Thousands of unfriendly protesters made their way to the Batasang Pambansa Complex in Quezon City for a join protest with numerous other activist groups, as President Rodrigo Roa Duterte gives his second State of the Nation Address (SONA) today, July 24, 2017.
Activists at first had a short program in front of the Department of Agriculture and walked their way to the Commonwealth Avenue carrying flags and banners representing the present administrations insufficiency of genuine reforms of land.
Kadamay members also called on at the National Housing Authority before proceeding towards the Batasan.
Participating in the demonstrations are some employees of Intercontinental Broadcasting Corporation’s (IBC-13),) who are demanding for a secured incumbency in their jobs.
Meanwhile, groups led by the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan are presumed to express their enlarging dismay with the present administration. Some of their members from the southern Tagalog stormed the Gate 2 of the Philippine National Police’s Headquarters in Camp Crame, with a statue representing a tank of the AFP which they intend to burn.
Last year’s atmosphere is considered more harmonious than of this year’s. The group paraded a six-paneled mural with the title of “Portraits of Peace,” which visualized the public’s hope for real change. As for Mr. Luigi Almuena, spokesperson for the Ugatlahi Artist Collective, Mr. Duterte’s actions and inaction over the past year was their reason behind the change of tone.
Resume for peace talks, stop of extrajudicial killings and end of Martial Law are just some of the matters that various activist groups are expected to raise on their protest due to the approval of the Martial Law Extension in Mindanao until December 31, 2017 which was approved last Saturday amid the ongoing battle between the government forces and the Maute Terrorist Group in Marawi. The militant groups also said that they will as well ask for the President to fulfill his promises during his campaign, such as ending contractualization.
Authorities estimated a more or less 15,000 protesters to participate and a convergence with other groups including Bayan Muna, National Union of Students of the Philippines, and Kilusang May Uno is also expected.
6,300 Police are to be deployed for the SONA according to authorities with 8 different areas to be secured in the BatasangPambansa.
900 meters from the House of the Representative complex, critics were allowed to protest at the corner of Sinagtala roads and Batasan, while the President’s supporters will gather about a kilometer away from the militant groups or fronting the Civil Service Commission (CSC).
Metro Manila Police Chief Supt. Oscar Albayalde told reporters last Wednesday that the Manila Police are in “full alert status.” According to him that even though the police has not monitored any terrorist threats in the Metro Manila for today’s (Monday) event, they are still strictly monitoring crowded places areas and checkpoints. A no-fly zone within the six-kilometer radius from the House Representatives was also declared by the police.
2,000 traffic enforcers will be additionally deployed too. Three lanes of the Northbound lane of Commonwealth avenue with a 200-meter buffer space from the gates of the complex will be given to the protesters.