Militants protest vs militarization at Camp Aguinaldo

MILITANTS from the Southern Tagalog region on Thursday held a protest outside of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) headquarters in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City, calling to stop militarization.

"Ang pinaka-malungkot na bahagi ng ating panahon ay ang panahon ng diktador na si (late President Ferdinand) Marcos 45 years ago na. At muling nagaganap at unti-unting bumabalik ang karahasan ng mga military," Peter Gonzales, the group's spokesperson, said.

(The saddest part of our time is the time of dictator [late President Ferdinand] Marcos 45 years ago. Ang its happening again, military violence gradually returns)

He said the poor felt betrayed by President Rodrigo Duterte noting the reforms he had promised during the campaign remains unfelt.

Gonzales' group denounced the creeping Duterte dictatorship made evident by the killings of suspected drug personalities, including minors, the militarization of communities.

The group also criticized the appointment of former military officials in key government posts and the rejection of the ad interim appointments of members of the Leftist groups in the Duterte cabinet.

Gonzalez was referring to the Catalino Cuy as officer-in-charge of the Interior and Local Government and Roy Cimatu as Environment Secretary.

Prior to their appointment Cuy was former police chief of in the President's hometown Davao City, while Cimatu is a former AFP chief.

Meanwhile, the Left-leaning Cabinet secretaries who were rejected by the Commission on Elections, which is composed mainly by Duterte's allies in Congress, are former Social Welfare Secretary Judy Taguiwalo and Agrarian Reform Secretary Rafael Mariano.

From Camp Aguinaldo, the protesters will proceed to EspaƱa, Manila where anti-administration protesters are expected to converge before going to Rizal Park, where a bigger protest will be held.

Over 10,000 people are expected to join the anti-administration protests at the Rizal Park, while crowd estimate at the pro-administration rally at the Plaza Miranda in Manila was at 6,000, according to the National Capital Region Police Office.

Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Ronald Dela Rosa meanwhile said the information they received regarding arrival of protesters on board six ships from the Visayas and Mindanao turned out to be negative.

"Vinerify namin sa mga shipping industry at wala pong ganun na movement at accordingly sabi nila 'yung kanilang volume of passengers na na-monitor nila from Mindanao and Visayas ay normal daw.

(We verified with the shipping industry and they do not have that movement. And accordingly, they say the volume of passengers they monitored from the Visayas and Mindanao is normal.)

Former Bayan Muna partylist representative Teddy Casino earlier at least 100,000 are expected to join the anti-Duterte protest in Manila.

Duterte declared September 21, which coincides with the 45 year anniversary of the declaration of martial law by President Ferdinand Marcos, as National Day of Protest. (SunStar Philippines)
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