Observe health protocols in your rally, SONA protesters told

Published July 26, 2021, 12:55 PM

by Chito Chavez

Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año urged protesters Monday, July 26, to follow health protocols after hundreds of them were seen violating the rules on coronavirus safety during the conduct of their rally on Monday morning, July 26.

“Ang guideline ko ay susunod sila sa health protocols kasi pagka hindi ‘yan masunod, isang ground ‘yan para pa-stop natin ang ginagawa nilang rally (My guideline was for them to abide by the health protocols and if they fail to adhere this will be a ground to stop their rally),’’ Año said.

Hundreds of protesters from various groups carried out a unity march from University of the Philippines (UP) to Commonwealth Avenue hours before the President’s State of the Nation Address (SONA).

Año noted that protesters are allowed to conduct mass actions on the streets provided that they adhere to health protocols like wearing face masks, face shields and strict observance to the physical distancing regulations.

More or less 5,000 policemen are deployed to secure Duterte’s SONA with some of them equipped with the newly procured body-worn cameras.

In a GMA News report, an effigy by UGATLahi Artist Collective depicting Duterte holding onto power was placed in front of the marching protesters.

The protest, dubbed “WakaSONA,” will parade “50 comics” along the avenue, according to Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) secretary general Renato Reyes Jr.

Philippine National Police chief Police Gen. Guillermo Eleazar assured that law enforcers will give maximum tolerance to the protesters.

Reyes stressed that the groups are against the President’s plan to run in the May 2022 polls.