Message of Political Prisoners for the United People’s SONA 2019

Warmest greetings to all patriotic, democratic and freedom-loving Filipinos and friends of the Filipino people!

We, the political prisoners, join you today at the United People’s SONA 2019. As in previous years, the true State of the Nation is accurately described not by the President in his address before Congress but by the people themselves in alternative SONA protest actions such as this.

While we cannot physically join you today while we remain in detention, allow us to contribute our voice, our will and continuing commitment to our people’s struggle for genuine freedom, democracy and social justice.

We join you in the call: “Fight for sovereignty, livelihood and democracy! Fight for our country!”

In his first two years in office, Duterte put up the pretense of pursuing genuine reforms such as land reform and an independent foreign policy to uphold and protect national sovereignty and patrimony. But Duterte has now shed all pretenses and shamelessly displays treason and subservience to foreign interests, to the detriment of our people’s livelihood and democratic and sovereign rights. 

To suppress dissent and maintain himself in power, Duterte has intensified repressive and fascist measures, especially attacking those he perceive to be critics and detractors. In a vain attempt to crush all opposition, he has escalated attacks against progressive, patriotic and democratic organizations, mass leaders and personalities, branding and stigmatizing them as “communists” and “terrorists” as a prelude to neutralization. He has unleashed the military and police and mobilized government civilian agencies and institutions, including the courts, to conduct illegal harassments, surveillance, arrests and detention, torture, disappearances, extrajudicial killings, and massacres ala-tokhang.

Consequently, the Duterte government has become more hated and isolated than ever before, not only here in the Philippines but internationally as well.

But enough is enough! 
Defend national sovereignty and patrimony, people’s livelihood and democratic rights! 
The Filipino people shall overcome!