‘Duterte just paper-made tiger’ says BAYAN Bicol as thousands activists march in Naga City

By Reynard Magtoto

NAGA CITY – Dubbed as “Kilos Bikolano Laban sa Tiraniya”, over 6,000 activists dominated with red shirts marched and merged to Plaza Rizal here, June 19, to protest against the intensified tyranny of PNP-AFP forces of Duterte administration.

According to Bayan Bicol, they have successfully carried out their protest action to show the Duterte administration that they can never be threatened.

“It is true that the Duterte regime becomes more fierce and will be worst in its remaining three years but we must note that they are just paper-made tiger. They can do nothing against the united force and consolidated protests with anger and unity of the Filipino people,” said Dan Balucio, BAYAN Bicol spokesperson, as he concluded the protest program.

“We will succeed against the dictatorship and tyranny of the United States, the US-Duterte regime, because it is only paper-made tiger. We will burn it. We will crush it. We will oust it absolutely,” Balucio added.

Condemning recent EJKs

BAYAN Bicol condemns the brutal killings and seek justice for the three (3) activists in the region recently. “They sacrificed their lives, died for their duty as human rights defenders and with conviction to serve the masses despite harassment from the AFP-PNP forces,” the progressive group stated.

Former Popular Campaigns Committee head of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN) -Bicol, Nephtali Morada, was gunned down along the road in Barangay San Isidro, Naga City on June 17, on his way to work.

While on June 15, two human rights workers were killed close range by two unidentified gunmen along the road of Phase 2, Seabreeze Homes Subdivision, barangay Cabid-an in Sorsogon province. The victims were Ryan Hubilla, a senior high school student and Karapatan Sorsogon staff, and Nelly Bagasala of Sorsogon Peoples’ Organization, a network of Karapatan Sorsogon.

With doubts to the killed activists in the region, Albayalde already stressed the PNP will not necessarily focus on investigating the cases and they have other incidents that they have to focus on.

Militarizing communities

However, BAYAN Bicol believes the PNP and AFP are behind the killings of activists under Oplan Kapanatagan, MO 32 and EO 70. “This is what Rodrigo Duterte really wanted after canceling the peace talks – use the PNP-AFP forces to silence the progressive groups, activists and individuals to fully implement Martial Law,” the group stated.

According to Balucio, Rodrigo Duterte is eager to implement nationwide Martial Law that’s why he intensified its counter-insurgency Oplan Kapanatagan, MO 32 and Executive Order No. 70 which the Duterte Government called it the ‘whole-of-nation-approach’ through the so-called National Task Force To End Communist Armed Conflict.

“In the ‘whole-of-nation’ program, the civilian bureaucracy of the Government is subject to the command of the military and police. It is a direct militarization of the civilian bureaucracy. Basic social service programs are set in the counterinsurgency program and violates the human rights of the masses,” Balucio added.

Since Duterte became the president of the country, Bicol region already recorded 61 extrajudicial killings which six (6) of these – four (4) victims in Sorsogon, one (1) in Masbate and one in Camarines Sur – were under the implementation of MO 32 since November 2018.

The protest caravan was held in time for Dr. Jose Rizal’s 158th birthday. Bayan Bicol quoted Jose Rizal saying “I wish to show those who deny us patriotism that we know how to die for our duty and convictions”.

“Based on the present political situation here in Bicol, it is obvious and undeniable who is really patriotic and who is not,” said Balucio.

Mabuhay ang sambayanang Bicolano na patuloy na lumalaban (Viva! Bicolano People who continue to fight),”Balucio concluded.(BaretangBikolnon.com)

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