Sunday, July 23, 2017

Catholic Bishops, Civil Liberty Champs and Millennials to Protest Duterte's Fake SONA

Wazzup Pilipinas!

Church leaders, progressive lawmakers, civil society groups and youth leaders will stage on Monday a day-long "Counter SONA" to protest what they said will be President Rodrigo Duterte's "truth-challenged" State of the Nation Address (SONA).

Organized by the Gathering of Civil Liberties (GCL), Akbayan Party, Kilusan para sa Makabansang Ekonomiya (KME), #YouthResist, Millenials Against Dictators (MAD) and the Student Council Alliance of the Philippines (SCAP), the event will protest Duterte's bloody war on drugs, the extension of Martial law in Mindanao and what they called the President's "rising authoritarianism."

The event is also supported by Caloocan Bishop Deogracias IƱiguez, Novaliches Bishop Antonio Tobias and Father Rudy Abao.

Cultural performances, film showings, speeches and creative youth protests will mark the event, highlighted by a series of masses dubbed as "12-6-12" to be held at 12 midnight, 6:00 AM and 12 noon of the 24th of July. 

Midnight mass and candle-lighting vigil

The midnight mass, to be officiated by Iniguez, will conclude with a candle-lighting protest against extrajudicial killings and Martial Law. A people's vigil will follow shortly after. Senator Risa Hontiveros, Akbayan Rep. Tom Villarin, KME leader Jimmy Regalario, Church leaders, and youth leaders are expected to lead the event. 

Morning mass

The 6:00 AM mass will be officiated by Tobias. The Bishop will deliver a message on the need for people to unite and not lose hope amid a growing climate of killings and impunity. 

High noon mass

Meanwhile, the 12 noonn mass will be administered by Abao. Prominent civil liberty defenders, progressive lawmakers and sectoral leaders are expected to attend the activity. 

Millennials' "human #hashtag protest"

At exactly 1:00 PM, youth and student leaders will lead a "human #hashtag protest" and noise barrage. The protest will be led by #YouthResist, the broad youth and student formatiom which also organized the massive protest against EJKs at St. Scholastica's College. They said that their protest will "connect the millennials' online anger to offline protests against the culture of killing and resentment for democracy under the Duterte government."

People's verdict: Fake SONA

Afterwards, an ALT-SONA (Alternative SONA) will commence together with a people's viewing of Duterte's 2nd SONA. The protesters will declare the president's annual report to the nation as "fake SONA."

"We will stand for the defense of truth, fact and the right to life, despite the fact that this government has tried to deceive us with fake news, the stifling of dissent and the normalization of violence. We will stand our ground," said Karla Yu, spokesperson of #YouthResist.

Organizers of the day-long event expect a minimum of 2 thousand people to attend their day-long event, majority of whom, they said, will come from the youth sector.

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