MANILA – Progressive groups led by Kalipunan ng Damayang Mahihirap (Kadamay) held a Lenten-themed protest Friday, March 23, the depicting the different struggles of Filipino people under President Duterte’s administration.
Kadamay chairperson Gloria Arellano likened Duterte to Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor of Judea known for his involvement in punishing Jesus.
“Like a modern day Pontius Pilate, the regime is an expert in demonizing one sector from another and betraying the people’s interest behind a façade of nobility,” Arellano said in a statement.
The groups lambasted the continuing contractualization that Duterte failed to end, the burdensome Tax Reform Acceleration and Inclusion law.
The protesters marched from Plaza Miranda where an ecumenical liturgical prayer was held to Chino Roces (formerly Mendiola) bridge.
The groups lambasted Duterte’s political persecution. Just like Jesus, human rights defenders are being maligned and maltreated.
The Department of Justice filed a petition to declare the Communist Party of the Philippines and the New People’s Army as terrorists. It listed over 600 alleged members and officers of the CPP and NPA.
Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) said that Duterte has “sunk to the level of facist brute, afraid of all forms of criticism and accountability.” It added that the people will continue to assert freedom of expression, freedom of association, the right to assembly and the right to organize.
Text by Anne Marxze D. Umil
Photos by Arkibong Bayan