Thousands affirm support for Duterte in Bacolod amid EDSA rally
MANILA, Philippines – Thousands gathered in Bacolod City on Wednesday, November 30, to reaffirm their support for President Rodrigo Duterte as protesters gathered in Manila to denounce his decision to allow a hero's burial for former president Ferdinand Marcos.
Clad in red, members of the Kilusang Pagbabago in Negros Island Region trooped to the public plaza to rally support for the Duterte administration's bid for "real change" and its war against drugs, criminality, and corruption.
At the same time, about 50 militants staged a protest against the state interment of Marcos at the Fountain of Justice, an iconic landmark in the Visayan city.
These demonstrations coincided with the grand protest at the People Power monument along EDSA where some 15,000 professionals, students, church leaders, educators, and artists convened to call on Duterte to order the removal of Marcos' remains from the Heroes' Cemetery. (READ: Protesters to Duterte, Marcoses: ‘This is what democracy looks like’)
Before the EDSA rally started at 4 pm, 9 members of the Duterte Youth group assembled themselves – under the scorching heat – in front of Camp Aguinaldo to express support for the President's decision on the Marcos burial. They remained until 9 pm.
Duterte Youth staging a rally before Camp Aguinaldo a few steps away from #AntiMarcosRally @rapplerdotcom pic.twitter.com/IjCRQmDnZA— Patty Pasion (@pattypasion) November 30, 2016
This was the same group that staged a protes near the Rizal monument in Luneta to counter the mass demonstration against the marcos burial at the Quirino Grandstand on November 25. (READ: Sideshow: Group goes to Luneta to defend Duterte)
A member of Friends of Imelda Marcos (FIRM) who joined the pro-Duterte group said there were around 30 members of their group who went to the Libingan ng mga Bayani earlier that day.
The group Block Marcos staged a vigil in front of the Heroes' Cemetery on the eve of the rally until 6 am on Thursday, then headed to Mendiola to continue their protests leading to the day's main event. – with reports from Patty Pasion and Marchel Espina in Bacolod/Rappler.com