A lightning protest was held today during the Congress special joint session for the extension of martial law in Mindanao by school teachers from Mindanao Lumad community school ALCADEV in Lianga, Surigao del Sur and leaders of youth groups led by Anakbayan and League of Filipino Students.

The young protesters interrupted the speech of Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana by chanting “never again to martial law” and “martial law sa Mindanao ibasura” and unfurling anti-martial law banner before being forcibly led out of the chamber by security forces.

Anakbayan condemned the arrest and called for the immediate release of the 8 protesters in the persons of ALCADEV teachers Chad Booc, Yasser Guitierrez, and Kenneth Cadiang and youth activists Renz Pasigpasigan, Vince Simon, Michael Joselo Villanueva, JP Rosos, and Almira Abril.

The youth group also condemned House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez for moving to have the protesters charged. “To protest a grave injustice is justified. To protest against martial law in Mindanao and the threat of its extension and even expansion nationwide is especially justified,” said Anakbayan National Secretary General Einstein Recedes.

The group vowed to mount protests against Duterte’s martial law, especially in his state of the nation address on Monday.

Rosos is the national spokesperson of the League of Filipino Students, Simon is the Anakbayan De La Salle University Chapter chairperson, while Abril is the chairperson of the UP Diliman student party STAND-UP.

The Lumad community school ALCADEV was put on the spotlight in September 1, 2015 when its director Emerito Samarca and lumad leaders Dionel Campos and Datu Jovello Sinzo were brutally killed by paramilitary forces. ALCADEV students and lumad communities have been forcibly displaced again this month due to intensified military operations under Duterte’s martial law in Mindanao.

 

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