Metro Manila-based youth group, Youth Movement Against Tyranny (YMAT) conducted another Black Friday Protest on June 29, in various schools and protest centers to vigorously condemn the Duterte administration’s continuous implementation of the Martial Law and Oplan Tokhang as well as the newly-added Oplan Galugad or more commonly known as Oplan Tambay.
Fascist and anti-poor
The Black Friday Protest showed photos of the victims, particularly youth victims, who bore the brunt of Duterte administration’s policies Oplan Tokhang and Oplan Galugad.
Students mobilized and continued to call for justice for the likes of Kian Delos Santos, who felled at the hands of the Caloocan City Police during the onslaught of the administration’s anti-drug war operations as well as for Genesis ‘Tisoy’ Argoncillo, the latest victim of alleged police operations. Argoncillo was one of the 7,000 nabbed during the onslaught of Oplan Galugad. Meanwhile, the students also remembered the death of 19-year-old Obello Bay-ao, a lumad student who was killed by members of paramilitary group Alamara during the implementation of Martial Law in Mindanao.
“We continue to call for justice for the victims of the Duterte regime’s continuous fascist attacks against the people. Duterte thought that he could instill discipline through his tactics and policies, but in reality these operations are used to curtail the rights of the Filipino people,” said Paco Royan Perez, the regional convener of YMAT, during the main program held at the University of the Philippines – Philippine General Hospital (UP – PGH) Plaza.
“As if it is not enough for the Filipino people to struggle through Duterte’s economic policies, through his implementation of the TRAIN Law and massive contractualization, he had to devise a scheme to attack the ordinary people, the tambays, even in the confines of their homes in his Oplan Galugad. This Oplan Galugad sets a precedent for an undeclared Martial Law,” Perez continued.
The students also staged a candle-light protest in the UP – PGH Plaza to signal the continuous fight for justice for the youth caught during the Duterte administration’s police operations.
Meanwhile, the photo wall protest was also conducted by students in the Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP), as part of the metro-wide protest set by YMAT.
“In Duterte’s two years of presidency, we have seen that he is not with the people he says he is inclined to serve. Instead of standing with the poor, he continues to repress and attack them with his policies and his fascist tactics,” said Pat Cierva, the spokesperson of Kabataan Party-list – Metro Manila (KPL – MM). Cierva is also a convener of YMAT.
“The youth will not settle in complacency with the current political situation. We will continue to mobilize and register our dissent and our rights to this administration,” Cierva continued.
YMAT and other youth groups are set to conduct more mobilizations and actions in light with Duterte’s nearing State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Monday, July 23.
On July 5, YMAT is set to conduct another assembly which aims to discuss the current political situation under the Duterte administration as well as the youth’s role in being at the forefront of the current movement.
On July 20, along with other youth organizations, the anti-tyranny youth group is geared to conduct its State of the Youth Address (SOYA). Likened to the State of the Nation Address (SONA), according to the group, SOYA aims to paint the real current condition faced by the youth under the two-year Duterte administration.
“With the administration falling deaf to the people’s demands, we are resolved to take our initiatives even further by continuing to invite everyone to our cause, by uniting with all the youth to resist this tyrannical rule, and by marching out on the streets in the People’s SONA to register our rights. We will not let ourselves be silenced by Duterte’s fascist rule and his undeclared Martial Law against the people.” Cierva said.