Protesters rail against Duterte with ‘DuterTrain’ effigy

July 23, 2018 - 3:33 PM
The DuterTrain prepares to forge full steam ahead. Toledo IV

Militant groups unveiled their “DuterTrain” effigy for the protests during the 2018 State of the Nation Address of President Rodrigo Duterte.

For those behind the DuterTrain, this year’s effigy is more than just a message to the president.

‘DuterTrain to run over Filipinos’

The mobile effigy is modeled after a locomotive with Duterte’s face and is wrapped with images symbolizing the controversies and criticism associated with the president.

On the sides are paintings of the flag of China and various images representing poverty and hardship in the labor sector.

The second part of the makeshift locomotive is loaded with dummies representing the victims of extrajudicial killings, which critics of the president impute on his war on drugs.

The use of a train is a reference to the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion Law, also known as TRAIN, which critics of the administration said is actually a burden on consumers, especially those already experiencing poverty.

“The situation now is really no different with the past administrations. Only the level of violence has worsened. That is why the effigy looks scarier than before,” said Ugat-Lahi Spokesperson Jaime Calma in a statement.

One of the artists who worked on the project agrees that this may be the effigy that best reflects the many supposed hardships under the current administration.

Eugene Balbas, one of those adding the finishing touches to the DuterTrain said that the effigy showed the different failings of the administration: in economy, diplomacy,and in human rights.

“Basically, this train is not just about the TRAIN law, but about the development of Duterte’s plans. Policies that do not really serve the people,” said Balbas in an interview with

Protest groups create effigies of the president every year during the SONA to express their criticisms and frustrations. The burning of the effigy is usually the highlight of their protests.