PNP designates freedom parks for protesters on June 30 BBM inauguration

Published June 27, 2022, 12:44 PM

by Aaron Recuenco 

At least three freedom parks in Manila will be reserved for the rallyists who are planning to hold protest actions during the inauguration of President-elect Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. on June 30, an official of the Philippine National Police (PNP) disclosed on Monday, June 27.

Police Maj. Gen. Valeriano T. De Leon, PNP director for Operations, said it was agreed that the Liwasang Bonifacio, Plaza Dilao and Plaza Miranda would be designated as freedom parks as the PNP’s way of respecting the rights of the protesters to assemble and air their grievances.

“These are the areas where they could hold programs without a permit from the local government,” said De Leon.

“As stated previously, we respect the right of every individual and group to assemble and express their grievances. However, this right is not absolute. here are some limitations that must also be observed, especially if the activities would already infringe on the rights of others in terms of inconveniences and issues relating to peace and order,” he added.

Various groups and individuals have been planning to stage protest actions amid the issues being hurled against the Marcoses that include non-payment of taxes, ill-gotten wealth and human rights violations during the Martial Law period.

Since freedom parks have already been designated for the protesters, De Leon is hopeful that they will no longer insist on assembling near the National Museum inauguration site.

He stated that some police units have already been tasked with reaching various groups to ensure the peaceful and orderly conduct of any protest action.

“We hope that these groups and individuals will respect that, just like we respect their right to assemble, they must also respect our mandate to manage them and maintain peace and order during the inauguration of our incoming president,” said De Leon.

“We will not permit them to cause trouble or disruption, especially during the activity, as the world will be watching and there will be delegations from various countries present, “he added.

Anti-riot policemen will be deployed near the freedom parks, with the instruction to observe maximum tolerance.

Security is now in place, according to De Leon, including road closures which started on June 26 and the Metro Manila-wide gun ban which took effect at 12:01 Monday.

The Task Force Manila Shield will also be activated on Tuesday, June 28, which means more checkpoints will be set up at the borders of the City of Manila.