“Walang ibang saksi kung gaano kamapangwasak ng pamilya ang rehimeng ito kundi ang mga anak ng political detainees. Ramdam na ramdan nila ang pangungulila,” cried Ella Durana.

Photo by Akira Liwanag

In time for the first month of the arrest of Human Rights Day 7, various progressive groups and individuals bind alliances in a mobilization protest at the Commission on Human Rights in Quezon City on January 10.

Included in the program was the formal launching of Free Human Rights Day 7 Network.

The protesters collectively demanded for the resignation of PNP Chief Debold Sinas over police controversies especially the “manipulation of stories” made fed to the public—from the planting of evidences, to the filing of trumped-up charges, and merely spreading ambiguous narratives in relation to Christine Dacera case.

A collective resistance

“Tinatanganan natin ang dakilang aral ng pakikibaka ng mamamayan. Ang pagpapalaya sa HRD7 at sa lahat ng bilanggong pulitikal ay magiging integral na bahagi ng pagpapalaya ng mamamayang Pilipino laban sa mapang-api at mapagsamantalang sistema,” said Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) secretary-general Jerome Adonis.

He emphasized that the Filipino people cannot trust the government further prior to the continuing corrupt and rotten justice system which were only played by President Duterte alongside his authorities.

“Ang patuloy niyang ginagawa ay patahimikin at patayin ang lahat ng mga kritikal sa kabulukan ng kanyang gobyerno at hindi po tayo nagtataka na paulit-ulit itong ganitong mga banta,” Adonis added.

In fact, according to Adonis, a report came yesterday as regards the issuance of ‘fabricated’ search warrants—the usual widening crackdown scheme against dissenters relevant in the current situation in the National Capital Region following the arrest of #HRD7

Meanwhile, KMU Metro Manila chairperson Ed Cubelo aired the same sentiment as Adonis.

“Magpapatuloy ang paunupil, mas babangis ang rehimeng Duterte sa pag-atake ating mga karapatan (kaya) kinakailangang harapin ang tiraniko at pasistang si Duterte sa lahat ng nais niyang gawin laban sa kanyang mamamayan,” said Cubelo.

“Itong mamatay taong si Sinas na ito; sa katunayan, hindi sasapat ang resignation sa kaya. Ang dapat diyan, pangutin at parusahan sa kanyang krimen. Mula pa sa Visayas hanggang dito sa Metro Manila ay nagpapatuloy ang patayan,” Adonis seconded.

Cubelo and Adonis shared the similar notion that it is only right that the Filipino people must strengthen their ranks and collectively expose up to an international scale the obvious definition of President Rodrigo Duterte and his cronies as murderers of democracy.

“Hindi matatakot, hindi mananaig ang pagpatay at pagpaslang at pagkukulong sa ating hanay sapagkat ang aral ng kasaysayan: bumabagsak ang rehimeng pasista sa iba’t ibang bansa sa dikta mismo ng pagkakaisa ng mamamayan,” ended Cubelo.

Why are there activists?

“Bakit ba may mga aktibista? Bakit ba may mga nakikibaka?” mused Ella Durana, the wife of trade unionist among the #HRD7 Mark Ryan Cruz, who recalled his husband as a human rights defender who has actively campaigned for labor rights.

As a wife of Cruz, their family’s stance to firmly demand justice and immediate release of #HRD7 and the rest of the political prisoners will continue to reverberate as they will, too, campaign the same cause upon understanding the very reason why their husbands or fathers or any member of the family became activist.

Photo by Raica Cunanan

“Hindi po nila ito personal na gusto kundi ito ay ibinunsod ng kanilang kinamulatang krisis at pangangailangang lumaban. Ang kalagayan ng mamamayang naghihirap ang siyang batayan kung bakit may mga aktibista,” Durana further explained.

Durana furthered that the birth of activists resulted in the continuing struggle of the toiling mass in regards to peoples’ issues such as state abandonment, corruption, poverty, among others

“Kami sa hanay ng pamilya ng #HRD7, alam namin na magpapatuloy ito. Nakita na namin ito loob ng aming pamilya, kaya ngayon pa lamang ay ihanda na po natin ang ating mga pamilya, lalong lalo na ating mga anak para sa isang matinding laban,” affirmed by Durana.

She pressed that the people should not forget the story of Reina Mae Nasino and baby River; even the case of Amada Echanis and baby Randall. That we must equip the children not only in regards to emotional stability but also towards the gradual understanding of upholding the interest of the mass.

“Ihanda po natin ang mga bata para hindi lamang sila maging mulat sa kalagayan kundi sa mahabang panahon ay makita nila kung ano ang dapat gawin bilang mga anak ng aktibista, anak ng bayan, at mabuting mamamayan,” Durana affirmed.

The call continues…

Photo by Raica Cunanan

Manila Today correspondent Sarah de Leon reiterated that the arrest of MT editor Lady Ann Salem is indifferent among the rampant attacks alongside the perpetuation of redtagging threats against critical and alternative media outfits under Duterte’s watch.

She also highlighted the case of Frenchie Mae Cumpio of Eastern Vista who was among the female journalist detained of the same allegations as Lady Ann.

“Hindi ito ang huling beses na magkakaroon ng Lady Ann. Hindi ito ang huling beses na magkakaroon ng panggigipit sa malayang pamamamahayag. Pero hindi rin dito natatapos ang ating paglaban para sa karapatan ng mamamayan upang malaman ang katotohanan,” De Leon emphasized.

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