Thousands of people have taken to the streets to protest the policies of Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte, as the leader delivers the State of the Nation Address.
Some demonstrators chanted slogans calling for “all-out resistance to overthrow the United States-Duterte fascist regime.” Other protesters accused the Filipino leader of obstructing peace process with rebels, having broken off talks multiple times.
Indigenous Dumagat people, labor rights and several other groups and movements joined in the march to voice opposition for Duterte's government, some outright demanding his resignation. The Dumagat, according to the Manila Times, has accused the president of being responsible for the deaths of tribal leaders as well as constructing dams on tribal lands.
Odik Marquez, a Dumagat from Quezon Province, a member of the Purple Action for Indigenous Women’s Rights group, spoke about how the rights of the Indigenous people were suppressed and how the government has allowed illegal logging and the construction of dams on their lands to destroy the environment.
Labor groups from the University of the Philippines (UP) and private companies flooded Commonwealth Avenue Monday carrying banners and placards to discontinue contractualization. Duterte previously pledged to end labor-only contracting, a process in which companies hire workers from third-party human resource providers.
Security officials claim guerrillas had infiltrated the march and as a result announced that Duterte will not meet protesters, the Union of Catholic Asian News stated.
The rally was organized by several organizations, groups and movements such as Coalition for Justice, Tindig Pilipinas, Movement Against Tyranny, Bagong Alyansang Makabayan, Babae Ako, Kalipunan ng Pwersa ng Masa, Laban ng Masa, Sanlakas, Sangguniang Layko, Intercessors for the Philippines among others.