On Independence Day, Akbayan Party-list called on the Filipino people to remain steadfast in fighting for their rights, freedoms, and liberties, as a climate of fear and repression looms over the entire nation.
"Today, we remember that our national independence was brought about not by giving into fear but by holding onto the hope for a better tomorrow. That was how our heroes fought then. That is how we fight now," said Akbayan Rep. Tom Villarin.
A week earlier, Villarin, together with members of the "Magnificent 7" in the Lower House, filed a petition before the Supreme Court to order the lifting of President Duterte's declaration of martial law in the whole of Mindanao due to insufficient factual basis.
"The bold solution is not always a military-only solution. The complex and historical problem in Mindanao can be effectively solved by laying down arms and inducing real development, not just through countless raids and airstrikes" said the Mindanaoan lawmaker, who had previously worked with different organizations.
Meanwhile, Akbayan President Machris Cabreros warned against the deliberate use of fear that could possibly trigger the imposition of martial on a national scale.
"Now more than ever, we must stand guard and be vigilant against forces that are willing to do everything sow doubt and fear, even if it means manufacturing stories and fabricating lies to further their interests," Cabreros said.
This is in light of recent attempts of critics in social media, who purportedly support President Duterte, to put Akbayan Senator Risa Hontiveros in an inaccurately malicious position regarding the Maute group's attack on Marawi City.
"We maintain that our troops are more than capable to contain any situation in Mindanao or in the entire country, for that matter. Anything that transgresses their normal operations is simply out of the question," Cabreros said.
"We owe it to our country to resist any and all forms of lies that only seek to divide an already divided nation. Truth has always been and will always be our weapon," she added. ##