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Being able to express what we feel towards something is one of our rights. On the 64th Commemoration of the International Declaration of Human Rights, various groups gather at Rizal Park Davao yesterday to exercise the freedom of expression. The highlighted issues are the contractualization of labor in private companies that resulted in unreliable jobs, capitalization by foreign investors that’s why there’s no industrial liberty until now and false promises of job employment through job fairs at shopping malls. Moreover, the presence of Joel Verader who is a former Bayan Muna representative is felt.

Davao City | Dabawenyos Practice Freedom of Expression

Representative from Kabataan Party List heartily sends her message as a student. She tackles the issues on K-12 educational program, the budget cut and the idea of merging the universities. She also expresses their stand on some schools that are being used as encampment area for the military soldiers. Another representative talks about the latest calamity that hits Southern Mindanao. He questions why there is massive destruction of residences and in livelihood when typhoon Pablo came. You can feel the anger in his voice as he mightily reveals the mining and logging activity that happens in Compostela Valley Province. He insists that the most affected victims are the poorest among the poor who work for the owners and operators of large scale mining industry.

Davao City | Dabawenyos Practice Freedom of Expression

The unsolved issues on extra judicial killing are also brought up. A representative is assigned to remind us all about the abduction of some individuals who fight for the welfare of the majority. He questions the people who might be the ones behind political killings. They call for justice to all the victims of the crime.

Davao City | Dabawenyos Practice Freedom of Expression

Speakers and activists also do singing, dancing and drama as well as playing ethnical music to convey their message. Atty. Carlos Zarate enumerates the rights of every Filipino citizen that should be enjoyed. These are the right to organize reform unions, the right to be entitled of health benefits and the right to have access to education.

Davao City | Dabawenyos Practice Freedom of Expression

Among all those who stood up on stage, the last speaker who happens to be a lady speaks about the beautiful Christmas decorations around Davao City Hall and yet feels disappointed about the daily hard living of some Dabawenyos. She strongly expresses the idea of organizing such groups and activities to open the eyes of people and start mobilizing in advancing the fight for national democracy.

IN: Davao