Angel De Mesa
LEGAZPI CITY – At least 2,550 militants from different progressive groups in Bicol region highlighted anti-imperialist cultural march in their coordinated protest during the commemoration of the 119 years of Independence Day of the country.
Despite the declaration of the Philippine Independence Day, militant groups around the region strongly believe that real independence was not serve and felt by the Filipino people. They said that the laws and policies implemented in the country were a clear dictate by foreign countries such as United States.
“President Duterte’s declaration of Martial law is a proof that there is no true independence in the Philippines. The continuous violations on human rights brought by the policies of the government just like the counter insurgency program brought fear to our brothers and sisters in the country side”, said BAYAN-Bicol spokesperson Dan Balucio.
As a result of the Martial law declaration and suspension of writ of habeas corpus, Karapatan office already stated cases of deteriorating human rights violations in Mindanao including extrajudicial killings, aerial bombardment, military and paramilitary encampment, illegal arrest and displacement of communities.
According to Gelo Preligera spokesperson of Kaboronyogan Cultural Network, this year’s protest was different from others for it was filled with cultural performances that revealed false independence based on issues experiencing by the community.
“We will continue to advance the alternative culture who shapes the Filipino to be more progressive and patriotic. We do not need darna or any other hero, because the only one that will free us Filipinos is ourselves”, said Preligera.
One of the cultural performance presented during the protest in Albay was the Sining Banwa’s play “1900: Mga Bangguing Bulanon” which tells about the story of the struggle and battle of Bicolano soldiers in Legazpi City to attain freedom from US occupation. Not far from the situation now, presence of US troops are still in the country like the crisis in Mindanao.
Progressive organizations in six provinces of the region are not convince with the actions taken by President Duterte in his administration. As they denounce the declaration of Martial law in Mindanao, Bayan Bicol wanted those who are involved on the human rights violations to be held accountable.
Bayan Bicol together with other allied organizations continue to pursue national democratic struggle for national democracy and true independence. They call on Duterte administration and for those who care to continue the peace talks between GRP and NDFP so that the root cause of armed conflict be solved.
At least than 741 Albayanos joined the protest rally.
In Camarines Sur, 374 people protested in Naga City.
Around 805 Sorsoganons joined the protest in its province. In Camarines Norte, more than 400 militants showed their dismay with the present administration.
In Catanduanes, 230 Catanduanons who held protest rally in its province were harassed by PNP by taking pictures at their venue, in the province’s rotonda. While BAYAN-Masbate expressed support to its comrades holding such protest rally against fake independence of the country.
According to Ben Cajegas of BAYAN-Masbate, Philippines remains slave of foreign country since the country is open for neoliberal policies and globalization as dictated by foreign country primarily the United States. “Because of this the natural resources and minerals as main source of production are consumed by capitalists,” he said.
In the system like this, Masbate province is among the poor provinces despite its richness in mineral deposits such as gold, copper, silver among others according to Cajegas who calls all Bicolanos to help in educating people about the real situation and system of the country. (BaretangBikolnon.com)