Progressive groups demanded for the immediate impeachment of President Rodrigo Duterte in a rally at the Millennium Park in time for his State of the Nation Address (SONA).
Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) – Southern Mindanao Region (SMR) Secretary General Carlo Olalo said for three years, Duterte continuously failed all his promises made during his electoral campaign and even when he already assumed office. He also tagged Duterte as the worst President the Philippines ever had with all the abuses and failed promises.
“Ang presidente sa atong nasod nga si Rodrigo Duterte, failure. Failure sa iyang programa, failure sa iyang pagpadagan sa nasod kay tungod wala man niya na address ang kahirapan sa katawhan sa atong nasod,” Olalo told TIMES on Monday.
The SMR chapter of the General Assembly Binding Women for Reforms, Integrity, Equality, Leadership, and Action (GABRIELA) also criticized Duterte.
“Sa remaining three years niya, kung gusto niya ug kabag-uhan sa mga tao, ipakita na niya kay nagkadugay nagka-init na ang mga tao,” GABRIELA – SMR vice chair Corazon Espinoza said.
Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) – SMR spokesperson Tony Salubre said they are no longer hoping for anything in the remaining years of Duterte as president. “Wala nami naglaom nga naa pa syay buhaton tungod kay si Presidente Duterte sunod-sunoran man sa iyang amo nga mga langyaw labi na sa US ug China,” he said.
Salubre said the Rice Tariffication Law being a measure to more affordable rice for Filipinos as believed by the government is just an illusion. He said in reality, farmers suffered even more because they cannot compete with the lower prices imposed on imported rice.
The Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT-Teachers) – SMR once again reiterate its call for a salary increase that has always been their mantra for the past years. ACT – SMR chapter head Reynaldo Pardillo said a 5,000 to 10,000 increase for their salary would be a big help in sustaining their families. He also challenged the president and the Department of Education (DepEd) to visit the Salugpongan Ta’ Tanu Igkanogon Community Learning Center that was recently suspended, for them to confirm first hand that they are teaching the right curriculum.
Other issues raised by protesters included opposition to tuition increase, Train Law, Results-Based Performance Management System (RPMS) – Philippine Professional Standards for Teachers (PPST), aerial bombing, demolition, and Martial Law in Mindanao. They also demanded for salary increase, housing, and saving of Pantaron Range, among others.
Col. Alexander Tagum, director of Davao City Police Office (DCPO), said the protest rally was orderly.
“We’re in full control,” Tagum said.
Tagum said there were around 100 protesters at the Freedom Park along Roxas Avenue. (With Rhoda Grace Saron)