Soledad “Nanay Soling” Duterte, anti-martial law activist

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Soledad “Nanay Soling” Duterte, mother of current Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, is well acknowledged as one of the pillars of the anti-dictatorship movement in Davao. Watch this excerpt of the iWitness documentary made by Howie Severino about Nanay Soling.

Rappler’s March 2017 article describe Nanay Soling as a symbol of resistance.

In the documentary, Eleanor “Baby” Duterte, her eldest daughter, said even the wealthiest citizens of Davao would go to Nanay Soling to complain about beheadings, about their money or property being taken away from them by the military.

This so angered the tough single mother of 5 and widow of a former governor of Davao that she took to the streets to voice her indignation.

Former Gabriela Party representative Luz Ilagan, a young activist in those days, remembers a Nanay Soling who was not afraid to speak her mind, even to the powerful.

For example, when then defense minister Juan Ponce Enrile came to Davao, Nanay Soling supposedly told him, “This is what you’ve been doing, you are guilty of the persecution of people.”

Ilagan said:” “When all others would keep quiet, when all others would be afraid to speak out, Nanay Soling would not hesitate to express what others were merely thinking.”

The presence of the feisty Soledad in any anti-Marcos rally lent “credibility” to the affair, said Labor Secretary and Duterte family friend Silvestre Bello III.

She became such a figure of the opposition that she caught the attention of then president Ferdinand Marcos.