Various student, human rights, church and opposition groups around the country are joining forces once more to mark the 46th anniversary of late dictator Ferdinand Marcos’ declaration of Martial Law.
Groups expected to lead the protests announced rally centers around the country, which include Laoag and Baguio City in the north, Bicol and Laguna in southern Luzon, Cebu, Tacloban, Bacolod and Iloilo in Visayas and Cagayan de Oro, Davao City and General Santos in Mindanao.
Planning to go out for the NATIONWIDE United People's Action mobilization on September 21 but haven't found a protest center? We got 'ya covered!
— Kabataan Partylist (@KabataanPL) September 19, 2018
FYI: Hindi lang sa Luneta sa Sept. 21
— Movement Against Tyranny (@TheMovementPHL) September 20, 2018
Demonstrations started in major educational institutions on Friday morning. At the University of the Philippines-Diliman Campus, a center of student activism during the Martial law era in the 70’s and 80’s, different student and human rights group converged to protest both the alleged human rights abuses under the Duterte administration and to recall the abuses under the regime of Marcos.
NOW: Students from UP Diliman unite at the AS Steps to commemorate the 46th year since Martial Law, and to condemn continuing attacks against freedom through tyranny and dictatorship. #KABATAANKontraDiktador
#EndMartialLaw #NeverAgain #NeverForget pic.twitter.com/R6SRV8Mq6A
— Tinig ng Plaridel (@tinigngplaridel) September 21, 2018
Members of the opposition Liberal Party, the political group identified with the late Corazon Aquino, Marcos’ successor and opponent, attended a ‘mass for peace’ held at the De La Salle University campus in Manila on Friday morning hours before the scheduled protests at nearby Luneta.
The De La Salle University was one of the catholic educational institutions that publicly called for the country to remember the atrocities of the Martial Law era, along with the Ateneo de Manila University and University of Santo Tomas.
The “United People’s Action” in Luneta is expected to be the largest demonstration on Friday.
The groups involved in their individual statements said that they plan to protest the ‘tyrannical rule’ of the current administration as well as to remind the country of the many human rights abuses that took place during Marcos’ martial law.
Youth and students will not be cowered by the regime's cheap gimmicks. Tomorrow, we will march together with various sectors because there is no larger threat to the Filipino people than Duterte's dictatorship.#KabataanKontraDiktador #MayKlaseSaLuneta pic.twitter.com/5dbc1526dW
— Anakbayan #KabataanKontraDiktador (@anakbayan_ph) September 20, 2018
The “United People’s Action” has been endorsed by different opposition and left-leaning groups, many of which were once at odds due to conflicting ideologies.
One of the organizers, Pastor Carlo Diño of the Coalition of Justice, in an interview during the July 2018 SONA said that the “United Peoples SONA” demonstration was the first time the said groups put aside differences and joined forces for a rally.
Various activist leaders claimed that 40,000 members from the different groups took part in what they claimed was the ‘biggest SONA rally‘ in recent years.
The Communist Party of the Philippines earlier denied that it was one of the organizers of the mass actions on Friday following claims by police authorities, but expressed their support for the protests.