“Kung sino ‘yung may gusto ng himagsikan, sige… (Whoever wants an uprising, go ahead…) If you want that, go ahead. You have my blessing, no one will stop you in the streets,” President Rodrigo Roa Duterte challenged the rallyists behind “Himagsikan para kay Kian” yesterday.
He praised the movement as he called the country’s system and its government ‘rotten.’
The President told the media that as a worker of the government, while it is his job to defend the government, he is not stopping anyone from protesting. “I will be glad if you do it. You want war against government? Go ahead. I am encouraging you to take to the streets, everybody,” he said.
“If I find out later that I am the only one defending the government, then I will be happy to go down. Walang problema ‘yan. Wala akong (There is no problem. I have no) illusions d’yan about staying for five years,” he stressed.
Duterte even said that he is ‘waiting’ for this. “So there will be change of president and everything. And perhaps the new generation will come up with a government that is really working,” he said.
He reiterated that whoever lost their hope in him and the police should join the rally.
Initially before bringing up the protesters, Duterte was asked if he feared losing the police’s support – in which he answered, “I do not care if you lose your trust in me” as his position in the government is not permanent and may range from one to two years only.
Himagsikan para kay Kian
“Hustisya, hustisya, sa lahat ng biktima. Digong Duterte, panagutin, panagutin. (Justice for the victims. Digong Duterte, be responsible),” this was the shout of the protesters yesterday.
What trended on August 18 on social media websites as #JusticeforKian, became an all-out rally, dubbed as “Himagsikan para kay Kian” at the People Power Monument on EDSA.
In a CCTV footage, 17-year-old Kian delos Santos, a grade 11 student who dreamt of becoming a policeman someday was gunned by the police last week during a drug raid. The police said that delos Santos was a drug-runner and fired the shots first, however eye witnesses and the footage showed that he was forced to hold a gun, before he was shot at the back of his head. This sparked a cry for justice from the netizens.
In an article by Rappler, Akbayan Youth representative Shamah Bungasin said yesterday that most extrajudicial killing cases were in places that have no CCTV.
“Hindi natin masasabing suwerte si Kian, pero buti na lang talaga merong CCTV na nakakuha para makita ng lahat ng tao na ang war on drugs na ito ay kurap, ang war on drugs na ‘to ay unfair, ang war on drugs na ito ay inhumane (We cannot say that Kian was lucky, but it was a good thing that there was a CCTV that recorded [what happened] for people to see that this war on drugs is corrupt, unfair, and inhumane),” Bungasin said.
Sylvia E. Claudio, a professor from the University of the Philippines (UP) announced the rally but clarified that it was a collective idea.
“Nagsimula sa chat. Mabigat sa kalooban ang nangyari. Para sa ilan sa amin, parang lahat ng sinubok upang matigilan na ang patayan ay walang saysay. Hindi kami nagkulang sa paalala tungkol sa mga nauna kay Kian. Hindi kami nagkulang sa paalala na tigilan na kasi ayaw sana naming mangyari ang nangyari nga (It started on a chat, when what happened just felt heavy. For some of us, it felt like we tried everything to stop these senseless killings. We tried everything just to raise awareness even to those before Kian. We did everything just for this not to happen again),” Claudio posted on her timeline.
The post furthered that the rally aims to be peaceful and to just let its participants’ creativity and feelings come out.