By Samahan ng Progresibong Kabataan
September 18, 2016
QUEZON CITY – Donning half masks of the faces of the leaders of the student protest movement in the early seventies known as the of First Quarter Storm who are now recognized as national heroes and martyrs, members of the Samahan ng Progresibong Kabataan (SPARK) gathered three days before the forty-fourth anniversary of the declaration of Martial Law by former president Ferdinand Marcos to honor and express gratitude to the heroes and martyrs who paid the ultimate sacrifice in the struggle for democracy and civil liberties at the Batayog ng mga Bayani Memorial in Quezon City.
“By drawing inspiration from the generation of martyrs that led the toppling of the dictatorship, we are humbled by the stories of their lives, of their individual and collective sacrifices to which we owe them our present freedoms, said Joanne Lim spokesperson of the group.
She added that, “Incidentally, after more than four decades since Marcos assumed absolute power and discarded all civil liberties, we are once again faced with a regime that is strikingly similar. Human rights violations are on the rise but more worrisome is that people seem to mistake it for progress”.
They also called on the youth to take up the challenge of continuing where the heroes and martyrs of the FQS generation left off.
“The challenge does not call for us to simply defend whatever rights and freedoms we currently enjoy but to broaden and take it further. We need more extensive political rights and civil participation in order to struggle against modern-day social conflicts such as state-sponsored violence, contractualization, and the ever-increasing disparity between the haves and have nots graft and corruption, and ecological justice,” Lim explained.
SPARK likewise announced that they will add their voices to the clamor to stamp out all forms of contractualization as well as the abusive practices of on-the-job trainings of college students.
“The youth must take a deeper look at the situation of the labor sector in the country because will all end up as employees and blue-collared workers once we graduate”.