Thursday, December 7, 2017
BACOLOD City – Militant and progressive groups under Bagong Alyansang Makabayan in Negros Island (Bayan-Negros) will mobilize around 5,000 protesters to show their opposition on the “tyrannical rule” of President Rodrigo Duterte.
Bayan-Negros secretary-general Mike Concepcion said they will hold their demonstration on Dec. 10, coinciding with the International Human Rights Day.
Concepcion said it is the most fitting day to field their “disgusts against the rampant trampling of human rights in the country.”
“The declaration of Duterte of the Communist Party of the Philippines and the New People’s Army as terrorists plus the tagging of progressive organizations as their fronts will not deter us from protesting. We will continue our struggle for social justice,” Concepcion added.
He said “freedom-loving and patriotic” people must not be afraid of Duterte.
According to Concepcion, leaders and organizers of peasant groups in the province are being “zeroed in” by suspected intelligence officers of the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Philippine Army.
“We are not taking the threats lightly. We are monitoring the presence of motorcycle-riding intelligence operatives in our offices and homes,” said Concepcion.
For her part, Karapatan-Negros secretary-general Clarissa Singson-Dagatan said eight peasant leaders in Negros Island have been killed since Duterte became president. The latest casualties were Elisa Badayos and Eleuterio Moises.
Singson-Dagatan said the killings in Bayawan and Guihulngan cities in Negros Oriental and Salvador Benedicto in Negros Occidental show the “fascist nature” of Duterte.
Recently, Reverend Deacon Melvin Fajardo of the Iglesia Filipina Independiente – who is also the chairman of the Promotion of Church People’s Response Negros – condemned the killing of Father Marcelito Paez and Pastor Lovilito Quinones.
Fajardo said the deaths of church people show that “nobody is exempted from the rampant extrajudicial killings in the country.”
Fajardo was referring to the deaths claimed by the President’s war on drugs.
The President has told human rights groups criticizing his antidrug war to “go to hell” after ordering the PNP to return to the frontlines of the crackdown, backing up the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA).
Duterte stood the PNP down from his antidrug campaign less than two months ago in response to the rising opposition.
Presidential spokesman Harry Roque on Tuesday said Duterte is reinstating them because drug crimes have risen in their absence.
In this city, Senior Superintendent Francisco Ebreo, officer-in-charge of the Bacolod City Police Office, said it Duterte’s order was a “welcome development.”
Ebreo added that he has yet to implement the order pending new operational guidelines from the PNP headquarters in Camp Crame, Quezon City. (With Mae Singuay/PN)