Rain fails to dampen rally for Kian
(The Philippine Star) - August 21, 2017 - 4:00pm

MANILA, Philippines - Several hundred members of various groups braved the rains yesterday to call for an end to extrajudicial killings and seek justice for the death of 17-year-old Kian Loyd delos Santos in Caloocan City last week.

At 6 p.m., Akbayan, Alliance of Progressive Labor, Alyansa Tigil Mina, Sentro and Partidong Manggagawa, Kalipunan ng Kilusang Masa, Block Marcos, Silent Minorities and Kalipun gathered at the People Power Monument in Quezon City to lambast the Duterte administration for the continued killings of drug pushers and users.

Police said the rally was peaceful and orderly as the groups occupied only the sidewalk of the monument along EDSA.

“We will allow them to stay as long as they want. They can shout their hearts out and air their grievances against the government,” said Director Oscar Albayalde, chief of the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO).

Albayalde admitted that the low turnout could be attributed to the intermittent rains in Metro Manila yesterday.

Some 120 anti-riot policemen and traffic marshals were fielded a few meters away from the monument to secure the rallyists and manage traffic along EDSA.

Protesters urged the government to investigate other killings in the drug war.  

They condemned the continuous use of violence in the administration’s centerpiece program. 

Christian Guiltia, spokesman for the rally, said there is no politics involved in the protest and they are just “calling out for humanity.”

He said the rally shows that the youth are ready to take the fight for justice to the streets, not only in social media. 

“The massive outrage from the people, online and on the streets, is a cry from Filipinos who are fed up with the killings under Duterte. We hope that this protest will start the dismantling of the corrupt practices of the drug war and (in) its place, a solution to the drug problem that is based on health and human rights,” Guiltia said.

Rallyists called for silence at 8:24 p.m., the same time that the CCTV footage allegedly showed policemen dragging Delos Santos last Wednesday.

A noise barrage was held afterwards to condemn the murder of Delos Santos and other victims of extrajudicial killings.  

Teddy Casiño, former Bayan Muna party-list representative, slammed the war on drugs as a war on the poor by the Duterte administration. 

He said Delos Santos’ death was not an isolated case and would likely awaken the Filipino spirit to fight injustice, just as Ninoy Aquino’s death sparked the same more than 30 years ago.

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