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Three anti-Marcos protests held in HK

02 December 2016

The rally at Edinburgh Place staged by The Yellow Warriors on Nov. 20.

By Daisy CL Mandap and Gina N. Ordona 

Three different groups held separate protests in Hong Kong to denounce the recent burial of former Philippine president Ferdinand Marcos in Libingan Ng Mga Bayani, in solidarity with similar indignation rallies held across the Philippines.

The first one was held on Sunday, Nov. 20, at Edinburgh Place in Central, where about 80 people attended, despite the last-minute notice. A second one was held outside the Philippine Consulate offices, simultaneously with the Black Friday rally on Nov. 25 at the People Power Monument in Quezon City. A third one was again held at Edinburgh Place on Sunday, Nov 27, three days ahead of another big rally scheduled at PPM, also known as the Edsa shrine.

Marcos’ remains were airlifted furtively from his home province of Ilocos Norte, and flown directly to LNMB for the burial on Nov. 18 amid tight security, and with only his family and a few friends in attendance.

The burial sparked an immediate outcry as it was carried out before the lapse of the mandatory 15-day waiting period before the Nov. 8 Supreme Court decision that allowed it, became final and executory.

At the first Hong Kong indignation rally organized by The Yellow Warriors group, OFWs and residents took turns sharing their anger over Marcos’ clandestine burial. Several of those who came shared their experiences living through the horrors of martial law, including The SUN publisher Leo A. Deocadiz who recalled being at the forefront of the “barikada days” at U.P. Diliman, which sparked the brutal crackdown on the anti-Marcos student movement in the Philippines. Deocadiz said his two male cousins are among the so-called “desaparecidos” or “the disappeared” during the dark days of martial law.

One millennial participant, William Elvin, was emotional as he shared his grief over how the Philippines’ present leader and top court officials allowed Marcos’ burial to go ahead, despite widespread opposition from the people. He said there is enough information available online for those who want to know why Marcos continues to be reviled, more than 30 years since he died in exile in Hawaii.

The speeches were punctuated by shouts of “Hukayin,” in reference to what needs to be done to address the injustice wrought by the symbolic burial of Marcos in hallowed ground.

Militants at the Consulate’s building in
their Nov. 25 anti-Marcos rally. 
William Elvin sang an original composition he had written in anger over the burial, and led the group in singing “Bayan Ko” to close the rally.

The second protest staged outside the Consulate was held by the left-leaning group, Bayan Hong Kong and Macau. Speakers led by Bayan chair Eman Villanueva reminded the crowd about the thousands of people killed, tortured or were made to disappear during Marcos’ iron-fist rule. Another speaker, Indonesian migrants leader Eni Lestari, likened Marcos’ so-called kleptocracy to that of President Suharto, who has earned the notoriety of being called “the most corrupt” leader in world history.
Sister Joseph Lourdes of the
Maryknoll Sisters (above)
joined the rally.

In a statement, the protesters led the blame squarely on President Rodrigo Duterte, who ordered Marcos’ burial to go ahead. “President Duterte promised to do good for the country. Restoring the Marcoses definitely runs contrary to such aim and the change he pledged for the people,” said Bayan.

The third rally held on Nov. 27 again assembled a motley crowd of protesters. Several individuals, including Edwin Bustillos of Sentro Manila in Hong Kong, shared their experiences during martial law. Bustillos said that while studying at Adamson University, he was accused of being an activist and ruthlessly beaten by a group of military officers.

The Silent Majority has its own rally on Nov. 27.

Another speaker was Austin Jimeno, who was born and raised in Hong Kong and studied at Ateneo de Manila University. Jimeno, who described himself as “a temperamental brat”, said that he gained most of his knowledge about the brutality of the Marcos regime through extensive reading.

The gathering was largely peaceful, except when a nearby group started playing their “gangsa” musical instrument while the protesters were solemnly singing “Bayan Ko”. A confrontation between the two groups ensued, but did not lead to anything more serious than a heated exchange of words.

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