Updated 17:33 PM PHT Sun, February 26, 2017
Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — Tensions rose at the 31st EDSA Day celebration at the People Power Monument after a confrontation ensued between critics of President Rodrigo Duterte and Duterte supporters who attended the event.
Seven Duterte supporters were accosted by protesters attending the anti-Marcos rally on Saturday after the latter accused them of trying to disrupt the event.
The event was organized by anti-Marcos movements and included several groups protesting against the killings resulting from the administration's war on drugs.
As anti-Marcos protesters and Duterte critics marked EDSA day, members of the Duterte Youth stood on the sidelines of the celebration, raising their fists and playing music on loudspeaker.
While the Duterte Youth said they were only there to defend the President from attacks, their presence caused heated tension among some of the event's organizers.
Some attendees asked the Duterte Youth members to leave, saying they were there to provoke people.
Musician and vocal Duterte critic Jim Paredes confronted members of the Duterte Youth, whom he accused of trying to disrupt the EDSA 31 commemoration.
He said members of Duterte Youth should have gone to Luneta, where Duterte supporters were holding their own rally in support of the President.
A video captured by journalist Jamela Alindogan shows Paredes taunting the Duterte Youth members and daring them to look him in the eye.
"Look at me! Look at me! Ha. Deny your conscience, look at me. Di ka makatingin ano [You can't look, can you]? You can't even look. Duwag [Coward]," Paredes said to a member.
A visibly incensed Paredes unleashed a tirade of insults on the members as he questioned their support of the President amid the deaths allegedly sanctioned by the Duterte administration.
"Why did you sell your soul? Ultimately when you die you will answer that. I'm asking you now so you don't have to wait till you die," he told one of the members.
He further questioned the Duterte Youth, asking if they were being paid to cause commotion at the event.
The Duterte Youth, meanwhile, stood their ground and reaffirmed their support for the President.
Most of the group's members remained silent during the encounter.
When asked by Paredes of the 7,000 deaths allegedly stemming from the government's war on drugs, a member of the group answered "It's still being investigated."
Mixed reactions from netizens
The verbal tussle between Paredes and the Duterte Youth is currently making the rounds online, with netizens giving off mixed reactions on the video.
Some people are claiming Paredes was out of line for shouting at the Duterte Youth members, who one netizen said were young enough "to be his grandchildren."
No @Jimparedes you didn't just ask for a debate. Sinigawan mo, dinuro-duro mo, commanded them like they're slaves. Parang apo mo na mga yan.— Kume Cheetos Salud (@KumeSalud) February 25, 2017
@Jimparedes You have the right to engage a debate. But obviously, based sa video, binastos mo sila. Dinuro-duro mo pa. Disente ba kamo.— Richard Kenneth (@kenthster) February 25, 2017
Others, however, admired Paredes for confronting them.
@Jimparedes thanks for standing up for what is right. I could see the restraint in your face during the confrontation. All respect!— marla espiritu ϟ (@ammarla) February 25, 2017
One netizen criticized Paredes for being aligned with the Liberal Party and said the incident made him lose respect for the famous musician.
Another said pro or anti Duterte, what Paredes did was inappropriate.
You can be Pro-Duterte or Anti- Duterte. But please, don't be like Jim Paredes.— Joshua Tan (@juicewhattan) February 25, 2017
Others on social media said the Duterte Youth had it coming.
@Jimparedes They got what they deserve. Pumunta ka ba naman sa hindi mo rally. Umeepal. Buti nga!— Charlie Mike (@thatmonreyes) February 25, 2017
The Duterte Youth, they said, had their own venue to voice their advocacies.