National Day of Protest is the ‘Day for the Deceived’—PH sectors

National Day of Protest is the ‘Day for the Deceived’—PH sectors

DESPITE heavy rain, thousands across the nation gathered for the simultaneous National Day of Protest organized by Hakbang ng Maisug on Sunday, June 30.

Residents from the National Capital Region (NCR) joined the massive protest held at SB Park, Batasan Hills in Quezon City, showing solidarity and standing up against perceived government abuses.

According to them, this is their stand for what is right and true against an abusive government.

Participants voiced their grievances through placards bearing messages such as “ICC leave,” “No to Religious Persecution,” “No to Charter Change,” “Justice for Pastor C. Apollo Quiboloy,” “Peace not War,” and “Marcos RESIGN.”

Representatives from various sectors of society participated in the said activity.

Domingo Saraba, a farmer from Mariveles, Bataan, expressed frustration over President Bongbong Marcos’ unfulfilled promises to the agricultural sector, particularly concerning the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP).

The land given to them under the said program was taken away from them.

“I confess to you the shamelessness of the government. It’s very painful to think about. What’s happening, my fellowmen, is like this: We have a department, the DAR (Department of Agrarian Reform), remember the DAR?” said Domingo Saraba, Farmer, Mariveles, Bataan.

They said that farmers have the right to have their own land, but despite this, in what we applied for and agreed with— they reduced the coverage that farmers were expecting to be granted to them. They said Bataan is infested with NPA, which made acquiring land problematic for the farmers. But in truth, they’re blocking it and acting as agents for the rich. The farmland is being maneuvered.

Domingo is deeply disappointed because Marcos repeatedly claims that agriculture is his priority, but farmers like him feel that they are only being used.

“Our farmers are crying. Where is the justice here? My companions, where is justice? I believe there is collusion between PBBM and the Secretary of DAR,” stated Saraba.

Mila Uy, a senior citizen advocate, voiced concerns over the increasing incidents of crime affecting her family’s safety in the Philippines.

She recalled about feeling secure during the time of former President Rodrigo Duterte.

In addition to domestic issues, tensions continue between the Philippines and China over the South China Sea.

 “This is truly the day for the deceived. We’re deceived. The people who voted for him were deceived. We’re deceived. We will never trade the Dutertes for Marcoses, not ever,” said Mila Uy Representative, Senior Citizen.

Many struggling senior citizens in the Philippines are facing hardships without government assistance amidst soaring prices of basic commodities.

“We haven’t been given our pensions, and until now we haven’t received them. We also haven’t received the promised maintenance support,” added Uy.

The public outcry against President Marcos is growing due to unfulfilled promises, such as the promise of 20 pesos per kilogram of rice.

Their participation in the nationwide Maisug protest sends a direct message to President Marcos.

 “As an urban poor representative, I should be at home resting with my grandchildren. But why am I here now? Because the President promised P20 rice, where is it?” said Rex Merano, Representative, Urban Poor.

Rex Merano, representing the urban poor, expressed disappointment after searching NCR markets with no sign of P20 rice.

“We are calling on you for your promises of good jobs, affordable goods, high wages, and affordable housing, where are they? There are housing projects, but the urban poor are not the ones living there, who is? We are that unfortunate. Pots without food, stomachs growling because the urban poor have nothing to eat,” said Merano.

Even the human rights of our indigenous peoples are being trampled by the government.

This is evidenced by the deaths of two IPs in Kitbog, Sarangani Province, after experiencing severe trauma due to a violent illegal search by the PNP-SAF in their home on June 10.

For former Energy Undersecretary Astra Pimentel, a representative of the Indigenous People (IP), the Marcos administration does not value the indigenous people.

The Marcos administration is even reclaiming the lands given to the indigenous people during the Duterte administration.

 “What is happening now? The addicted administration took it back. Why did they take it back? Because they said the DAR favors hotel owners or the oligarchy to build hotels and for tourism. The Philippines is vast, so why are you robbing the indigenous people?” expressed Astra Pimentel, Former Undersecretary, DOE.

Many are criticizing President Marcos’ for his lack of effective programs to uplift the impoverished. Thus, they are calling for him to resign.

In President Marcos’ two years, it’s undeniable that the livelihood of impoverished Filipinos has been severely affected.

Millions across various sectors seek real change, reminiscent of former President Rodrigo Duterte’s leadership.

According to them, it is time for another Duterte to steer the Philippines forward.

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