Yolanda survivors stage mass protest at MPD

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That’s what transpired Friday (08 November 2019) in front of the Manila Police District headquarters corner UN Avenue, Ermita, Manila where Stand With Samar-Leyte Network (SWSLN) staged a lighting rally alongside militant groups denouncing what they call as an unjust police crackdown against activism and raids on their offices. SWSLN, meantime, presses their apprehension on the next PNP chief saying he could be another “bloodthirsty” official similar to others before him. (BENJIE CUARESMA/IAMIGO/CNS)

MANILA, Philipines — Yolanda survivors disguised as bloody “taong putik” (mud people) have on Thursday, 08 November 2019, staged a lighting mass protest action in front of the Manila Police District where they expressed fear and apprehension that the next Philippine National Police (PNP) chief would be the same PNP chief that is “thirsty for blood.”

“The PNP is not just an enabler of the Duterte’s all-out-war but it is an active connivance with the Armed Forces of the Philippines in violating our democratic rights, leaving us starving and bleeding in our own fields,“ Stand with Samar-Leyte Network spokesperson Baby Senobio said in a prepared statement.

November 8, 2019 marks the sixth anniversary of super typhoon Yolanda (International Name: Haiyan) which brought great damages to the Eastern Visayas region hitting the agriculture sector the most.

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For six years now, disaster survivors have been crying for pro-people rehabilitation but received guns and bullets instead through the declaration of “state of lawless violence” which mandated the addition of four more military battalion units and a company-size Special Action Force Senobio said.

The said network pressed that local PNP officials in Samar and Leyte have been conducting joint combat operations with the AFP among peasant communities, thus bringing great fear to the farmers who still haven’t recovered from the great agriculture loss since the onslaught of super typhoon Yolanda.

The Network also claimed the Eastern Visayas region is under heightened fascist attacks with 33 civilians killed by state forces since the declaration of Memorandum Order No. 32 including barrio captains Wilmar Calutan of Biri, Calbiga and Apolinario Lebico of San Miguel, Las Navas — two of the four captains who were shot dead – while many others were illegally arrested, harassed, tortured and threatened.

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Senobio added that to date, human rights group Katungod Sinirangan Bisayas has reported about 167 communities with “Peace and Development” have teams of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) which serve as the primary muscle of the state in spreading terror among communities.

“How can we trust an institution that will be run by yet another Duterte appointee? How can we trust a blood-thirsty chief especially if a favorable condition is being provided to them? Senobio concluded.

Stand with Samar-Leyte Network challenged the Philippine National Police to stay true to its mandate to serve and protect the people.

Meanwhile, the Network is set to launch protests, forum, lobbying among several government agencies to elevate their call to repeal the baseless Memorandum Order No. 32. (Gelica Paulo/IAMIGO/CNS)

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