BAGUIO CITY – As President Rodrigo Duterte delivered his third State of the Nation Address (SONA) last July 23, 2018, militant groups in Cordillera prepared for a series of activities meant to highlight the ‘real’ state of the People under the Duterte administration.
For the past weeks in the month of July, militant groups launched “Black Friday” protests as a show of dissent to the latest policies and happenings under Duterte’s presidency. Among their calls were the junking of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law, and to uphold and protect Human Rights.
Several students brought their placards and took their seats in the Malcolm Square during the “Protestambay” they organized last July 13 in response to the ongoing Metro Manila campaign called Rid the Streets of Drunkards and Youths or OPLAN RODY, after this campaign got the support of Baguio City Mayor Mauricio Domogan.
Last July 16, 2018, members of different denominations from Northern Luzon gathered at the United Church of Christ in the Philippines (UCCP) Baguio Educational Center for the Bible in Context Workshop wherein organization Youth Act Now Against Tyranny (YANAT) Baguio-Benguet discussed updates on the national situation.
On the other hand, spearheaded by Kabataan Partylist- Cordillera and Cordilleran Youth Center, Inc, a public forum called State of the Youth Address (SOYA) which was held on July 21 at the Igorot Park, Baguio City.
“This year’s SOYA is a public forum and exhibit that will tackle the current condition of the youth and students in Metro Baguio and the Cordillera. Highlighting the most controversial and burning issues among ranks like the free education, K-12 program, and human rights” the organizations wrote online.
Congresswoman Sarah Jane Elago, representative of Kabataan Partylist in the 17th Congress, will be in the said event to deliver the State of the Youth Address, and to invite participants for a bigger forum and mobilization for the SONA ti Umili or the People’s SONA.
The SONA ti Umili is a part of the nationwide SONA protest actions that was held on July 23, and attended by different groups in the region to highlight their calls versus the current administration.
By Japheth G. Tobias