Group launches movement vs drug killings, ‘acts of tyranny’
A network of multisectoral groups that include leftist organizations, activist nuns and priests, journalists and the academe on Monday launched a movement that called for the end to the drug killings and the “tyranny and fascism” of the administration, but stopped short of demanding for the resignation of President Duterte.
The “Movement Against Tyranny” (MAT) issued a manifesto titled “Stop the Killings, Stand Against Tyranny” where they assailed Mr. Duterte’s draconian war against illegal drugs that have claimed the lives of “mostly poor, small-time drug users and pushers” and his “rush to end armed conflicts” with the Bangsamoro and communist insurgents.
MAT also slammed Mr. Duterte for dismissing human rights, undermining democratic institutions, lashing out at the mass media for their critical reports on his administration’s policies, and for his declaration of martial law in Mindanao.
“He continues to incite state security forces to commit willful violence against the people while assuring them of protection from investigation, prosecution, and punishment,” the group said in its manifesto.
“In the face of such blatant displays of fascist tyranny, it is time to take a stand, to speak out, and to act,” they added.
The coalition’s leaders also called on the public to join them at a mass action in Luneta on Sept. 21, the 45th anniversary of the declaration of martial law by the dictator Ferdinand Marcos, “to show our solidarity with the victims of human rights violations and to send the message that never again shall we allow tyranny to reign.”
Despite the strong words against the President, the coalition did not call for his resignation.
“At this point, we are not saying anything like that yet,” activist nun, Sr. Mary John Mananzan, told reporters. “We will see how our movement progresses.”
Aside from Mananzan, convenors of MAT include former Sen. Rene Saguisag, Rev. Rhee Timbang, Rev. Broderick Pabillo, former congressmen Lorenzo “Erin” Tañada III and Neri Colmenares, ACT party-list Rep. Antonio Tinio, University of the Philippines (UP) chancellor Michael Tan, Free Legal Assistance Group (Flag) national chairman and law dean Jose Manuel Diokno, Bayan’s Carol Araullo, National Union of People’s Lawyers (NUPL) Secretary General Edre Olalia, UP professors Rolando Simbulan and Julkipli Wadi, journalists Vergel Santos and Inday Espina Varona, actors Mae Paner and Audie Gemora, Karapatan Secretary General Cristina Palabay, and Edith Burgos, mother of missing activist, Jonas Burgos.
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