PROTESTERS from cause-oriented groups urged President Rodrigo Duterte not to repeat the deeds of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos by promoting tyranny and suppressing the opposition.
During a protest rally held in downtown Cebu City yesterday, at least 100 members of the Cebu Citizen’s Assembly Against Tyranny said the move of the current administration to reduce the budget of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) to P1,000 was meant to undermine the institutions that protect the country from the same abuses committed during the Marcos regime.
The rally coincided with the 45th anniversary of the declaration of Martial Law yesterday.
With Congress reinstating CHR’s budget last Thursday, the cause- oriented groups believe that the public has shown its distaste against what they perceived as “dictatorial acts” of the Duterte administration.
“It’s good news that their budget is back. But at the same time, we are wishing that a bigger budget would be given to the Commission on Human Rights,” said lawyer Vincent Isles.
Isles, a member of The Silent Majority-Cebu Chapter, said it was clear that Congress and the Duterte administration were testing public perception when they cut the CHR’s budget, to see if some of their controversial moves would work.
After the rally on Colon St., the group marched toward Plaza Independencia to offer flowers and candles at the Martial Law marker.
A few hours later, another rally was organized by the Movement Against Tyranny. The group marched from Colon St. to uptown Cebu City.
Despite the heavy rains, the rally organized by MAT proceeded as planned.
City Councilor Dave Tumulak said the activities held in line with the National Day of Protest were all peaceful.
Tumulak said that unlike protesters in other places, militant groups in the city were not aggressive and followed all the rules in holding protest rallies.
“We did not monitor any untoward incident in the city yesterday with regards to the protests,” he said.
Tumulak, the deputy mayor for police matters, commended the Cebu City Police Office for observing maximum tolerance and for making sure that everything was in order.
He said the police monitored all the protest activities that were held in the city yesterday. (JKV, RVC)