By KIMBERLIE NGABIT-QUITASOL
BAGUIO CITY — The afternoon rain did not stop Baguio protesters from staging a march rally in response to the call for a national day of protest against extrajudicial killings, martial law and tyranny on September 21, the 45th anniversary of the declaration of martial law in the country.
Over 300 students, teachers, church people, activists and martial law survivors marched from the Post Office loop down Session Road to People’s Park where they held a short program.
The protesters were calling for a stop extrajudicial killings and an end to the martial law in Mindanao. They also called for continuing vigilance against the possible declaration of martial law all over the country.
Joanna Cariño, chair of the Samahan nd mga Ex Detainies Laban sa Detensyon at Aresto (SELDA) who spoke during the program at People’s Park said that the Duterte administration has now unfolded into a fascist government subservient to the US.
Cariño said that Duterte’s anti-illegal drug campaign has claimed thousands of lives including innocent children; his all out war policy agaisnt the revolutionary forces has targeted civilians and activists; and the declaration of martial law in Mindanao shows the administration’s fascist and abusive character.
Cariño called on everyone to join the movement against the possible declaration of martial law in the whole country. “Let us learn from the lessons of the past, let us forge the widest unity among all sectors to prevent the return of martial rule,” she said.
Cariño added that like in the past, a united people will prevail over tyranny. “We should not fear because for as long as we are fighting for what is right and just, our victory is assured,” she added.
Chancellor Raymund Rovillos of the University of the Philippines Baguio who joined the march also spoke at the program. He said that there is a need to remembering and retell the horrors of the Marcos dictatorship so that the people especially those who did not experience it may draw the lessons.
“History will not repeat itself only to those who learn from it,” Rovillos said.
Rovillos reiterated that injustice and human rights violation should not be allowed. He said that it is the moral obligation of intitutions like universities to speak up against inhumane and unjust policies of the government.
“Today, we are making a choice, we choose to remember the atrocities of the Marcoses and the abuses during martial law and continue to demand justice and accountability, we choose to call on the present government to stop the killings,” Rovillos said. # nordis.net