“Marcos! Hitler! Diktador! Tuta!”
This was the cry of college students as they protested in front of the Roxas gate of Ateneo de Davao University earlier this afternoon, Nov. 23.
Initially announced as Black Shirt Wednesday, the activity was in line with the seventh year anniversary of the Maguindanao Massacre and the celebration of the International Day to End Impunity.
Bringing placards with the words “Marcos, No Hero” and “Never Forget! Never Again to Martial Law!” students, various organization leaders, activists, and university staff, together with some Franciscan brothers of Davao City, marched from the Thibault Hall of the university towards Roxas Avenue facing the Freedom Park. This was a follow-up event after the ceremonial candle lighting activity held last Nov. 21.
Bro. Mark Anthony Zarate, O.F.M. expressed his support to this kind of peaceful protest.
“Kami po ay nakikiisa sa pinaglalaban ng Ateneo [students]. Kami po ay tumututol sa paglibing kay [Ferdinand] Marcos [Sr.] sa Libingan ng mga Bayani. Unang-una, hindi po siya bayani. Hindi natin dapat kalimutan na marami siyang nagawang kasalanan,” he said.
In addition to this, Zarate also cited a positive consequence of the contentious Marcos burial.
“Nagpapasalamat ako dahil sa paglibing kay Marcos sa Libingan ng mga Bayani, parang napukaw ang social at moral conscience ng mga kabataan. Tayo po ngayon ay natutong manindigan at alam kong sa susunod pang panahon, mas marami pang maninindigan sa ngalan ng hustisya at ating bayan,” he added.
Representatives from the League of Filipino Students (LFS) were also in attendance. Abdul Sissay of LFS- Southern Mindanao Chapter reminded everyone of the injustices and abuses during the Marcos administration. He mentioned that the youth back then were deprived of their social freedom and participation. For him, the youth plays a vital role to let the voice of the oppressed be heard.
“Usa kini ka challenge sa atoa nga ipadayon ang pakikibaka nga nasugdan sa atong mga lolo, lola, ante, angkol, nanay ug tatay para mapanalipdan nato ang mga katungod nga atong naranasan karon. Aduna kita’y susi ug kusog sa pagduso sa mulo sa katawhang Pilipino,” he strongly stated.
This coming Friday, Nov. 25, another demonstration will be held at the Freedom Park. The demonstration will be simultaneous with the nationwide protest against the controversial Marcos burial.