Tuesday, July 18, 2017

13-Year-Old Girl Leads Youth Resistance Against “Dutertador”

Wazzup Pilipinas!

If it were up to Filipino millennials and students, one year into President Rodrigo Duterte’s regime will have a grade of 7,000.

#YouthRESIST, a movement led by 13-year old Grade 9 student Shibby de Guzman with various groups, made the statement during the National Day of Youth Resistance protesting the Presidents ‘year of killings’, citing more than 12,000 homicide cases that include at least 7,000 deaths due to the war-on-drugs.

“Today is the beginning of the end”, declared Shibby.

Flocked by thousands of young Filipinos all over Manila on Tuesday in anticipation of the State of the Nation Address by the protest, #YouthRESIST is becoming a voice of young people in the growing tide against the Duterte regime’s human rights issues. Similar protests were held in Cebu in the Visayas and General Santos in Mindanao.


“Dictators rise and fall. This Dutertador is not an exception.”, says Karla Yu, convener of the Millennials Against Dictators.

“We will not allow this Dutertador and his strongman politics to be the new prevailing norm in our country”, she added, citing the Social Weather Station survey that 8 out of 10 Filipinos fear that they may become a victim of the administration’s war-on-drugs.

“Dutertador politics has given rise to state-perpetrated violence, jailing opposition, unli-Martial Law, impunity, state-sponsored propaganda and fake news”, added Yu.

Asked of Duterte's accomplishments, Yu remarked that “Duterte has killed more in one year than Marcos killed in his 20-year regime”. Yu also said that the reinstatement of Supt. Marcos after the killing of Albuera, Leyte Mayor Espinosa is the latest of this “spree of impunity”.

“The Marcoses are back, GMA is back, Napoles is back, and the latest: the Mayor-slayer is back in power”, Yu quipped.

“This Dutertador may be emerging, but soon, as with all dictators, he will surely fall”, she said.


“Fake News SONA”

Shamah Bulangis of Akbayan! Youth and one of the complainants against Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre before the Ombudsman tagging him as “Fake News King”, expressed concern over the Philippine National Police’s downplaying of the statistics on extrajudicial killings.

“We know the government lies through gritted teeth. We are young, but we are not stupid”, Bulangis remarked. “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”, she added.

Online to offline

Jeza Rodriguez of the Student Council Alliance of the Philippine said that they’ll be mobilizing young people during the State of the Nation Address on July 24. “We will express our dissent against the Dutertador”, she remarked.

Aside from mobilizations, the group said that they’ll be doing campus tours nationwide and taking the battle from online to offline, by marching on the streets and engaging more young people.

“This is the youth taking back our place in Philippine politics – taking back the voice that the administration has tried so hard to silence. We will scream and shout if we have to. We will take to the streets if we need to”, Shibby concluded.

Kung Hindi Tayo, Sino?
Speech by Shibby de Guzman
Delivered during the #YouthRESIST alt-SONA; July 18, 2017; St. Scholastica’s College-Manila
(Please check upon delivery.)

Hi friends! I have a few questions.

Why do people allow a man who is responsible for the deaths of thousands of innocent lives to be called a hero? Why do we allow the police or vigilantes or whoever to kill people unlawfully, innocent or not? Why do we think eliminating drugs is more important than eliminating the root of why it exists? Than a human life?

Why is it okay to kill 4 year olds who just wanted popcorn? Why do we allow this to be normalized as a “just another life taken”?
Why do we let evil men push us around like we are nothing when they should be there for the people? Why do we let them abuse their power? Where is the love? The peace that we seek?

Today we are not allowing these things.

Today, we are here, asking these questions with the loudest voices, the loudest protests. We are here to stand together against the threats to our nation. A lot of people have asked how many we will be here. The answer is we are more than enough to stand against our misogynistic, power-abusing administration. Us people do not fall under their thrones of power. As us Scholasticans, we all value being a servant-leader. And the people who lead us are not serving. They are killing.  We are called to take a stand against the issues of extra-judicial killings, creeping authoritarianism, and emerging dictatorships.

Now why us?

We are what stand after the people older than us have faded into history. When all the people responsible for our current issues have died, we are left to fix them. We remain when their generation has faded.

We will be the ones who will have to think of ways and means to fix already difficult problems like poverty and corruption. Not so friendly reminder: these problems only get worse under a dictatorship.

The poor get poorer because they can no longer rely on the government to protect them. The marginalized get pushed further into the margins. The rich? They get richer because dictators protect their cronies and patrons. They consolidate the power that they took with underhanded tactics that take advantage of the poor.

So we take a stand and make sure that these things don’t happen.

My fellow Scholasticans, my fellow youth, we cannot stay behind the comforts of ranting on social media. We do not limit our actions to just voices on the internet. Opposing evil does not stop there. We must start now. This is a stepping stone, a beginning to something greater than any rally or any post that goes viral.

This is the youth taking back our place in Philippine politics – taking back the voice that the administration has tried so hard to silence. We will scream and shout if we have to. We will take to the streets if we need to.

Now this is all about breaking the apathy within us. Though the moment we start caring, it no longer becomes about us. This is being a servant-leader to the families of ejk victims, to the marginalized, to the people who suffer, who don’t have the voice to speak because they have been slain and silenced into nothingness.

