Grand Mañanita

  • Prize
    Gold in News
  • Photographer name
    Joaquin Lorenzo M. Arriola
  • Product Code
    Canon EOS 700D

Enraged, varying sectors raise their fists to condemn the government’s blatant show of impunity and gross negligence of duty which have earned the Philippines the record of the longest COVID-19 pandemic lockdown in the world. With the military barred from entering UP Diliman, the campus grounds have once again stood as a safe haven and bastion of freedom and nationalism.

Students and faculty, lawyers and politicians, worker unions, healthcare professionals, commuters, journalists, and even dinosaurs roared through University Avenue, unafraid to remind that the government’s power echoes from the voices of its people. Demonstrators chanted "Junk Terror Bill" in full opposition of the legislation (now known as Republic Act 11479 or the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020) passed in the guise of upholding national security. However, under the hands of an iron fist, it can be used to silence dissent and stifle free speech. Fully masked and socially distanced, a united Filipino front proved it could not be shackled by the chains of an oppressive administration.

These scenes were captured during the heat of a police chief caught in blazing offense of holding a mañanita birthday celebration, only to be pardoned by our suddenly soft-hearted President Duterte. Meanwhile, the poorest of the poor are witch-hunted and crucified for their inability to maintain quarantine protocols inherently anti-poor.

With this rally coinciding with the Philippines' 122nd Independence Day celebration, we asked then, and we ask until now, “Are we truly free?”