U.S. protests echo opposition to Duterte in PH

From Inquirer.net
Original Article: https://usa.inquirer.net/57313/u-s-protests-echo-opposition-to-duterte-in-ph
Article written by

SAN FRANCISCO — Passage of the Anti-Terror Law, rising COVID cases, and the harassment of activists and government critics have drawn a strong response from Filipinos at home and abroad, many of whom have taken to take to the streets to denounce what they see as continuous attacks on democracy.

Members and allies of the Filipino community gathered in front of the San Francisco Philippine Consulate on Monday to counter President Rodrigo Duterte’s State of the Nation Address (SONA). Similar protests were held in Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Washington, DC and some cities in Canada.

The United People’s SONA was organized by Bayan USA and Malaya Movement along with other Bay Area based groups and featured a special performance by rapper Ruby Ibarra.

The rally came a day after President Duterte delivered his SONA, which was preceded by a ban on protests during his speech in certain areas around Metro Manila, multiple arrests of protesters, activists, and the confiscation of protest materials.

“He [Duterte] fills it with lies, about how he’s solving poverty, how he’s really taking care of migrant workers, addressing COVID. And this People’s State of the Nation Address is to show that, that’s not true,” said Adrian Bonifacio of Anakbayan USA and Bayan USA of President Duterte’s State of the Nation Address.

Anti Terror Law

A key target of the protests was the newly enacted Anti-Terror Law, with signs, banners and chants declaring “activism is not terrorism.”

“I know that if I don’t say anything it’s not using my platform. Because I have the privilege as a Filipino American to actually speak out, whereas our kababayans back home don’t have that liberty and freedom anymore,” declared by rapper and activist Ruby Ibarra.

Mindanao Martial Law

While Duterte claimed that there were no reports of abuse throughout the duration of martial law in Mindanao. The human rights group Karapatan Alliance thousands of instances of civil rights violations within the two-year military rule in the region.

In a 2017 press conference, President Duterte threatened to destroy Lumad schools in Mindanao stating, “I will use the armed forces, the Philippine Air Force. I’ll really have those bombed because you are operating illegally, and you are teaching the children to rebel against government.”

Frankie Ortanez from Liyang Network, an organization that advocates for Lumad communities, said that Lumad schools have been tagged as breeding grounds for the New People’s Army, which they emphasize is false.

“It’s about autonomy, it’s about sovereignty, it’s about them deciding what their future is going to look like and getting to be the caretakers of their land and live how they want,” stated Ortanez. Ortanez described the closure of Lumad schools as “a violent way to attack multiple generations at once.”


Protesters also slammed the Duterte administration’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic. One sign read, “Solusyong medikal, hindi militar,” (Medical solutions, not military) a protest against Duterte’s orders for law enforcement to shoot quarantine violators.

“From what I’ve heard from relatives and friends in the Philippines, continuously across the board, is that there is no concrete plan in terms of figuring out how to address the pandemic” said rapper Ibarra, who is also a working scientist. “The administration in the Philippines, (must) put a plan in place to make sure that people are taken care of during this pandemic.”

The Philippines currently has the second highest rate of COVID-19 infections in Southeast Asia, with 85,486 total cases according to the Department of Health website at the time of writing.

Dissent nears boiling point in Duterte’s SONA 2020

From Rappler.com
Original Article: https://rappler.com/newsbreak/in-depth/dissent-nears-boiling-point-duterte-sona-2020
Article written by Lian Buan and Rambo Talabong

UP Diliman swelled with people even before the scheduled 10 am start of the unified State of the Nation Address (SONA) rally on Monday, July 27.

Tama na, sobra na! (Enough is enough),” printed in huge red letters on a massive white tarpaulin, greeted everyone entering University Avenue just before the program started.

It read like the everyday rally sign of the Left, except that it belonged to the Kilusang Bente Dos, which claimed to be centrist.

“We are neither Left nor Yellow, yun na nga ang gusto naming sabihin eh. Ito ‘yung sentimyento ng mas nakararaming mamamayan ng ating lipunan, ang pagpapaalis kay Duterte hindi kailangang meron kang kulay,” said Rizalito David, infamous for his failed candidacies in 2013 and 2016, now a convenor of a group named after the February 22, 1986 People Power Revolution that toppled the Marcos dictatorship.

