Protests led by people’s organizations in various provinces and key cities in the Philippines marked the commemoration of the 65th International Human Rights Day. The protests focused on BS Aquino’s accountability in the continuing human rights violations and impunity, poverty and corruption, and puppetry to US government’s dictates.
In Bicol, a total of 110 ‘mass action centers’ were set up from the Quezon-Bicol boundary, in Sta. Elena, Camarines Norte, in Del Gallego, Camarines Sur, in Bulan and Matnog, Sorsogon. There were also protest actions held in the provinces of Masbate, Burias and Ticao islands. There were marches and rallies in city centers in the whole region such as in Daet and in the cities of Naga, Ligao, Legazpi, Sorsogon, and Masbate, which called for Aquino’s resignation.
In Davao City, some 5,000 members of multi-sectoral organizations attended the protest march which called for the ouster of the US-Aquino regime. The human rights day protest was attended by mostly victims of BS Aquino’s Oplan Bayanihan in Compostela Valley, Davao del Norte, and Agusan del Sur.
Also in Mindanao, B’laan tribe members, environmental defenders, and rights activists held a protest action in front of the office of the Glencore-Xstrata-SMI Office in General Santos City, the mining company responsible for the massacre of the B’laan leader Juvy Capion and her two sons, and Juvy’s brother in-law, Kitari Capion. The B’laan held rituals of war and justice during the program.
Bayan and Karapatan Negros led the protest action in Bacolod City to decry the increasing attacks against political activists through trumped up charges filed against them. They also called for the release of all political prisoners.
Members of Karapatan and Bayan in Southern Tagalog region held a caravan from Batangas to Laguna and proceeded to Quezon City. The contingent stormed the gates of the Aquino residence in Times Street, Quezon City early morning of Dec. 10. They held BS Aquino responsible for the continuing state violence in the region, specifically the abduction and disappearance of Ben Villeno, a trade union leader be surfaced. Later, they converged with the rest of the protesters at Blumentritt St. in Manila to join the protest march to Mendiola.
In the National Capital Region, a people’s march going to the Malacaῆang gates was led by Karapatan and Bayan. An effigy dubbed “P-Noy the Destroyer” depicted BS Aquino as the destroyer of the people’s lives, rights, and livelihood. During the program in Mendiola, the effigy was burned to ashes, to show the people’s outrage over the US-Aquino regime’s its criminal negligence, continuing rights violations, corruption, and impunity.
There were also protest marches held in Roxas City in Capiz province led by Bayan-Capiz and Bayan Muna-Capiz. The organizations demanded justice and accountability for the Aquino government’s criminal neglect of typhoon victims.
In Baguio, the Cordillera Human Rights Alliance together with other progressive organizations marched along Session Road in Bagiuo City. Protesters, including martial law victims, held a streamer saying, “Hold the Aquino government accountable for human rights violations!”
Karapatan and Bayan chapters in Central Luzon, Northern and Western Mindanao, and Cebu also conducted forums and cultural programs.
For more photos of the 2013 Human Rights Day commemoration, please check:
KARAPATAN National Office
2/F Erythrina Building
#1 Maaralin cor. Matatag Streets
Central District, 1100 Quezon City
Web Site: http://www.karapatan.org