Duterte supporters rally vs. terrorism, radical groups

More than 3,000 supporters of President Rodrigo Duterte and representatives of various sectoral groups on staged a rally to promote democracy and condemn terroristic acts on Thursday, October 18, 2018 in the City of Manila.

Members of Liga Independencia Filipinas (LIF) and various religious leaders, young people, farmers, seniors citizens, indigenous people and women’s groups gathered at around 4 p.m. in Mendiola, Manila to express their support to Duterte’s administration and its programs.

“Kami po ay dumalo rito dahil kami ay nagmamahal sa Diyos, sa bayan at sa pangulo dahil siya lamang ang may prinsipyo na kaya niyang baguhin ang ating bansa. Habang siya malakas pa ipanalangin nating magampanan niya ang pagkapangulo at ito na ang tamang panahon ng ating tunay na paglaya at pagunlad (We joined here because we love God, the country and the president because he has the principle to bring change to the country. While he’s strong let us pray that he performs his roles as president and this is the time of true freedom and development),” Charis Basilican Church Archbishop Dedan Mallapre told the Philippine News Agency (PNA).

Mallapre said he wants genuine change effected in the country so he is taking his faith and prayer into action by uniting Filipinos toward achievement of true peace and freedom.

“Every six years nagpapalit lamang ang administrasyon pero walang pagbabago. Narito na ang prosperity natin, ang pagkakataon para sa mga Pilipino na hindi na nila kailangan pang mag-abroad. Magkakaraon na po ng mga malalaking negosyo dito na puro produktong Pilipino kailangan lang po nating ibigin ang pangulo at ang gobyerno at ating mga kababayan (we change administration but no true change is happening. Here is our prosperity, the time for Filipinos not to go abroad. There will be business offering pure Filipino products we just need to love the president and the government and our fellowmen),” he added.

Abdul Banghulot Puengan, former regional director of National Commission on Indigenous People in Region 10, said they are one with LIF in condemning the activities of Communist Party of the Philippines–New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) and other radical groups.

He said the CPP-NPA exploits and harasses the indigenous people in the provinces which is a clear violation of Republic Act 8371 that mandates the rights of indigenous people to peacefully live in society.

“Ang mga indigenous people ay isa sa mga vulnerable groups dahil wala po silang edukasyon. Madali sila malinlang ng makakaliwang grupo. Maraming maraming sitwasyon na ang mga tribal leaders ay hina-harass ng leaders ng makakaliwang grupo at kapag di sila sumunod sa mga makakaliwa, ito po ay pinapatay nila. Sila po ang naghahari sa mga ancestral domain ng ating mga katutubo. Ang mga kabataang katutubo ay nire-recruit nila upang maisali nila sa maling adhikain na pabagsakin ang ating gobyerno (The indigenous people belong to the vulnerable groups because they don’t have education. It is easy for them to be fooled by the leftist groups. There are many instances where the tribal leaders are harassed by the leftist group leaders and if they don’t obey, they’re killed, they rule over the ancestral domain of our natives. The young natives are recruited to take part in overthrowing the government),” he said.

Meanwhile, Mufti Aleem Naquib Taher said he, together with other Muslim scholars, condemn violent extremism and terrorism perpetrated by the leftist group and supports Duterte’s strong will to end it.

“Mahigpit naming tinututulan ang terorismo lalo na’t inuugnay ang terorismo sa mga Muslim na walang katotohanan dahil ang Islam ay relihiyon ng kapayapaan. Ang panawagan ng pangulo ay kapayapaan sa buong bansa na aming sinusuportahan, gagabayan ng Diyos ang ating pangulo at kasama niya kaming may pananampalataya kahit saan siya magpunta (We strongly condemn terrorism especially that it is linked to Muslims which is not true because Islam is a religion of peace. The president calls for peace all over the country which we support, God will guide him and we believers will support him anywhere he goes),”he said.

The rallyists came from diffferent Muslim communities in the provinces and Metro Manila. (Ma. Teresa Montemayor, Philippine News Agency)

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