Filipinos protest Duterte, recall Marcos regime abuses
by Onize Ohikere
Posted 9/21/17, 09:50 am
Thousands of Filipinos on Thursday marked the 45th anniversary of the martial law declaration by former Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos with protests to denounce the current president’s deadly crackdown on illegal drugs and other authoritarian acts. In the capital city of Manila, members of opposition groups waved red flags and carried placards that read, “Stop the killings.” President Rodrigo Duterte’s supporters staged counterrallies, and the government deployed hundreds of riot police. “This is the worst administration I’ve seen,” Marina Maulawin, a 74-year-old retired teacher, said at one of the rallies. Duterte in May declared martial law in the country’s south after a pro–Islamic State group seized the city of Marawi. The president threatened to use force or expand martial law nationwide if anti-government protestors disturb public order. Human rights violations and oppression became hallmarks of the Marcos martial law regime, which ended in 1981. Vice President Leni Robredo, who appeared at one of the mass gatherings at the University of the Philippines, called on Filipinos not to remain complacent to the signs of “rising tyranny.” “If we do not remember the past, we are condemned to repeat it,” Robredo said in a statement.
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Onize is a reporter for WORLD Digital based in Abuja, Nigeria.