(We are neither Left nor Yellow, that’s what we want to say, that this is the sentiment of the majority, the call for Duterte to resign does not need a political color.)


The group, formed just months earlier, held up mini posters of what for them were boiling point incidents in the presidency – the Good Conduct Time Allowance (GCTA) scandal that jailed already-freed inmates, and the P1.4-trillion infrastructure spending bill that the group thinks stinks of corruption.


“Siya ‘yung puno’t dulo ng kahirapan na nadarama natin ngayon (Duterte is the source of all our hardships),” David said.

At the opposite end, in front of the Oblation, young people from the progressive group Anakbayan held up a poster of Duterte and stamped him a terrorist. It was an odd sight because beside them were Churchmen in cassocks led by La Sallian Brother Armin Luistro, who was allied with the other faction – the liberals.

Luistro stood there unassumingly, as if he did not take on a leadership role in bringing together a frustratingly elusive united opposition that gathered around 1,800 people, according to police estimates. Protesters, however, estimated they numbered at least 8,000.

The unified resistance

The coronavirus pandemic may have limited rally logistics – it’s the first grand protest ever to be held ahead of the President’s speech – but it’s also what turned on the heat on already simmering discontent.

“Sa tindi ng problemang hinaharap ng ating bansa, mahalaga ang pagkakaisa, mahalagang isantabi natin ang ating kanya-kanyang pagkakaiba,” said Liberal Party Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan  in his taped video message to the protest on Monday. (The problems the country is facing today are so bad that it’s important to unite and set aside our differences.)


For Pangilinan, the last time this happened was 20 years ago during the EDSA Dos Revolution in 2000 that overthrew the presidency of Joseph Estrada.

Pangilinan’s view of unity is reminiscent of his impassioned appeal during the 2019 midterm elections, when tensions rose between the liberals and Left, and bickering punctuated a landslide loss for all of them.

But it appears, at least for now, that this is behind them.

Prominent Left figure, Renato Reyes of Bayan, even credited Pangilinan for planning the unified protest called the #SONAgkaisa.

“It was initiated by, the inviting personalities were Senator Kiko Pangilinan, Sister Mary John Mananzan, and Brother Armin Luistro was the one who facilitated, Bishop (Broderick) Pabillo was also there, that was before he got sick, and we decided to hold a common activity for SONA,” Reyes told Rappler on the sidelines of the rally Monday morning.

That they are showing a united front is historic achievement in itself, and signals what appears to be a less fractured opposition to lead the growing resistance movement. 

Resign or oust?

In the famed Hong Kong democracy protests, a focal point of the resistance is a categorical call for leader Carrie Lam to resign. 

The Left turned that up a notch higher: a call to oust Duterte.


The last speaker of the program was Bahaghari’s Rey Salinas, among the arrested Pride 20, who unfurled a rainbow-colored “Oust Duterte” sign on stage, left fist in the air, shouting: “Duterte, patalsikin!” (Oust Duterte)

An ouster call, however, is a very touchy point in this fragile alliance.

Former Bayan Muna representative and longtime activist Teddy Casiño said that the Left and the liberals almost had a lasting coalition in July 2018 during Duterte’s 4th SONA – until a few months later that year when the supposed Red October plot to oust Duterte reopened the crevices. 

Vice President Leni Robredo, the LP, and its allied groups, had to go on record to say they do not want to oust Duterte.

Chel Diokno, who ran as senator in 2019 under LP, and among the lead organizers, said he “understands why people are making that call.”

“Every person has the right to express themselves, sa tingin ko lang marami nang hindi satisfied sa mga nangyayari, at hindi na rin satisfied sa pag-manage ng COVID, so I really understand why people are making that call,” he told Rappler.

(Every person has the right to express themselves, and for me there are many people not satisfied with what’s happening, and not satisfied with how COVID is being managed, so I really understand why people are making that call.)


For, Neri Colmenares, the Left’s candidate in the 2019 senatorial elections, whether the call is to resign, to oust, or otherwise, a common message clearly emerged.

“The consensus here is President Duterte is the worst leader we could ever have in times of crisis. He has no competence to lead a nation in times of crisis, especially in a pandemic like COVID,” said Colmenares.

