Quezon City Police District (QCPD) director Brig. Gen. Antonio Yarra clarified Wednesday that the police did not block the rallyists from marching towards Tandang Sora Avenue near the venue of President Duterte’s State of the Nation Address (SONA).
“Kasi, pag pumunta kayo dun sa area, makikita niyo coming from UP campus, nagna-narrow ‘yung area (because, when you go to the area, you will see coming from UP campus, the area became narrow),” Yarra said in a press conference.
Citing the statement of Lt. Col. Imelda Reyes, Yarra said the protesters almost occupied the entire Commonwealth area, prompting the cops to contain them and provide lanes for the motorists.
Yarra said the rallyists were allowed to proceed with their march after negotiations between the police and the protest leaders.
“Nagkaroon ng konting negotiations, the protesters stopped for a while and, immediately after, they were pacified and they proceeded with their march (There were a few negotiations, the protesters stopped for a while, and immediately after, they were pacified and they proceeded with their march),” he said.
The QCPD director said he immediately went to the area after he was informed about the commotion.
“I rushed to the area and then we facilitated the march ng mga protesters,” he said.
On Tuesday (July 27), Mayor Joy Belmonte requested Yarra to submit a written explanation why police officers placed barriers on Commonwealth Avenue allegedly to block the marching rallyists.