Friends, to the administration and its killing-spree, this is the beginning of the end.


The Resistance is Here
Speech by Senator Risa Hontiveros
Delivered during the #YouthRESIST alt-SONA; July 18, 2017; St. Scholastica’s College-Manila
(Please check upon delivery.)

Good morning everyone! Thank you so much for having me here with you. I just want to say that it always, always fills my heart with hope and courage to be around the young, particularly my fellow Kulasas! Mabuhay ang kababaihan! Ora et Laban!

We stand here because we want to send a clear and strong message to this government. If the message of the President's state of the nation (SONA) is supposed to be that the government is fine, that the country is getting better, that changed has finally arrived; then I will say this again – nothing could be further from the truth.

That 8,000-12,000 people have been killed by the government's bloody war on drugs, that this senseless campaign continues despite all the evidence, that murderers are rewarded with reinstatement to their government posts and even promotions; all the senseless death and tragedy is proof that our government does not listen. It does not listen to the poor. It kills the young and the poor. It does not respect the truth and democracy, it clouds them with fake news and disinformation. This is something we will not stand for.

We stand here today to tell this government that the millennials are watching. That you are not blind. The youth will not be fooled by fake news and information on social media. After all, social media is the domain of the millennials. No group of old men in Malacanang know this place better than you.

We will take back the democracy they are stealing from us. And we know this darkness will pass because you, the young have the light.

Your generation has been judged by so many others and been called so many things. Tinawag kayong henerasyong makasarili, vain, spoiled, self-centered at sobrang entitled. Hinusgahan kayo na walang tapang at walang pakialam. Maling-mali sila.

I have seen firsthand your courage and patriotism. I saw your courage and selflessness when you led the charge against the granting of a hero’s burial to the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos. Thousands of you, the millennials, took to the streets and said in your own voice that Marcos was not a hero. I am particularly proud of my fellow Kulasas, ang mga kagaya ni Shibby De Guzman, who poured to the streets to join the protest actions. This despite the online harrassment and abuse you took for speaking truth to power. For that, my young friends and fellow women, you will always have my respect and admiration.

I am reminded of my own youth. I was 15. And I wore the blue and white of this very school when I and my fellow students led a series of protests against the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant. That moment began a life of larger social involvement. And I am proud that you many of you have made the same choice here today.

My young friends, the fight for democracy and against authoritarian rule is a fight that we can win. But if we are to win, we must come together.

And in this, you, the youth of this nation, should show us the way. Defend the truth in cyberspace, and indeed in all spaces: in your schools, in your places of work, and if need be, in times and places such as this.
Teach us again to learn from history’s lessons. Teach us to develop a mind that questions what is in front of us. Lead the way in tearing down the walls of authoritarian rule.

Kaya ngayong araw na ito, isang malaking karangalan na kasama ko kayo ngayon. Isang karangalan na lumaban at manindigan kasama kayong lahat.

To borrow a popular phrase from another world, yes, winter is here. The night gathers. But so is our resistance. THE RESISTANCE IS HERE. WE ARE THE RESISTANCE.

We will fight. WE WILL FIGHT AND WE WILL WIN because in the words of your generation, you only live once, we only live once.

Mabuhay ang kabataan at kababaihan!


Si Jomar at ang Dutertador
Speech by Lea Calano (Akbayan! Youth); kin of an EJK victim
Delivered during the #YouthRESIST alt-SONA; July 18, 2017; St. Scholastica’s College-Manila
(Please check upon delivery.)

Ako po si Lea, nakatira sa Caloocan City.

Sa aming lugar, marami na ang nabiktima ng Oplan Tokhang ng dakilang Dutertador.

At sa bawat gabing lumilipas, alam naming mayroong isa, dalawa, o isang dosena na mamamatay dahil daw "nanlaban."

Mayroon po akong isang pamangkin, si Samantha, tatlong taong gulang. Batang-bata pa po.

Pero dahil sa Dutertador, hindi na makikita ni Samantha ang kanyang Tatay na si Jomar.

Si Jomar ay isang ama.
Si Jomar ay isang anak.
Si Jomat ay pinsan ko, kadugo ko, at kapwa ko tao.

Pero nakita na lang namin siyang nakahandusay sa kalye na parang hayop, sa Quezon City.

Tulad po ni Jomar, napakarami na pong nabiktima ng Tokhang, nabiktima ng Dutertador, pero ni isa, hindi binigyan ng pagkakataong magsalita.

Hihintayin pa ba ninyong mangyari ito sa pamilya ninyo bago tayo magsalita at kumilos? Ilang asawa, anak at magulang pa ang mauulila bago matapos ang bangungot na ito.

At kung hindi tayong kabataan ang gigising sa sambayanan, sino?

Walang sinuman sa atin ang nangarap ba maging adik o mapagkamalang adik na basta na lamang papatayin nang walang kalaban-laban at walang hustisya!

Kung gaano po karami ang pinatay ng Dutertador, ganoon din po karami ang mga pamilyang naghihinagpis. Kakaunti pa lang po sa amin ang kayang magsalita.

Pero naniniwala po ako: Mapapawi po ang takot ng iba kung ang tapang ay sa ating kabataan po magsisimula.

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