'They agitated, outraged the people'

Political analyst Ela Atienza, chair of the UP Department of Political Science, said that foremost, the expansion of the opposition coalition was born out of the frustration of people over the government’s coronavirus response. 

It tapped a critical strand of the population: the middle class.

“Because of the pandemic, a lot of middle class was affected by the pandemic and the government’s response. Some of them had difficulty with their businesses and jobs, and many are turning to social media for their frustrations,” Atienza said.

For Colmenares, the passage of the feared anti-terror law paved the political crossroad for Duterte. The pull to unite the broad-based coalition strengthened, Casiño added, during deliberations for the passage of the controversial legislation.

“They realized that it will hit ordinary people. They realized that even though the law was meant to target Leftists, it still needed to be opposed. Because if the law can hit the Left, it can hit everyone,” Casiño said.


In the Supreme Court, the unified voice is further amplified by the 19 petitions so far coming from all sides, including a former soldier, Magdalo’s Ashley Acedillo, who joined the Antonio Carpio-UP Law case.

Then the ABS-CBN shutdown happened.

Government pulled the plug on the biggest television network, and with it, the regular entertainment and news source for millions of Filipinos.

Journalists and media workers, raised in a culture that upholds neutrality to a fault, were suddenly thrust to the frontline of resistance.

Veteran journalist Ces Drilon took to the stage Monday, and spoke at a rally for the first time ever in her more than 3-decade decorated career.

“Narito po ako ngayon dahil lubha na pong nakababahala ang kalagayan ng ating lipunan (I am here because the state of our society is already very disturbing),” Drilon began her speech, before pausing to say how much it makes her nervous.

Drilon, among the first to be let go by ABS-CBN in its mass retrenchment, said it was crucial that she spoke.

“What really compelled me was – all these arguments I see on social media from trolls, and maybe legitimate followers, that ABS-CBN closure is not equal to press freedom, and I really want to say my piece why it’s connected,” Drilon told Rappler after.

Malacañang: Duterte’s feelings hurt by frontliners’ plea to media

From Rappler.com
Original Article: https://rappler.com/nation/malacanang-duterte-feelings-hurt-frontliners-plea-media
Article written by Sofia Tomacruz

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said on Monday, August 3, that President Rodrigo Duterte’s outrage against medical frontliners stemmed from their public call through media to review the government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a press briefing held a day after Duterte taunted health workers to stage a revolution, Roque said the President would have preferred if they sent a letter to him first. 

According to Roque, “Ang hindi lang po nakakaalam ng liham ay si Presidente mismo.” (The President was the last to know about the medical community’s letter.)

’Linaw naman ang sabi ng Presidente, hindi naman kinakailangan na makaron ng splash, kumbaga. Sana binigyan siya ng pagkataon na sagutin ’yung liham bago sila nagkaroon ng publicity dahil ang naoobserbahan natin, talagang nauna pa ang webinar bago pa do’n sa pagtanggap ng liham ng Presidente,” Roque told reporters. 

(What the President said was clear, they didn’t need to create a splash. They should have given him a chance to address their concerns before they created publicity, because from what we’ve observed, their webinar was called before the President received their letter.) 

On Saturday, August 1, some 80 medical societies called on the government for a two-week timeout as they warned that the country’s health system was overwhelmed by a recent surge in cases, and that the country was losing its battle against the pandemic.


In sounding a distress signal, the medical community urged the government to collaborate with experts among them to refine current pandemic strategies. 

But Duterte took it the wrong way and claimed that “rampaging” doctors were crying out for a “revolution.” 

““Huwag kayo magsigaw-sigaw, ‘revolution.’ Magsabi kayo revolution, then ngayon na. Try it. Patayin natin lahat ng may COVID-19. Is that what you want? We can always end our existence in this manner,” ranted Duterte. 

“We are not incompetent because we are not doctors. You should do the soul-searching, not us. Kayo, makatulong sana. Wala kayong ginagawa kung ’di magreklamo (You could be helping but all you do is complain),” he added. 

Medical societies pointed out how the President misunderstood their call, saying they only urged the government to review its response and to collaborate with experts among them to improve the country’s pandemic response.

“The call was for the DOH (Department of Health) and IATF (Inter-Agency Task Force) to provide HCWs (healthcare workers) a fighting chance in the war against COVID and prevent unnecessary fatalities – NOTHING more,” said Dr Mario Panaligan, president of the Philippine College of Physicians (PCP) earlier on Monday.

