The Amihan National Federation of Peasant Women joined the multisectoral protest led by Bagong Alyansang Makabayan and Movement against Tyranny in Liwasang Bonifacio in Manila calling for #DuterteWakasan #NeverAgain in marking the 49th year of Martial Law declaration.
“It may have been 49 years after Marcos’ Martial Law declaration, but under Duterte’s leadership, we are facing the same horrors of fascism, massive corruption and worsening economic crisis,” Amihan national chairperson Zenaida Soriano said.
Soriano, who is also a Martial Law victim, denounced Duterte’s tyrannical rule that resulted to various human rights violations against peasant sectors including the killing of 45 peasant women, red-tagging, illegal arrest and detention of its members, leaders and organizers and the rampant militarization of rural communities.
Amihan exclaimed that in the countryside, rights abuses are unbridled as a result of Duterte’s counter-insurgency programs such as EO 70, NTF ELCAC, Memorandum Order No. 32 and de facto martial law that targeted innocent farmers, peasant women and other rural-based sectors. Despite the pandemic and the crisis in the public health system, Duterte prioritized defense budget over health and social protection.
Soriano pointed out that other similarities of Marcos and Duterte include the worsening poverty and hunger, debt-driven infrastructure projects, and the bankruptcy of farmers as a result of Marcos’ Masagana 99 and Duterte’s Rice Liberalization Law make daily life for impoverished Filipinos harder.
“The greatest lesson we can learn from Martial Law is to unite and fight back against a tyrannical regime. Kung mananatiling tahimik at hindi kikibo, patuloy kang aapihin. Kailangang magsama-sama at palakasin ang boses para idulog ang karaingan at ipaglaban ang karapatan. Let us hold this Duterte accountable and ensure that he and his clan will not sit in power in the upcoming presidential elections,” Soriano ended. ###