MANILA – In the eve of Rodrigo Duterte’s inauguration as the 16th president of the Philippines on June 30, multiple activist groups from Luzon staged a mobilization and cultural night in front of the Philippine Post Office at the Liwasang Bonifacio here.
Progressive groups such as Kilusang Mayo Uno, Pamalakaya, Anakbayan, Migrante and Kadamay held a cultural night from 6 PM to 9 PM of June 29 to forward the people’s agenda specific to their region. Earlier, progressives gathered at a People’s Summit to unite on a 15-point People’s Agenda to present to the new president.
The groups came 2,000-strong to Liwasang Bonifacio, in jeeps and buses from various provinces from the Southern Tagalog region, Northern and Central Luzon. Last to arrive was Bicol, increasing their numbers by 900.
Organized by Bagong Alyansang Makabayan, the regional group revealed several problems in their smaller communities, such as the case of groups from Patungan village in Maragondon, Cavite, who could not join the were barricading at communities to deter an impending demolition of their barangay.
If the demolition pushes through, it would be the first under President Duterte’s administration.
The night closed with a cultural community dance led by indigenous groups from Cordillera. They spent the night at the San Andres Complex along Taft Avenue, and converged the next day with the groups from the National Capital Region, to march to Mendiola near the Malacañang presidential palace where Duterte’s presidential inauguration was held.
Text by GINO ESTELLA
Photos by GINO ESTELLA and KAREN ANN MACALALAD