Groups commemorate Independence Day with calls for respect of human rights

Sectoral groups gathered at the Bonifacio Shrine in Manila yesterday to commemorate the Philippines’ 119th Independence Day and to call for peace and respect for human rights.

The National Day of Prayer and Action for Peace and Human Rights event was part of the day-long action denouncing the killings and other human rights violations under the Rodrigo Duterte government.

The groups called for the lifting of martial law in Mindanao, saying it will only worsen extrajudicial killings and the curtailment of civil and political rights.

Military rule is not a solution to the ongoing conflict against the Maute group in Mindanao, the groups said.

The protesters also condemned ongoing aerial bombings by the Philippine military in Marawi they said only result in wanton destruction of properties and endangerment of civilians trapped in the besieged city.

In a unity statement, the groups called for the continuation of the peace talks between the Duterte government and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and the Moro National Liberation Front.

(Text and photos by Reynald Denver del Rosario, Luigi Renzo Naval and Eunice Lei Wu of the UP-CMC for Kodao Productions)