by Stephen Espiritu
President Duterte’s declaration of Martial Law in Mindanao on May 23 pushed citizens who hold freedom and democracy dear to their heart to organize and proactively discuss among themselves on how to safeguard the Philippine Democracy. These citizens are from academic institutions, think tanks, development CSO’s, faith-based organizations, advocacy networks, and student alliances. The collective action of these people led to the fruition of Defending Democracy Summit: Isang Pagtitipon at Paninindigan Para sa Demokrasya, which was held at UP School of Economics - Diliman on June. 12, 2017.
Various discussions and activities were done at this event such as having Parallel Sub Plenary Sessions. The first sub plenary session focused on Upholding National Security while the second sub plenary session revolved around Upholding Human Rights and Social Justice. The third sub plenary session centered on Upholding Democratic Institutions while the fourth sub plenary session gave prominence to Upholding Truth. There were Discussion and Discernment Workshops for the aforementioned sub plenaries right after these sub plenaries ended.
DDS: Isang Pagtitipon at Paninindigan Para sa Democracy was successful in gathering people who consider freedom and democracy as non-negotiables and must be protected from anyone who infringes on these ideals.