A movement against the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte, tagged as “HINDIpendence Day,” was held yesterday at Liwasang Bonifacio, Ermita as a mobilization to commemorate the 120th year of the nation’s independence.
Being part of the event, a Women’s Freedom March, dubbed “#BabaeAko,” also transpired, led by women’s issues advocate group, Gabriela.
In addressing national concerns
In an interview with The LaSallian, Bayan Secretary-General Renato Reyes, Jr. revealed that the movement was a product of joint efforts from different organizations, most of which from Metro Manila. “Hindi lang po ito Bayan. Merong different democratic organizations rin tulad ng Coalition Against Darkness and Dictatorship (CADD), mga groups na parte ng #BabaeAko are also here, mga artist groups, Let’s Organize for Democracy and Integrity (LODI). Effort ito na pinagtulung-tulungan ng iba’t ibang grupo,” Reyes confirmed.
(This isn’t just Bayan. Other groups are also part of this, including CADD, groups part of #BabaeAko, artists’ groups, LODI, and others. This is an effort mounted by multiple organizations.)
According to the Bayan Secretary-General, the planning phase for the movement took place late May to early June of this year. In lieu of the nation’s current state, HINDIpendence Day laid out its objective of “making an effort to show to Filipinos that genuine independence may never be attained for as long as the Philippines is ruled over by foreign nations.”
The event focused on the issues aligned with the administration, which included national sovereignty, the TRAIN Law, affected families and the aftermath of extrajudicial killings (EJKs), Martial Law in Mindanao, and the nation’s current relations with foreign countries, among others.
Standing with Filipinas
Through a Women’s Freedom March, Gabriela led the organizations in a mobilization to assert and recognize the importance of women’s rights. #BabaeAko mobilized from Luneta Park and converged at Liwasang Bonifacio to join in the program.
Gabriela Secretary-General Joms Salvador, who as well took part in organizing #BabaeAko, expressed her gratitude regarding the support given to the movement. “Natuwa kami na madami yung nag si-signify na, ‘Kami rin, sasama kami.’ Today, I think we are being validated na talagang sobra-sobra na yung ginagawa ni Pangulong Duterte, sobra-sobra na yung pagtutol ng mga kababayan natin, ” she said in a statement.
(We were happy to see that a lot of people wanted to join the movement. I think [this just validates the fact that] President Duterte has already lapsed too much, and that the people are already very much against him.)
Addressing the latest report of Duterte’s kissing controversy with a Filipina in a meeting with the PH community in South Korea, Salvador and her constituents believe that people should see their unity in support of the cause through the mobilization. “Naipakita nung nag-spread yung #BabaeAko campaign bilang porma ng assertion ng kababaihan laban sa pambabastos, sa sexismo, at machismo ni Pangulong Duterte,” she continued. (The spread of the #BabaeAko campaign shows how women are against President Duterte’s rudeness, sexism, and machismo.)
Salvador also affirmed that men supportive of the cause are “very welcome,” citing that no distinction in whose rights were to be fought for was planned at the start of the conceptualization of the campaign.
During the program of the event, performances from various invited groups took place, as well as testimonies from the organizers, and invited speakers. Journalist Teddy Casiño led the crowd in reciting the “Declaration of HINDIpendence,” a statement pointing out the essence of the nation’s lack of autonomy.