Thursday, July 13, 2017

Youth and Student Groups to Stage Nationwide Protest Against President’s ‘Fake News SONA’, Killing Spree

Wazzup Pilipinas!

Shibby de Guzman is a 13-year old Grade 9 student of St. Scholastica’s College-Manila who once faced backlash on social media for speaking out against extrajudicial killings borne out of the President’s war-on-drugs. On Tuesday, she announced the plans of the movement she is co-building: #YouthResist.

“Fake News SONA”

#YouthResist, a movement formed by youth groups Millennials Against Dictators [MAD], Student Council Alliance of the Philippines [SCAP], Akbayan! Youth [A!Y], and numerous campus- and community-based youth groups, will stage a nationwide ‘alt-SONA’ on July 18 to counter the ‘Fake News SONA’ of the President and his ‘killing spree’.

“Today, we are announcing that we are continuing to resist and that we are to constantly fight and struggle for this country’s future. We refuse to stop asking for a say into our officials decisions. We reject the notion that the loss of lives can be simplified as collateral damage”, Shibby said as she announced the group’s nationwide protest on what she called “the killing spree” of the President, citing the more than 12,000 homicide cases, including at least 7,000 deaths due to the war-on-drugs, as reported by the Philippine National Police.

The youth groups’ alt-SONA will be held at St. Scholastica’s College-Manila on July 18, 7:30AM-12:00NN and will be attended by thousands of young people from different backgrounds in Metro Manila.

Duterte killed more than Marcos

Karla Yu, co-convener of MAD and one of the complainants against Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre before the Ombudsman tagging him as “Fake News King”, expressed concern over the PNP’s downplaying of the statistics on extrajudicial killings.

“Duterte managed to accomplish more in one year than the dictator Marcos in terms of death toll”, Yu explained. “Marcos extrajudicially-killed more than 3,000 in his 20-year regime. Duterte killed more than 7,000 due to the brutal and corrupt war-on-drugs a year into office”, she pointed out.

Nationwide protest

Shamah Bulangis of A!Y explained that mobilizations will also happen in General Santos City and Cebu City. “There is a growing discontent among young people. This discontent is greater than our fear”, Bulangis mentioned.

“Together, young people are a formidable force”, she continued.

How many and how young?

“The all-out war on drugs also kills the youth and our capacity to dream. The more it kills young and innocent people, the more it kills the hope for a better future for our country,” added Jeza Rodriguez of SCAP.

Rodriguez cited the case of Danica (5 years old) and Althea (4 years old), as the youngest collateral damages of the President’s war-on-drugs. “How young and how many before we become outraged by this President’s killing spree?” Rodriguez asked.

“The 18th of July marks the day that this movement is born. 45 years ago, a dictator was toppled down with the help of a youth movement. Today, any emerging dictator will be stopped”, added Shibby.

The group called on their fellow youth to join the nationwide protest on July 18. “Kung hindi tayo ang lalaban, sino ang lalaban?”, Shibby urged.

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