash line” two years ago, now falling to the hands to the ordinary people to be enforced, given the “unfortunate decision” of the government to shelve it.

Also reiterated was the promise of ending contractualization which was promised by the President which he considered a top priority as he assumed office.

Kilusang Mayo Uno slammed the government due to the low wage and the high price of the commodities. The group said that there was no significant increase in the minimum wage under the current administration.

Former Senatorial candidate Chel Diokno, who attended the event said that “if the government does not want to listen (to the people), there will come a time that they will have to listen.

“They know that the day for reckoning will come and they better be ready to defend themselves,” he added.

With regards to the extrajudicial killings, he called on the people to air their grievances and let their voices be heard for if they will not, the government will just continue to do what they want, given that they are also garnering support from it.

Former Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno called the administration quick in destroying the human rights of Filipinos. She also mentioned the twisting of facts to favor those who are erring, referring to the acquittal from plunder charges of elected officials.

 
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