Anti-martial law church group joins SONA protest, condemns “unigarchy”

Church group Promotion of Church Peoples Response (PCPR) joined thousands of protesters as President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. delivered his first State of the Nation Address (SONA) on July 25.

“(We join) the ranks of toiling workers, urban poor, rural and indigenous peoples, women, youth and other sectors in rejecting the lavish, corrupt, false and tyrannical government of President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr.,” the group said in a statement issued on the same day.

The group carried banners that read “Resist Tyranny,” “Never Again To Martial Law,” and “Fight for Genuine Democracy.”

PCPR is a progressive organization of church people established in 1982 at the height of the Marcos dictatorship.

The group strongly condemned the “coalescence of past corrupt and inept governments and their dynastic, political cooperators” under the new government headed by Marcos which it has called “unigarchy.”

“With the Arroyos, Estradas, Dutertes, and Marcoses all in cahoots, we can anticipate a hyper-majority in Congress with continuing militarism, generational impunity, and weak “checks and balances” between the branches of government,” PCPR said.

“We will unmask the evil of the unigarchy’s domination and manipulation of a corrupt, tyrannical, undemocratic, and elitist political system that does not prioritize the issues and demands of the Filipino people,” the group further said in the statement.

PCPR also stressed that Marcos, in his hour-long speech, failed to offer economic solutions that will alleviate the common people’s suffering amid the worsening crisis in the country.

“(Marcos) offered no real assurances, verve or vision for improving the lives of the Filipino people. The nation is in tatters, reeling from brazen violations of people’s rights, failed Covid-19 pandemic response, worsening poverty and joblessness, ballooning debt, unbridled corruption, militarist wars, and sell out of patrimony and sovereignty especially on the West Philippine Sea,” the group said.

PCPR also scored on what it describes as Marcos’ apathy to former President Rodrigo Duterte’s “widespread and systematic human rights violations” committed during his term.

The group says Marcos cannot be expected to act resolutely against Duterte and will instead “thwart efforts for accountability.”

Duterte’s daughter, Sarah Duterte-Carpio, is Marcos’ vice president.

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