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MANILA, Philippines — Artists and militant groups burned an effigy of President Rodrigo Duterte depicting him as the “Night King” or Hari ng Kadiliman during a protest rally in Mendiola on a rainy Tuesday evening, September 19.
Some of the participants of the effigy burning had their heads wrapped in packaging tape, representing the victims of extrajudicial killings (EJKs) in the goverment’s war against illegal drugs. Others held placards denouncing the declaration of martial law and other pressing issues facing the administration.
“Night King: Hari ng Kadiliman” is inspired by the antagonist from the American television series Game of Thrones. The character commands a growing army of undead and reanimated creatures, who strike fear into the hearts of the living and pose the largest threat to life.
Artists’ activist group RESBAK (Respond and Break the Silence Against the Killings) made the effigy as a response to the rising number of deaths in the administration’s “war on drugs” and state-endorsed killings since last year.
The protest is part of their massive action against various issues – including the increasing number of EJK victims, the declaration of Martial Law in Mindanao on May 23, as well as the declaration of Martial Law across the Philippines on September 21, 1972, which the President declared as a National Day of Protest.