PROGRESSIVE group Bayan-Negros hit President Rodrigo Duterte during the 120th Philippine Independence Day celebration as the economic situation of the country worsens.
“Amid the growing crisis of governance and the burning issues facing our nation, we call on all Filipinos and show our commitment to fight for freedom, justice, and democracy,” the group said in a statement.
Michael de la Concepcion, secretary-general of Bayan-Negros, said: "our people face dire challenges, especially on issues of national sovereignty, social justice, human rights and democracy.”
“In the face of China’s incursions in the West Philippine Sea and growing presence of US troops on our soil, our leaders ignore calls to defend national sovereignty,” he stressed.
In the wake of thousands of extra-judicial killings and similar atrocities, our leaders persist in trampling on our most basic human rights, he added.
“As tens of millions wallow in poverty and want, our leaders impose heavier taxes while disregarding calls to increase wages and end labor contractualization,” he added.
In the face of bare-faced corruption and tyrannical rule, our leaders have connived to undermine judicial independence and whatever is left of the system of checks and balances in government, the statement said.
“And as if gender oppression was not enough, Filipino women now have to bear the brunt of misogyny from the highest officials of the land,” he said.
"We cannot sit quietly in the face of such an abusive government. With the spirit and will shown by our ancestors, our heroes let our voices ring this Independence Day for the true love of country and fealty to democracy," de la Concepcion added.
He urged the people to stand strong for freedom, justice, and democracy.