“We have learned this from history: martial law did not bring peace.”
By CHARIS MAE RIVERA
MANILA- Students from different universities and schools in Metro Manila gathered on June 16 at 5 PM at the Oblation Plaza in the University of the Philippines-Manila for the Black Friday Protest against martial law in Mindanao.
Government air strikes and clearing operations against the Dawla Islamiyah in Marawi city has entered its fourth week, with casualties rising on both sides.
Protesters called on the Duterte administration to pursue peaceful means to finally end the crisis. Aside from denouncing President Duterte’s declaration of martial law in Mindanao, they cited failed promises for workers, students and farmers under his platform for “change.”
Clark Trovela from UPM’s College of Arts and Sciences Student Council reminds the people about the Marcos Dictatorship’s 1972 declaration of martial law. “We have learned this from history: martial law did not bring peace. What martial law brought was fascism. Martial Law stilled fear in Filipinos.”
Ka Jerry, the secretary general of Kilusang Mayo Uno-National Capital Region (KMU-NCR), said Duterte has not even fulfilled his campaign promise to end contractualization. He said the President could have signed an executive order, but instead, he passed the buck to the Department of Labor and Employment, which passed the contentious Department Order 174.
He also stressed that martial law will never stop the students, workers and the Filipinos in fighting against injustices.
Charles Jimenez, of Anakbayan UP Manila and Kabataan para sa Kapayapaan sa Mindanao (Kalinaw), said among Duterte’s failed promises is free education for the youth. The supposed free tuition policy will instead implement a national socialized tuition policy. He said that this only justifies the charging of higher tuition.
Jimenez said the Duterte administration government practically promotes fascism through its anti-drug operations under Oplan Tokhang, that has killed thousands of people.
“This government is not for the people. This government only serves the few, the ruling class,” Jimenez stated.
As the sun sets, the students lit candles to commemorate and sympathize for the people of Mindanao that are under Martial Law.