VARIOUS GROUPS carried on with their march Monday despite the rain and continued threat of coronavirus transmission to voice their objection to President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s political plans as he delivered his final State of the Nation Address (SONA).
With the theme “Goodbye, Duterte,” the rallyists expressed opposition to Mr. Duterte’s recent pronouncement that he might run for vice president in the 2022 elections to protect himself from lawsuits.
Under the Philippine Constitution, a president cannot run for reelection.
“The law says if you are vice president, you have immunity, so I will just run for vice president,” Mr. Duterte said during a political party’s assembly on July 17.
Protesters also called on the government to increase social pension, end contractualization, junk the Anti-Terror Law, hasten justice for victims of extrajudicial killings, and to fight for the country’s jurisdiction over the South China Sea, among others.
Police chief Guillermo Lorenzo T. Eleazar and the Quezon City local government allowed the protest as long as the minimum health protocols such as social distancing and wearing of face masks and face shields were followed.
The protesters were also only allowed to march from the University of the Philippines Diliman compound to Tandang Sora, which is about 10 kilometers away from House of Representatives complex where the SONA is held every year.
Mr. Eleazar instructed policemen to exercise maximum tolerance while being on alert at pre-designated areas for protesters who might violate the rally permit and health protocols. — Bianca Angelica D. Añago