Groups set rally for Int’l Human Rights Day on Monday

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Murals of President Rodrigo Duterte to be displayed at a rally in time for the celebration of the International Human Rights Day on Monday.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, December 9) — In time for the celebration of the International Human Rights Day on Monday, civil society groups led by Karapatan are gearing up for a protest at Mendiola in Manila to denounce what they call a “disastrous” state of human rights in the country.

Volunteer artists created a carousel which bears murals of various depictions of President Rodrigo Duterte’s face to be displayed during the rally.

One mural features Duterte in the likeness of the dictator, Adolf Hitler, while another shows the President with horns. There’s also a mural of Duterte looking like a dog, and another shows he’s smoking.

Visual artist and UGATLahi Artist Collective Project Coordinator Max Santiago said the murals will be displayed at the rally so the public will know who Duterte is.

The murals, Santiago added, "highlight the human rights violations and policies that define Duterte's presidency."

"Ito ang aming pagpapakita doon sa tatlong taong panunungkulan ni Digong, 'yung mga masama niyang nagawa," he said.

[Translation: This is how we’ll show Duterte’s wrongdoings during his three-year term.]

Duterte had drawn flak from different human rights groups for his crackdown on illegal drugs. But despite criticisms, the President had repeatedly vowed to continue the campaign.

Government records show more than 102,000 anti-drug operations were conducted during the first two years of the administration's fight against illegal drugs. In these operations, a total of 147,000 drug personalities were arrested, while at least P14 billion worth of illegal drugs were seized.

An international tribunal is currently looking into alleged human rights violations committed under the anti-drug campaign.

Karapatan Secretary General Cristina Palabay said on Sunday the artists felt one mural will not be enough to show the gravity of the human rights violations committed under the Duterte administration, so they came up with eight.

Aside from the four faces of Duterte, there are also murals painted in his nickname—DU30–with images showing extrajudicial killings, crackdown on activists, poverty and martial law.

"It’s an expression ng ating mga artista ng bayan ng sentimyento ng mamamayang Pilipino doon sa tumitinding attacks on civil and political rights," Palabay said.

(Translation: It’s an expression of the artists of the Filipino people’s sentiments against intensifying attacks on civil and political rights.)

She hopes the rally on Monday will draw a sizeable crowd to show the government that people value human rights.

Palabay said public opinion is important, particularly in light of Duterte’s plan to extend martial law in Mindanao for another year. The issue is expected to be tackled by Congress in a joint session this week.

"I think not all has been fooled by Duterte and, especially those that uphold the value of human rights and people’s rights, 'yun po yung mga mamamayan na magmamartsa bukas, (those are the people who will march the streets tomorrow)“ she said.

Regional chapters of Karapatan will hold similar protests in provinces across the country to mark the International Human Rights Day.