From Luzon to Mindanao, youths vow to fight return of dictatorship under Duterte
(UPDATED) Hundreds of Filipino youth gather in key cities across the country on Friday, September 21, condemning the similarities of Ferdinand Marcos and Rodrigo Duterte


MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Hundreds of protesters – many of them are Filipino youth and students – took to the streets in key cities across the country on Friday, September 21, to commemorate the declaration of the Martial Law 46 years ago. 

More than looking back at the dark period of history, the protesters also promised to fight the return of authoritarian rule, which they said President Rodrigo Duterte had demonstrated. Banners citing the similarities of dictator Ferdinand Marcos and Duterte, and artworks showing the two presidents as one, were displayed during the mobilizations. (READ: Can Duterte do a Marcos?

Duterte, who has acknowledge that the Marcoses contributed to his campaign funds, allowed the burial of Marcos in the Libingan ng mga Bayani, brushing aside protests. He often talks about wanting to step down prematurely if the late dictator’s son, Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr wins his electoral protest for the post of vice president.

On September 23, 1972, Marcos appeared on television and declared nationwide martial law by virtue of Proclamation 1081, supposedly signed on September 21. (READ: Marcos’ martial law orders)

Data shows that the years that followed did not equate to the “golden age” of the Philippine economy. Infrastracture spending increased and it came at a staggering cost: it plunged the Philippines in billions of dollars in debt. From $8.2 billion in 1977, the country’s debt ballooned to $24.4 billion in 1982 – or within a period of just 5 years. 

The Marcoses also illegally amassed wealth, with various estimates putting the amount at between $5 billion to $10 billion. Beyond the corruption that took place, the dark period of history also marked human rights abuses committed against students and human rights activists. (READ: #NeverAgain: Martial Law stories young people need to hear)

Duterte’s two and half years in office have been marked by thousands of killings, with mostly poor victims, linked to his war on drugs, while his appointees remain in power after failing to stop the smuggling of billions of pesos worth of shabu from China and Taiwan. Lawyers in the President’s Cabinet have also resorted to controversial interpretation of laws to file cases and jail his staunchest critics.  

Below are some photos from the various protests staged all over the country: 



UPLB OBLATION. Students hang a banner on the UPLB oblation on Friday, September 21.  Photo by Neren Bartolay/Rappler

CALABARZON. UPLB students stage a protest at the Carabao Park at the University of the Philippines - Los Baños campus. Photo by Neren Bartolay/Rappler

UPLB'S MESSAGE. The protest is organized by the UPLB student council, Sabkayan, and other student organizations. Photo by Neren Bartolay/Rappler  

'STOP STATE VIOLENCE'. Ateneo de Naga University students and professors march from ADNU to Quince Martires Plaza in Naga City, Camarines Sur, on the 46th anniversary of Martial Law, September 21, 2018. Photo by Abegail Kyla Bilan/Rappler

NAGA PROTEST. Students from Ateneo de Naga University join the nationwide protest on the 46th anniversary of the declaration of Martial Law. Photo by Abegail Kyla Bilan/Rappler  

BAGUIO PROTEST. Protesters, mostly students, called for the ouster of President Rodrigo Duterte as Baguio joined the observance of the declaration of Martial Law on Friday, September 21. Photo by Mau Victa/Rappler

AGAINST DUTERTE. Protesters in Baguio City brave the Friday rainshowers to air their grievances against the Duterte administration whom they accuse of violating human rights. Photo by Mau Victa/Rappler  


ILOILO YOUTH. University of the Philippines Visayas joins the nationwide protest on the 46th anniversary of Martial Law under Ferdinand Marcos. Photo by Carl Berwin/Rappler

'NEVER AGAIN.' Iloilo artists prepare the placards for the protest activity on Friday, September 21, 2018. Photo by Carl Berwin/Rappler

 REMEMBERING MARTIAL LAW. Silliman University students light candles at the Portal East in Dumaguete City to commemorate the 46th Martial Law Anniversary. Photo by Mhel Catacutan/Rappler


CDO EFFIGY. Protesters in Cagayan de Oro display the effigy to be burned during the rally on Friday, September 21, 2018. Photo by Kaye Quiblat/Rappler

MINDANAO REPRESENT. A group of protesters stage a rally on Friday, September 21, at the Divisoria, Cagayan de Oro City. Photo by Kaye Quiblat/Rappler 

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