In a “letter of clarification” to Duterte, Panaligan also pointed out that the PCP wrote the DOH regarding health workers’ concerns in April, but that neither the DOH nor the IATF replied to their requests.


“We bear no ill will and have acted without malice towards the implementers of the law and the bayanihan as one goal, but our empty cries had to be made known somehow,” Panaligan added. (READ: Staging revolt? Medical workers tell Duterte: Our enemy is COVID-19)

Last straw?

Asked where Duterte got the idea of “revolution,” seeing that medical workers never mentioned this in their appeal, Roque said it may have been a product of ill timing since it came at the end of a series of criticisms raised against Duterte’s handing of the pandemic. 

Lumabas ito ay sunod-sunod kasi na pagtawag ni Senator [Franklin] Drilon na failure ang IATF, sinusugan po yan ni VP Leni Robredo, kasabay po ’yan kumakalat na revolution song,” Roque said, referring to a viral music video of artists singing a Les Miserable song in Filipino. (READ: Duterte puts spotlight on Drilon in SONA 2020)

So ang Presidente po, sabi niya, kung talagang mga nanggugulo ’yung mga nais magsamantala sa pandemic na gusto siyang palitan through a revolution, sige na po, gawin na natin ngayon. Inuulit ko lang naman po ang salita ni Presidente,” he added. 

(This came after Senator Franklin Drilon repeatedly called the IATF a failure, which Vice President Leni Robredo echoed, and that revolution song was spreading. So the President said if people who want to exploit the pandemic are making a fuss and want to change him through a revolution, go ahead and do it. I’m just repeating the President’s words.) 

Despite this, Roque sought to deflect public attention from Duterte’s reaction, claiming that while the President made such comments, he still approved some of the recommendations made by medical workers. 

Roque urged the public to set aside the “issue” as the President was only expressing his feelings. 

Walang isyu naman po ’yun. ’Nilabas lang ng Presidente ang saloobin niya. ’Binigay rin po niya ang hinihingi ng frontliners,” he said. (It’s no longer an issue. The President just expressed what he was feeling. He gave the frontliners what they asked for.) – Rappler.com 

PH health workers infected with coronavirus reach 5,008

From Rappler.com
Original Article: https://rappler.com/nation/coronavirus-cases-philippines-august-3-2020
Article written by Sofia Tomacruz

The number of health workers who tested positive for the coronavirus rose to 5,008, with majority of infections seen among nurses and physicians.

The Philippines’ Department of Health (DOH) said on Monday, August 3, that 4,576 of the 5,008 cases, as of August 1, had recovered, while 38 died due to the disease.

Among the 394 active cases, 258 or 65.7% were considered mild, 133 or 33.7% were asymptomatic. There were also two health workers in severe condition and one in critical condition.

The DOH said the 5,008 medical frontliners infected included the following:

  • Nurse – 1,734
  • Physician – 1,100
  • Nursing Assistant – 338
  • Medical Technologist – 210
  • Radiologic Technologist – 119
  • Radiologic Technologist – 119
  • Midwife – 92
  • Respiratory Therapist – 43
  • Pharmacist – 41
  • Non-medical Admin Staff – 407
  • Utility – 161
  • Dietary Staff – 73
  • Driver – 64
  • Barangay Health Worker – 50
  • Security Guard – 37
  • Caregiver – 15

During the pandemic, health workers who are severely infected with COVID-19 are supposed to receive P100,000 each, while the families of those who died from the coronavirus should get P1 million each. This was included in the Bayanihan law that expired last June 25.

Despite this, the DOH said it would not need to wait for the Bayanihan 2 measure to be passed into law as the Department of Budget and Management’s Special Allotment Release Order that covers the funding requirements for the implementation of the law is valid until December 31, 2020.

The DOH gave assurances compensation for healthcare workers infected with COVID-19 was still ongoing and that claims will be continually processed until the SARO is valid.

The latest toll of health workers infected by the virus comes as the medical sector pleaded with the government to implement a two-week “timeout” to revisit and refine the country’s strategies to curb the pandemic.

Aside from compensation under the Bayanihan law, the DOH said all health workers will also receive benefits including free life insurance, P10,000 in hazard pay, routine testing, as well as free transport and accommodations to and from their workplaces.

