PNP lauds both cops and protesters for generally peaceful SONA

Published July 26, 2021, 9:17 PM

by Aaron Recuenco 

Gen. Guillermo Lorenzo Eleazar, chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP), lauded both the policemen and rally organizers for what he described as a generally peaceful State of the Nation Address (SONA) of President Duterte.

“All mass actions and public assemblies staged by different groups culminated peacefully with no untoward incident. I am glad that reason prevailed over these groups to peacefully disperse or called-off their activities altogether. The best interest of public health and safety, and the rule of law spoke louder than the political undertones of these mass actions in the streets,” Eleazar said.

“I am thankful to the organizers and leaders of these public assemblies for heading our call for sobriety and cooperation with police units on the ground for peaceful and orderly outcome of activities,” he added.

Police estimated that there were more or less 3,000 protesters who took part in the rallies to call out the alleged failure of Duterte to improve the lives of the Filipino people, particularly on the aspect of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) response, peace and order and economy.

On the other hand, more or less 15,000 policemen were tapped to secure the SONA.

Except for a brief misunderstanding when protesters tried to occupied a whole lane of the Commonwealth Avenue, Metro Manila police chief Maj. Gen. Vicente Danao said the protest actions were generally peaceful.

There were no visible attempts by these groups to march further to Batasan was observed until the groups eventually dispersed peacefully at 4 p.m.

Eleazar said NCRPO reported no major untoward incidents or arrests were made during the day.

He said other Police Regional Offices reported smaller activities in some key cities across the country, but these did not cause any major disturbance to normal public activities.