MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte’s fourth State of the Nation Address (SONA) was held on Monday, July 22. At the same time, various groups took to the streets to voice out their opposition to Duterte’s administration.
Protesters got creative, making protest artwork that called attention to various political and social issues. A lot of the pieces were centered on the issue of soveriegnty in the West Philippine Sea, and the administration’s relationship with China.
The issue of sovereignty came to a head in June, when the Philippine fishing boat Gem-Ver was sank by a Chinese vessel in the West Philippine Sea, endangering the lives of the 22 fishermen on board. In response, the government downplayed the incident, and at doubt on the account of the Filipino fishermen.
For instance, artist collective UGATLahi made an an effigy depicting Duterte as a syokoy, a Philippine mythological sea creature. The effigy shows the Duterte-syokoy touting a gun, a bag of money, and the Chinese flag, and was made to represent Duterte selling out the West Philippine Sea.
It was later burned at the United People’s SONA, a gathering of various opposition groups who expressed their stance against the administration.
A Duterte effigy was burned here at the United People’s SONA. As the effigy continues to burn, various protesters run around the blazing figure while they wave their flags. #SONA2019 @MovePH pic.twitter.com/e8GSS7UNNR — Samantha Bagayas (@SamanthaBagayas) July 22, 2019
Other protest materials also called attention to the extrajudicial killings under the Duterte administration.
Here’s a look at the other pieces of political art spotted at protests across the country: