Militants: Bonifacio's fight for the masses 'far from over'

Bianca Dava, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 30 2017 08:55 PM

Militant groups marked the 154th birth anniversary of revolutionary Andres Bonifacio with protests against the Duterte administration.

In a program outside the Malacañang Complex in Manila, militant groups including Laban ng Masa, the National Confederation of Labor, Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino and Socialista, among others, called for social justice and equality as they accused President Rodrigo Duterte of being pro-elite.

The groups alleged that Duterte has sided with the ruling class instead of delivering his promises during the elections, including the abolition of labor contractualization.

"Sana tanggalin na ang kontraktwalisasyon. Papalitan ng kaniyang ipinangako para sa gayon, ang mga nagsu-suffer na manggagawa ay magiging regular na," said Joel Odio, National Confederation of Labor spokesperson.

"Gusto naming manaig ang gusto ng mamamayan at hindi ang kagustuhan ni Pangulong Duterte na para sa kapitalismo at karahasan," said Leodi de Guzman of the Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino.

The groups also accused Duterte of attempting to consolidate the monopoly of power in his threat to set up a revolutionary government.

Lakas ng Masa national coordinator Rasti Delizo said: "What the President is doing is he's trying to fool the Filipino masses into thinking that this is a real revgov (revolutionary government) when it is not. What he wants to do is to shortcut all constitutional, political and other rights in order to consolidate a monopoly of power."

"There is nothing revolutionary about that government. It's basically a dictatorship. Ngayon, ang checks and balances natin, winawasak na niya. Ang RevGov niya, ang federalismo, lahat 'yan ay peke," said Partido Lakas ng Masa Chairperson Sonny Milencio.

He added: "If we want, dapat revolutionary government of the masses, 'yun ang talagang rebolusyon."

"Kung gusto ng gobyernong ito ang pagbabago, dapat pangunahan na ang matagal na nating inaasam na gobyerno ng masa, gobyerno para sa masa," lawyer Aaron Pedrosa of Sanlakas said.

Socialista National Chairman Kila Dipasupil also pointed out that the administration's drug war is targeting only the poor.

Thousands of Filipinos have been killed in the campaign. The administration has denied that it was behind summary killings. 

"Quota sila sa mga mahihirap sa Tondo, Bagong Silang at kung saan pa. Pero ang P6.4-billion na drugs sa Customs, sino ang naimplicate? Si Pulong, ang DDS, pero ang mahihirap ang pinapatay," he said, referring to the shabu shipment that slipped past the Manila port in May, which triggered congressional inquiries. 

During their march from Liwasang Bonifacio to Malacañang, the group carried an effigy of Andres Bonifacio stepping on Satan labeled "Du30." For the militants, it symbolizes that the Filipino hero's fight for the masses is far from over.

"'Yung ipinaglalaban ni Andres Bonifacio na isang siglo na ay hindi pa rin tapos. Ang ipinaglalaban doon na pagsasamantala ng iilan ay patuloy pa ring binabaka araw-araw ng mga Pilipino," Pedrosa said.

The groups also clarified that what they are doing is not an attempt at destabilization, but a display of the masses' strong dissent against Duterte's inaction on issues being hurled against his administration.