As of Monday, the Philippines reported a total of 106,330 coronavirus cases, including 2,104 deaths and 65,821 recoveries. – Rappler.com

GUIDELINES: What you need to know about MECQ from August 4 to 18

From Rappler.com
Original Article: https://rappler.com/nation/coronavirus-cases-philippines-august-3-2020

Giving in to a plea from healthcare workers over the weekend, President Rodrigo Duterte placed Metro Manila, Laguna, Cavite, Rizal, and Bulacan under modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) starting August 4. (READ: Piqued Duterte taunts doctors to mount ‘revolution’ against him)

Earlier, Duterte extended general community quarantine for Metro Manila until August 15, but revised this after coronavirus cases climbed over 100,000 on August 2.

The guidelines are largely the same as when MECQ was enforced the first time on May 16.

Here’s what you need to know, based on the community quarantine omnibus guidelines as of July 16:

Going Out



Prohibited industries

PH coronavirus cases surge past 106,000, as DOH monitors 887 clusters

From Rappler.com
Original Article: https://rappler.com/nation/coronavirus-cases-philippines-august-3-2020
Article written by Sofia Tomacruz

The number of coronavirus cases in the Philippines continued to increase on Monday, August 3, as over 3,000 newly-reported cases pushed the total confirmed cases further past 106,000. 

The Department of Health (DOH) said 3,226 new cases were reported by 66 out of 94 labs, bringing the total number of nationwide infections to 106,330. 

Among the top provinces where new cases were found were Metro Manila (1,541 cases), followed by Cebu (503 cases), Laguna (181), Rizal (158), and Cavite (129). 

The number of new cases reported on Monday was lower than previous days’ streak of record-breaking numbers, but showed the further spread of the virus as new infections were still among the highest recorded since the the start of the pandemic.  

The death toll due to the disease is now at 2,104, following 46 more deaths. Meanwhile, recoveries totaled 65,821, after 275 more patients were reported to no longer have the disease. 


Meanwhile, the DOH said it was monitoring 887 clusters nationwide, 741 of which were found in communities.

Other clusters were found in the following areas: 

  • Hospital/Health Facility: 57
  • Jail/Prison: 26
  • Others (workplaces, accommodations, transportation): 63

Of the 887 clusters, 315 were in Metro Manila, the epicenter of the outbreak. 

Call for timeout

The continued increase in cases comes as President Rodrigo Duterte reverted Metro Manila and nearby province to an enhanced community quarantine from August 4 to August 18. The National Capital Region had earlier been placed under a general community quarantine that was supposed to last from August 1 to 15.


Duterte’s decision to tighten restrictions had been prompted by the medical community’s call for a two-week timeout, which medical experts and government officials could use to refine pandemic strategies. 

The medical sector earlier made the plea after it warned the country’s health system was overwhelmed by the surge in cases and that the Philippines was losing its battle against the coronavirus. 

The increasing number of cases in recent weeks has flooded hospitals in the capital region, putting a strain on limited critical care resources and further exhausting health workers who have been at the front lines of hospitals for months. 

While Duterte accepted their plea for a tighter quarantine, he expressed outrage at medical workers making their plea public and dared them to stage a revolution. Medical workers asserted they never made such a call, and urged the government to collaborate with them as the country’s enemy was COVID-19. – Rappler.com

‘COVID-19 is the enemy’: Stars defend medical frontliners against Duterte’s tirade

From Rappler.com.
Original Article: https://rappler.com/entertainment/celebrities/celebrities-defend-medical-frontliners-against-duterte-tirade

Angel Locsin, Bianca Gonzalez, Janine Gutierrez, and Vilma Santos are among those rally behind medical frontliners

Celebrities defended the country’s medical frontliners after President Rodrigo Duterte lashed out at them for airing their concerns over the continued rise in COVID-19 cases via the media.

Actress Angel Locsin, who has been active in helping frontliners during the start of the lockdown reminded the government that COVID-19 was the enemy – and not the people.

Nung una, UP ang kalaban, ngayon naman health workers,” she wrote in an Instagram stories Monday, August 3, a reference to Presidential spokesman Harry Roque’s earlier comment about “beating” projections from university researchers last June.

