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Youth groups to Duterte: Don’t use Sept. 21 protests as excuse to impose martial law

A formation of youth groups on Wednesday warned President Rodrigo Duterte not to sabotage the anti-martial law protests or use them as a "pretext" to declare nationwide martial law.

In a statement, the groups led by Anakbayan said that doing so would hasten his "fascist" regime's downfall.

"By churning out ridiculous gags – from declaring September 21 a ‘national day of protest’ to challenging protesters to ‘occupy EDSA’, Duterte hopes to sabotage protests and discourage people from joining. The Filipino youth and people will prove him wrong,” said Anakbayan national chairperson Vencer Crisostomo.

"Mr. Duterte, if you think declaring nationwide martial law will make you escape accountability for all your accumulated crimes against the Filipino people and continue your tyranny, then you are dead wrong. It is better if you just step down,” he added.

"Mr. Duterte, we are warning you. Your current rush towards outright fascist rule and threats of using the full force of the police and military apparatus to quell dissent is only bound to fuel more resistance and hasten your downfall."

Students and youth groups from the country's biggest universities will participate in the massive collective action set on September 21, the 45th anniversary of Ferdinand Marcos' declaration of martial law in 1972.

Anakbayan said protesters in Metro Manila on Wednesday will march towards the gates of Malacañang Palace and stage a program at 1:00 p.m.

The youth groups will then walk towards Luneta Park by 4 p.m. to join the Movement Against Tyranny-led rally.

A separate statement from Youth Act Now Against Tyranny listed the schools it says have vowed to join the movement:

  • University of the Philippines - Diliman
  • University of the Philippines - Manila
  • University of Santo Tomas
  • Far Eastern University
  • Ateneo De Manila
  • De La Salle University
  • De La Salle Araneta University
  • St. Scholastica University
  • College of Saint Benilde
  • Philippine Normal University
  • Technological University of the Philippines
  • Polytechnic University of the Philippines
  • Eulogio Amang Rodriguez Institute of Science and Technology
  • Rizal Technological University
  • University of the Philippines - Baguio
  • University of the Cordilleras
  • Saint Louis University
  • Cagayan State University
  • Isabela State University
  • Nueva Vizcaya State University
  • Pangasinan State University
  • University of the Philippines - Pampanga
  • Bulacan State University
  • University of the Philippines - Los Banos
  • Palawan State University
  • Ateneo de Naga
  • University of the Philippines - Cebu
  • University of San Carlos
  • Cebu Normal University
  • University of the Philippines Visayas Miag-ao
  • University of the Philippines Visayas CM
  • WVSU
  • ISAT-U
  • CPU
  • MSU Iligan
  • University of the Philippines - Mindanao
  • Assumption College
  • University of South Eastern Philippines
  • University of the Philippines - Tacloban
  • University of the Philippines - Palo
  • University of the Philippines - Koronadal
  • Holy Trinity
  • Mindanao Polytechnic University
  • MSU General Santos
  • Notre Dame of Marbel

The following individuals and youth groups are set to lead protest actions in their respective schools and communities:

  • Raoul Manuel, National Union of Students of the Phils.
  • Jon Callueng, College Editors Guild of the Phils.
  • Shari Oliquino, Student Regent UP System
  • Hon. Sarah Jane Elago, Kabataan Partylist
  • Miguel Aljibe, UP Manila University Student Council
  • Francis Mabutin, UP Law Student Government Batch Rep
  • Neefa Macapado, Association of Muslim Students
  • BLKD, Rapper / performer
  • Van Sulitas, Filmmaker / comedian / performer
  • Errol Alonzo, Young Christian Workers
  • Nico Guevarra, son of EJK victim
  • De La Salle Araneta University (DLSAU) Student Council
  • Ateneo School of Medicine and Public Health Student Council
  • Rizal Technological University (RTU) Office of the Student Regent
  • Technological University of the Philippines (TUP) Office of the Student Regent
  • Eulogio Amang Rodriguez Institute of Science and Technology: Technozette
  • Philippine Normal University - Manila: The Torch
  • Philippine State College of Aeronautics: Aeronautica
  • University of the Philippines (UP) Office of the Student Regent
  • Katipunan ng mga Sangguniang Mag-aaral sa UP
  • Philippine Collegian, UP Diliman
  • Tinig ng Plaridel, UP Diliman CMC
  • Manila Collegian, UP Manila
  • Tanggulan Youth Network - UP Diliman
  • College of Arts and Letters Student Council
  • College of Education Student Council
  • College of Mass Communication Student Council
  • College of Social Work and Community Development Student Council
  • School of Statistics Student Council
  • Broadcasters Guild
  • Cineastes
  • Gamma Sigma Pi
  • UP Children's Rights Advocates League
  • UP Praxis
  • Union of Journalists of the Phils
  • Anakbayan UP Diliman
  • League of Filipino Students UP Diliman
  • University of Santo Tomas (UST) Arts and Letters Student Council
  • Tanggulan Youth Network UST
  • Central Student Council
  • Student Organizations Coordinating Council
  • TomasinoWeb
  • Purple Gazette
  • Community Achievers' Association - Central Unit
  • Fotomasino - The Thomasians Photographers Guild
  • Kabayanihan Youth - UST
  • The Political Science Forum
  • UNESCO Club - UST
  • UST Sociological Society
  • UST Volunteers for UNICEF
  • Anakbayan UST
  • League of Filipino Students UST
  • De La Salle University: Tanggulan Vito Cruz
  • Ang Pahayagang Plaridel
  • Student Catholic Action
  • Anakbayan De La Salle
  • Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP) Office of the Student Regent
  • PUP Manila: The Catalyst
  • St. Scholastica's College: The Scholastican
  • Sining Tanghalan
  • TUP – Manila University Student Government
  • TUP Manila: The Philippine Artisan
  • Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Muntinlupa (PLMun) The Warden
  • PLMun College of Education: The Outlook
  • University of Caloocan City (UCC) Bachelor of Public Administration Society
  • UCC: The New Crossroads

“The Filipino youth will not stand idly by as the people’s rights and civil liberties are trampled upon. The need for the youth and the people to join together becomes ever more urgent," Youth Act Now Against Tyranny convener Raoul Manuel said in the statement.

"Together, we are ready to stand up against tyranny and dictatorship," he added.

Duterte declared September 21, 2017 as a National Day of Protest on Tuesday.

The President forewarned the rallyists to be mindful of "possible infiltrators" meant to provoke law enforcers, saying he would have to use the military to regain control of the situation should it get out of control any time. — Margaret Claire Layug/BM, GMA News