protests in the Philippines

Cebu, Negros activists demand justice on 49th Martial Law anniversary

Lorraine Ecarma
Cebu, Negros activists demand justice on 49th Martial Law anniversary

FIVE MINUTES. Police limit the ML commemoration protest in Cebu to five minutes only per stop

Demonstrators called for justice for rights workers killed during the regimes of dictator Ferdinand Marcos and President Rodrigo Duterte

Activists groups in the Visayas demanded justice for human rights workers slain during the two-decade dictatorship of the late President Ferdinand Marcos and President Rodrigo Duterte’s term.

“Si Fr. Rudy Romano, until now missing. Panahon pa to sa diktadura. Unya karon, panahon ni Duterte, daghang mga red-tagging. At the same time, sama pud ni Elena Tijamo ang na-missing,” said Jaime Paglinawan, chair of Bagong Alysansang Makabayan- Cebu, on Tuesday, September 21.

(Fr. Rudy Romano is missing until now. He was abducted during the time of the dictatorship. And today, under Duterte’s time, there’s so much red-tagging. At the same time, there are the likes of Elena Tijamo who went missing.)

The Redemptorist priest and vice president for the Visayas of the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) was abducted by armed in 1985 in Barangay Tisa, Cebu City. He was never seen again. 

Tijamo was found dead on September 1 this year, a year after the Cebu-based development worker’s June 13, 2020, abduction in Bantayan island.

Police offices in Cebu City were put on full alert for the entire day of the Martial Law anniversary.

“They are on standby in the area and ready to respond,” Police major Kenneth Albotra of the Carbon Police said.

Police gave protestors only five minutes to conduct their programs for each stop of the protest. According to Albotra, this is because the protestors failed to obtain a permit to protest on Tuesday.

The program began in Colon in downtown Cebu City and dispersed peacefully at the Cebu City Hall.

Speaking at the protest action, Paglinawan said the Philippines’ culture of impunity has persisted across various administrations, carried on from the days of the military rule to the current Duterte administration as manifested in the arrests of protestors, and the continued red-tagging and death threats to members of progressive groups in Cebu.

The present case of Tijamo has echoes of Romano’s disappearance. Paglinawan pointed out.

Tijamo was a coordinator for the Farmers Development Center in Cebu, a non-government organization dedicated to the education of farmer’s to new agricultural methods and who offer paralegal services to farmers in the island.

There is still no answer as to how she got to Luzon from the Visayas, or why she was admitted to a Metro Manila hospital under an assumed name.

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Abducted Cebu-based dev’t worker Elena Tijamo reported dead

Abducted Cebu-based dev’t worker Elena Tijamo reported dead

In Bacolod City, health workers called for the resignation of President Rodrigo Duterte, saying his government has neglected the plight of medical frontliners.

They changed, “resign, Duterte” and demanded that all medical frontliners receive the special risk allowance.

The protest was held in front of the city’s fountain of justice.

Danilo Tabura of Kilusang Magbubukid ng PilipinasNegros accused the government of neglecting the needs of the poor, citing low levels of aid. He also said workers laid off during the pandemic have received little or no aid.

Sugar workers commemorating the 36th anniversary of the Escalante massacre were also present.

demands justice for all the victims of the Escalante Massacre, which marks its 36th year today, and to all the victims of Duterte’s war on the Filipino people, especially the peasant sector.

In Iloilo City, Bayan Panay called for an end of the abuse and corruption of the Duterte government, citing the similarities with that of the Marcos dictatorship. 

Cebu, Negros activists demand justice on 49th Martial Law anniversary
Health workers join in protest

In Bacolod City, health workers called for the resignation of President Rodrigo Duterte, saying his government has neglected the plight of medical frontliners.

They chanted, “resign, Duterte” and demanded that all medical frontliners receive the special risk allowance during the Sept 21 commemorative protest at the city’s fountain of justice.

Danilo Tabura of Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas – Negros accused the government of neglecting the needs of the poor, citing low levels of aid. He also said workers laid off during the pandemic have received little or no aid.

Sugar workers commemorating the 36th anniversary of the Escalante massacre were also present.

Tabura narrated an arc of abuses against sugar workers from Marcos’s rule to the Duterte government, citing the killings of nine sugar workers in Sagay in October 2018, and the steady rise in Negros Oriental killings since 2017.

In Iloilo City, Bayan Panay called for an end of the abuse and corruption of the Duterte government, and justice for activists and indigenous farmers slain by military and police forces.

Cebu activists demanded for the swift and impartial investigation of the murder of former priest and peace consultant Rustico Tan.

The 80 year-old was shot dead on May 28 of this year while asleep on a hammock in his home in remote municipality of Pilar, in the Camotes Islands.

They also called for justice on the murder of National Union of People’s Lawyers founding member Rex Fernandez.

Fernandez was shot dead by unidentified assailants while aboard his car in Cebu City on Thursday, August 26.

It’s sad to reflect on these deaths,” Paglinawan, who was also client of Fernandez’s, said in Cebuano.

Paglinawan was among the eight activists arrested as they protested passage of the Anti-Terror bill during the early days of the pandemic in Cebu. 

In videos of the arrest, Paglinawan could be heard screaming in pain, asking police to take it easy on him because they were hurting his hip.

I was even a victim to death threats and red-tagging,” Paglinawan said.

“Wa’y kalahian ang Duterte administration sa hisgutanan sa diktadurang Marcos; sa panahon sa Martial Law, sa panahon pud ni Duterte,” he said.

(The Duterte administration is no different from the Marcos dictatorship. There is no difference between Martial Law and Dutert’s time.) – Rappler.com

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