By KIMBERLIE NGABIT-QUITASOL
BAGUIO CITY — Progressive groups chanting “Pasismo Lansagin, Duterte Panagutin” marched down Session Road to Magsaysay Avenue and back late afternoon of November 30 as they called for unity and conserted action against the continuing state of fascism and impunity.
The said protest action was part of the groups’ protest against the crackdown on activists and human rights defenders and in celebration of the 154th birthday of Andres Bonifacio.
The progressive groups also criticized the “revolutionary government” (RevGov) being peddled by supporters of President Rodrigo Duterte.
Jeoff Larua of the Tontongan ti Umili (TTU) said that a revolutionary government emanates and depends on the rising up of the masses. He cited as example the revolutionary government that was born out of the armed resistance Filipinos waged against the tyrannic rule of Spanish colonizers.
Larua said that the Kataastaasang Kagalanggalangang Katipunan ng mga Anak ng Bayan (KKK) under the leadership of Bonifacio fought for freedom from the Spanich colonizers towards establishing a Filipino government.
“The Katipuneros fought to topple the Spanish rule and establish a Filipino run government that would uphold the rights of the people, that is the essence of a revolutionary government, to replace the present exploitative and oppressive state with a progressive one,” Larua said.
“It is just hard to reconcile how the present President would still become the President of a supposed revolutionary government, its like the government revolting against itself?” Larua said.
Audrey Beltran of the Cordillera Human Rights Alliance (CHRA) in a separate talk pointed out that the RevGov that is being peddled by the Duterte camp is even more dangerous than Martial Law. She said that Martial Law will at least still be under the bounds of the Constitution while the RevGov will undermine the rule of law and totally disregard the Constitution.
Beltran reiterated that the 1987 Constitution was born out of the lessons and experiences of the Filipino people during the 20 year reign of the late strongman, Ferdinand Marcos. She said that the 1987 Constitution is not perfect but it has progressive provisions that ensures the respect of human rights and rule of law.
Beltran said that disregarding the Constitution would mean more human rights violations and violence. She stressed that the violations and violence has already escalated given the pronouncements of the President.
Castle Jannica Ton of the youth group Progressive Igorots for Social Action (PIGSA) said that the President has unleashed three wars against the people: war on drugs, martial law in Mindanao and the all out war agianst the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and its armed wing the New People’s Army (NPA).
Ton said that the war on drugs that killed nearly 13,000 was directed against the urban poor. She said that the youth and even children were not spared from the war on drugs. She added that the martial law declared in Mindanao continues to violate the rights of Lumad children.
Ton stressed that the all out war against the CPP-NPA is actually directed at legitimate democratic organizations especially after the President declared that mere conspiracy is enough basis for arrest or even killing of suspected NPA supporters.
According to the youth leader, the labelling of progressive groups and activists as NPAs, illegal arrests and detention and killings is not new because it has not really stopped even with the supposed re-establishment of democracy under the late Presidnet Corazon Aquino.
“Do not label the youth as NPAs because they might live up to the label to defend themselves against this fascist regime,” Ton said.
Ton said that the youth were mostly among those who waged armed resistance against the Marcos dictatorship.
Diane Mangili of the Bileg ken Urnos dagiti Agtutubo nga Y-Benguet (Buday) called on everyone, especially the youth, to join the fight against state fascism and impunity. She reiterated that the youth, being the hope of the country should take on the fight to defend democracy and human rights for their own future.
Mangili said that the government is doing everything within its power to destroy the people’s unity because those in power know that they do not stand a chance against a people united.
“It is only in our unity that we can defend ourselves,” she said.
The protest action ended with a short program in the middle of Session Road. # nordis.net