THE Tindig Pilipinas Cebu Chapter was launched yesterday morning with the cause-oriented group’s convenors expressing fear for the future of the country under President Rodrigo Duterte.

“We see a nation being led down a dark path filled with violence, contempt for law, and hate; where honest debate is not only shouted down, but every attempt at sobriety in public discourse is dismissed with threats,” said Akbayan spokesperson Cristina Organiza, reading the group’s statement.

Extra-judicial killings and the shift to federal form of government were the other issues tackled during the event held in a hotel in Cebu City.

Tindig Pilipinas Cebu Chapter is convened by Akbayan, Cebu 4 Human Rights (C4HR), Everywoman/Pilipina, Magdalo, Pwersa ng Pamayanan para sa Voluntarismo at Reporma (PPVR), Samahan ng Tuwid na Daan Laban sa Katiwalian, The Silent Majority (TSM)-Cebu, The Winning Team Grassroots Groups, and Youth Resist.

Rep. Gary Alejano of Magdalo Party-list warned the public that Duterte’s administration might be heading to an authoritarian regime by changing the constitution.

He said the war on drugs that has killed several suspected drug personalities is a tool by Duterte to instill fear in every Filipino.

“Instead of uniting us, he divided us,” Alejano said of Duterte.

For Atty. Democrito Barcenas of PPVR, a federal system of government is expensive and cannot guarantee a clean governance.

“Kinahanglan yatakan kining pederalismo kay mao kini makapagubot ug makapadiktadurya sa atong nasod (Let’s reject federalism because it will only bring chaos to the country),” he said.

Atty. Vincent Isles of TSM Cebu condemned the ambush-slay of his fellow lawyer, Ronda Vice Mayor Jonnah John Ungab, describing it as an extra-judicial killing.

Ungab was driving his vehicle with his wife Pearl as his passenger when he was shot by a gunman outside Qimonda Building-Cebu City Hall of Justice in Cebu City last Monday. The lawyer died in a private hospital in Cebu City, while Pearl was unharmed.

“We must stand as one Philippines and remain steadfast of who we are as Filipinos,” Isles said. (KAL, Liza Marie C. Aube, USJR-R Intern)