(First, UP was the enemy, now it’s the health workers.)

Pagsuporta ang kailangan, hindi pagsindak. COVID po ang kalaban, hindi ang mamamayan.”(What they need is support and not threats. COVID is the enemy, not the people.)

In a separate post, Angel apologized to medical frontliners and assured them that everyone is behind them in the struggle against the virus.

Patawad kung minsan ay pasaway. Ngunit nais iparating, kakampi niyo kami, health workers. Mag do-doble ingat para makagaan sa pasanin kahit paano. ‘Wag sanang panghinaan ang inyong loob,” she said.

(Please forgive me if I’m stubborn. But I want all health workers to know that we are on your side. We will be extra careful so as not to be a burden to you. Please don’t give up.)

Mahal namin kayo. Naka-suporta kami sa inyo. Kailangan namin kayo. Kayong mga bayani sa giyerang ito. Maraming salamat sa sakripisyo para sa amin.” (We all love you. We’re all supporting you. We need you. You are the heroes of this war. Thank you for the sacrifices you’ve done for us.)

TV host Bianca Gonzalez-Intal tweeting: “To our frontliners, words will never be able to express how thankful we are to all of you, pero sasabihin pa rin namin, maraming, maraming, MARAMING SALAMAT.”

TikTok comedian Macoy Dubs sympathized with medical workers who’ve been working ’round the clock, saying: “More than physical stress, bugbog na bugbog na rin sa mental stress ang mga medical / healthcare frontliners natin.” (More than physical stress, our medical/healthcare frontliners are also mentally stressed out.)

Actress Janine Gutierrez said: “Gulong-gulo sa mga pangyayari but one thing is for sure – salamat frontliners .” (So confused with that’s happening but one thing is for sure – thank you frontliners.)

Sportscaster and TV host Cesca Litton-Kalaw could not help ask why the medical workers were blamed during the speech.

Director Gino Santos and radio DJ and host Sam YG posted on Instagram: “It will take 20 years to replace a physician but only 3-6 years to replace our politicians. Let’s save our doctors!”

Batangas representative Vilma Santos-Recto earlier called on the government to listen to the medical workers.

On Sunday, it was announced that Metro Manila, Cavite, Bulacan, Laguna, and Rizal would again be placed under modified enhanced community quarantine.

Members of the medical community later released a statement to remind Duterte of the same thing: that the virus – and not the medical community – was the enemy.

As of Monday, August 4, coronavirus cases in the Philippines reached more than 106,000– Rappler.com

Kapehan sa PAWIS: Conversations on the Lives and Struggles of Native Americans and the Lumads of Mindanao

On August 1, PAWIS successfully hosted the online webinar, “Conversations on the Lives and Struggles of Native Americans and the Lumads of Mindanao”. The webinar started with the usual workers rights update in the midst of the pandemic. The webinar then proceeded to talk about the lives and struggles of Native Americans. The discussion served to explain the current movements that called for the take down of racist statues all over the United States. The webinar ended with a presentation on the history and current struggles of of the Lumad, the indigenous people of the island of Mindanao in the Philippines.

Pambansang Talakayan ng mga Migrante

In the midst of the worsening pandemic, we as migrant Filipinos, our families left in the Philippines and our relatives in other parts of the world are facing significant challenges.

On Saturday, July 25, Migrante hosted a national discussion to hear and share the stories, sentiments, and aspirations of Filipino migrants in the U.S. The discussion aimed to strengthen our unity as Filipino migrants here in the U.S to strengthen our fight for our rights and welfare in the U.S and for democracy in the homeland. Experiences, songs and poems were shared by a few of our kababayan from different parts of the U.S. A speaker from Migrante International reported on the conditions of our kababayan in different parts of the world and in the Philippines.

KAPEHAN SA PAWIS: Conversations on Workers’ Rights in the Time of COVID 19, Racism and Black Lives Matter

On July 18, 2020, PAWIS successfully hosted the online webinar, “Kapehan sa PAWIS: Conversations on Workers’ Rights in the Time of COVID 19, Racism and Black Lives Matter”. The webinar opened with updates on rights workers have amidst the COVID 19 pandemic. The webinar then preceded to a presentation black history and the role of systemic racism in the oppression of black people in this country followed by an open letter of a Filipino to his relatives on the issue of black lives matter.