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Militants launch ‘Kadena Bicolandia,’ hold SONA rallies

By Mar S. Arguelles

Militant activist led by Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN) in Bicol launched on Monday (July 26) morning “Kadena Bicolandia,” a simultaneous protest action against the lies that Pres. Rodrigo Duterte’s would report during his last State of the Nation Address (SONA) on the same day.

Jen Nagrampa, Bayan Bicol chairperson, said hundreds of activists from the cities of Naga, Legazpi, and Sorsogon converged and held a simultaneous protest actions at 10:30 AM in Plaza Rizal in Naga City, Pinaglabanan Monument in Legazpi City, and at the Sorsogon Park in Sorsogon City.

In Naga City, the protest started at the rotunda and marchers held rallies at the government offices of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), Department of Education (DepEd), and at the Plaza Rizal for the major event.

In Albay, the protest action kicked -off in Camalig town and marched along the Maharlika Highway to the Daraga town and to Peñaranda Park and Pinaglabanan Monument in Legazpi City.

In Sorsogon City, a rally was held at the Sorsogon Park.

The protest called “Kadena Bicolandia: Kapit-bisig ng Mamamayang Bikolano Laban sa Rehimeng US-China-Duterte”exposed Duterte’s failure to address economic, social and health issues that he promised during his term, Nagrampa said.

In a statement, Bayan accused Duterte of his lies and cover-ups and failures particularly in the war on drugs, corruption, the West Philippine Sea issue, unemployment, and hunger.

They cited Duterte’s mishandling of the Covid-19 pandemic where thousands of people got sick and died of the disease.

Aside from Duterte’s inability to address these health crisis, 12 million people lost their jobs and went hungry, Bayan said citing a recent SWS survey.

In a related news, Bayan Albay chapter filed a harassment complaint with the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) against members of the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Philippine Army (PA).

Vince Casilihan, Bayan Bicol spokesperson, said protesters were holding protest rallies in connection with President Duterte’s State of the Nation Address (SONA), when they noticed that several motorcycle-riding men in civilian cloth believed to be either police or military were following the rallyists and taking pictures of them.

He said even the office of the Karapatan Bicol in Old Albay District was not spared by the harassment wherein the staff there also complained that motorcycle-riding men in civilian clothes were taking pictures of people entering and leaving the office.

Members of Bayan Bicol were able to take video footages and photos of the incidents.


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